Is This the Poorest Town in Maine Right Now?
According to Stewart, a report from 24/7 Wall Street ranked Maine as one of the poorest states in the nation.
The report used data that included median household income by state for 2019, state poverty rate, percent of adults in the state with at least a Bachelor’s Degree, and the state population.
And yet the author of the Stewart article on that perceived ranking of Maine as one of the "poorest" believes that the methodology 24/7 Wall Street used to get these numbers was not a good one.
In fact, the author highlights the complexity of factors that can come into play to determine the richest and poorest and that changing or adding variables can dramatically shift a state's ranking.
So even if we know that Maine is facing big challenges with low income and high poverty rates, that's not the whole story.
This report only used four cities in Maine with populations of over 25,000 to give out its title, making Lewiston "the poorest." Lewiston's average household income is $42,969 per year, according to 24/7 Wall Street, and compared to the state's average household income of $59,489, that is a $16,520 difference. This article was written in November of 2022.
That same source, just a few months later, 24/7 Wall Street, stated that Machias is the poorest town saying that according to the data based out of 101 towns in Maine.
The average annual income for a Machias household is a small, $20,333. That is a much lower income than Lewiston.
And again, that's only looking at income, not all the pieces that would need to make up the bigger picture and answer.
So, really it is not a simple task to claim that one city is "poorest."
Regardless, of which internet list you want to believe, it's important to know that there are efforts to help our cities from economic challenges. Initiatives like redevelopment projects and grants are active and working to enhance the quality of these cities.
For example, in Lewiston a couple of years ago, the tree streets had been under redevelopment for improvements on the poverty of the city, according to News Center Maine.
I'm proud to live in Maine and proud to see all cities and towns, whether you want to call them richest or poorest on some list, making strides, growing in their own respective ways, and being true to what makes them and our state so great.