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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 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.
The 10 Best Places To Live In Maine For 2020:
- South Portland (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Hallowell (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Saco (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Bath (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Brewer (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Portland (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Belfast (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Westbrook (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Ellsworth (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Rockland (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 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.
For more Maine reading, check out:
- Best Counties To Live In Maine
- Cheapest Places To Live In Maine
- Best Places To Raise A Family In Maine
The 10 Best Places To Live In Maine For 2020
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.
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.
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.
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 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".
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 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 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.
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.
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'.
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 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
- 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:
- Presque Isle (Pop. 9,162)
- Augusta (Pop. 18,635)
- Calais (Pop. 2,998)
For more Maine reading, check out:
- Best Places To Retire In Maine
- Richest Cities In Maine
- Safest Places In Maine
- Worst Places To Live In Maine