Lewiston is the second-most populous city in Maine, behind only Portland. It’s strategically situated between Augusta, the state’s capital, and Portland, the state’s economic center. Lewiston is known for its diversity, low cost of living, healthcare and very low violent-crime rate. These qualities along with the strong educational presence in the city make it a very desirable place to buy a home.
Although Lewiston first rose to prominence during the industrial revolution, its economy is now primarily service-based. Many of its major employers are in the healthcare and education spaces. The largest employers as of a 2011 report include:
- Central Main Medical Center
- St. Mary’s Health System
- TD Bank
- Bates College
The median home value in Lewiston is around $149,000, and the median price per square foot is $117. These values are relatively low compared to the national averages and other cities in Maine. In fact, the city is known for its relatively low cost of living.
Culture and Lifestyle
In 2017, Forbes named Lewiston as one of its top 25 places to retire. This decision was based on the low cost of living, strong medical care and low violent crime rate. These same qualities have also drawn a relatively diverse population to the city including immigrants from Quebec in its early years and Somali and Bantu immigrants more recently.
Bates College is a major staple of the city. This historic liberal arts school is spread over 813 acres throughout the city. Maine College of Health Professions, University of Southern Maine, Central Main Community College and Kaplan University also have campuses in the city.
The centrally located Lewiston Public Library plays a significant role in local culture and arts. Additionally, the Franco Center, the Public Theatre and several venues owned by Bates College house various local arts events. The city also hosts events such as the Emerge Film Festival and Great Falls Balloon Festival. Lewiston’s culture and lifestyle make it a popular place to live.