INTERACTIVE: Christian MilNeil | @c_milneil

New estimates from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis show Mainers’ personal income grew by 2.7 percent from 2014 to 2015, a sluggish growth rate compared to the rest of the nation.

The inflation-adjusted data put Maine among the 10 slowest-growing states, according to the BEA. The agency estimates that the United States as a whole had a 4.1 percent inflation-adjusted increase in personal income. Maine’s rate of 2.7 percent put it at No. 41 in the nation.

Maine’s personal income growth has historically ranked in the bottom tier of states. For 2011-2012, the state ranked 49th in personal income growth, and rose to No. 40 in 2012-2013. There were some impressive gains in personal income at the start of 2013-2014, buoyed by lower heating costs because of a mild winter.

Data: Bureau of Economic Analysis | Chart: Christian MilNeil

Mainers’ personal income growth by year’s end was 3.7 percent, slightly above the national 3.6 percent rate.

Thursday’s BEA estimates for 2014-2015 show Maine’s real per capita personal income growing from $38,856 in 2014 to $39,950 in 2015.


New Hampshire’s income growth rate was 4.3 percent, and Massachusetts ranked among the fastest-growing states with a 5.3 percent growth rate.

Maine’s metropolitan areas performed better than the state as a whole. Inflation-adjusted income growth in the Portland metro area, which includes York, Cumberland and Sagadahoc counties, was 3.9 percent. Income grew by 3.3 percent in Penobscot County (Greater Bangor) and 4.0 percent in Androscoggin County.

Maine’s rate of personal income growth might have been stronger if not for a surge in rents between 2014 and 2015, which spurred local inflation and decreased Mainers’ purchasing power.

The BEA estimated that Mainers’ rent costs increased by 3.3 percent over that period.

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