Poverty

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In 2019, poverty fell about 1%. Official 2020 estimates are not yet available.

No significant movement since the last available data

Benchmark: Maine’s poverty rate will decline and remain below the U.S. rate through 2030.

Overview Fig. A Fig. B

Overview

The poverty rate reflects both Maine’s economic performance and the experience of individual residents. COVID likely had far-reaching ripple effects on vulnerable households, but official poverty rates for 2020 are not yet available.

Prior to the pandemic, poverty in Maine was declining – from 11.6% of residents in 2018 to 10.9% in 2019. In 2019, poverty rates ranged from 8% in Cumberland County to 20% in Washington County.

Overall poverty rates mask stark differences among certain populations. In 2019, BIPOC and Latino or Hispanic Mainers were almost twice as likely to be living in poverty as other Mainers; and 17% of Maine children under age 5 were living in poverty, compared to 8% of Mainers over age 65. Many poor children are in households headed by single females. From 2015 to 2019, 1 in 3 single-mother households were poor (33%), and more than 2 in 5 mothers with children under age 5 were living in poverty (43%).

Fig. A

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Poverty Rate

Source : U.S. Census Bureau

Fig. B

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Poverty Rate by County, 2019

U.S. Census Bureau