Maine is the biggest of the New England states - the same size of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont combined. Rumor has it that English explorer John Cabot and his son Sebastian visited Maine as early as 1498, but the first permanent English settlement wasn’t established until 1623. The first naval action of the Revolutionary War occurred on the Maine coast in 1775 when the British sloop Margaretta was captured. After that, Maine was governed by Massachusetts, but became a self-governed state in 1820 with the Missouri compromise. Maine might conjure up images of lobster, moose, blueberries, and Stephen King novels - though not at the same time. The state produces approximately 98% of the blueberries in the United States, and about 50% of the nation’s lobster, but it also offers much more. Maine is one of the world’s largest producers of pulp paper products. It also satisfies the world’s wood needs - from toothpicks to boats. Additionally, Maine leads the world in production of tinned sardines, with approximately 75 million tins sold each year. There are five thousand streams, twenty-five hundred lakes, more than thirty state parks, and Acadia National Park -- New England’s only national park. Fun fact: Maine is the only state with a single-syllable name.
Safety has always been an important factor when searching for a new place to call home, but a wavering political system combined with an increase in violent crime has made safety the number one priority for many Americans. Because navigating through crime statistics can be a difficult and time-consuming process, we’ve done it for you.
Eliot is on the banks of the Piscataqua River, minutes from downtown Portsmouth. Eliot has a rich history of farming, fishing, ship-building and brick-making, all of which appear on the town seal. Eliot reported 4 violent crimes and 18 incidents of property crime, or 2.85 per 1,000 people, as opposed to the state’s average of 304 incidents, or 22 per 1,000 people.
Kennebunk means “Long Cut Bank” and likely refers to the geographical feature of Great Hill at the mouth of the Mousam River. The first European settlement in the Kennebunk area was around 1620, but Native Americans had been living in the area for centuries, following a pattern of seasonal migration. Kennebunk’s safety rating is approximately 69% lower than the state average of 749. It reported 4 violent crimes, (0.36 per 1,000 people), compared to the state average of 1 per 1,000 people. Property crime incidents came in at 77, or 6.88 per 1,000 people, as opposed to the state’s average of 304 incidents, or 22 per 1,000 people.
Hampden is just south of Bangor, Maine on the Penobscot River. The town was named for English parliamentarian John Hampden. He was one of the architects of parliamentary democracy in England and famously opposed the Ship Money tax levied by King Charles I. Hampden prides itself on the preservation of its rural landscapes with careful development planning. Hampden’s safety rating is approximately 68% lower than the state average of 749. It reported 3 violent crimes, 0.40 per 1,000 people, compared to the state which averaged 1 per 1,000 people. Their property crime total came in at 53 incidents, or 7.14 per 1,000 people, as opposed to the state’s average of 304 incidents, or 22 per 1,000 people.
English settlers and Native American tribes (like the Wabanaki) were drawn to the Yarmouth area for its rich natural resources. It is in the DeLorme lobby in Yarmouth, Maine. Yarmouth’s safety rating is approximately 66% lower than the state average of 749. It reported 2 violent crimes, 0.23 per 1,000 people, compared to the state average of 1 per 1,000 people. Property crime came in at 67 incidents, or 7.83 per 1,000 people, as opposed to the state’s average of 304 incidents, or 22 per 1,000 people.
5. SOUTH BERWICK
South Berwick is located on Maine’s border with New Hampshire. It is one of the fastest growing communities in Maine with nearly a 50% population increase since 1980. Their economy has been expanding with ample opportunities in engineering, consulting, real estate, and construction. South Berwick’s safety rating is approximately 61% lower than the state average of 749. It reported 12 violent crimes, 1.63 per 1,000 people, compared to the state which average of 1 per 1,000 people. There were 44 incidents of property crime, or 5.99 per 1,000 people, as opposed to the state’s average of 304 incidents, or 22 per 1,000 people.
The Top 50 Safest Cities in Maine, 2017
41. Old Orchard Beach
23. Bar Harbor
5. South Berwick
35. South Portland
38. Presque Isle
29. Old Town
To identify the safest cities in Maine, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with our own population data and internal research. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 5,000.
The remaining cities were ranked based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) per 100,000 people. These variables were then weighted, with violent crimes accounting for 70% of the total (due to their severity) and property crimes accounting for 30%. Finally, we moved the decimal point over a few spots to show rates per 1,000 people.