Piscataquis Named the ‘Worst’ County in Maine
For those that have lived in Maine for a long time, Piscataquis County rarely comes up in the news. It is Maine's smallest county by population, with roughly 17,000 residents total calling it home. While the population may be sparse, the square footage is not. Piscataquis County is actually about the same size as the state of Connecticut in acreage. With few people and a lot of space, it should come as a surprise that Piscataquis County was named the worst in Maine. Here are the reasons why.
The Lack of Jobs
The biggest knock on Piscataquis County is the lack of good paying jobs and the potential for long lasting careers. Because of the lack of security in work, Piscataquis County is Maine's only county that hasn't seen legitimate population growth over the last 30 years. In 1998, Piscataquis County was home to 18,738 residents. Fast forward to the 2020 census, and the county has lost nearly 2,000 residents, at 16,996.
Bad for Families
Because of the massive footprint and lack of population, Piscataquis County has struggled attracting families. Estimates would put residents having only one neighbor within a mile of their house, meaning no playdates or after-school activities for young kids. It's also led to long bus rides for kids in the more rural parts of a school district.
It's Not Just Doom and Gloom
While Piscataquis County does have some problems that may difficult to overcome, it has plenty of good elements too. If you're someone who enjoys their privacy, Piscataquis County's lack of population is right up your alley. Piscataquis is home to Baxter State Park, one of the most treasured natural areas in all of Maine.
The Homes Are Still Cheap
If you're a resident of Cumberland or York County, take a deep breath before reading this. According to Stacker.com, the median home price in Piscataquis County is $116,000. The average monthly mortgage payment in Piscataquis is under $500, with some of the lowest property tax rates in the state.