U.S. Census: 18 Percent Of Households in 2 Maine Counties Living Below Poverty Level

Dec 6, 2018

About 8.5 percent of Maine households are living below the poverty level, according to new U.S. Census data looking at the years from 2013 to 2017.

But those households aren't evenly distributed around the state.

The federal poverty level for a family of four is about $25,000 per year. In Maine, Washington and Piscataquis counties had the highest rates of households living below that level - both more than 18 percent.

Cumberland and York counties had the lowest percentage of households below the poverty level - between 8.5 and 11 percent.

But those more urban counties had some of highest numbers of households with incomes below $25,000 - about 16,000 in York County, and just under 30,000 in Cumberland County.

Across the U.S., 10.5 percent of household incomes are below the poverty level. That's down from 11 percent in 2016, but up from about 10 percent in 2010.

The Census figures also show that Maine's highest median incomes are in urban areas. Median incomes were highest in Sagadahoc, York, and Cumberland counties - all between $60,000 and $65,000 a year; and the lowest were in Piscataquis, Aroostook and Washington Counties - between $38,000 and $40,000.

Overall, the state's median income was just over $50,000.

Across the country, household incomes tend to be higher in urban areas, and poverty rates tend to be lower.