May 26, 2018
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New census numbers show where Mainers are moving, which counties are growing

William Davis | BDN
William Davis | BDN
Most of the people who move to Maine are from the Northeast, but the state also draws prominently from Florida, California and Virginia.
By William Davis, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — Androscoggin and Penobscot counties are growing while Kennebec and Sagadahoc counties are shrinking, according to new data released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The data provide a county-by-county breakdown of movement between any two counties in the U.S. during a five-year period and show that Mainers have a presence in almost every part of the country.

The numbers are part of the American Community Survey, a sampling of data by the Census Bureau that provides a more detailed look at the American populace. The data released Wednesday cover the years 2005-2009 in an effort to ensure that the sample is large enough to appropriately represent small communities.

Androscoggin County saw 6.8 percent net growth and Penobscot County saw 6.5 percent growth over the five-year period represented, according to the survey. The only other counties to see growth of more than 1 percent were Franklin County at 4 percent and York County at 1.7 percent.

Kennebec County lost about 2.8 percent of its population and Sagadahoc County lost more than 2.5 percent of its population over the five-year period, according to the survey. Brunswick Naval Air Station, a major employer for Sagadahoc County, was in the process of closing while the survey was taken.

Massachusetts, Florida and New Hampshire are top destinations and top origins of people moving in and out of Maine, according to the data. While the numbers show that Maine gained a significant number of residents from Massachusetts and New Hampshire from 2005 to 2009, it saw a net loss of people to Florida.

But it is by far more common for Mainers to move within the state. About 75,000 Mainers moved between counties within the state, the survey estimates, far more than the nearly 35,000 estimated to have left the state during the same time.

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