Maine’s In-Migration Comes to an End


Today, the Census Bureau released their new July 1, 2006 to July 1, 2007 population estimates by state. While Maine gained 2,297 new residents, most of them are under the age of one. Maine’s natural increase (births minus deaths) was 2,024 while net migration (International plus domestic) was -18. As a result, all of Maine’s increase in population was due to the stork.
Digging deeper into the data reveals some troubling trends. First, Maine’s internal migration, i.e., migration between the states, was -717. This is the first drop since the mid-1990’s and reverses one of the few bright spots in Maine’s economy due to net in-migration. The following chart plots that year-to-year changes in net domestic migration (click “continue reading” to see chart).
The net outflow of people is a regional problem as well. All New England states lost people to other states with a loss of -355,725 folks. Rhode Island fared the worse losing -10,031 due to net domestic migration. The outflow of people was so bad, it swamped gains elsewhere and the state lost 3,809 people overall. Rhode Island and Michigan were the only two states to lose population.
Second, New Hampshire is now right on the heels of Maine population wise–1,317,207 versus 1,315,828. There is now a very high probability that in 2008 New Hampshire will, for the first time ever, surpass Maine’s population. Assuming the same growth rate that just occurred in 2007, Maine will grow to 1,319,511 while New Hampshire will grow to 1,320,484. The primary reason for this change in fortunes is because New Hampshire has a higher rate of natural increase with more births and fewer deaths.