Maine offers some wonderful places to live, but this state on the Eastern Seaboard is also up near the Canadian border. Its northern placement puts the residents in line for some terrible winter storms.
There are other issues to consider. In some cities, the crime rates soar and poverty conditions abound. If you're considering a move to Maine, you need to be aware of the areas where life may not be easy or safe.
We also considered unemployment rates, median income, and home values, and the quality of public education in our criteria. Here are the 20 worst cities in Maine that you might want to check off your list of places to settle. They are the least ideal places to raise a family.
20. Portland, Maine
According to Only in Your State, Portland is the most densely populated city in the state of Maine. If you're not fond of crowds you won't be happy living here. Although violent crime rates have decreased by 7 percent in the past few years, the rate of property crimes being committed has remained constant.
The fact that it's listed as the tenth most dangerous city in Maine is enough to place it as the 20th worst place to live. We begin our list of the worst places to live with Portland because it's not good to live with the fear that you're going to be robbed or have your property destroyed while you're away from home.
19. Sanford, Maine
Sanford is a city in York County. The residents there have the opposite problem of their neighbors in Portland. Analysts have reviewed the crime rates for the city over the past few years.
According to FBI statistics, property crimes haven't' really gone down, but they haven't gone up either. It's the violent crime rate that causes concern. The numbers have gone up by 25 percent. It's one thing to have your things stolen, but an increased risk of becoming the victim of a violent crime brings about even greater concerns. You can replace things, but in many cases, physical harm is permanent.
18. Waterville, Maine
Although Waterville has seen a decrease of 10 percent in their violent crime rates over the last 2 years, the news about the city isn't all good. Reports of property crimes have skyrocketed.
The number of these crimes has been steadily going up and it's increased by more than 20 percent. Each year your odds of becoming the victim of a property crime go up. There are a lot of safer cities to settle down and make your home in Maine.
17. Bangor, Maine
Bangor is a larger city in Maine that offers a lot of amenities. There's always something fun to do, but there are other considerations to make about living there. Theft has been an ongoing concern for residents of Bangor.
The property crime rates including theft have been on an incline. They've gone up by ten percent. As it stands, residents of the city have a one in 24 chance of becoming the victim of theft or other property crimes and it's ten percent worse than it was 2 years ago.
16. Auburn, Maine
Only in Your State also lists Auburn as one of the most dangerous cities in Maine. On the bright side, law enforcement reports that violent crime rates have gone down by a whopping 34 percent over the last two years. The really bad news is that property crimes have gone up so much that your odds of being the victim of theft are one in twenty-one.
15. Washburn, Maine
RoadSnacks lists Washburn as their pick for the 10th worst place to live in their collection of the worst small cities in the state of Maine. We put it as number 15 on our list. It's a small community of just 1,065.
There are few amenities and it's a boring place to live The median home value is shockingly low at $81,700. The unemployment rate is 9 percent. It's a tough place to find work and the homes aren't valued very high. With the economy in such rough shape in Washburn, there are far better choices when you're looking for a place to settle.
14. Limestone, Maine
Limestone has a population of 1,426 residents. This small town has an unemployment rate of 6.9 percent, which makes it the 24th worst in the state for job hunters. The most disturbing statistic for this small town is that the home values have tanked. At a median home value of only $71,800, it's the 6th worst in all of Maine. This small town doesn't offer much in the way of jobs or entertainment either.
13. Howland, Maine
Howland is another small town in Maine that you might not find appealing to make your new home. The population is only 1,106 and the amenities are almost zero. There arent' any activities for young people in this area so it gets boring fast.
To compound the problems of living there, the unemployment rate is a whopping 7.9 percent and the median home value is only $87,900. Howland doesn't have a lot to offer a new family in its community.
12. Fairfield, Maine
Fairfield is three times the size of Howland with a population of 3,152 residents. While it's not a thriving metropolis there are a few more recreational and entertainment options, but not a lot. If you're planning to move to the area you might want to settle in a nearby place with better job opportunities.
The unemployment rate is 10.2 percent. More than one in ten in the town are without a job, increasing the poverty rate. The median home value isn't that great either at $87,600. Fairfield is not an example of small-town living at its finest.
11. Anson, Maine
Anson is a very small town with a population base of just 1,057 residents. The statistics for Anson were disturbing. Although we didn't even get into the crime rates for the tiny community, it was enough that the median home value is the fifth-worst at $67,500.
What is even more tragic about Anson is that the unemployment rate is the worst of any city in the state of Maine at 24.6 percent. Nearly a quarter of the population is without a job.
10. Skowhegan, Maine
According to Zippia, Skowhegan is a city that is not good for single women. The shocking statistics show that women who work for a living earn an average of just 0.63 cents for every dollar that is earned by a man in the city.
Only 49.7 percent of the management workforce is female. It gets worse. The rate of uninsured single women is 5.7 percent and the poverty rate is 18.1 percent. This isn't a pretty picture for single females living in Skowhegan.
9. Biddeford, Maine
Zippia also reports that Biddeford is even worse for single women. 6.4 percent are uninsured and the poverty rate is 18.1 percent. Although the average earnings show women earning $0.82 on every dollar a man earns only 41.2 percent of the management workforce is comprised of women.
8. Orono, Maine
Orono is another place that single women will want to think twice about. While the uninsured rate is lower at just 4.2 percent, the earnings potential for women is low. For every dollar earned by a male, women make $0.74.
The number of women in the management workforce in this area is also disturbing. Just 31.2 percent of managers are female. The worst and most unsettling statistic for Orono is the number of single women in poverty. It's at 41.6 percent.
7. Lewiston, Maine
Lewiston provides a similar scenario for single females as Orono, but a few of the stats are differentThe earnings of 0.74 cents on the dollar are the same, and about 36 percent of the management workforce is female.
While the rate of single women in poverty is lower at 21.2 percent, there are a lot more women who are uninsured. 9.4 percent of single ladies in Lewiston don't have health insurance.
6. Bath, Maine
Zippia ends their list of the worst cities in Maine for single women with Bath. Women earn an average of $0.66 on the dollar compared to men. The number of women in management is at 44.6 percent. 15.4 percent are at the poverty level and 6.8 of single women in Bath are uninsured.
5. Gardiner, Maine
According to Roadsnacks, Gardiner has a population of 5,667 residents. Several reasons combine to make this one of the worst cities in Maine to settle. The unemployment rate is 5.2 percent, the median household income is $48,212 per year, and the poverty rate is the single highest in the state at 22.6 percent.
4. Rockland, Maine
Rockland is a smaller town with a population of 7,132 residents. The poverty rate in this city is the 10th highest at 17.4 percent, but the unemployment rate is 6.6 percent, making it the third-highest. The median household income is only $41,308 annually. This makes it tough to get ahead if you live in Rockland. There are better places to settle.
3. Calais, Maine
Calais is the home of 2,998 residents. This small community has the 6th highest poverty rate at 20.3 percent. The unemployment rate is 5 percent, which isn't the worst, but it's not great. What really made us rank it as the third-worst place to live in the state is the low household income averages. It's the lowest in Maine at just $31,078 a year.
2. Presque Isle, Maine
Presque Isle is a small town in Maine with a population of 9,162 residents. The city has an unemployment rate of 4.4 percent and a poverty rate of 22 percent. There are more poor people living in Presque Isle than in Calais. The median family income is just $37,401 making it the second-lowest, coming in behind Calais, but more people are below poverty here.
1. Augusta, Maine
Augusta is a moderate-sized city that has a population base of 18,635 residents. The median home value is $142,100 making it the 7thworst, but it's better than most others on our list. The unemployment rate of 6.2 percent is high, but that's not the worst part of living in Augusta.
This city is listed as the second most dangerous city in the entire state of Maine. The odds of becoming the victim of a crime are high. For those who call Augusta home, there is a one in thirty chance of being robbed within the city limits.
Local law enforcement is inundated with reports of stolen lobster traps, snowmobiles, guns cell phones, and more. There are a few other reasons we named Augusta as the worst place to live in Maine.
The salaries of the people who live and work in Augusta are low. The average annual income is only $40,340 a year. On top of that, we learned that the public funding for Augusta's public schools is the lowest-funded in the state.
When you take the time to analyze the facts, although there are places with higher crime rates, a few places have worse annual income averages and the home values are worse in some areas, but when you combine all of these negative statistics about Augusta they make it a fairly undesirable place to live. It's certainly not a place you want to raise school-aged kids and there are a lot of better options out there.
You can also read:
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn