Population of Maine Jews : 1860 - 2015

Primary Sources for Totals for the State and Major Cities and Towns
population estimates from the annual American Jewish Year Book (various years); and
original census data for residents with East European lineage (hyperlinked entries) US Federal Census,
extracted by the Colby College Maine Jewish History Project
and independent researchers Cessie Jensen and Ben Kissen.
detailed footnotes are at the bottom of the table

1850/ 1860 1870 1880 1890 1900   1907/ 1908   1910   1919/ 1920   1927/ 1930   1940 1955 1965 1975 1985 1995 2005 2010 2015
Maine : Totals 5,000   7,500 8,285 7,259 (1971) / 7,945 (1975) 9,350 7,500 10,315 13,900 (2011) 13,890
Aroostook County 152 140 (c) (d) 120 120
Auburn 0 (1) 0 (1) 250 300 (a) / 480 433 825 / 480 (o) 362 375 (1936) (t) 435 (u) (b) (b) (b) (b)
Augusta 45(1&s)/ 59(k) 67 100 215 215 215 140 140 (e)
Bangor 33 (1850) 80 (1876-78) (w) 700 1,000 981(o) / 1,500(p) 1,650 1,200 1,300 1,300 1,3001,000 3,000 (f)
Bar Harbor 37 42 31 70 (pre-2001) (v) (
Bath 82 93 71/ 92(o) / 300(p) 180 100 400 (2007) (s)
Belfast 10 14 31 20 (pre-2001) (v)
Biddeford 101 160 175 / 167(o) / 325(p) / 401 250 (g) (g) (g) (h) (h) (h)
Biddeford-Saco 262 375 375 (h) (h) (h)
Brewer & South Brewer 16 20
Brunswick 34 50 / 34(o)/ 35(p) / 40
Bucksport 16 (1878-79) (w)
Calais 11 (1878-79) (w)(x) 0 19 38 31 137 135 135 135 20 (pre-2001) (v)
Fairfield 8 4
Fort Kent 18
Gardiner 76 45(o)/ 120(p&q) 87(i)(i)
Hollowell 147(r)
Houlton 14 91878-79) (w) 20
Lewiston 7 21 / 65 (1878-79) (w) 244 369(o)/ 426 / 650(p) / 375 (1935) (t)/ 1,100 416 (u) (b) (b) (b) (b) (b) (b)
Lewiston-Auburn (Androscoggin County) 3 (1865) (n) 38 (n) 120 (n) 325 (n) 613 (n) 745 (n) 769 (n) 1,400 1,400 750 (j) 500 500 600 (2007) (s)
Millinocket 14 13
Old Orchard Beach 15(a)/ 27
Old Town 55 194 61(o)/ 64(p) 56
Orono 28
Oxford County (South Paris) 750 (s)
Pittsfield 120
Portland 185 (1876-78) (w) 1,600 2,500 2,686(o) / 3,650(p) 3,500 3,500 3,500 3,500 (j) 5,500 (j) 5,500 (h)
Presque Isle 26 20 (pre-2001)(v)
Randolph 22(o)(q) 14
Rockland 160 103
Saco 52 76(a&p) / 80 76 (g) (g) (g) (h) (h) (h)
Sanford 2 (1878-79) (w) 33 76 (g) (g) (g) (h) (h) (h)
Skowhegan 11 22 11
Southern Maine (exc Portland) 950 1,600 (k)
Southern Maine (inc Portland) 6,000 (g)
Stonington 16
Rockland 150 / 102 100(p) / 102(o) / 101 90 150 180 300 (e&s)
Rumford Falls / Rumford 79 47 231 / 38 207
Waterville 17 23 29 43 (1876-78) (w) 47 75 209 185 150(p) / 174(o) / 187 215 110 210 220 300 200 225 (e) 225 (s)
Rural Maine * (c) (d) 420 1,0301,270 640 150

Notes

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* state total minus estimates for towns and cities above (for 1955 includes the County)
(a) 1928/1929 estimate
(b) included in Lewiston-Auburn below
(c) 1928/ 1929 : "Places having 10 Jews or less : Ashland (Aroostock Co); Brownville & Brownville Junction (Piscatquis County); Eastport Fairfield; Lincoln; Madison; Newport (Penobscot Co), Oakfield (Aroostook Co); Pittsfield; Richmand (Sagadahoc Co)
(d) 1940 "Other Towns with less than 10 Jews : Ashland, Berwick, Brownville, Bucksport, Caribou, Chelsea, Dexter, Dover-Foxcroft, Eagle Lake, Eastport, Ellsworth, Enfield, Fairfield Fort Fairfield, Freeport, Guildord, Hallowell, Howland, Lincoln, Lisbon, Livermore Falls, Lubec, Mars Hill, Mechanic Falls, Milo, Newport, Norway, Oakland, Pittsfield, Searsport, Van Buren, Vinalhaven, Winslow "
(e) data last estimated : pre 1997
(f) data last confirmed - 1997- 2001
(g) included in Biddeford-Saco
(h) included in Southern Maine
(i) included in Augusta
(j) data from interviews in recent past year
(k) includes York, Cumberland, and Sagadahoc Counties
(l) footnote number omitted
(m) includes Winslow
(n) "Story of the Jews in Lewiston and Auburn", Israel Alpren and Hyman Bornstein, 1930
(o) David M Freidenreich,"Making It In Maine : Stories of Jewish Life in Small-Town America", Maine History 49:1 Winter 2015, Table 1
(p) Harry L Linsfield, "The Jewish Population of the United States, 1927", American Jewish Year Book 30 (1928):185 as cited by Freidenreich in Table 1
(q) Freidenreich notes "The exception is Randolph, located directly across the Kennebec River from Gardiner. The two towns shared a single synagogue (in Gardiner) in 1927, so Linfield’s data for Gardiner probably includes the Jews of Randolph."
(r) Freidenreich notes "In addition to the towns listed below, Linfield reports that Hallowell was home to 147 Jews. This number is absurdly high (equal to 5.5% of the town’s population). A review of census records found only six Jews. The only explanation I can offer for Linfield’s data is that his informant estimated the total population of Jews in nearby Augusta, Gardiner and Randolph as well as Hallowell itself"
(s) Ira M Sheskin and Arnold Dashefsky, "United States Jewish Population 2016" in Dashefsky and Sheskin (editors) The American Jewish Year Book 2016, Vol 116 http://www.jewishdatabank.org/Studies/details.cfm?StudyID=802 viewed 20 April 2017
(t) 1935 Ambroson Bates Student paper, Lewiston Public Library
(t) 1935 Ambroson Bates Student paper, Lewiston Public Library
(u) Raymond Theodore Zelch, An analysis of the Jewish community of Lewiston-Auburn A thesis presented to the faculty of the Department of Sociology, Bates College, 1955
(v) Unpublished data from the American Jewish Year Book, 2016
(w) Statistics of the Jews of the United States, Union of American Hebrew Congregations, report by Wm. B Hachenburg, Sept 1880,
(x) 5 reported as Eastport and 6 reported as Pembroke