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Updated: May 29, 2024

How Maine's two largest cities stack up as places to raise a family

WalletHub map showing rankings for Portland and Lewiston. Map / Courtesy of WalletHub In WalleHub's ranking of the best and worst places to raise a family, Portland is No. 28 while Lewiston is No. 68.

Out of more than 180 U.S. cities in which to raise a family, Maine’s two largest — Portland and Lewiston —definitely hold their own.

The barometer, released Tuesday by personal finance website WalletHub, ranks Portland at No. 28, sandwiched between Warwick, R.I. (No. 27), and Pearl City, Hawaii (No. 29). Portland, Maine, was also two places behind its West Coast namesake, in Oregon (No. 26).

At No. 68 on the list, Lewiston came just after Oklahoma City, Okla. (No. 67), and ahead of Missoula, Mont. (No. 69).

Researchers compared more than 180 localities based on 45 key metrics that consider family dynamics, such as the cost of housing, quality of local school and health care systems, and opportunities for fun and creation.

Citing U.S. Census data, the report’s authors noted that the average American can expect to move an estimated 12 times in a lifetime.

Another report, by the HireAHelper LLC online marketplace for moving companies, shows that around 25.6 million Americans, or 7.8% of the population, moved in 2023.

“Moving can be a sign of opportunity, prompted by a new job of long-term wealth accumulation, but people may also move because of instability such as foreclosure or job loss,” WalletHub noted in its report.

Lewiston outshone Portland in terms of family fun, placing at No. 156 out of 182 cities. Portland’s ranking in that sub-category was No. 160.

Fremont, Calif., was No. 1 on the overall list, while Memphis, Tenn., was the laggard at No. 182.

Other factoids in the report: New York has the most playgrounds per capita, while Hialeah, Fla., has the least. New York City also has the great number of attractions, while Pearl City, Hawaii, has the fewest.

More information

Find WalletHub's full list of the "Best & Worst Places to Raise a Family in 2024" here. 

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