Maine Geography, Population, Business and History

Maine, abbreviated ME or Me., Is a state entirely northeast of the United States, in New England, bordering New Hampshire in the west, Canada in the northeast and northwest (New Brunswick and Quebec), and toward the Atlantic Ocean in the southeast.

The state has an area of ​​91,646 km2 with 1,335,907 residents (US Census, 2017). The capital is Augusta. Separated from Massachusetts in 1820, Maine became the Union’s 23rd state, as part of the Missouri Compromise.

The name is possibly a name of the French province of Maine, but may also be used in the meaning of mainland, ‘mainland’, as opposed to the islands off the coast. Maine is also known as The Pine Tree State, the “Furute State,”after the tree in the state seal.

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Maine belongs to the Appalachian Highlands. The landscape is characterized by being icy, with rounded mountain regions (Mount Katahdin, 1606 m asl) with wide valleys in between, many lakes and marshes and a pronounced fjord and archipelago coast.

The climate is temperate with cold winters and mild summers. In Portland, the average temperature for January is -6 °C, for July 20 °C. The rainfall is around 1000–1200 mm a year. 85 percent of the land is wooded (only 6 percent cultivated land), mostly coniferous, but mixed with deciduous trees, which dominate the coastal zone.


The state was largely colonized by English and Scottish-Irish Protestants, and their descendants still constitute a large majority of the population. Descendants of French (Acadians) who originally immigrated from Quebec are another important ethnic group. Of the population, 94.7 percent are considered white, and only 1.6 percent are black (US Census, 2017).

38.7 per cent of the population lived in urbanized or urban areas in 2010, and only four cities have over 25,000 residents. The largest is Portland with 66,882 residents. The capital Augusta has 18,594 residents (US Census, 2017). Over half of the state’s population lives on the narrow coastal strip from Augusta in the north to the border with New Hampshire in the south.

Maine sends two senators and two representatives to Congress in Washington DC.


Maine’s economy is largely based on the state’s own natural resources. Agriculture is dominated by potato growing, which is greater than in any other state in the United States. The foremost potato district is the Aroostook Valley near the Canada border. Other important products are apples and blueberries as well as dairy products. Fishing is quite important. Lobsters, shells, herring and haddock are caught. Portland is an important fishing port. The paper industry is the foremost industry branch, followed by wood, shoe and textile products. By the way, tourist traffic is a good source of income.

The State University, with departments in Augusta, Orono and Portland, is the most important institution of higher education.


The coast of Maine was explored by Giovanni Caboto in the period 1498–1499. The first colonization attempts were made by the French in 1604 on the Croix River, in 1607 by the British on the Kennebec River. Maine came under Massachusetts in 1691 and became the Union’s 23rd state in 1820. The border with Canada was established by agreement with the United Kingdom in 1842.

The Maine State House in Augusta – the seat of the state government – was designed by Charles Bulfinch.

Maine Population 2019

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