According to the 2000 Census, the population of Franklin County is
28,797, down approximately 1 percent over the last 10 years. There are
some 11,800 households in Franklin County. Home ownership rate is 76
percent, compared to 72 percent for the state.
According to the 2000 Census, the median age in Franklin County is 38.2,
while Farmington¹s median age is 31.6. The gender distribution
is 48 percent males to 52 percent females.
Almost 20 percent of the region¹s residents have college degrees.
The 1997 median household income in Franklin County was $30,700, compared
to $34,000 for Maine. However, while the median household income for
Maine has decreased over the past eight years, Franklin County has shown
of 5 -7 percent per biennium over the same time period.
The growth in per capita income for Franklin County is slightly less
than the state average of 3.8 percent per year, compared to a national
rate of 4.4 percent.
The region is highly dependent on a few large employers and a small
number of industries. Major employers (more than 250 employees) include:
International Paper, Franklin Memorial Hospital, University of Maine
at Farmington, MSAD 9, and Wausau-Mosinee Paper.
The northern portion of Franklin County is dependent upon manufacturing
(lumber and wood, leather products, shoes) for employment, but also
tourism because of significant natural resources. (Source: Androscoggin
Valley Council of Governments)
In 1996, the tourism industry employed 1,949 people, and generated 36,458,000
in resident income in Franklin County. The total estimated tourist expenditures
were $87,951,844 for the same year. (Source: Franklin County Tourism
Manufacturing employment decreased by 23 percent from 1990 (4,490) to
1998 (3,660), while non-manufacturing employment increased by 16 percent
from 7,700 to 9,170.
In 1998, only 29 percent of total employment was in the manufacturing
sector, decreasing from 38.6 percent in 1990. In 1998, employment patterns
continued the trend with the decline of manufacturing employment and
increases in non-manufacturing employment. This trend continues today.
The Farmington/Wilton area thrives on its many services and retail businesses.
Until recently it was home to the world¹s best shoe manufacturers.
Most shoe manufacturers (except for Maine¹s own New Balance and
Dyeables, Inc., in the process of relocating from Auburn to the former
Franklin Shoe building in Farmington) have moved their assembly operations
off-shore, leaving Franklin County with an abundance of semi-skilled
laborers. The total Franklin County work force (as of August, 2002)
was 13,270, down from 14,200 in 2001. The county unemployment rate was
approximately 4.6 percent in August (most recent figures available),
while the state unemployment rate stood at 3.2 percent.
In 1999, there were 870 non-farm business establishments in Franklin
county, employing 10,328 workers. Retail sales in 1997 were nearly $250
million, approximately $8,400 per person. Women own 18 percent of county