PORTLAND, Maine — The percentage of Mainers living in poverty dropped slightly since one year ago, according to rough estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The survey estimated that 14 percent of about 1.3 million Mainers were living below the poverty line in 2013 compared with 14.7 percent in 2012. If those estimates were dead-on, that means a drop of 9,147 people living in poverty in the state, to 180,639 from 189,786 one year earlier, but the measured decline falls within the survey’s margin of error, meaning the drop could be less dramatic or basically flat.

For 2013, the poverty level was set at $23,624 for a household with two adults and two children. The latest survey did reflect a drop in the number of Maine children living in poverty, with a drop from 20.9 percent to 17.7 percent, a statistically significant decline.

Nationally, the poverty rate was shown to decline half a percent, the most significant drop since 2006.

The data released Thursday comes from one-year estimates by the American Community Survey, which are based on surveys done in communities with populations of 65,000 or more.

Darren Fishell

Darren is a Portland-based reporter for the Bangor Daily News writing about the Maine economy and business. He's interested in putting economic data in context and finding the stories behind the numbers.