Go-to goat data: One map shows where Maine’s growing goat population thrives

I like goats. You probably like goats.

May that make up for what the Washington Post noted in its map of “literally every goat in the United States.” That is, this is not “the World’s Most Important Map.”

But that’s not the point. The point is identifying the goat capital of the country and Maine. In Maine, it happens to be Penobscot County, with 1,710 goats, making for about 0.01 goats per person.

Pretty good stuff, but Maine’s per capita goat count pales in comparison with many Texas counties, where the number is as high as 24 goats per person.

But Maine’s goat population is on the rise, more than doubling in the past 10 years to 6,449 in 2012, up from 3,162 in 2002.

Now, if you’re wondering why I’m looking at goat data: well, it’s fun.

The Washington Post noted there are 3.2 million goat-related YouTube videos out there, including the famous running of the goats at Sunflower Farm in Cumberland.

Add to that, I’ve been toying with a new data tool I’ve been meaning to give a whirl, called Geomancer. It’s an Associated Press and Knight Foundation project that takes a data set — like goat totals from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2012 census — and add other rows like population and median income statistics, etc., for analysis.

But that’s the least interesting part of the whole thing.


Darren Fishell

About Darren Fishell

Darren is a Portland-based reporter for the Bangor Daily News writing about the Maine economy and business. He's interested in putting economic data in context and finding the stories behind the numbers.