lighthouse on water's edge

The state of Maine is located in the far northeastern corner of the United States. Thanks to its remote setting and beautiful beachside scenery, the state can feel like a getaway location, even when you live there full-time.

The area does have a few drawbacks, though, so it’s a good idea to check both the pros and cons before you decide if Maine is the right place for you.

map of Maine

Key Takeaways

  • Maine is known for its relaxed feel and easy-going atmosphere, but people from Maine can be reserved.
  • Maine’s population is made up largely of people over 40.
  • The cities in Maine are clean, and the state is known for its clean air.
  • Maine offers many beautiful landscapes, including one national park, to enjoy.
  • Summers in Maine are beautiful, but winters can be cold and difficult.
  • Maine has a low crime rate.
  • The job market in Maine is not good, and there is little opportunity for career advancement.
  • Maine has a moderate cost of living but high taxes.
  • There is little diversity in Maine.
  • Maine offers delicious local foods, including local veggies and fresh seafood.

Relaxed Atmosphere

Maine, like much of New England, is known for its relaxed atmosphere. Most people aren’t in too much of a rush, and there are many small, charming towns you can stroll through.

Much of Maine is rural, but even Maine’s larger cities have a laid-back feel and lack the hustle and bustle of other major cities around the country.

Because even Maine’s more populated areas are relaxed and the population density is low, there is also less traffic.

Portland, Maine
Portland, Maine

Reserved People

People from Maine can be friendly and are generally polite, but they’re also somewhat reserved. It may take a while for your neighbors or people you see around town to warm up to you and get to know you.

It’s also important to note that Maine has an older population, and the average age of Maine residents is close to 45.

While this is excellent for people around that age, it can sometimes make it challenging for younger people to find friends or feel that they fit in.

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Clean Cities

Maine is known for its picturesque small towns and clean cities. Many people also find that the air quality is much better and cleaner in Maine.

Bangor, Maine
Bangor, Maine

Beautiful Landscapes

About 90% of Maine is forested, and the state also sits on the Atlantic Ocean. These two factors mean that Maine is filled with gorgeous landscapes. Maine is also home to Acadia National Park.

Whether you choose to visit Acadia, spend time in a state park, or explore another part of the landscape, Maine’s wild areas offer plenty to see and do.

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There are many opportunities for hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, swimming, boating, and mountain biking. During the winter, people enjoy skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.

Summers are ideal for lounging on the beach, although some beaches can be crowded.

Maine is also known for its beautiful, historic buildings, particularly lighthouses. Many people enjoy spending their weekends driving along the coast while viewing different lighthouses or learning about the maritime history of the area.

Many of the activities in Maine revolve around being outdoors. If you’re interested in an exciting nightlife or seeing a show or concert, you may be disappointed in what Maine has to offer.

Augusta, Maine
Augusta, Maine

Weather

Maine is known for its dramatic four seasons. During the summer, temperatures hover between 60 and 70 degrees, and many people feel that Maine’s summer weather is some of the best in the country.

Spring and fall can be chilly, but spring offers beautiful flowers, and the autumn foliage is known as some of the best in the entire country.

Winters in Maine can be harsh. Temperatures often hover around 25 degrees but can drop as low as 15.

Maine also gets between 50 and 70 inches of snow near the coast and can see between 60 and 110 inches of snow each year in the more inland areas.

If you live in Maine, you can expect to experience severe snow storms with relative frequency, and you may occasionally be snowed in or lose your power.

snow covered trees and trails

Crime Rate

Maine has an incredibly low crime rate, and many people in Maine say that they feel safe enough in their homes that they don’t even bother to lock their doors.

Maine has one of the lowest overall crime rates in the U.S., and it has the lowest violent crime rate in the country.

Check out: Pros and cons of living in Alaska

Job Market

Maine has a low unemployment rate, but trying to get a new job in Maine can be surprisingly difficult.

Because it has such a low population and its cities are so small, there are very few corporate jobs available. Most available jobs earn only minimum wage or are blue-collar work.

Maine is also known as one of the worst states to start a career after graduating from college. This also means that, even if you have a corporate job in Maine, it’s quite hard to make any forward movement in your career, as there are few opportunities for upward mobility.

Cost of Living

Compared to other states in New England, Maine has a low cost of living. In fact, it has the lowest cost of living out of any New England state.

However, New England states are known for their extremely high cost of living as well as their high housing costs. This means that Maine’s cost of living is only around average for the country.

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A single person without kids will probably need just under $30,000 per year after taxes to live comfortably in Maine.

Average housing costs in Maine vary from around $700 to $1,400 per month, and the median price for a home is around $310,000.

This is about $40,000 less than the median home price for the rest of the country.

Maine cost of living graphic

Taxes

Taxes in Maine can be a bit expensive. Income taxes are charged on a sliding scale, so the higher your income, the higher percentage you will be charged.

Maine’s property taxes are also higher than much of the rest of the country. If you plan to retire in Maine, you’ll find that Social Security income is not taxed, but all other forms of retirement income, such as IRAs, are taxed at above-average rates.

Diversity

Maine is not a diverse state. About 90% of the people living in Maine are white. Although Maine residents are known for their tolerance and openness, this lack of diversity can make it challenging or uncomfortable for people who are not white, as they may not feel that they fit in.

This also means that, when living in Maine, you’ll find that there are few diverse restaurants or stores. For example, you probably won’t be able to find authentic Mexican or Indian food.

Local Food

Although it doesn’t offer a diverse array of foods, Maine is known for its incredible local foods.

Many people farm in Maine, so there is always an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. Maine is also known for its blueberry crops, and you can find delicious food items made from wild blueberries that come straight from the bush.

You will be able to sample different vegetables and fruits throughout the year as each comes into season, so restaurant menus and what you can find at the grocery store are always rotating.

You can even visit a farmstand to pick up incredibly fresh produce.

Maine is also known for its amazing seafood. Maine supplies almost all of the lobster for the entirety of the country, and lobster is a very popular dish in the state.

Any fish or shellfish that you get in Maine will most likely be incredibly fresh, though, and you may find yourself eating seafood that was caught the same day it was cooked.

Because so much of Maine’s food is grown or caught right in the state, you’ll also be able to enjoy fine dining at a reasonable price.

lobster and shrimp dinner

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