The town of Portland’s inhabitants continues to stagnate whilst its suburbs develop quickly, an information evaluation by the Bangor Day by day Information reveals.
Of the 34 communities within the Portland metro for which the U.S. Census Bureau just lately launched inhabitants numbers for 2021, the town of Portland ranked dead-last in progress since 2020, shedding 100 residents.
However in Better Portland — generally known as the Portland metro — suburbs have been rising considerably with lots of of hundreds of recent residents in recent times, one thing that’s exacerbated by the rising unavailability and unaffordability of housing within the metropolis itself.
Although there are communities costlier than the town of Portland, together with Kennebunkport, Cape Elizabeth and Falmouth, the overwhelming majority of cities and cities within the Portland metro space are cheaper, in accordance with Zillow knowledge from Could.
Lots of these communities are seeing a lot of the brand new in-migration, together with Westbrook (the place the everyday house is $94,000 cheaper than in Portland), Biddeford ($72,000 much less), Gorham ($56,000 much less) Saco, ($46,000 much less) Brunswick ($43,000 much less), South Portland ($31,000 much less) and Wells ($28,000 much less).
“As the price of housing has grown considerably in Portland, Westbrook has been an reasonably priced various to housing within the space,” stated Westbrook Mayor Michael Foley.
New residents embody each folks shifting from different components of Maine and folks from out-of-state trying to settle within the Portland space, he stated.
They’ve been helped of their housing search by the event of many new housing items in Westbrook, nearly 2,000 items from 2001 to 2021, in accordance with Foley.
Whereas the ratio of Portland residents to non-Portland residents within the metro has been shrinking for nearly a century, at this time it’s on the lowest it has been for the reason that starting of recent county boundaries round 1860 when James Buchanan was president. Solely 12 p.c of individuals residing within the Portland metro reside within the metropolis itself at this time.
That signifies that even when folks possible have a mess of financial, social or familial connections to Portland, nearly 9 out of 10 residents within the space don’t reside in Portland itself.
The locations seeing essentially the most new residents embody South Portland (500 new residents), Scarborough (430), Saco (290) and Eliot (240).
Eliot really noticed the very best progress percentage-wise from 2020 to 2021 by far, in accordance with Census Bureau numbers, with its inhabitants rising by 4 p.c.
Like lots of Portland’s different southern suburbs, it has the added attract of being near each the regional big of Boston and Maine’s largest metropolis.
Previous to that, Ogunquit noticed the biggest inhabitants progress of any Portland metro group of over 100 folks from 2010 to 2020. The inflow of individuals was partially attributable to its entry to each Portland (38 miles) and Boston (77 miles), in accordance with choose board chair Heath Ouellette.
Portland’s standing additionally makes it regionally distinctive: among the many largest metro areas in every of the six New England states, most have a far larger charge of residents residing within the base metropolis itself.
Even Boston, which has turn into identified for its densely populated suburbs, has 14 p.c of its residents residing within the metropolis itself. And 27 p.c of residents within the Manchester metro — the second largest metro in northern New England to Portland — reside within the metropolis.
As suburbs benefit from the will by many to reside simply outdoors of Portland, it stays to be seen whether or not Portland will proceed to unfold out.
Foley expects that Westbrook will see one other 1,000 to 2,000 housing items within the years forward because it continues to develop. It’s a extra optimistic than ever prospect for the group amid a housing scarcity, he stated.
“It hasn’t been too overwhelming — a mean of 100 items per yr,” Foley stated, referring to progress in recent times. “The group’s actually been in a position to digest it.”