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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:
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.
The 10 Worst Small Towns In Maine For 2022
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 6)
Median Home Value: $131,400 (33rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.4% (5th worst)
More on Oxford: Data
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $61,400 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.7% (15th worst)
More on Milo: Data
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $105,000 (20th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.7% (4th worst)
More on Machias: Data
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $73,800 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 2.7% (54th worst)
More on Van Buren: Data
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $75,100 (7th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (26th worst)
More on Washburn: Data
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $108,900 (24th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.2% (20th worst)
More on Fairfield: Data
Rank Last Year: 24 (Up 15)
Median Home Value: $148,100 (39th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.0% (34th worst)
More on Waldoboro: Data
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:
- Falmouth Foreside (Pop. 1,550)
- York Harbor (Pop. 3,484)
- Cape Neddick (Pop. 2,563)
For more Maine reading, check out:
Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In Maine