The 10 Worst Small Towns In Maine For 2022


Using science and data, we can tell you which teeny specks in Maine are the pits.

RoadSnacks is reader-supported. When you click through real estate links on our site, we earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the worst small places to live in Maine.

Most Americans have never been to Maine. However, as the people who live there know, Maine is an awesome state.

But is it all roses? Definitely not. Just like any other state, Maine has its trouble spots. This article aims to determine, using science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the Pine Tree State. Don't shoot the messenger, this is all using data.

After analyzing more than 74 of Maine's smallest cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst small towns in Maine where you'd never want to live:

These are the worst small towns in Maine for 2022:

  1. Oxford
  2. Milo
  3. Machias
  4. Van Buren
  5. Calais
  6. Madison
  7. Washburn
  8. Fairfield
  9. Waldoboro
  10. Dixfield

So what is the worst small town to call home in Maine for 2022? According to the most recent census data, Oxford is the worst small town to live in Maine.

Of course, many of these cities would rank highly if they were in other states, since Maine has its stuff figured out.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers, or scroll to the bottom to see how your town ranked.

And if you already know about the small towns, check out the best places to live in Maine or the worst places to live in Maine.

If you're looking for something more national, check out the worst cities in America or the worst states in America.

The 10 Worst Small Towns In Maine For 2022

1. Oxford

Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 1,026
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 6)
Median Home Value: $131,400 (33rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.4% (5th worst)
More on Oxford:  Data

2. Milo

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,932
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $61,400 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.7% (15th worst)
More on Milo:  Data

3. Machias

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,396
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $105,000 (20th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.7% (4th worst)
More on Machias:  Data

4. Van Buren

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,590
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $73,800 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 2.7% (54th worst)
More on Van Buren:  Data

5. Calais

Calais, ME

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 3,011
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 10)
Median Home Value: $94,400 (13th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.0% (8th worst)
More on Calais:  Data | Photos

6. Madison

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,712
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $71,000 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.4% (9th worst)
More on Madison:  Data | Photos

7. Washburn

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,030
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $75,100 (7th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (26th worst)
More on Washburn:  Data

8. Fairfield

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,298
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $108,900 (24th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.2% (20th worst)
More on Fairfield:  Data

9. Waldoboro

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,371
Rank Last Year: 24 (Up 15)
Median Home Value: $148,100 (39th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.0% (34th worst)
More on Waldoboro:  Data

10. Dixfield

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,388
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $103,600 (18th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.4% (18th worst)
More on Dixfield:  Data

How do you decide if a place is lousy or not?

In order to rank the worst small towns to live in Maine, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn't a stretch to assume that people like low crime, solid education, things to do and a stable economy.

So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

How we determined the worst small towns to live in Maine for 2022

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data and the Census's 2016-2020 American Community Survey, this is the criteria we used:

  • Population Density (The lower the worse)
  • Highest Unemployment Rates
  • Low housing costs (meaning there's no demand)
  • Adjusted Median Income (Median income adjusted for the cost of living)
  • Education (Number of high school dropouts)
  • High Crime

We looked at cities with populations between 1,000 and 5,000 people, of which, there were a lot - 74 to be exact.

Additional note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. Dropout numbers are based on the adult population, not just the current graduation rates of teenagers.

This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.

There You Have It - The Worst Small Towns In Maine

If you're analyzing teeny places in the Pine Tree State with the worst economic situations, where there's high crime and there's not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

If you're curious enough, here are the best small towns to live in Maine, according to science:

  1. Falmouth Foreside (Pop. 1,550)
  2. York Harbor (Pop. 3,484)
  3. Cape Neddick (Pop. 2,563)

For more Maine reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In Maine

Rank Town Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Oxford 1,026 14.4% $131,400
2 Milo 1,932 7.7% $61,400
3 Machias 1,396 14.7% $105,000
4 Van Buren 1,590 2.7% $73,800
5 Calais 3,011 11.0% $94,400
6 Madison 2,712 10.4% $71,000
7 Washburn 1,030 5.7% $75,100
8 Fairfield 2,298 6.2% $108,900
9 Waldoboro 1,371 5.0% $148,100
10 Dixfield 1,388 6.4% $103,600
11 Howland 1,052 5.0% $86,900
12 Lincoln 2,606 0.5% $114,600
13 Eastport 1,300 5.4% $108,000
14 Rumford 3,931 8.3% $81,300
15 Wilton 1,513 12.1% $117,600
16 Livermore Falls 1,688 12.9% $85,300
17 Wiscasset 1,293 3.6% $172,500
18 Houlton 4,897 16.7% $103,600
19 Bucksport 2,879 7.7% $126,300
20 Norridgewock 1,272 0.0% $147,500
21 Dexter 1,981 5.6% $105,000
22 Newport 1,911 3.4% $136,500
23 Randolph 1,711 4.8% $125,800
24 Pittsfield 3,035 2.6% $114,800
25 Greenville 1,203 3.9% $157,700
26 Norway 2,556 6.0% $103,900
27 Dover-Foxcroft 2,512 2.6% $97,100
28 Fort Kent 2,223 2.7% $101,400
29 Madawaska 2,743 2.1% $112,500
30 Milford 2,356 5.2% $108,100
31 Woodland 1,106 2.9% $80,700
32 Winterport 1,450 9.1% $173,500
33 East Millinocket 1,695 4.1% $61,100
34 Searsport 1,039 14.7% $215,600
35 South Paris 1,842 6.2% $136,700
36 Farmington 4,785 3.7% $164,400
37 Limestone 1,527 0.9% $76,100
38 Clinton 1,227 1.2% $113,700
39 Fryeburg 1,533 6.3% $185,700
40 Winslow 4,908 3.5% $138,500
41 Millinocket 4,280 8.3% $65,400
42 Fort Fairfield 1,624 1.0% $95,200
43 Chisholm 1,165 9.0% $132,300
44 Richmond 1,740 3.9% $167,800
45 North Berwick 1,716 2.5% $237,200
46 Damariscotta 1,352 3.0% $291,900
47 Mechanic Falls 2,118 4.3% $122,800
48 Winthrop 2,476 5.9% $207,900
49 Oakland 2,324 2.9% $151,500
50 Hallowell 2,444 4.3% $219,000
51 Mexico 1,957 1.4% $62,300
52 Steep Falls 2,016 1.4% $203,700
53 Boothbay Harbor 1,087 1.8% $230,100
54 Bridgton 1,850 2.8% $172,800
55 Kennebunkport 1,194 5.8% $377,800
56 Thomaston 2,018 1.1% $176,200
57 South Windham 1,022 18.7% $258,300
58 Blue Hill 1,216 0.0% $332,100
59 Lisbon Falls 4,079 5.3% $154,600
60 West Kennebunk 1,154 8.8% $388,700
61 Lake Arrowhead 2,727 2.5% $169,300
62 Freeport 1,879 7.1% $180,200
63 Farmingdale 2,451 2.4% $158,100
64 Berwick 1,985 4.6% $220,900
65 Hampden 4,373 1.9% $211,100
66 Bar Harbor 2,163 5.9% $293,100
67 Camden 3,543 4.8% $330,900
68 Falmouth 1,877 4.0% $436,400
69 Cumberland Center 2,944 5.5% $348,400
70 South Eliot 3,047 0.9% $342,900
71 Kittery Point 1,034 2.1% $419,200
72 Falmouth Foreside 1,550 5.7% $556,900
73 York Harbor 3,484 0.0% $420,400
74 Cape Neddick 2,563 3.0% $459,500

How Is The Area In ?