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But across the state, the rapid aging of Maine’s population — a trend known by some as the “silver tsunami” — has reached a crucial tipping point, many say. As baby boomers head into retirement, and many young people move away in search of opportunity, Maine is one of only two states, along with West Virginia, where deaths now outnumber births.
That gulf is reshaping life here in myriad ways, from shrinking the workforce to intensifying the demand for services for the elderly, and it will only widen in the coming years, demographers predict.
Maine - Residents - Number - Residents - Percent
Already, Maine has more residents 65 and older than 18 and younger. By 2026, the number of residents over 65 is expected to skyrocket by 37 percent from its level in 2016, while nearly every other age group declines, partly the consequence of rising life expectancy and falling fertility rates.
Why people are fleeing Maine isn’t as obvious at first glance as the exodus we’re seeing from states like New York. The median income there is around $56K, only slightly below the national average, and their cost of living tends to considerably lower than in the major cities. Maine’s per capita violent crime rate is the lowest in the entire nation. Their unemployment rate is below three percent. The state’s “happiness index” is right about in the middle of the pack, ranked 24th in the nation.
Reasons - People - State - Income - Tax
But there clearly must be good reasons for all the young people fleeing, perhaps beginning with their state income tax. (It’s actually higher than New York’s for higher earners.) Maybe it’s the weather. I’ve been to Maine in the winter and it’s no picnic. Or perhaps people just don’t like living so close to Canada.
Whatever the cause, there are more people dying...
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