10 Best Places To Live In Maine For 2019


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

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our fifth time ranking the best places to live in Maine.

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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'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 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.

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 2019

Brewer, ME

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 9,284
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $160,800 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.0% (3rd best)
More on Brewer: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The crime rate is much lower here than in the rest of Maine, as there were only 1 violent crimes in the city limits last year. The unemployment rate is the 3rd lowest in Maine (5.0%), and the public schools are ranked 3rd in the state in terms of spending per student.

Additionally, homes are the 10th most expensive in Brewer ($160,800), meaning a lot of people want to live there.

Plus, the residents earn a really great salary: $56,128 a year.

South Portland, ME

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 25,397
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $229,400 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.2% (12th best)
More on South Portland: Real Estate | Data | Photos

If you don't have a job in South Portland, you're most likely not trying very hard. The unemployment rate here is almost as low as you can get -- 6.2%. In fact, there are probably enough butler and landscaping jobs available here to put every single unemployed resident to work, what with a median income of $56,250.

That's actually not a bad idea...

Review Of South Portland by HomeSnacks User

I have lived here for over 20 years, the town is still great but the character has changed tremendously-very precious and pricey now. I couldn't afford my own neighborhood if I were buying now. Planning to move out in a few years because of it.

We like the lighthouses and beaches. About a dozen unnecessary coffee shops have opened up, which to me only highlights the tedious hipsterism that permeates the town now.

Hallowell, ME

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 2,427
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $198,900 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.9% (11th best)
More on Hallowell: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Hallowell broke into the top ten best places to live in Maine on the back of a low unemployment and a quality schools system.

It placed 11th overall for its low unemployment rate and the 4th highest median income of any place in our analysis.

However, it only has the 9th shortest average commute time of any place in Maine.

Review Of Hallowell by HomeSnacks User

Hallowell is indeed a great place to live!

Most of the residents of Hallowell work in Augusta, as state workers/administrators, or in some role connected to the State.

I know of some who work in Portland resulting in a 50 mile or so commute - but I'd that would be more than balanced by those who work in Augusta! Personally, my commute is 1.5 miles!

Saco, ME

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 19,008
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $232,200 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.8% (1st best)
More on Saco: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Saco comes in at a close 4th. They have the 1st lowest unemployment rate in the state and the highest median income as well, which means the people in Saco are working and getting paid well.

Additionally, the median home value is the 2nd best in the state.

Bath, ME

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 8,334
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $164,600 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.3% (4th best)
More on Bath: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Bath is another great city in Maine with a low unemployment rate and where residents earn high salaries.

Said one reviewer on City-Data.com: " We feel incredibly safe in Bath. The houses and neighborhoods are beautiful, the people are friendly, and it's wonderful to have such good neighbors. People watch out for each other here, they teach their children to be respectful of others and things."

Enough said.

Rockland, ME

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 7,220
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $158,600 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.3% (14th best)
More on Rockland: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Taking a similar route to the top ten as many others on this list, Rockland ranked highly for adjusted median income (12th), crime (6th), and unemployment (14th).

With a population of 7,220 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 Rockland, you can be anything you want.

Portland, ME

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 66,649
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $248,000 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (8th best)
More on Portland: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Portland makes a case for being one of the best places to live in Maine mainly because of a low crime rate and a higher than average household income level.

And when school spending is higher than the national average and only 5.7% of folks are jobless, you can bet Portland residents are glad to live where they do.

Review Of Portland by HomeSnacks User

I feel very safe in the town. It has a very small town feel to it. It has excellent restaurants and some of the best Lobster Rolls anywhere in the country. I love the cobblestone streets and the old town look.

The downtown is full of bars and restaurants. Fresh seafood all around the city.

Westbrook, ME

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 17,969
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $204,300 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.2% (12th best)
More on Westbrook: Real Estate | Data | Photos

There's two types of people who live in Westbrook. 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 $204,300 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. Westbrook is exactly what you hoped for when you played that board game, LIFE as a kid.

Caribou, ME

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,902
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $88,900 (19th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (2nd best)
More on Caribou: Real Estate | Data | Photos

With the unemployment rate being the 2nd lowest in Maine and very stable household median incomes, it's easy to see why someone would want to live in Caribou.

Plus, the crime rate is the 2nd lowest in the state!

Gardiner, ME

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 5,670
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $132,600 (16th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (8th best)
More on Gardiner: Real Estate | Data | Photos

It's obvious why Gardiner ranks 10th in the state for best places to live: they have the 8th lowest unemployment rate and the 16th highest home values.

Plus, they're known for their quality education and relatively low crime, making Gardiner a great place to live.

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'.

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.

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

  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. Waterville (Pop. 16,134)
  2. Bangor (Pop. 32,491)
  3. Augusta (Pop. 18,691)

For more Maine reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Live In Maine?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Brewer 9,284 5.0% $160,800
2 South Portland 25,397 6.2% $229,400
3 Hallowell 2,427 5.9% $198,900
4 Saco 19,008 2.8% $232,200
5 Bath 8,334 5.3% $164,600
6 Rockland 7,220 6.3% $158,600
7 Portland 66,649 5.7% $248,000
8 Westbrook 17,969 6.2% $204,300
9 Caribou 7,902 4.7% $88,900
10 Gardiner 5,670 5.7% $132,600

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 “10 Best Places To Live In Maine For 2019

  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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