All but 2 Maine counties had more deaths than births in 2016

Census estimates released Thursday show that only two of Maine’s 16 counties had more births than deaths last year.

Cumberland and Androscoggin counties were the only places in the state where more people were born than died, according to the census estimates.

The county-level census figures describe how demographers think the state gained 2,000 people overall last year.

[Hint: Maine’s population is up, thanks to people from away]

But keep in mind that the further population estimates get from the last 10-year census, the fuzzier they become.

Glenn Mills, chief economist for the Maine Department of Labor’s Center for Workforce Research and Information, noted that in a recent blog post.

“Population estimates generally are less accurate the farther we get from the preceding decennial headcount,” Mills wrote. “We will not know for certain if there has been more population growth than estimated until the 2020 Census has been completed.”

So, with that in mind, the census bureau estimated that every county had more people enter from other countries than leave for other countries. Cumberland, York, Androscoggin and Penobscot counties had the most.

The trend for migrants to other counties or states was mixed (select different measures in the graphic above to view these changes for 2015-2016).

Penobscot, Androscoggin, Somerset and Aroostook counties lost population to domestic migration. Washington, Franklin and Knox counties had anemic domestic migration growth in the last year.

For the state’s northernmost counties, the latest estimates show the population losses piling on. Penobscot County again posted net losses, but at a lower level than 2015.

Kennebec, Androscoggin, Oxford and Lincoln counties showed slight net increases last year, contrasting with population losses in those places since 2010.

In the view below, click a county to reveal the components of its annual population change estimates since 2010. 

Darren Fishell

About 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.