PORTLAND, Maine — Early U.S. Census Bureau estimates show that 2014 was another year in which more people died than were born in Maine, but migration from other states was positive for the first year since 2011, resulting in a net population increase.

Maine’s population bucked recent declines in 2014, adding 1,387 people and seeing more entering the state than leaving, according to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The estimated increase equals about 0.1 percent of the state’s total population, with continuing positive international migration to the state. Dynamics of the changes in Maine’s population show a reversal in people leaving the state for other parts of the United States for the first time since 2011.

Through the American Community Survey, the census bureau estimated 531 people moved to Maine from other parts of the United States between July 2013 and July 2014. The same figure for 2012 to 2013 showed 1,465 people left the state.

That gain in domestic migration offset the population loss resulting from more people dying in the state than being born, or the natural population change. With those numbers about even, international migration was again positive, making up the largest source of Maine’s population gain.

Maine estimates continued to show a natural population loss. It was the second year in a row that Maine joined West Virginia as the only two states with more deaths than births for the year.

In Maine, that difference increased in 2014 from the previous year, with an estimated 475 more people dying than were born. West Virginia’s natural population decline was 1,269 in last year, a steeper loss than the decline of 959 recorded in 2013.

Overall, the figures show the largest population increase on record since the start of the annual American Community Survey, which estimated a net population increase of 110 in 2013, 662 in 2012 and 569 in 2011.

Maine’s population was estimated at 1,330,089 by the 2014 survey.

Ranked by the rate of population change, Maine was 42nd in the country, behind Michigan and Wyoming. Five states — West Virginia, Illinois, Connecticut, Vermont and New Mexico — had population declines for that period.

North Dakota, driven by a boom in oil production, continued to have the fastest-growing population for the year by percentage, adding 15,625 to arrive at a population estimate of about 739,482 in 2014.


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.