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User Guide, Glossary, and Sources

The following section provides an overview of the user guide, glossary of terms, and data sources used for the State of Maine Housing Data Portal and Report.

How to Use This Data Portal

On the Data Portal Page, users can quickly access key data snapshots for specific geographies and compare those geographies to other places in Maine. From there, selecting the link to Generate a Full Report will automatically generate a more detailed and comprehensive housing and demographic analysis and report for the location selected.

Step 1: Select a Geography

Select the geography from the top menu to change the information (will be listed as Maine to start).

There are five geography types currently available: State, County, Combined Statistical Area (CBSA), Cities/Towns, and the United States as a whole. A city or town is an individual urban locality with its own local government, while a Combined Statistical Area (CBSA) is a broader regional entity composed of adjacent metropolitan and micropolitan areas that share economic and social ties. County subdivisions, colloquially known as “townships” or “corporations,” are not currently included, but may be added in future site iterations.

Please note that due to data availability, some rural communities are mapped using census tract boundaries, which may extend beyond the edges of smaller communities. If the center of a census tract is not within the city or town, it is excluded from the analysis. For ACS data, all values on the chart reflect the "place" values (Census geography level 160).

In addition, please be aware that some rural areas may lack sufficient data availability to display certain charts; limited sample sizes can also result in inaccurate or highly variable data points.

View of dropdown menu to select geography.

Step 2: View Trends Based On Statewide Goals

Indicators are bucketed into categories on the data portal. There are five categories: demographics, income and jobs, housing supply, rental affordability, and homeownership access. Click the buttons to view different indicators for each category.

View of example toggles found on the data portal.

Step 3: Download Individual Datasets

Click the download button to download individual chart data to a CSV, which you can then use for your own reports. To learn more about the data sources for these charts, please visit the data sources page.

View of the download button on the upper right corner of each chart, found on the snapshot view and comparison view pages.

Step 4: Generate a Housing Needs Assessment

Export a housing needs assessment for your selected geography. This will generate a full grouping of charts, included automated text, for your selected geography. You will be brought to a new tab with a new link. In the new tab, you can click the ‘download’ button to download the report as a CSV (Excel) or PDF.

View of the full report export button, found on the snapshot view and comparison view pages.

Step 5: Compare to Other Geographies

Back on the main data portal tab, click Comparison View. This view allows the user to add additional geographies in the State of Maine, as well as compare to the United States as a whole, by clicking the + Add Another Geography Button.

View of the data comparison button to add additional geographies.