May 27, 2020
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All but 2 Maine counties have seen average incomes drop since 2000

According to a new report from Pew Charitable Trusts analyzing census data, the median household income in most counties has dropped since 2000, especially in counties that relied on manufacturing jobs. In fact, more than 1/3 of U.S. counties saw drops of at least 10 percent, when adjusting for inflation.


Maine fared a bit worse than average, with seven of 16 counties showing an income drop of more than 10 percent. Oxford County, which has seen a steep drop in its manufactured homes industry, had the biggest drop at 14.4 percent. Penobscot County, whose paper industry losses are well-documented, had the second worst showing with a 14 percent drop.

Here’s the list, from worst news to best:

Oxford County: -14.4%

Penobscot: -14%

Aroostook: -12.8%

York: -12.4%

Lincoln: -11.7%

Somerset: -11.4%

Kennebec: -10.7%

Piscataquis: -9.8%

Franklin: -8.5%

Hancock: -8.1%

Androscoggin: -7.8%

Sagadahoc: -5.4%

Knox: -4.3%

Waldo: -3.4%

And the two that actually saw an increase:

Washington: 1.8%

Cumberland: 4.2%

Cumberland County’s growth is no surprise, but Washington County’s 1.8 percent growth isn’t the greatest news.

Between 2000 and 2014, the Sunrise County’s median household income rose from the lowest in the state to the third lowest at $38,057, mainly due to big drops in Aroostook and Piscataquis counties.

[MORE: We wanted to learn how to grow Maine’s economy. Here’s what we found]

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