THE 10 BEST Places To Live In Maine For 2020


These are the absolute most desirable places to call home in the Pine Tree State.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best places to live in Maine.

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 2020. 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's one of the least dangerous states in the country. Heck, the state averages close to 100 inches of snow 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.

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 South Portland.

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.

If you're looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

For more Maine reading, check out:

The 10 Best Places To Live In Maine For 2020

South Portland, ME

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 25,515
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $247,900 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.2% (13th best)
More on South Portland: Real Estate | Data | Photos

When you're looking at things from purely a scientific standpoint, South Portland is by far, the best place in the state of Maine.

We're not saying that places where people are broke is a bad thing, inherently. But it's certainly not desirable, right? South Portland is the opposite of broke. The residents here earn way above the state average in household income, and the homes are among the most expensive in the state ($247,900). Plus, the unemployment rate is as close to zero as you can get.

South Portland has it made.

Hallowell, ME

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 2,506
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $193,200 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (9th best)
More on Hallowell: Real Estate | Data | Photos

When you're looking at the best places you could live in Maine, Hallowell came in 2nd. Let's see why.

It has a low unemployment rate and high incomes.

Plus, Hallowell has an impressive history for a place of just over 2,506 people. The median home costs a cool $193,200 and households make $59,548 which is good for 4th in Maine.

Saco, ME

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 19,342
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $245,500 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.0% (3rd best)
More on Saco: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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 3rd most expensive in the state of Maine, with the average home worth a whopping $245,500. 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 5th lowest crime numbers in Maine.

Bath, ME

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 8,320
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $163,600 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.1% (1st best)
More on Bath: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Little Bath has it made. It has the lowest unemployment rate, and crime is far below average for Maine.

Residents here have great jobs, and the home price proves it's a highly desirable location in the state, for those who can afford the high cost of living

We'd recommend you start saving up!

Brewer, ME

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 9,123
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $162,000 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.6% (2nd best)
More on Brewer: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Brewer is feeling the love as it ranks as the 5th best city to live in Maine for 2020.

It ranked highly because of its high incomes (5th overall) and low crime (13th 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".

Portland, ME

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 66,735
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $273,400 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.0% (4th best)
More on Portland: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The Portland has the 4th 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 $56,977 per year.

We'd move to Portland if we could in a heart beat.

Belfast, ME

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 6,696
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $189,700 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.1% (20th best)
More on Belfast: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Belfast is another gem in the Pine Tree State. The unemployment rate here is 20th lowest in the entire state at 7.1%. Other factors that make Belfast so desirable is the solid education and home prices.

Homes are valued at $189,700, and parents earn a combined $60,993 a year

There's nothing like the American dream.

Westbrook, ME

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 18,417
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $225,400 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.6% (17th best)
More on Westbrook: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Westbrook had the 17th lowest unemployment of any place in our research (6.6%) and the 10th lowest crime rate. However, the relative lack of population density and long commute times held it back from being higher on our list.

Westbrook is home to an exceptional Volunteer Fire Department that represents so much about what it's like to live there.

Ellsworth, ME

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 7,960
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $179,300 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.9% (7th best)
More on Ellsworth: Real Estate | Data | Photos

In Ellsworth, everyone loves to call Ellsworth home! The median home value is the 8th highest in Maine.

Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 7th lowest in the state and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Pine Tree State.

Rockland, ME

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,190
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $165,000 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.6% (18th best)
More on Rockland: Real Estate | Data | Photos

There's two types of people who live in Rockland. Either the old hold outs who have lived there forever and are watching their home values skyrocket, or those d who can afford to buy a $165,000 home there.

Either way, you're set. Your kids go to great schools, there's a ton of things to do, and you earn a great salary. Rockland is exactly what you hoped for when you played that board game, LIFE as a kid.

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 18,635 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 cities to live in Maine have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 2,000 people to truly be 'the best'.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

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
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data. You can download the data here.

After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in Maine? That would be South Portland.

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 South Portland 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.

South Portland made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for the best place to live in Maine for 2020.

Best Towns To Live In Maine

  1. Falmouth Foreside (Pop. 1,637)
  2. Cumberland Center (Pop. 2,475)
  3. Falmouth (Pop. 2,018)
  4. Hampden (Pop. 3,727)
  5. Berwick (Pop. 2,329)
  6. York Harbor (Pop. 2,885)
  7. Boothbay Harbor (Pop. 1,000)
  8. Kittery Point (Pop. 1,078)
  9. Freeport (Pop. 1,527)
  10. Kennebunkport (Pop. 1,089)

Best Small Towns To Live In Maine

  1. Littlejohn Island (Pop. 95)
  2. Cousins Island (Pop. 659)
  3. Newcastle (Pop. 625)
  4. Castine (Pop. 899)
  5. Standish (Pop. 457)
  6. Southwest Harbor (Pop. 850)
  7. Naples (Pop. 532)
  8. Alfred (Pop. 755)
  9. Woodland (Pop. 939)
  10. Bowdoinham (Pop. 604)

If you're curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Maine according to the data:

  1. Presque Isle (Pop. 9,162)
  2. Augusta (Pop. 18,635)
  3. Calais (Pop. 2,998)

For more Maine reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Live In Maine?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 South Portland 25,515 5.2% $247,900
2 Hallowell 2,506 4.7% $193,200
3 Saco 19,342 3.0% $245,500
4 Bath 8,320 1.1% $163,600
5 Brewer 9,123 2.6% $162,000
6 Portland 66,735 3.0% $273,400
7 Belfast 6,696 7.1% $189,700
8 Westbrook 18,417 6.6% $225,400
9 Ellsworth 7,960 3.9% $179,300
10 Rockland 7,190 6.6% $165,000

How Is Your Town In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

2 thoughts on “THE 10 BEST Places To Live In Maine For 2020

  1. Rockland Maine especially the downtown smells like marijuana smoke wherever you go. People are going around with those vaper things with marijuana odor coming out.
    A coastal town, i want to smell ocean salt air or lobster, not POT.

  2. I love the City of Ellsworth,Me. it is the city you go thru to get to the Acadia National Park and also to get to Bar Harbor. A great place to shop,friendly people,low cost housing and a growing population as the business climate here is a welcome place for new large and small business. New housing is booming as new people are moving in to take on the many new jobs being offered. Not low paying jobs but high tech positions as well. Great Hotels,motels,restaurants and a great staff at City Hall that wants to welcome new people and business into the area. It is a great city that is well on its way to becoming the fastest growing city in Maine.

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