Most rural counties in Maine

Written by:
July 25, 2022
Magicpiano // Wikimedia Commons

Most rural counties in Maine

A surprising number of U.S. counties have 100% rural land-702, in fact. Stacker compiled a list of the most rural counties in Maine using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by the percent of land area that is rural, as of the 2010 Census, with ties broken by residents per square mile, according to 2020 5-year population estimates.

According to the Census Bureau, rural land encompasses any land that isn't an urban area. To be considered an urban area, a place has to have a densely settled core of census tracts or blocks and count at least 2,500 people, at least 1,500 of whom must be residents of non-institutional buildings. Areas with 50,000 people or more are considered urbanized areas, while areas with between 2,500 and 50,000 people are considered urban clusters.

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#16. Cumberland County

- Rural area: 84.6% (707 square miles)
- Urban area: 15.4% (129 square miles)
- Total land area: 835 square miles
--- #11 largest county in state, #1,005 nationwide

- Population density: 352.6 people / square mile (294,520 residents)
--- #16 lowest density county in state, #2,778 nationwide

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#15. Androscoggin County

- Rural area: 92.2% (432 square miles)
- Urban area: 7.8% (36 square miles)
- Total land area: 468 square miles
--- #13 largest county in state, #2,202 nationwide

- Population density: 230.7 people / square mile (107,958 residents)
--- #15 lowest density county in state, #2,640 nationwide

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Michael Murphy // Wikimedia Commons

#14. York County

- Rural area: 93.5% (926 square miles)
- Urban area: 6.5% (65 square miles)
- Total land area: 991 square miles
--- #9 largest county in state, #691 nationwide

- Population density: 208.0 people / square mile (206,074 residents)
--- #14 lowest density county in state, #2,608 nationwide

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#13. Sagadahoc County

- Rural area: 96.2% (244 square miles)
- Urban area: 3.8% (10 square miles)
- Total land area: 254 square miles
--- #16 largest county in state, #2,899 nationwide

- Population density: 140.8 people / square mile (35,720 residents)
--- #12 lowest density county in state, #2,443 nationwide

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#12. Kennebec County

- Rural area: 96.3% (835 square miles)
- Urban area: 3.7% (32 square miles)
- Total land area: 868 square miles
--- #10 largest county in state, #946 nationwide

- Population density: 140.8 people / square mile (122,158 residents)
--- #13 lowest density county in state, #2,444 nationwide

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E.J.Johnson Photography // Shutterstock

#11. Knox County

- Rural area: 97.5% (356 square miles)
- Urban area: 2.5% (9 square miles)
- Total land area: 365 square miles
--- #15 largest county in state, #2,642 nationwide

- Population density: 109.0 people / square mile (39,809 residents)
--- #11 lowest density county in state, #2,318 nationwide

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#10. Penobscot County

- Rural area: 98.7% (3,353 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.3% (44 square miles)
- Total land area: 3,397 square miles
--- #4 largest county in state, #147 nationwide

- Population density: 44.7 people / square mile (151,696 residents)
--- #8 lowest density county in state, #1,569 nationwide

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Bruce C. Cooper // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Waldo County

- Rural area: 99.6% (727 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.4% (3 square miles)
- Total land area: 730 square miles
--- #12 largest county in state, #1,215 nationwide

- Population density: 54.4 people / square mile (39,723 residents)
--- #9 lowest density county in state, #1,767 nationwide

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#8. Oxford County

- Rural area: 99.7% (2,070 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.3% (6 square miles)
- Total land area: 2,077 square miles
--- #6 largest county in state, #275 nationwide

- Population density: 27.8 people / square mile (57,741 residents)
--- #6 lowest density county in state, #1,151 nationwide

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#7. Hancock County

- Rural area: 99.7% (1,582 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.3% (4 square miles)
- Total land area: 1,587 square miles
--- #8 largest county in state, #383 nationwide

- Population density: 34.6 people / square mile (54,832 residents)
--- #7 lowest density county in state, #1,330 nationwide

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#6. Franklin County

- Rural area: 99.8% (1,693 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.2% (3 square miles)
- Total land area: 1,697 square miles
--- #7 largest county in state, #356 nationwide

- Population density: 17.6 people / square mile (29,933 residents)
--- #5 lowest density county in state, #815 nationwide

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#5. Somerset County

- Rural area: 99.8% (3,918 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.2% (6 square miles)
- Total land area: 3,924 square miles
--- #3 largest county in state, #125 nationwide

- Population density: 12.9 people / square mile (50,573 residents)
--- #4 lowest density county in state, #673 nationwide

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#4. Aroostook County

- Rural area: 99.9% (6,662 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.1% (10 square miles)
- Total land area: 6,671 square miles
--- #1 largest county in state, #48 nationwide

- Population density: 10.1 people / square mile (67,431 residents)
--- #2 lowest density county in state, #583 nationwide

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#3. Washington County

- Rural area: 99.9% (2,561 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.1% (2 square miles)
- Total land area: 2,563 square miles
--- #5 largest county in state, #212 nationwide

- Population density: 12.2 people / square mile (31,378 residents)
--- #3 lowest density county in state, #643 nationwide

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#2. Lincoln County

- Rural area: 100.0% (456 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 456 square miles
--- #14 largest county in state, #2,248 nationwide

- Population density: 75.5 people / square mile (34,415 residents)
--- #10 lowest density county in state, #2,043 nationwide

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Magicpiano // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Piscataquis County

- Rural area: 100.0% (3,961 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 3,961 square miles
--- #2 largest county in state, #124 nationwide

- Population density: 4.3 people / square mile (16,864 residents)
--- #1 lowest density county in state, #334 nationwide

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