Demographics complicate Maine’s economic future

Posted June 24, 2013, at 2:05 a.m.

In many Maine counties, deaths outnumber births. Young people are leaving. Those who stay in Maine are often less educated. Manufacturing jobs are drying up and not being replaced. The state’s workforce is increasingly made up of aging workers.

If Maine wants to reverse this trend of economic decline and stagnation, many argue the state first needs a vision for its economic future and that the state then needs to stick to it. A constant political churn of governors with different ideas and Legislatures with different priorities is one barrier. But economic development specialists say it’s possible to craft an economic vision that lasts longer than a single administration. Broad buy-in is key.

The effect won’t be evident within the next few years. Maine’s demographic picture, however, could reflect the change in a generation.

Maine

Population – 1,329,192

Births – 12,754

Deaths – 12,857

Population Change – 648

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