Population of Maine Jews : 1860 - 2005

Totals for the State and Major Cities and Towns

Sources : population estimates from the annual American Jewish Yearbook

original census data for residents with East European lineage (hyperlinked entries)
US Federal Census, extracted by the Colby College Maine Jewish History Project

and other footnoted sources (see below the table)

1860 1870 1880 1890 1900   1907/ 1908   1910   1919/ 1920   1927/ 1930   1940 1955 1965 1975 1985 19952005
Maine : Totals 5,000   7,500 8,285 7,945 9,350 7,500 10,315
Auburn 0 (1) 0 (1) 250 300 (a) / 480 433 825 / 480 (o) 355 / 357 (k) (b) (b) (b) (b) (b) (b)
Aroostock County (c ) (d) 120 120
Augusta 45(1&s)/ 59(k) 67 100 215 215 215 140 140 (e)
Bangor 700 1,000 981(o) / 1,500(p) 1,650 1,200 1,300 1,300 1,3001,000 3,000 (l)
Bar Harbor 31
Bath 93 92(o) / 300(p) 180 100
Belfast 31
Biddeford 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 16 34(o)/ 35(p) / 40
Calais 31 137 135 135 135
Fairfield 8 4
Fort Kent 18
Gardiner 76 45(o)/ 120(p&q) 87(i)(i)
Hollowell 147(r)
Houlton 20
Lewiston 275 369(o)/ 438 / 650(p) / 1,100 (b) (b) (b) (b) (b) (b)
Lewiston-Auburn 3 (1865) (n) 38 (n) 120 (n) 325 (n) 613 (n) 745 (n) 769 (n) 1,400 1,400 750 (j) 500 500 (4) 500
Millinocket 14 13
Old Orchard Beach 15(a)/ 27
Old Town 194 61(o)/ 64(p) 56
Orono 28
Pittsfield 120
Portland 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
Randolph 22(o) 14
Saco 76(a&p) / 80(o) 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)
Rumford Falls / Rumford 231 207
Waterville 17 23 29 47 66 209 185 150(p) / 174(o) / 187 215 110 210 220 300 200 225 (e)
Rural Maine * (c) (d) 420 1,0301,270 640 150

Notes

* 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) data last estimated - 1997- 2001

(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"