State of Maine
State of Maine

Maine – Geography & Population

The state of Maine (ME), also known as The Pine Tree State, is located in the northernmost part of the United States.  The state borders New Hampshire, the Atlantic Ocean, and Canada.  Maine is well known for its geography of rolling mountains and its beautiful, rocky coastline.  Maine is the 39th largest state in the U.S., with 35,385 square miles.

ME is the 42nd most populous or the 9th least populous state in the U.S., with a total population of just over 1.33 million.  ME is the least populated state in New England.  Augusta is the capital of ME, with just over 19,000 people.  The largest and most populated city in ME is Portland, with a population of 66,194, as of 2010.  Maine’s median household income is $50,756, ranking 40th on the list of highest median household incomes in the United States.

Early History of Maine

Maine’s earliest inhabitants were indigenous people of the Algonquian-speaking Wabanaki groups, including the Maliseet, Penobscot, Kennebec, Passamaquoddy, and the Androscoggin.  The first settlement made by Europeans was in 1604 by French explorers Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons, and Samuel de Champlain.  This area would later be named Arcadia by the explorers.

Three years later, the first English settlers came over to colonize Maine.  In 1607, the Plymouth Company, an English joint-stock company, was created and established.  However, the original English colonists returned to England just over a year later.

For much of the 17th and 18th centuries, the English, French, and Native Americans fought over the land until the British conquered the French and gained Arcadia in the 1740s.  The colonists and British armies contended Maine’s land in the American Revolution and during the War of 1812.  ME was considered part of Massachusetts’s territory after the Treaty of Paris was implemented.  ME eventually was granted secession and formed the present-day state we know today.  ME became the 23rd U.S. state on March 15th, 1820.

State Facts of Maine

ME is well known for its beautiful scenery and national parks, both attracting many outdoor-loving people.  Outdoor recreation and tourism are both important factors for the state’s economy.  Hunting, sport fishing, snowmobiling, skiing, camping, and hiking are all popular activities that attract people to Maine.

The geography of Maine was heavily formed by glacial activity from the last ice age, which has created spectacular features such as Somes Sound and Bubble Rock.  Both sites can be found in Arcadia National Park, the only national park in New England.

Agriculture is also a beneficial factor for the economy in ME.  According to the USDA, in 2012, ME was the largest producer of blueberries in the U.S. Maine is also the number one producer of low-bush blueberries in the country.  Other exports of Maine include apples, eggs, poultry, maple syrup, maple sugar, cattle, dairy products, paper, and lumber products.

Although the state is not known for having many large companies occupying headquarters in the state, many brands have their offices in ME.  Brands such as L.L Bean, TD Bank, Hannaford Bros. Co, and Cole Haan all have headquarters in The Pine Tree State.

ME was a once major business hub for national transportation in the late 19th century.  In 1880, Portland’s rail link and ice-free port were beneficial for Canada, as it became its principal winter port.  Today, literally tons of products still pass through Portland’s water port.