Immigration and Demographics in Maine Policy Review


Attracting New Maine Residents: The Effects of Educational Attainment and Age on Interstate Mobility

Author: Paul Leparulo

Maine Policy Review 28(2): 38-48

Maine faces population issues that pose considerable headwinds to the state’s economic growth and prosperity. Restoring a more robust growth path will require attracting new residents to the state. This article examines some of the factors that cause individuals to relocate across state lines. I quantify the relationship between educational attainment, age, and interstate mobility and find that having a bachelor’s degree or higher has a large, positive, statistically significant effect on the probability of making an interstate move. The effect is strongest for people in their twenties (the youngest age in the restricted sample) and diminishes with age. The results indicate that age has a larger diminishing effect on those with higher educational attainment. I also find that homeownership substantially lowers the probability of a move. Limited data indicates similar results would hold for movers to Maine. The findings suggest that the development of a state’s job market is a critical dimension in attracting and retaining residents.


The Role of Immigrants, Asylum Seekers, and Refugees in Confronting Maine’s Demographic Challenges

Author(s): Glover, Robert W.

Maine Policy Review 25(1): 47-53

The state of Maine currently faces a looming “demographic winter.” The state and its communities will struggle to maintain viable and vibrant communities in the decades to come due the current demographic situation, and will encounter a host of economic and political challenges as a result. Working to make Maine an attractive destination for immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees must be at the forefront of efforts to address this challenge. This article lays out the difficult demographic situation that Maine currently faces and will face in the years to come and articulates why, more than ever, fostering greater diversity in the state’s population is essential to its future.

In the Heart of Immigration Debate—Mercy is Sorely Missed

Author(s): Tyutyunnyk, Diana

Maine Policy Review 25(1): 7-9

Each year the Margaret Chase Smith Library sponsors an essay contest for high school seniors. In this issue, we feature the three prize-winning essays as the Margaret Chase Smith Essay. The 2015 essay prompt asked students to weigh in with their opinions about what current U.S. immigration policy should be in light of the historical backdrop of alternating cycles of welcome and wariness toward foreigners. First place prize winner Diana Tyutyunnyk brings in her personal experiences as an immigrant from the Ukraine, raising the important question of mercy as America deals with the sometimes-divisive issues around immigration.

Reforming the United States Immigration Policy

Author(s): Kocik, Rachel

Maine Policy Review 25(1): 10-11

Each year the Margaret Chase Smith Library sponsors an essay contest for high school seniors. In this issue, we feature the three prize-winning essays as the Margaret Chase Smith Essay. The 2015 essay prompt asked students to weigh in with their opinions about what current U.S. immigration policy should be in light of the historical backdrop of alternating cycles of welcome and wariness toward foreigners. Second place prize winner Rachel Kocik discusses some of the many benefits immigrants bring to the United States, while acknowledging that there are still some knotty legal problems that need to be resolved.

Xenophobia and Amnesty

Author(s): Plourde, Taylor

Maine Policy Review 25(1): 12-14

Each year the Margaret Chase Smith Library sponsors an essay contest for high school seniors. In this issue, we feature the three prize-winning essays as the Marga­ret Chase Smith Essay. The 2015 essay prompt asked students to weigh in with their opinions about what current U.S. immigration policy should be in light of the historical backdrop of alternating cycles of welcome and wariness toward foreign­ers. In the third place prize-winning essay, Taylor Plourde describes the pattern of xenophobia that has often permeated American attitudes about immigrants. She discusses some of the ways forward to dealing with the current situation of immi­grants who have come illegally into the country.


The Demographic Transformation in Maine (and Beyond) Is in Full Swing

Author(s): Kaye, Lenard W.

Maine Policy Review 24(2): 10-12

The article discusses the demographics of longevity and what it means for Maine. Lenard Kaye, guest editor, introduces the topic and describes the reasons for this special aging-focused issue of the Maine Policy Review.

The Economic Implications of Maine’s Changing Age Structure

Author(s): Breece, James; Mills, Glenn; Gabe, Todd

Maine Policy Review 24(2): 13-22

The authors analyze the major implications of Maine’s aging population on the state’s workforce and economy. They note that there are steps that can be taken to partially mitigate the negative impacts and capitalize on the opportuni­ties associated with an aging population.

Immigrant Elders: What Can Maine Learn from Other States?

Author(s): Silka, Linda

Maine Policy Review 24(2): 69-73

Maine is not yet home to large numbers of immigrants, but that may soon change. Linda Silka presents lessons from elsewhere about elder immigrants and considers their implications for Maine. She suggests that attention to the topic of immigrant elders will help Maine to create policy and opportunity for all elders.

Technology and Aging: An Emerging Research and Development Sector in Maine

Author(s): Kim, Carol H.; Neivandt, David; Kaye, Lenard W.;  Crittenden, Jennifer A.

Maine Policy Review 24(2): 29-35

The authors discuss the importance of research for developing products and services that cater to the needs of a rapidly growing aging population and provide examples of projects underway at the University of Maine. Products designed to improve and protect older adult health and well-being represent a significant opportunity for economic growth in Maine.

A Call to Action: Maine’s Colleges and Universities Respond to an Aging Population

Author(s): Hecker, Jeffrey E.; Gugliucci, Marilyn R.

Maine Policy Review 24(2): 36-41

Jeffrey E. Hecker and Marilyn R. Gugliucci report on the findings of the Higher Education Workgroup, which is part of the Maine Aging Initiative. They present summary information on aging-related research, gerontology/geriatrics educational curricula, and educational opportunities for older adults including retooling for employment.

The Emergence of Age-Friendly Communities: Highlighting the Town of Bucksport

Author(s): Bradney, James

Maine Policy Review 24(2): 60-61

James Bradney highlights the activities and services available in Bucksport, Maine, that are enabling the town to meet the needs of its older adult population.  The town is one that is participating in the Thriving in Place Initiative of the Maine Health Access Foundation.

Never Too Old to Lead: Activating Leadership among Maine’s Older Adults

Author(s): Crittenden, Jennifer A.; DeAndrade, Lelia

Maine Policy Review 24(2): 80-85

As Maine’s population ages, there will be a growing need to mobilize older Mainers to effect change in their local communities. There are few models available nationally that illustrate how to effectively train and engage baby boomers and older adults as leaders within community contexts. This article examines what is known about leadership development generally and highlights how one program in Maine is training and supporting older leaders who are using volunteer work to improve the health and well-being of their local communities.


Do We Have the Workforce Skills for Maine’s Innovation Economy?

Author(s): Dorrer, John

Maine Policy Review 23(1): 65-74

A convergence of economic and demographic forces is shaping a set of formidable challenges for Maine. This article describes how a workforce with superior skills is the key to economic growth and innovation. Over the last five decades, skill requirements have changed dramatically for most workers with the shift from goods-producing to service industries. While much has been done in reforming K-12, post secondary, and adult education systems to accommodate the changing Maine economy, it is not enough More innovation and adaptation will be required from policymakers, institutional leaders, employers and Maine people themselves.


Public Libraries and the Immigrant Community

Author(s): Podgajny, Steve

Maine Policy Review 22(1): 89-90

This short article describes programs and services to the immigrant community by Maine libraries.

Ripples from the East Coast Stream: Contributions from Migrant Hispanic Workers to Maine’s Wild Blueberry Industry

Author(s): Mamgain, Vaishali

Maine Policy Review 22(2): 64-73

Interviews with 46 Hispanic migrant workers in the wild blueberry industry in Maine revealed they harvest different crops in several states and come to Maine at the end of the “East Coast Stream.” Although workers varied in productivity (and hence income), overall the group earned good income and contributed significantly to the Maine economy as workers and consumers. Based on these findings, governmental laws and policies are discussed in terms of their potential impact. A consideration of Maine’s aging population and interviews with employers demonstrate these workers’ importance: without them employers say, the wild blueberry industry would not be competitive.


Attraction and Retention—Maine’s Challenge

Author(s): Cervone, Ed

Maine Policy Review 21(2): 8-9.

In the Margaret Chase Smith Essay Ed Cervone, Presdent/CEO of the Maine Development Foundation, discusses Maine’s demographic challenges in attracting and retaining population if the state is to grow its economy and sustain that growth. He makes recommendations for attracting a larger, younger, and more diverse population.


Challenges to Food Access among Lewiston’s African Immigrants

Author(s): Jacobus, Michelle Vasquez; Jalali, Reza

Maine Policy Review 20(1): 151-158

Michelle Vasquez Jacobus and Reza Jelali present a case study of challenges to food access among African immigrants in Lewiston, Maine

When the Politics of Food and Politics of Immigration Collide— Who Wins?

Author(s): Ginley, Barbara

Maine Policy Review 20(1): 209-209

This commentary discusses how migrant workers play a key role in Maine and national agriculture, a key fact that is sometimes lost in the political rhetoric about “illegal immigrants.”


Prospects for a Rim County Population Rebound: Can Quality of Place Lure In-Migrants?

Author(s): Vail, David

Maine Policy Review 19(1): 16-25

David Vail asks whether population will rebound in Maine’s rural “rim” counties and whether investing to enhance “quality of place” can attract large numbers of rural settlers. Review of the evidence suggests that Maine’s rim counties are not experiencing a population rebound and that rural counties vary greatly in their ability to hold onto existing residents or attract new ones. Vail argues that quality-of-place investments should not be considered as a core development tool for rural areas, but that they can complement traditional rural economic policy measures. Since it is difficult to stimulate a major population movement to Maine’s rim counties, amenity investments should focus on enhancing quality of life for current residents, thereby strengthening their incentive to stay.


The Aging Imperative in Maine: Present Realities and Future Prospects

Author(s): Miltiades, Helen. B.; Kaye, Lenard W.

Maine Policy Review 12(2): 10-23

Maine has one of the oldest populations in the United States. In this article, Helen Miltiades and Lenard Kaye, guest editor for this special issue, provide an overview of Maine’s aging population and the challenges—and opportunities—faced in the “revolution in aging” that is taking place. They point out how the growing older adult population is expected to place greater demands on family caregivers, on the health and long-term care systems, and on state and federal budgetary and policy decisions. Describing some of Maine’s innovative public and private sector responses, they note that Maine has been in the forefront in providing home and community-based care for its frailer elders. At the same time, they emphasize that the aging population presents expanded opportunities, as increasing numbers of healthier older adults choose to remain in the labor force, to participate in education, and to play active roles in philanthropy, the arts, and as volunteers.

Ready or Not—Here They Come!

Author(s): Lachance, Laurie

Maine Policy Review 12(2): 70-74

Laurie Lachance, Maine’s state economist, outlines the economic implications of the “tidal wave” of aging baby boomers that will shortly be hitting Maine, and what might be done to prepare for it. She asks whether Maine has appropriate housing, transportation, and health care services to care for the needs of an aging population, and how Maine will fund the needed infrastructure with a smaller labor force. Lachance notes that there is still time to prepare. Seniors are and will be living longer, healthier lives; they are and will be increasingly engaged in social, cultural and educational activities; this and future generations of seniors will have greater financial resources than seniors of the past. In addition, a new group of relatively wealthy, early retirees are choosing Maine as a retirement destination. Future growth of the retirement industry in Maine may become somewhat of a positive economic force, as the boomers seek a safe, clean retirement location with opportunities for an active lifestyle.


Teenage Births in Maine: Positive Trends But More to Be Done

Author(s): King, Leslie; Marks, Stephen

Maine Policy Review 11(2): 100-115

Teen birth rates in Maine have fallen by 34 percent over the past decade, the fourth highest decline in the nation. However, as King and Marks point out, a low birthrate of 29.8 percent in 1999 still exceeds the teenage birthrate in most other industrialized countries in the world by a substantial margin. Moreover, when the authors compared Maine’s predominantly white population with non-Hispanic whites in other states, Maine’s success is not as remarkable. Indeed, the teenage birthrate of Maine’s non-Hispanic white population is higher than every other state in the Northeast corridor with the exception of Delaware. All of this suggests that more needs to be done in Maine. The authors review the tremendous progress made through school- and community-based family planning programs in Maine. They call for more education, more funding for the Family Planning Association of Maine, and more economic/social supports for  young adults most in need.


Whither Maine’s Population

Author(s): Mageean, Deirdre M.; AvRuskin, Gillian; Sherwood, Richard

Maine Policy Review 9(1): 28-43

Demographic changes affect many aspects of a state’s economic and community well-being. Mageean, AvRuskin and Sherwood describe some of the potential impacts of Maine’s changing population. They note that the state’s population is aging; the percentage of Maine’s youth is declining faster than in other New England states; and that rates of growth remain relatively slow throughout most counties. The authors describe each of these trends, and discuss the implications for Maine’s labor force, education and health care systems. They also note that these trends will not be experienced similarly by all parts of the state. While some counties may be faced with school closures, others should begin planning now for school expansions. Similarly, in order to take care of the state’s growing elderly population, rural, poorer areas may need to adopt different strategies from urban, more prosperous areas. The authors caution readers to interpret their population predictions carefully. While predictions on births and deaths are reasonably stable, migration trends are notoriously sensitive to economic conditions. Hence, much depends on the economic health of Maine and the region in the years to come.


Maine’s Future Housing Needs: An MPR Interview with David Lakari

Author(s): Lakari, David

Maine Policy Review 8(1): 18-23

Since 1994, David Lakari has been director and chair of the Maine State Housing Authority. The Maine State Housing Authority is an independent state agency and a $1.5 billion financial institution. Its mission is to help Maine’s low- and moderate-income citizens obtain and maintain decent, safe, and affordable housing and services suitable to their needs. In this interview, Lakari focuses on his concerns for the future, in particular, the need to find suitable housing options for one of Maine’s fastest-growing demographic groups—the middle-income elderly. While Maine has been doing a good job of building the capacity to house its wealthy and low-income elderly, without shifts in current development, middle-income “baby boomers” may find it difficult to obtain suitable housing as they age. Unfortunately, such projections come at a time when the federal government is reducing its commitment to affordable housing. Lakari discusses the implications of these factors and their potential effects on housing costs and homelessness.