Does Maine Belong In New England?

Greetings, New Englanders! Recently, I, a curious newcomer from a far-off place (a barren wasteland of large mammals and lakes called The Midwest), made a grievous error. In my last blog post—I somehow omitted the great state of Maine from a list of New England states. The outcry was immediate and intense. And so, a question of existential importance arose: Why did I forget Maine? Is Maine the least New England of all New England states? And if not…

Which State Is The Least New England State? 

As someone who is basically an alien that crash-landed here in 2019, I have been keenly observing the peculiarities that make New England…well, New England. The goal of this post is to determine if Maine should be booted out of New England. And if Maine stays, which state should get the geographical boot instead? Why? Because 5 is a better number than 6. It’s just easier for a smooth-brained flat-stater like me to remember. 

Let’s look at what smart people say

In his amazing book American Nations Colin Woodard says that what makes New England (or as he refers to it more broadly “Yankeedom”) is that people here: “value education, intellectual achievement, communal empowerment, and citizen participation in government as a shield against tyranny. Yankees are comfortable with government regulation. The area was settled by radical Calvinists.” Which is great! But that was 300-400 years ago and honestly a lot has changed since then. We don’t wear hats with buckles or hang people for witchcraft. We drink iced coffee and wear shorts in December which might not be much better.

So what makes a New England State in 2024? Here is my criteria. Does Maine pass the test?

The Amount of Dunkin Donuts Per Person

The Amount of Colleges Per Person

How Harsh Are The Winters

Does The State Have an Identity?

So without further ado, here is a ranking of all of the New England States. Will Maine be allowed to stay in the Calvinist brotherhood? 

  • Colleges Per Capita

    best college towns 2024

    Rank State Number of Colleges Number of People 1 College For Every
    1 Vermont 17 643,000 37,823 people
    2 New Hampshire 25 1,366,000 54,640 people
    3 Massachusetts 114 6,893,000 60,474 people
    4 Maine 21 1,345,000 64,048 people
    5 Connecticut 44 3,565,000 81,023 people
    6 Rhode Island 12 1,057,000 88,083 people
  • Dunkin Donuts Per Capita


    Dunkin' Drive-Thru

    Rank State Number of Dunks Population 1 Dunkin For Every
    1 Rhode Island 210 1,057,000 5033 People
    2 New Hampshire 240 1,366,000 5691 People
    3 Massachusetts 1,150 6,893,000 5993 People
    4 Maine 200 1,345,000 6725 People
    5 Connecticut 450 3,565,000 7922 People
    6 Vermont 50 643,000 12860 People
  • Harsh Winters

    via GIPHY


    Rank State Average Low Temp Average Snowfall
    1 Vermont -2.5°F 70-120 inches
    2 Maine 10°F 60-110 inches
    3 New Hampshire 16°F 60-100 inches
    4 Massachusetts 25°F 40-60 inches
    5 Connecticut 27.5°F 30-50 inches
    6 Rhode Island 32.5°F 20-40 inches
  • State Identity

    via GIPHY


    All right this next one is totally arbitrary seemingly. What I did was ask my 15 year old son who considers himself more of a New Englander than I do (having lived a 3rd of his life here) to name the first three things he associated with each state. The longer it took him to name things, the weaker I consider their identity to be.

    Rank State First Three Things
    How Long it took (seconds)
    6 Connecticut Uhhhh….not New York but kind of? The River, WWE 30
    5 Rhode Island Family Guy, Small, M*ssholes 25
    4 Vermont Green Mountain Boys, Pine Trees, Hippies 21
    3 Maine Sewer Clowns, Canada basically, empty 20
    2 New Hampshire Mount Washington, Those Midnight Voters, Live Free Or Die 12
    1 Massachusetts Sports, Kennedy, M*ssholes 9



  • Adding It Up

    So based on this incredibly scientific research that I will remind you required me to get the help of my 15 year old son the states that are the MOST New England Are in the following order….


  • 1. New Hampshire

    Bad winters, colleges, Dunkies, and guns—New Hampshire has it all!

    via GIPHY

    Category Ranking
    Colleges 2nd
    Dunkies 2nd
    Winters 3rd
    Identity 2nd
  • 2. Massachusetts

    Professional caliber sports teams, Harvard, MIT, and The Patriots—Massachusetts truly is the state I live in!

    via GIPHY

    Category Ranking
    Colleges 3rd
    Dunkies 3rd
    Winters 4th
    Identity 1st
  • 3. Vermont

    Hippies, granola, and also (weirdly) guns—Vermont is more than just Newhart (RIP) and ugly sweaters!


    via GIPHY

    Category Ranking
    Colleges 1st
    Dunkies 6th
    Winters 1st
    Identity 4th
  • 4. Maine

    Spooky stories, vacation islands, and the better Portland—Maine is King! (Seriously, how is that not your slogan?). My apologies for forgetting about you!

    via GIPHY

    Category Ranking
    Colleges 4th
    Dunkies 4th
    Winters 2nd
    Identity 3rd
  • 5. Rhode Island

    Like a blue-ringed octopus, you’re small, kind of pretty, and not to be messed with—Rhode Island, you exist!

    via GIPHY

    Category Ranking
    Colleges 6th
    Dunkies 1st
    Winters 6th
    Identity 5th
  • 6. Connecticut

    The slogan of Connecticut is: “Qui Transtulit Sustinet,” (He Who Transplanted Still Sustains)” In other words “MOVE BEFORE YOU DIE!” You have great college teams but I wonder what they are really mean when they shout “LET’S GO!!!”


    Category Ranking
    Colleges 5th
    Dunkies 5th
    Winters 5th
    Identity 6th
  • So That's It!

    Connecticut is the least New England of the New England states. I’m sure they would be offended by that if they weren’t also mostly people who grew up in or work in New York City.

    via GIPHY

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