More on Maine Demographics

More on Maine Demographics

January 18, 2008 Posted by J. Scott Moody - No Comments

In a recent blog I showed the latest migration data from the Census Bureau showing a net loss of Mainers to other states. Unfortunately, the Census Bureau does not have detailed profiles of those migrants. However, after a little digging, I found this interesting data showing the changes in Maine’s population by age between 2000 and 2006. Here are the highlights of the data (click “continue reading” to view graph).
1. For the age categories of those “under 19” and “30s” shows what most folks already know–Maine’s young families are declining. The chart shows those two age cohorts have been shrinking by around 3,000 to 4,000 people per year.
2. The fastest growing age cohort are those folks in their 50s. That age cohort has been growing by an average of 7,000 people per year. The second fastest age cohort has been those folks in their 60s.
3. Finally, the most interesting aspect of this data is what it shows about folks who are in their 40s. In 2001, that age cohort grew by 3,000 people, but by 2006 it was shrinking by 2,000 people. This is troubling because folks in their 40s are nearing the peak of their income earning years (they also pay the bulk of taxes too). Their declining numbers suggests that Maine’s economy may also be contracting.
While this data does not directly show the age profile of Maine’s migrants, in all likelihood such migration is reinforcing the trends shown. As such, it is not much of leap to conclude that young families are leaving Maine and being replaced by older empty nesters. This trend will only exacerbate Maine’s aging problem and Maine already has the highest median age in the country. An older population also means lower taxes being paid to government, but more expenses being paid out.


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