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Our Economy

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 an increase
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 Impact Study.

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 businesses.


Kent Wiles, President | Laurie Blake, Executive Director
407 Wilton Road | Farmington, Maine 04938
Tel. (207) 778-4215 | Fax: (207) 778-2438 | Email: