Charting Maine's Future: An Action Plan for Promoting Sustainable Prosperity and Quality Places

This report concludes that for all of its challenges the state of Maine stands within reach of a new prosperity—if it takes bold action and focuses its limited resources on a few critical investments. In that vein, the study assesses the economic and development circumstances of the northernmost New England state and offers a fiscally defensible action plan for ushering in an era of sustainable, high-quality growth. Central to the plan is an argument that the state must invest in what matters—the state's outstanding quality of place and most promising industrial clusters—and do that by streamlining government in order to free up the necessary resources.

Highlights

20 Number of places Maine moved up in its population growth rank since 2000. Maine's jump from 46th to 26th was the biggest turnaround in the nation

5th Maine’s rank on the rate of per-capita net domestic in-migration since 2000. Only Nevada, Arizona, Florida, and Idaho outpaced Maine's growth on this measure

12% Share of Maine employment in goods production. That share is almost exactly the same as the national share

21% Total share of Maine's employment in consumer services. That share exceeds the U.S. average by 6 percent

2nd Maine’s rank among states on the loss in share of rural land in the 1990s. Only Virginia converted a larger share of its rural land

11.1 Number of teachers for every school or district administrator in Maine. The state's administrator-to-teacher ratio is ninth-highest in the country

Regional Profiles: 

Southern »

Mid-Coast »

Down East »

Northern »

Western »

Central »
map of Maine's regions 

Additional Resources:
Keynote Presentation by Bruce Katz »
Learn more about GrowSmart Maine »

Order a printed copy of the report from GrowSmart Maine »

Background Papers:
The Maine Economy
Thirty Years of Economic Development in Maine
The Cost of Local Control: School Capital Investment and the Need for Regional Approaches
Maine's State- and Local-Government Payroll and Expenditure
A Profile of the Maine State and Local Tax System
A Brief Commentary on the Property Tax in Maine
Exporting State and Local Taxes
State of Maine Selected Service Center Development Capacity Analyses  Central Region: Kennebec and Somerset Counties Western Region: Androscoggin, Franklin, and Oxford Counties Northern Region: Aroostook, Penobscot, and Piscataquis Counties Down East Region: Hancock and Washington Counties Mid-Coast Region: Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, and Waldo Counties Southern Region: Cumberland and York Counties Down East Region: Hancock and Washington Counties Mid-Coast Region: Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, and Waldo Counties Southern Region: Cumberland and York Counties Western Region: Androscoggin, Franklin, and Oxford Counties Central Region: Kennebec and Somerset Counties Northern Region: Aroostook, Penobscot, and Piscataquis Counties