Maine attracted new residents from as far as California in 2022

Florida was the most attractive state for Mainers to move to last year.
A man and a woman smile as they are in the process of moving homes. The man is holding a moving box tucked underneath his right arm with his left arm around the woman who is holding up the key to their new house in her left hand
Photo credit: Prostock Studio/iStock

Maine attracted over 40,000 new residents last year, with one of the largest influxes coming as far away as California, according to recently released state-to-state migration data. 

The top five states the newest Mainers came from were Massachusetts, New Hampshire, California, Florida and New York. 

Meanwhile, over 34,000 Mainers moved away in 2022, with Florida as the top destination.

The top five states Mainers fled to were Florida, Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire and North Carolina. 

Out of Maine's current population of 1.37 million, around 1% (14,208) were sampled for the 2022 American Community Survey. 

Maine State Economist Amanda Rector said in an interview it’s important to consider the margins of error, which describes the precision of the estimate, when interpreting the state-to-state migration results, since the survey estimates are based on a small sample of the population. 

The Census Bureau uses a 90% confidence interval for American Community Survey data. For example, the ACS data estimates 41,618 people moved to Maine from another state in 2022, with a +/- 4,329 margin of error. This means 90% of the time, the true value likely falls between 37,289 and 45,947.

After analyzing the data using the U.S. Census Bureau’s statistical testing tool, it was found that only eight states have a statistically significant difference between the estimated population inflows and outflows.

This suggests the migration inflows and outflows for those eight states — California, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Rhode Island and South Carolina — have not occurred by chance alone.

The above map denotes the highest net outflow rate from Maine was to Florida while Massachusetts had the highest net outflow to Maine. The map shows domestic migration, so does not include people who have immigrated here from international regions.

Net migration rate compares the difference between the number of persons entering and leaving Maine during the year per 1,000 persons. 

Positive net migration rate means a net gain of population from Maine due to more people moving in than moving out. Negative net migration rate means a net loss of population from Maine due to more people moving out than moving in.

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Cici Yu

Cici Yu is a senior journalism major and public policy analysis minor at Boston University. She grew up in Guangzhou, China, and was the healthcare business and law intern at Bloomberg Industry Group this past summer. She will be the WBUR spring fellow and work for the podcast team.
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