Credit: <a href=""> Time </a>

Maine is the whitest state. That it is not keeping up with our increasingly diversifying nation has been a problem for a while. But it turns out that Maine isn’t even lagging the rest of the country by a little bit: It’s three-quarters of a century behind the times, demographically speaking.

According to Census data compiled by Time magazine, Maine’s demographics in 2013 were similar to the U.S.’s in 1940.

The magazine compared each state with the nation’s demographics — both past and projected — and built the above map that shows where each state falls.

By 2060, the country will look more like 2013 Texas and California, based on those data.

Meanwhile, here is Maine:

Screenshot 2015-07-20 13.07.37

Northern New England in general is whiter than most of the rest of the country. Vermont’s demographics are also similar to 1940, while New Hampshire’s are more like 1930’s.

Maine is 94 percent white — which is actually even whiter than America was in 1940.  Nationally, our population is 62.6 percent white, 13.2 percent black and 17.1 percent Hispanic, according to 2013 Census data.


Since this piece was originally posted, there has been a lot of discussion over the first paragraph. The “problem” to which the piece referred is the fact that more people are dying than being born in Maine.

Having a 94-percent white population is a challenge in this case because that group statistically does not have as many children. Our economy, meanwhile, is not growing fast enough. So an aging, white state is less likely to replenish — and grow — its population and replace jobs left by retiring Baby Boomers.

And as the link in the first paragraph of this post says, recent research shows that, historically, diversity has been linked to growing economies. As the Atlantic explains: “diversity spurs economic development and homogeneity slows it down.”

Dan MacLeod

Dan MacLeod is the managing editor of the Bangor Daily News. He's an Orland native who moved to Portland in 2002 and now lives in Unity. He's been a journalist since 2008, and previously worked for the...