The population of Maine as a whole and 10 of the state’s 16 counties is rising, as is the number of people moving into the state and into 14 counties, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, which released its 2018 population estimates Thursday.
That’s despite deaths in most areas of the state continuing to outnumber births. Maine and West Virginia were the only two states where deaths outnumbered births.
However, the number of people coming to live in the state offset Maine’s relatively high mortality rate, said Luke Rogers, chief of the population estimates branch of the U.S. Census Bureau in Washington, D.C. The 2018 data are for the year from July 1, 2017 to July 1, 2018.
“The state of Maine increased in population in the last year by about 3,300 people, which is 0.3 percent increase,” Rogers said. “And since 2010, Maine has grown by 10,035 people, which is almost a 1 percent increase.” That is from April 1, 2010.
The bureau released data for states, counties and metropolitan areas. Data for cities will be released in May, and information on the age, sex, race and origin of the population is due out in June.
The Bangor metropolitan area, which includes Penobscot County, experienced population declines in all but one of the past five years. The population rose by 442 in 2017, but fell again in 2018 by 94 people.
Maine’s total population rose by an estimated 3,341 people in 2018, when it hit 1,338,404. The population is up 10,035, or 0.8 percent, since 2010. During those eight years, the population decreased only twice, in 2012 and 2015. It was up 5,675 from 2017.
The increased population in the most recent year is primarily from gains in net domestic migration. Rogers said the bureau doesn’t keep tabs on whether the people coming to Maine from other U.S. counties originally came to the United States from an international location.
Nationwide, the counties with the largest numeric population growth are all located in the southern and western United States, with counties in Texas taking four out of the top 10 spots.
Out of 3,142 U.S. counties, 1,739, or 55.3 percent, gained population in 2018. Twelve counties, or 0.4 percent, experienced no change in population during this time, while the remaining 1,391, or 44.3 percent, lost population.
Between 2010 and 2018, 1,481 U.S. counties, or 47.1 percent, gained population and 1,661, or 52.9 percent, lost population.
Maine landed in the middle of New England states in population growth in the last year.
Massachusetts was the largest and fastest growing by 30,903 people, up 0.6 percent. New Hampshire followed with 6,691 more people, then Maine, followed by Vermont with 1,774 more people and Rhode Island with 829. Only Connecticut lost population, down 1,125.
Most counties gain population
Among Maine’s 16 counties, 10 saw population increases in 2018, while six experienced decreases. The six are Aroostook, Knox, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Waldo and Washington counties.
Aroostook County experienced the biggest population decrease from in 2018, losing 484 residents.
Both Cumberland and York counties saw the largest population increases. York County’s population at 206,229 rose the most in the recent year, up 1,716, or 0.8 percent. York’s population also was up by 9,089, or 4.6 percent, since 2010.
Cumberland County also saw a healthy increase to 293,557 people in 2018, up 1,213. Population also rose 11,881, or 4.2 percent, since 2010.
Cumberland County had the most births, at 2,801, and the most deaths, at 2,660.
York County followed with 1,880 births and 2,024 deaths.
The Penobscot County population was down 94 people in 2018, Androscoggin was up 110, Franklin up 45, Hancock up 214, Kennebec up 154, Knox down 98, Lincoln up 152, Oxford up 188, Piscataquis down 1, Sagadahoc up 211, Somerset up 171, Waldo down 106 and Washington down 50 people.
Bangor metro area loses population
The Bangor metropolitan area, which includes Penobscot County, saw a decline in population in 2018.
The area had 151,096 people, down 94 people from the previous year. It also has 2,836 fewer people since 2010.
The Bangor metropolitan area did have more people entering it then leaving in the most recent year, with a net migration of 51 people, all domestic.
However, deaths continued to outnumber births. It had 1,437 births and 1,573 deaths during the year.
“Penobscot County and the Bangor metropolitan area lost 94 people in the last year, which is primarily due to more deaths than births,” Rogers said. He said that difference left the area with 136 fewer people, but the net migration helped mitigate the loss.
The Lewiston-Auburn metropolitan area also was down 31 people between 2010 and 2018. However, the population bumped up by 110 in 2018.
Births outnumbered deaths from 2018, with 1,209 births and 1,062 deaths.
During the year, net migration was down 29, mostly because the area lost 125 people domestically. It gained 96 people from international locations.
The Portland-South Portland metropolitan area saw the largest population changes, with 21,316 more people from 2010 to 2018 and 3,140 more people in 2018.
It saw a net migration of 3,224 people flock into the area in 2018. Some 2,891 of them were from domestic areas.
Deaths only slightly outnumbered births in the year, with 5,006 births and 5,084 deaths.
The Augusta-Waterville area saw its population decline by 71 people from 2010 to 2018, but population increased by 154 in 2018.
Deaths still outnumbered births in the most recent year. There were 1,132 births in the area and 1,356 deaths.
The net migration into the area increased by 386 people. It saw an influx of 375 people from domestic locations and 11 from international areas.
Looking at people migrating into Maine or leaving it, the state as a whole is gaining new people, with net migration in 2018 of 5,039 people. Of those, 570 were international and 4,469 were domestic.
The international migration includes the Armed Forces moving between the United States and overseas locations and both native and foreign-born people.
Only two counties, Androscoggin and Aroostook, experienced negative net migration in the year.