Maine’s Demographic Problems Worsen
Last week the U.S. Census Bureau released new “age, race and sex” demographic data for all 50 states for the year ending July 1, 2008. Unfortunately, the data brings more bad news for Maine. Between July 1, 2007 and July 1, 2008, Maine lost another 4,543 people under the age of 18–bringing the cumulative loss since July 1, 2000 to 26,346 (click “continue reading” to view table).
Perhaps more disturbingly, between July 1, 2007 and July 1, 2008, Maine lost another 5,843 people 25 to 44 years old–bringing the cumulative loss since July 1, 2000 to 37,900. This is strong, indirect evidence that Maine is losing its families to out-migration.
On the flip side, between July 1, 2007 and July 1, 2008, Maine gained another 6,405 people 45 to 64 years old–bringing the cumulative gain since July 1, 2000 to 79,944. This is strong, indirect evidence that Maine has seen in-migration from empty-nesters.
Clearly this imbalance in Maine’s age structure cannot continue without serious repercussions to Maine’s economy. Maine is losing its most productive population (25 to 44) and its next generation (under 18) while a growing proportion of the population rapidly nears retirement (45 to 64). This begs the question–will there be enough productive people left in Maine to support the retired in 5, 10 or 15 years hence?