Capping the United States' eastern seaboard, Maine shares most of its border with Canada. Thousands of tiny islands are situated along the coast of Maine, giving this state more than 5,000 miles of shoreline. Maine's average temperature in the summer averages around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, so it's no wonder its nickname is the Vacation State, as tourists undoubtedly flock there to beat the heat. Major attractions include Acadia National Park and the state's numerous lighthouses, breweries, wineries, campgrounds and lobster-serving restaurants. In such an idyllic setting, safety may seem like something you could take for granted. Nevertheless, Maine has its share of crime, just like any other state. Discover which cities earn the distinction of being the safest in Maine.
How We Determined the Safest Cities in Maine
We narrowed down the safest cities in each state based on two primary categories. First, we evaluated public safety factors including violent, property and hate crimes in each area to help determine the safest areas to live. We then evaluated financial and socioeconomic factors including household income, average rent and health insurance. In addition, we evaluated each state for natural disaster safety and public health safety. You can find a detailed breakdown of our methodology and links to sources here.
Here are the public safety factors we counted for each city:
*Public safety data is based on a population of 10,000 (for example, a “2” means two incidents for every 10,000 people).
- Property crime – Number of property crimes reported in the city (FBI Crime Report)
- Violent crime – Number of violent crimes reported in the city (FBI Crime Report)
- Aggravated assaults – Number of aggravated assaults reported in the city (FBI Crime Report)
- Hate crime – Number of hate crimes reported in the city (FBI Hate Crime Report)
- Officer-related incidents – Number of officer-involved shootings reported in the city (Gun Violence Archive)
- Mass shootings – Incidents in which four or more people are shot/killed in the city (Gun Violence Archive)
Here are the financial safety factors we counted for each city:
- Annual rent – Annualized median rent
- Unemployment rate – The average rate of unemployed residents in each city
- Cost of living – The average annual rent and household income per city
- Poverty rate – Percentage of families that reported experiencing poverty in the last 12 months
- Uninsured employed – Percentage of employed residents that reported not having health insurance
- Uninsured unemployed – Percentage of unemployed residents that reported not having health insurance
4 Safest Cities in Maine
No. 1 Saco
Saco is the 10th-largest city in Maine in terms of population and is located along the Saco River and Saco Bay. But if those natural waterways aren’t entertaining enough, this relatively small town also boasts two waterparks: Funtown Splashtown USA and Aquaboggan Water Park. Saco’s low unemployment rate, low hate crime index and relatively high percentages of internet access boost it to the top of the list of safest cities in Maine.
98out of 100
69out of 100
Total Violent Crime Society Crimes Property Crime Hate Crime Officer Incident Mass Shootings 5.604239 (3rd) 5.094763 (2nd) 157.4282 (1st) 1.018953 (3rd) 1.018953 (3rd) 0 (1st)
Annual Rent Household Income Unemployment Rate Poverty Uninsured Employed Uninsured Unemployed 12420 (2nd) 68271 (1st) 0.03 (4th) 0.065 (4th) 0.029 (2nd) 0.471 (1st)
No. 2 South Portland
As its name implies, South Portland lies just south of the city of Portland, across the Fore River and connected via the Casco Bay Bridge, Veteran’s Memorial Bridge and the I-295 bridge at Thompson Point. It is known for Bug Light Park and The Maine Mall, which is the state’s largest shopping center.
100out of 100
53out of 100
Total Violent Crime Society Crimes Property Crime Hate Crime Officer Incident Mass Shootings 5.086669 (2nd) 8.999491 (3rd) 178.0334 (3rd) 0.391282 (1st) 0.391282 (1st) 0 (1st)
Annual Rent Household Income Unemployment Rate Poverty Uninsured Employed Uninsured Unemployed 14712 (1st) 66030 (2nd) 0.052 (3rd) 0.069 (3rd) 0.019 (4th) 0.247 (4th)
No. 3 Biddeford
Directly across the Saco River from Saco lies Biddeford, which is home to about 21,500 people. Biddeford features incredible natural scenes unique to the northeastern seaboard, which you can admire at Fortunes Rocks Beach, the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge or Old Orchard Beach.
99out of 100
44out of 100
Total Violent Crime Society Crimes Property Crime Hate Crime Officer Incident Mass Shootings 11.61764 (4th) 18.12352 (4th) 312.7469 (4th) 0.464706 (2nd) 0.464706 (2nd) 0 (1st)
Annual Rent Household Income Unemployment Rate Poverty Uninsured Employed Uninsured Unemployed 11124 (3rd) 50327 (3rd) 0.056 (2nd) 0.1 (2nd) 0.029 (2nd) 0.391 (2nd)
No. 4 Eastport
The tiny town of Eastport is located in the southeastern corner of Maine on Moose Island. Residents looking across the waterway known as Friar Roads can see the shores of Canada. Home to the deepest port on the east coast, Eastport is a popular destination for whale watching.
97out of 100
41out of 100
Total Violent Crime Society Crimes Property Crime Hate Crime Officer Incident Mass Shootings 0 (1st) 0 (1st) 158.9825 (2nd) 7.949126 (4th) 7.949126 (4th) 0 (1st)
Annual Rent Household Income Unemployment Rate Poverty Uninsured Employed Uninsured Unemployed 6936 (4th) 35147 (4th) 0.09 (1st) 0.101 (1st) 0.06 (1st) 0.25 (3rd)
Maine State Safety
Natural Disaster Safety
Maine is one of the states least likely to experience a major natural disaster, ranking 42nd on Insurance Journal’s list of states most at risk of damage from natural hazards. The coastline of Maine represents the area most at risk of disasters such as flooding, landslides, earthquakes and even hurricane damage. Maine is at a low risk of tornadoes, averaging just two per year. Because Maine has 17.5 million acres of forest and relies on it for economic gains (from tourism and camping, for instance), wildfires caused by lightning or human error remain a significant concern.
42out of 50
America’s Health Rankings considered Maine to be the 21st healthiest state in the U.S. in 2019. The state has the third-highest ratio of mental health providers per 100,000 people and ranks 7th in terms of the number of physicians per 100,000 people. Maine also experiences higher air quality than the majority of the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people living in Maine experience cancer at a higher rate than the average rate of the U.S. population as a whole. In contrast, death by homicide is quite rare in the state.
21out of 50
Top 4 Safest Cities in Maine