LEWISTON – Maine is playing a small, almost insignificant role as the nation passes a new 300 million population milestone.
With little fanfare, America’s population officially hit the 300 million mark at 7:46 a.m. EDT Tuesday, although some experts believe the population actually hit the 300 million mark months ago.
Whatever the case, Maine is but a small part of the country’s newly achieved megapopulation status.
Maine passed the 1 million mark in 1971 and U.S. Census figures show it had more than 1.3 million people in 2005. Forecasters say that at the current pace of adding 5,000 to 6,000 people a year, it could be 2135 before the state census reaches 2 million.
Charles Colgan, a University of Southern Maine professor and state forecaster, said that in about a decade Maine will have more deaths than births, which means most of the population growth will be caused by in-migration.
“Almost all of our growth over the last 10 years has come from in-migration,” said Colgan.