Change Indicator

High housing cost burden by owner/renter households and county in Maine

High housing cost burden by owner/renter households and county

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Note: Non-consecutive years appear adjacent in the trend line
because one or more years have been deselected.

Why This Indicator Matters

High housing costs make it difficult for households to meet their other essential expenses such as for food and healthcare and transportation. "The Rent Eats First" by Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. Nationally, rents are rising and homes for sale are rising even more quickly. It is increasing difficult for young families to bear the burdens of both high rents and high costs to enter the home ownership market. Up until the beginning of 2022, low mortgage rates made home ownership more affordable, but now mortgage interest rates have risen.

In Maine, for 2018-2022, 21.8% of owners and 51.9% of renters paid more than 30% of their income for rent. For renters, this is the highest rate since 2011-2015. Notably every county saw an increase in the percent of renters paying more than 30% for rent compared to the previous 5-year period of 2017-2021.

For the most recent period, 2018-2022, the counties of Washington, Oxford and Hancock had the highest percentage of renter households paying over 30% of their income at 69.5%, 68.2% and 62.6% respectively. The three counties with the lowest rental housing burden were Lincoln, Androscoggin and Piscataquis Counties, at 44.9% 47.0% and 47.4% respectively.
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Definition and Source



High housing cost burden by owner/ renter households is defined as the percent of households paying more than 30 percent of monthly household pretax income on housing. The numerator is the number of households who are paying more than 30% of their income and the denominator is all households for whom the percent of income spent on housing could be determined according to the US Census American Community Survey, Table DP04, 5-year estimates. The year 2022 represents data for 2018-2022, while the year 2021 represents data from 2017-2021 and so forth. All households, not just households with children under age 18, are included.

Data Source

US Census American Community Survey 5-year estimates, Table DP04.


2022 represents data for 2018-2022, while 2021 represents data for the years 2017-2021, 2020 for the years 2016-2020 and so on. Care should be used in interpreting data that is in overlapping intervals.

Last Updated

February 2024