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Wondering whether moving to Portland, Maine is a good idea? Well, let’s say that if you want to live somewhere trendy with popular art venues, scenic nature trails, and lots of delicious food, there is no place better than Portland and you’re on the right track.

For those who ask why Portland – there are many reasons - Overall low cost of living, great healthcare, a booming economy, excellent infrastructure, and a low population.

Despite being the largest city in Maine, Portland only has about 68,000 residents. This means you get to feel the small-town charm here, complemented by low traffic on the roads.

And for those who want to know Portland in and out, here’s our ultimate Portland moving directory where you’ll get every piece of information about the city. Climate, jobs, housing, economy, lifestyle, schools, crime, cost of living – you name it, we’ve got them.

So without wasting much time, let us dig into the facts about the largest city in Maine.


Quick facts to know before you move to Portland, ME

  • The city is situated on the Portland peninsula near Maine’s southernmost border.
  • Originally, the area was inhabited by the Wabanaki, who called it Machigonne, or ‘Great Neck’.
  • Portland was originally tapped to be the state capital of Maine until 1832 when the capital was moved to Augusta.
  • Maine is home to more than 60 lighthouses, six of which are within a 20-minute drive of Portland.
  • Roughly 40 percent of all Maine residents live in the greater Portland metropolitan area.
  • Portland is the closest U.S. transatlantic port to Europe and the 20th-largest fishing port in the nation.
  • The city is nicknamed as ‘Forest City’.
  • Every year, downtown Portland salutes the beginning of summer with the annual Old Port Festival, the largest one-day festival in Maine.
  • Portland legalized recreational marijuana in 2013 to be the first East Coast city in the US to do so.
  • To honor the city's long history of overcoming adversity, its flag and city seal shows a Phoenix rising from the ashes.

Top 10 things to know before moving to Portland, ME

  • Despite being the largest city in the state, only about 68,000 people reside in Portland.
  • The city has low unemployment, 2.2%, one of the lowest in the US.
  • The jobs in Portland and surrounding areas are on an all-time rise.
  • Portland is less than a two-hour drive from Boston, making it easy to commute for job reasons.
  • Portland has 17 microbreweries—the most per capita of any city in the U.S.
  • Food processing and agriculture is a major industry in Portland.
  • The city attracts 5.4 million tourists annually, making tourism a prominent sector with 11,500 jobs and more.
  • There is no subway system in Portland but a robust bus system that keeps traffic low on the roads.
  • The people are friendly here and always give the newcomers a family feel.
  • Though it rains heavily here, the summers are amazing.

What’s the population of Portland, ME?

About 68,063 people reside in Portland and the density is 3,097 people per square mile. Despite being the largest city in Maine, the population is low here and interestingly 40 percent of all Maine residents live in the greater Portland metropolitan area. The median age in Portland is 36.1 and about 14.1% of the population is below the poverty line.

To know more about the city population, here is a quick breakdown.

  • Portland’s total population is 68,063.
  • The population is made up of 49.6% males and 50.4% females.
  • The median age in Portland is 36.1.
  • The city population is made up of 81.1% White, 8.6% Black or African American, 3.8% Asian, 0.1% Native American, and 2.6% from two or more races.
  • About 3.6% of the residents claim Hispanic Ethnicity.
  • The median household size in Portland is 2.6 persons.
  • About 37.0% of the residents in Portland are married and 26.4% of the married people have children.

How fast can you commute in Portland, ME?

The low population in Portland also contributes to the low traffic on the roads. As a result, you spend less time on Portland roads while commuting to the office and back. The average one-way commute in Portland is 19.1 minutes against the US average of 26.4 minutes.

Here’s how people in Portland commute daily.

  • About 65.9% drive their car alone
  • About 8.8% carpool with others
  • About 6.0% work from home
  • Approximately 3.1% take mass transit

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What is the weather like in Portland, ME?

Portland has a humid continental climate with cold, snowy, and often prolonged winters, and warm, relatively short summers. Winters are generally cold and snowy, with average temperatures ranging from 20-30 degrees. Summers are mild and cool, with temperatures typically between 50-70 degrees. It also rains heavily here, often causing floods.

  • The city receives about 49 inches of rain, on average, per year. The US average is 38 inches of rain per year.
  • On average, it snows 61 inches per year in Portland. The US average is 28 inches of snow per year.
  • On average, the city gets about 203 sunny days per year against the US average of 205 sunny days.
  • The city receives some kind of precipitation, on average, 128 days per year in the form of rain, snow, sleet, or hail.

Top reasons to move to Portland, ME

Portland is one of the most sought-after moving places in Maine and you see a lot of movement every year. Have you wondered why?

Here are the accurate reasons.

  • Low sales tax
  • Low risk of natural disaster
  • Amazingly beautiful outdoor
  • Fabulous climate
  • Good healthcare
  • Safety
  • Low traffic
pros and cons

Pros & Cons of Moving to Portland, ME

Reading all the best things about Portland, you may be excited to pack your bags but we suggest you be patient to gauge both the pros and cons of moving to Portland before you make the final call.

And to help you, we’ve got both the pluses and minuses of living in Portland, ME.

The pros
  • Livability
  • Good schools
  • Friendly population
  • All 4 seasons are there
  • Low crime
The cons
  • Lack of job diversity
  • Harsh winter
  • Tourist crowd
  • High property price
  • Low house ownership rate
  • Heavy rain

Best neighborhoods in Portland, ME

While you are serious about your moving decision, the first concern would be accommodation.

You would need to find a place in a decent neighborhood, especially when you have a family moving with you. And knowing this, we’ve collated the best neighborhoods in Portland which will be beneficial. When you’ve got the best 10 neighborhoods, it becomes easier to search for a home.

Let’s take a look at the top 10 neighborhoods in Portland.

Rank Neighborhood Population Home Value
1. Old Port 1,293 $328,500
2. Black Cove 3,202 $374,281
3. West End 7,081 $489,894
4. Downtown 1,854 $447,868
5. Parkside 3,177 $338,516
6. North Deering 6,590 $314,812
7. East End 4,778 $533,059
8. Deering Center 4,236 $471,688
9. West Bayside 4,586 $386,197
10. Rosemont 4,956 $338,954

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Cost Of Living

Cost of living in Portland, ME

Portland is expensive to live in. When you have a plan to move in here, be ready to shell out more for groceries, healthcare, transport, and groceries.

The average cost of living here is about 15% higher than the US average. And to help you, we’ve got a decent breakdown of the key elements that make up the city’s cost of living since you’re considering moving to Portland.

Living Expense Portland Maine National Average
Overall 111.9 97 100
Grocery 111.3 107.1 100
Health 90.5 96.5 100
Housing 149.1 103.45 100
Median Home Cost $451,000 $334,000 $338,100
Utilities 102.7 103.6 100
Transportation 76.4 79.2 100
Miscellaneous 114.3 92.2 100
Job Market

How is the job market in Portland, Maine?

Portland has no scarcity of jobs and instead the city has a projected job growth of 24.22%, which means you are right in your decisions to relocate to Portland.

The job market here shows a steady growth over the years and the unemployment is much lower than the US average. Some of the major industries include tourism, farming, manufacturing, and food processing.

Here are a few job stats in Portland which you may find helpful.

  • Portland records positive job growth.
  • Jobs have increased by 1.2% over the past year.
  • The average salary here is $45,865.
  • The unemployment rate in Portland is 2.2%, lower than the national average of 6.0%.

A simple breakdown of the city’s job market will benefit if you are moving here for job purposes.

Employment Information Portland, Maine United States
The income per Cap $32,221 $31,177
Household Income $51,430 $57,652
Unemployment Rate 5.2 6.0%
Recent Job Growth -6.09% -6.18%
Future Job Growth 39.34% 33.51%

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Fastest growing jobs in Portland, ME

While the city sees a growth in the number of jobs, it is natural for you to be curious to know the fast growing jobs here. This will help you analyze whether your area of career is easily available here. Fortunately, we’ve researched to prepare a list of fastest growing jobs in Portland and we hope you will benefit from this.

Here’s the list of 10 fast-growing jobs in Portland, ME.

Rank Job Title Growth% Average salary
1 Nurse practictioner 124.6% $99,140
2 Physician assistant 119.6% $104,520
3 Physical therapist 117.3% $75,280
4 Software developer 116.0% $85,440
5 Taxi driver 115.7% $25,400
6 Business analyst 115.2% $81,220
7 Occupational therapist 114.6% $64,620
8 Home health aid 113.3% $24,620
9 Information technology manager 110.5% $115,770
10 Medical assistant 107.5% $32,760

Top career options in Portland, ME

When you know that Portland records positive job growth and it is expected to continue in the coming years, you would be interested to know the best job options or the profiles that offer good salaries. Do not worry as we’ve got a list of 10 top-paying jobs in Portland.

Rank Job Title Average salary Entry level salary
1 Psychiatrist $210,100 $128,720
2 Internists, general $208,970 $115,670
3 Dentists, general $195,120 $109,530
4 Physicians and surgeons, all other $179,620 $54,360
5 Pediatricians, general $178,430 $118,790
6 Family & general practitioners $173,300 $106,550
7 Chief executives $169,570 $57,900
8 Nurse anesthetists $152,940 $127,610
9 Personal financial advisors $150,710 $42,030
10 Pharmacists $122,110 $88,230

What's the average salary & income in Portland, Maine?

Any salary above $47,000 is a good salary in Portland as you will be earning more than what about half of the residents earn. The average salary here is $54,523. To help you get an idea about how much you need to earn to have a decent living in Portland, we’ve collated the figures below.

  • Portland’s average annual pay for average jobs is $54,523 a year.
  • Portland’s average hourly pay for average jobs is $22.6 an hour.
  • Portland’s average weekly pay for average jobs is $903 per week.
  • Portland’s average monthly pay for average jobs is $3,916 per month.
  • Portland’s top earners (90th percentile) make $91,000 annually.

Major industries in Portland, ME

It is always good to know the major industries in Portland before you decide to move in. This will help you decide whether our job experience and qualification makes you a good fit in the city. Here’s a list of major industries in Portland.

  • Manufacturing
  • Tourism
  • Agriculture
  • Service

Best companies to work for if you’re moving to Portland, Maine

Once you’re in Portland and searching for a job, your priority will be employee-friendly companies and fortunately, the city has many such ones. Maybe having their names in hand will make things easier while job hunting. And knowing this, we’ve got a list of the 10 best companies to work in Portland.

Here are the 10 best companies to work for in Portland.

  • I-Comm Connect
  • Dutch’s
  • VIA Group
  • Covetrus
  • Diversified Communications
  • Blackstone Consulting
  • Woodard & Curran
  • SMRT
  • Berry Dunn
  • Berlin City Auto Group
Housing Market

How is the housing market of Portland, ME?

Finding an affordable house can be a concern in Portland as accommodation is more expensive here than most neighboring cities. You need to be ready to spend approximately about $451,000to buy a house here in a decent neighborhood which is much higher than the national average. And the housing costs are further shooting up in recent years by about 17.35%. And this makes finding a good home in a decent neighborhood a tough task.

Here are a few latest housing stats that may help you.

  • Portland’s median home cost is $451,000.
  • The median age of Portland real estate is 74 years old.
  • The city’s home appreciation in the last 10 years has been 115.3%.
  • Renters make up 51.1% of the Portland population.
  • About 2.1% of houses and apartments in Portland are available to rent.

Average rental prices in Portland, ME

The home rental, just as the home cost, is higher than the national average. However, you have no option to escape from this as a rented accommodation will be the primary choice in the initial days in Portland. And the home rent will be a major factor contributing to the cost of living. Having an idea about home rental in advance would make things easier.

  • Portland’s average rent for a studio apartment is $1,300
  • Portland’s average rent for 1-bedroom home or apartment is $1,490
  • Portland’s average rent for a 2-bedroom home or apartment is $1,930
  • Portland’s average rent for a 3-bedroom home or apartment is $2,430
  • Portland’s average rent for a 4-bedroom home or apartment is $2,770

What are taxes like in Portland, ME?

Knowing the different taxes levied by the administration in Portland is crucial when you calculate the take-home salary as this is based on the cuts the authorities make.

To help you, we’ve listed down the highlights of state tax in Portland, Maine.

  • The sales tax rate for Portland is 5.5%. The US average is 7.3%.
  • The Income Tax Rate for Portland is 7.2%. The US average is 4.6%.
  • The average property tax rate in Portland is 1.09%.
Things To Do

What are the best things to do in Portland, Maine?

With its jagged cliffs, crashing waves, and historic white-towered lighthouses, Portland is more like a postcard city, and living here will give you the opportunity to explore each wonder every weekend or a holiday.

Interestingly, we’ve got the 10 best things to do in Portland which we’re sure you will appreciate.

Here are the 10 best things to do in Portland.

  • Wander the scenic Eastern Promenade
  • Go whale watching at Casco Bay
  • Take the kids to the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine
  • Explore Bug Light Park
  • Spend a day at the Old Port District
  • Gaze out from the Portland Observatory
  • Catch a foul ball at Hadlock Field
  • Climb aboard the Seashore Trolley Museum
  • Visit the Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse
  • Kayak the coastline and head to Sebago Lake

How safe is Portland, Maine?

Portland records significantly lower crimes than most US cities. As per the stats, the city is much safer than 22% of US neighborhoods and about 40% of the residents here feel utmost safe. As per the recent data, your chance of becoming a violent crime victim is 1 in 449 in Portland which makes it a good option to move in.

Here, we’ve got the latest crime data, based on which you can decide whether to move to Portland.

  • The rate of crime in Portland is 2.23 per 1,000 residents during a standard year.
  • The violent crime rate in Portland is 21.1. The U.S. average is 22.7
  • The property crime rate in Portland is 44.8. The U.S. average is 35.4
  • Portland is safer than 22% of US cities.
  • Residents have a 1 in 449 chance of being the victim of a violent crime.
  • Residents have a 1 in 57 chance of being the victim of a property crime.
  • About 51% of the residents feel safe in Portland.

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What are the top schools in Portland, Maine?

When you are packing bags to Portland with the family, the education of the children can be a great concern but when the new location is Portland, things will be easier.

You’ve got some good schools and colleges here and education won’t be a concern at all. And to help you, we’ve filtered down the best schools and colleges in Portland. Take a look at our list.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Portland is a business city with an amazing lifestyle packed with fun and entertainment. Boasting of a rich industrialized history, Portland now mainly focuses on banking, finance, healthcare, printing, and graphics.

Portland is an economic center with a booming economy and is also perfectly located just 30 minutes away from Auburn, another prominent city in Maine. While Portland boasts of unlimited open spaces, ideal for recreation and fun, it also takes pride in its economy. You may also meet hundreds of people who commute to Auburn for jobs on a regular basis. And when your goal is to have a life filled with job, recreation, and high living standards, there is no place better than Portland.

Portland is one of the most affordable cities in Maine with transportation, healthcare, education, groceries, and home value perfectly fitting your wallet. You may comfortably live in Portland by spending $2,007 a month, which makes it the 1313th expensive city in the country.

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