Census: A greater share of Maine 20-somethings are in poverty

The U.S. Census Bureau unloaded gobs of data about gobs of places in the country today, but focused on changes among the country’s population between 18 to 34 — a group I’m just calling 20-somethings.

Now, if you’re thinking not some more messy old spreadsheets, think again! In writing about a group of people who grew up alongside the Internet, the Census made their look at that age group really easy to access (they did make spreadsheets, but those are really easy to get, too).

Take, for instance, a look at the share of Maine’s population in the 20-something range compared to the rest of the country (Maine figures are in blue, national totals in pink):

That percentage has held mostly steady from 2000 to the latest American Community Survey.

While boosting that population in the state has been touted as a requirement for the state to have any chance at prosperity, it’s clear that the 18-34 age group needs a boost itself.

The percentage of Mainers in that age group living in poverty shot up dramatically — about 6 percentage points — from the 2000 census to the latest 5-year ACS survey. That’s faster than the national figure, which grew by about 4.4 percentage points over the same time.

That’s likely a factor — along with cultural shifts, of course — in a lower percentage of 20-something Mainers getting married at any time between 18 and 34.

There’s plenty more ways to slice and dice not only the Census Bureau’s look at young adults, but a wide range of local ACS data out today (fuel for this blog), but you can check out the full Census Explorer site (wicked cool) and see more in a range of state, county and metro-area stats about America’s population — of 20-somethings.

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.