||Paradoxally, like the other five states of New England, Maine is a very French place. With one third of its population in 1990 of French, French Canadian or Acadian Ancestry and seven percent French speaking, Maine is the most « French » state of New England. The French population is dispersed in distinct concentrations throughout all three major regions of Maine, the North, the Center and the South. Like the population in general, it is primarily rural in the North and North Central regions becoming progressively more urban moving southward.
This section of the website examines the distribution of Maine's French communities today at three different geographic scales: the state, the county and the urbanized area. At each level three census variables serve to highlight the French presence: (1) the number of people reporting French to be their language spoken at home; (2) the number of people declaring themselves to be of French, French Canadian or Acadian ethnic origin; (3) the ratio of the first to the second which provides a crude index to linguistic vitality. These data are plotted for each of the 1,308 zip codes in the state of Maine. The resulting maps offer a more detailed breakdown than has been heretofore possible. For the time being, detailed maps are available only for the two most strongly French counties (Aroostook and Androscoggin) and for just one of the three urbanized areas (Lewiston-Auburn). These maps can be observed by clicking on the appropriate Fleur-de-lys.