The number of deaths in Maine is on pace to exceed the number of births for the second straight year, according to US Census data released Thursday. From July 2011 to July 2012, deaths in Maine outnumbered births 12,857 to 12,754, the data showed. Eleven of Maine’s 16 counties had these so-called natural decreases, with the largest percentages in Washington and Piscataquis counties. Maine and West Virginia are the only states where deaths exceeded births from during this period. Amanda Rector, the state economist, said the decreases are a challenge for the state because expanding businesses need to fill their workforces.