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From sturdy, two-story colonials to larger, more unabashedly decorative late-seventeenth-century Victorians, the native architecture of Maine has a stunningly historic variety of homes. You may also find more contemporary ranch- or rambler-style housing, which is characterized by its single-story, long-body profile. The most common style of all is the austere Cape Cod, which was traditionally built to withstand cold winters and winds along the rocky coastline.

Nearly 40 percent of the population lives in Portland. With a thriving civic and culinary culture, Portland has one of the largest numbers of restaurants per capita and one of the oldest farmers' markets in the nation. The Portland Farmers Market has been operating since 1768 and is open twice weekly in Monument Square, Deering Oaks Park and the East Bayside Neighborhood. Compared to the national average, the population of Portland is younger and more educated, making it particularly suited for residents who are looking to establish careers. North of Portland are Lewiston and Bangor, the next two most populous cities. Lewiston has a more diverse labor market, with a higher percentage of blue collar workers. Lewiston also features many cultural organizations such as the Maine Music Society and the Lewiston Auburn Art Walk. Bangor has seven separate colleges and universities, and is known primarily as a college town.

While manufacturing, fishing and agriculture remain as important economic forces, white-collar jobs are all on the rise. Nearly one tenth of the population is currently employed in healthcare and social assistance, and this has been the fastest-growing job sector in the past 10 years. Though there are few large company headquarters, there is a strong culture of supporting small and medium private businesses, especially in larger, metropolitan areas such as Portland. Rural areas concentrated in the north of the state rely more heavily on manufacturing and production. Maine produces and distributes 99 percent of the country's blueberries and provides 90 percent of the U.S. lobster supply. Two major shipbuilding sites remain active in Bath and Kittery. The tourism industry is growing throughout the state, drawing visitors in for many outdoor recreational activities such as hunting, sport fishing, camping and hiking.

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