16 Pros and Cons of Living in Bangor, ME

Updated On October 27, 2023

Bangor, Maine is the county seat of Penobscot County.

It is Maine’s third most populous city.

Bangor is in a more secluded part of the state and appeals to singles, retirees, and families.

People may wonder if Bangor, Maine is the ideal choice for them when considering moving to the area.

Consider these top pros and cons of living in Bangor, ME, which is known as the “Queen City.”

Bangor, Maine
Bangor, Maine

Pros of Living in Bangor, Maine

1. It Has a Rich History

Many people choose to live in areas that have a rich history.

Bangor, Maine has a rich history that dates back thousands of years.

Native Americans lived in and around present-day Bangor when Europeans arrived during the 16th century.

The Penobscot people, who inhabited the land for thousands of years, traded with Europeans.

The city was involved in several wars, including the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War.

2. Low Cost of Living

Bangor has a lower cost of living, compared to many U.S. cities.

New England States and many New England cities are known for having a higher cost of living.

The fact that the cost of living in Bangor is nearly 17 percent lower than other cities in Maine is likely to make the city an attractive option for people looking for the best place to live in Maine.

3. Great City for Outdoor Activities

Take a walk or a bike ride along the path next to the Penobscot River and enjoy the natural beauty of the river.

Do you prefer more active outdoor activities?

Rent a kayak or a canoe.

Take a boat tour down the Penobscot River.

Enjoy nature when you visit the Bangor City Forest.

Enjoy the fresh air, the hiking trails, and the cross-country skiing trails.

There are plenty of wide open spaces for residents and visitors who want to enjoy nature in and around the city.

4. Bangor Schools Have High Rankings

The Bangor Public School System consistently ranks highly among public schools.

Niche indicates that the schools in Bangor are “above average,” and gives the school district a B+ grade.

The test scores for students are higher than in many public school districts in the U.S. A minimum of 84 percent of Bangor students are proficient or above in math.

At least 86 percent of public school students are proficient or above in reading.

5. Bangor Is Still a Major City for Industry

The fact that Bangor is a center of commerce and industry, and has been since at least the 1800s, is one reason that it earned the nickname of the “Queen City.”

Logging in Maine dates to at least the 17th century.

The over-harvesting of some species of trees led to legislation that reversed deforestation effects and now focuses on sustainability.

The City of Bangor is still a major city for industry in New England.

Although forest-related products, such as paper manufacturing, are not the industries that they once were, they are still a fixture in the Bangor economy.

Commercial shipping, with connections to Canada and other areas of Maine and the U.S., is important for Bangor.

Many trucking terminals carry freight in and out of Bangor, while railroads, and imports and exports through the shipping industry serve the area.

6. Natural Scenic Beauty

The tranquil surroundings of Bangor, Maine provide views of breathtaking landscapes.

There is something for everyone who enjoys taking in the scenery during a visit or while living in the area.

The dense pine forests appeal to many people, while others prefer to marvel at the stunning waterways.

The snowy winters provide moments of awe for some people, while others prefer the warmth of the sun as they bike, hike, or swim during warmer months.

7. Things to See and Do

There are plenty of things to see and do when living in Bangor, Maine.

One main attraction is the opportunity to admire Stephen King’s home.

You probably do not want to trespass on the grounds, but you can admire it when you drive by or walk by the home.

Many people stop to take photos of the home from the other side of the iron gate at the front of the property.

Bangor has many attractions for people who enjoy arts and culture.

The Bangor Waterfront Pavilion provides residents with the opportunity to enjoy concerts.

Dance the night away or just sit back and enjoy the music from the great pavilion seating.

The Penobscot Theater Company hosts many plays, while the Zillman Art Museum offers free admission for guests.

The Maine Discovery Museum provides hours of fun entertainment and engaging learning experiences for kids, from toddlers to teens.

8. The Easy Commute

Getting around Bangor is less stressful than the average commute, compared to some other cities.

You do not have to own a vehicle to get where you need to go in the city, thanks to the public transportation system.

It is also a city with easy walkability.

The average commute time for residents is considerably less than the national average for commute times.

Cons of Living in Bangor, Maine

1. Cold Weather and a Lot of Snow

The cold winters and snowy weather are reasons that some people may choose to live in Bangor.

It is a reason that may keep other people from considering moving to the area.

There are fewer sunny days in Bangor, compared to the rest of the country.

There is an average of more than 200 sunny days in The U.S. each year, but only an average of 177 sunny days each year in Bangor, Maine.

The climate is wet, with more than 120 days of annual precipitation.

That precipitation may fall as snow, rain, sleet, or hail.

Some areas of the city may be prone to flooding when there is a lot of precipitation.

There are about 50 rainy days in Bangor and an average of 69 days when residents see snow.

Summer days in Bangor are not as warm as in many other U.S. cities.

The average summer temperature is 79 to 80 degrees.

The January temperature averages around seven degrees.

2. Increasing Crime Rate

Some sites indicate that there is a low crime rate in Bangor, with violent crime being low in the area.

Although many sites indicate that crime is decreasing in the area, statistics show an increase in some types of crimes.

There were two murders per 100,000 people in Bangor in 2020, compared to just one homicide per 100,000 in 2019.

The number of rapes was seven per 100,000, compared to just one in 2019.

The 2022 FBI statistics indicate that there were eight reported incidents, with 25.1 rapes per 100,000 people.

There are more robberies and assaults in Bangor, compared to the average for the State of Maine and the U.S. average.

Yet, some sites indicate that there has been a recent decrease in violent crime.

The number of thefts, including theft of motor vehicles, and property crimes in Bangor exceeds the state and national average.

3. Lack of Diversity

People cannot help but notice what seems like a lack of diversity in Bangor.

Statistics show the same issue.

The 2022 facts from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate that the Bangor population is 89 percent white.

The population consists of just 2.5 percent black or African Americans, 1.7 percent Native Americans, and the same percentage of people who identify as Asian.

4. Lack of Agriculture

Regulations implemented during the 19th century started the decline in livestock in Maine, including in Bangor.

The colder, wet climate may be a major factor in Bangor, with it never being an area for a substantial amount of farming.

Some forest areas were cleared for farming during the 19th century, but farms declined for several decades.

Potatoes remain the most common crop.

There is still not the amount of agriculture in Bangor as in many other cities.

5. Slow Population Growth

The population of Bangor is on the rise, but not by many people.

Statistics show that the population of Bangor increased by fewer than 70 people between 2000 and 2020.

Some sources indicate that Bangor actually lost more than 1,000 residents between 2010 and 2020.

The slow population growth may be a factor for some people looking to move to a new area.

6. Isolated and Remote

The small population of Bangor may not be ideal for people who want the excitement of an active lifestyle every day.

Some people may feel isolated because of this, or because of Bangor, Maine’s location.

The eastern Maine location and the fact that much of the land area is forested land makes the city seem more remote, which may not appeal to some people.

7. Older Population

People who want to be the local beach bum are likely to be disappointed when they arrive in Bangor.

Young residents who want to enjoy an exciting nightlife with other younger adults may get a disappointing surprise.

The older population of Bangor may not be the fun crowd that many people look for when considering the area that they want to call home.

8. Summer Bugs and Wildlife

Do not get alarmed if the wildlife seems a little friendly if you move to Bangor.

The bears from the nearby forest have been known to wander close to some Bangor neighborhoods.

Protect yourself from the biting summer bugs.

Swarms of mosquitoes, deer flies, and black flies have been known to run some people away.

Bangor, Maine
Bangor, Maine

Pros and Cons of Living in Bangor, ME – Summary Table

Pros of Living in Bangor, MaineCons of Living in Bangor, Maine
1. It Has a Rich History1. Cold Weather and a Lot of Snow
2. Low Cost of Living2. Increasing Crime Rate
3. Great City for Outdoor Activities3. Lack of Diversity
4. Bangor Schools Have High Rankings4. Lack of Agriculture
5. Bangor Is Still a Major City for Industry5. Slow Population Growth
6. Natural Scenic Beauty6. Isolated and Remote
7. Things to See and Do7. Older Population
8. The Easy Commute8. Summer Bugs and Wildlife

Bangor Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Bangor Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

When was Bangor incorporated?

Bangor was incorporated as a town in the early 19th century.

What types of employment are there in Bangor, besides services and healthcare?

Education, finance, and manufacturing are examples of Bangor employment industries.

Who were the original inhabitants of Bangor, Maine?

The Penobscot people inhabited the area for more than 10,000 years.

They still occupy some tribal land on the Penobscot Indian Island Reservation.

What type of architecture is there in Bangor?

Some examples of architecture in Bangor include Gothic Revival, Colonial Revival, Greek Revival, and Victorian homes.

Is there an airport in Bangor?

Bangor International Airport serves many passengers.

It is also a site used in the transportation of cargo.

The airport is one of the fastest-growing regional airports in the U.S.

1 Comment on 16 Pros and Cons of Living in Bangor, ME

  1. I am in Bangor Maine, Julian! I am at a truck stop, Ray got busted, and you have to come pick me up, take the ferry you will be here in 7 hours, please Julian I am scared, take care of sht rock and the purr monster.

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