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If you've never kayaked Kennebunkport's Tidal River, watched a moose cross the road in Portage Lake, or had a 'lobstah' roll in Bar Harbor, then you've not witnessed what the good people of Maine already know; they have some of the best places in America to call home.
Lucky for you, HomeSnacks is handing you the ultimate Maine life hack: we've created a list of the top ten best places to live in Maine for 2019. You should definitely take a look below, there might be some places on this list that surprise you.
But what is not surprising is the gold star quality of life in Maine. And that, folks, comes with a price. If you want to live in one of Maine's best places, you're going to have to find a good job. This shouldn't be too hard considering Maine's unemployment rate is 3.1%. Coincidentally, Maine is super safe. It is one of the least dangerous states in the country. Heck, the state averages close to 100 inches per year. We're pretty sure Mainers don't leave their homes for most of the year; thus, less time to be naughty.
So, want to know where the best places in Maine are to find a good job, the best neighborhood, affordable housing, and blue ribbon schools?
Grab a Moxie, tie up your L.L. Bean duck boots, find a quiet spot by the bay, and read on.
Here are the 10 best places to live in Maine for 2019:
- Brewer (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- South Portland (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Hallowell (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Saco (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Bath (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Rockland (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Portland (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Westbrook (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Caribou (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Gardiner (Photos | Homes For Sale)
Notables like Stephen King, Martha Stewart, and the Bush family, and have been singing The Pine Tree State's praises for years. And rightfully so. This New England state has some of the best landscapes, amazing seafood, and friendly people.
However, there can be only one number one best place to live in Maine. What's the best place to live in Maine? According to the most recent data, that would be Brewer.
To see Maine's other best places to live, take a look below. And if you don't find your favorite there, head to the bottom.
For more Maine reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Maine
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Maine
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Maine
The 10 Best Places To Live In Maine For 2019
Brewer is feeling the love as it ranks as the best city to live in Maine for 2019.
It ranked highly because of its high incomes (3rd overall) and low crime (7th overall and one of the best in the top ten).
We think the city should probably change its motto at this point to something like "The Place To Be In Maine".
Well, I guess technically 6.2% of South Portland residents who want to have a job can't find one, so not everyone has a job, but it's the 12th closest of any city in Maine.
You can tell they take business seriously as they have by far the coolest Chamber of Commerce website we came across in our research.
In addition to its incredibly low unemployment rate, South Portland also ranked well for crime (9th) and median income ($56,250).
Taking a similar route to the top ten as many others on this list, Hallowell ranked highly for adjusted median income (4th), crime (1st), and unemployment (11th).
With a population of 2,427 it was one of the smaller in the top ten and its government website actually goes to pains to say that it's a "community though not a city".
But don't listen to what they say people of Hallowell, you can be anything you want.
The Town of Saco consistently ranks as one of the best places to live. There aren't any surprises here. Which probably adds credibility to our data, right?
Let's see why Saco ranks so high. First of all, the homes in Saco are the 2nd most expensive in the state of Maine, with the average home worth a whopping $232,200. We're not elitists, nor are we saying that big homes means a better place to live. But price reflects demand, and simply put, a lot of people want to live in Saco if they can afford it.
Other numbers that stand out: Saco residents have the highest income in the state, and the 4th lowest crime numbers in Maine.
Bath is by far one of the best places to live in Maine: the math proves it! This city has the 4th lowest unemployment rate and the 11th highest median income in all of Maine.
Plus, the median home values are the 9th highest in the state. And if all of that isn't enough to convince you, then check this out: their crime rate is the 10th lowest in the state, making Bath a safe and great place to live.
In Rockland, everyone loves to call Rockland home! The median home value is the 11th highest in Maine.
Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 14th lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Pine Tree State.
The Portland has the 8th lowest unemployment rate in Maine. The population growth here has been 8% over the last 15 years, meaning a lot of people want to live here. If they can afford it; the cost of living in Portland is higher than the national average and households make $48,259 per year.
We'd move to Portland if we could in a heart beat.
Let's take a look at why Westbrook is a great place to call home for 2019.
There's low crime in Westbrook, and the residents here are gainfully employed (6.2% unemployment rate).
You can make Westbrook your home for only $204,300 which won't be too hard on a $48,074 household salary.
Caribou is a short drive from everything, but who would want to leave the 9th best place in Maine?
Homes are priced around $88,900 and residents have the 6th shortest commute in Maine.
Gardiner comes in 10th in our best places to live in Maine analysis.
Ranking highly for its exceptionally low unemployment rate (8th overall) and crime rate (8th overall), Gardiner is the exact kind of place you'd want to live with a family.
Several large companies call the surrounding area home which should keep Gardiner in our lists for years to come.
Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Maine
The Pressing Question: Size
Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Augusta with a population of 18,691 against places with a population of 18?
We firmly decided no, that just isn't fair.
So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:
- Cities -- Populations over 2,000
- Towns -- Populations between 1,000 and 2,000
- Small Towns -- Populations below 1,000
This left us with 20 cities, 72 towns, and 26 small towns.
We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best places have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 2,000 people to truly be 'the best'.
You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.
How We Calculated The Best Cities To Live In Maine
Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.
We ranked each place in Maine across a number of criteria from one to 20, with one being the best.
We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title "Best Place To Live In Maine".
The criteria we looked at were:
- Median Home Values
- Median Income
- Population Density (Higher better)
- Unemployment Rate
- Commute Time
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in Maine? That would be Brewer.
If your city or town isn't among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Maine.
Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Brewer at the end of the cul-de-sac.
Wrapping Up The Best Places When It Comes To Living In Maine
If you're looking at areas in Maine with the best economic situations, where there's lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
Brewer made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for the best place to live in Maine for 2019.
Best Towns To Live In Maine
- Falmouth Foreside (Pop. 1,637)
- Cumberland Center (Pop. 2,475)
- Falmouth (Pop. 2,018)
- Hampden (Pop. 3,727)
- Berwick (Pop. 2,329)
- York Harbor (Pop. 2,885)
- Boothbay Harbor (Pop. 1,000)
- Kittery Point (Pop. 1,078)
- Freeport (Pop. 1,527)
- Kennebunkport (Pop. 1,089)
Best Small Towns To Live In Maine
- Littlejohn Island (Pop. 95)
- Cousins Island (Pop. 659)
- Newcastle (Pop. 625)
- Castine (Pop. 899)
- Standish (Pop. 457)
- Southwest Harbor (Pop. 850)
- Naples (Pop. 532)
- Alfred (Pop. 755)
- Woodland (Pop. 939)
- Bowdoinham (Pop. 604)
If you're curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Maine according to the data:
- Waterville (Pop. 16,134)
- Bangor (Pop. 32,491)
- Augusta (Pop. 18,691)
For more Maine reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Maine
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Maine
- 10 Safest Places In Maine
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Maine