2015-04-10 / Community

York County has population boomlet

By Duke Harrington Staff Writer

YORK COUNTY — A U.S. Census Bureau population estimate published March 26 says York County gained 1,247 new residents during the past year, good for growth of 0.62 percent, to a total population of 200,710. That placed it second only to neighboring Cumberland County, which enjoyed growth of 1,931 people during the same time period, a gain of 0.67 percent.

The primary difference between York and Cumberland counties over the past year has been the sources of population growth.

York County saw 1,027 people arrive from other Maine counties and U.S. states, versus just 81 from international sources. That split was almost even in Cumberland County, however, where 870 people arrived from domestic locations and 711 from overseas.

York County also saw a comparatively low natural increase of 54 people, calculated on 1,879 births and 1,825 deaths during the year that ended July 1, 2014. In Cumberland County, the natural increase was 286 persons, based on 2,788 births and 2,502 deaths.

Only one other county, Androscoggin, enjoyed a positive natural increase for the year, coming in just short of Cumberland with 281 people as the result of 1,273 births and 992 deaths. Androscoggin’s net population change was just 49, however, as it also gained 118 new residents from international locations, but lost 310 people to other counties and states, and 50 others “that cannot be attributed to any specific demographic component,” according to the Census Bureau.

The bureau report, which covered the fiscal year from July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014, placed Knox County (up 88 people, or 0.22 percent) third in annual population growth, followed by Waldo County (up 76 people, or 0.19 percent) and Kennebec County (up 56 new residents, or 0.04 percent).

While the Census Bureau report focuses on population growth, what it does not mention may be more interesting, as more than half of all Maine counties lost residents during the year. Out-migration was greatest in Aroostook County (down 592 people, or 0.85 percent), followed by Somerset

(-517; -1 percent), Washington (-378; -1.17 percent), Franklin (-223; -0.73 percent) and Piscataquis (-150; -0.87 percent). Also losing residents were Hancock, Knox, Oxford and Penobscot counties.

Despite the losses, Maine’s total population grew 0.1 percent (1,387 people) to 1.33 million.

The recently released census data is based largely on statistical modeling. It shows that York County has grown 1.8 percent (3,576 people) since the last full census in 2010, when it had 197,134 residents. That again places it second only to Cumberland County, which has grown 2.2 percent over the past five years. The losers to Maine’s two southernmost counties during that time period were the northern and eastern fringes, Aroostook and Washington counties, which lost 3.4 and 3.2 percent of their populations, respectively, from 2010 to 2014.

Over the past five years, York’s natural increase has been 482, given 7,912 births and 7,430 deaths since July 1, 2009. During that time York gained 305 residents from international and 2,641 from domestic sources. Cumberland, meanwhile, has seen 2,855 international and 1,845 domestic migrants during that fiveyear timeframe.

In all, 13 of 16 Maine counties saw a 2013-2014 natural increase that was actually a negative number, with more deaths than births. The net natural decrease hit three digits in five counties, including Hancock (-160), Aroostook (-143), Lincoln (-133), Oxford (-122), and Washington (-105). Of those, only Lincoln saw enough people move in to break even on the year, hitting the exact same population at July 1, 2014 (34,170), as reported July 1, 2013.

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