Coordinates: 21°18′41″N 157°47′47″W / 21.31139°N 157.79639°W / 21.31139; -157.79639
The Hawaiian archipelago is located 2,000 mi (3,200 km) southwest of the contiguous United States. Hawaii is the southernmost U.S. state and the second westernmost after Alaska. Hawaii, like Alaska, does not border any other U.S. state. It is the only U.S. state that is not geographically located in North America, the only state completely surrounded by water and that is entirely an archipelago, and the only state in which coffee is commercially cultivable.
In addition to the eight main islands, the state has many smaller islands and islets. Kaʻula is a small island near Niʻihau. The Northwest Hawaiian Islands is a group of nine small, older islands to the northwest of Kauaʻi that extend from Nihoa to Kure Atoll; these are remnants of once much larger volcanic mountains. Across the archipelago are around 130 small rocks and islets, such as Molokini, which are either volcanic, marine sedimentary or erosional in origin.
Hawaii’s tallest mountain Mauna Kea is 13,796 ft (4,205 m) above mean sea level; it is taller than Mount Everest if measured from the base of the mountain, which lies on the floor of the Pacific Ocean and rises about 33,500 feet (10,200 m).
After Europeans and mainland Americans first arrived during the Kingdom of Hawaii period, the overall population of Hawaii, until that time composed solely of indigenous Hawaiians, fell dramatically. The indigenous Hawaiian population succumbed to foreign diseases, declining from 300,000 in the 1770s, to 60,000 in the 1850s, to 24,000 in 1920. In that year 43% of the population was of Japanese descent. The population of Hawaii began to finally increase after an influx of primarily Asian settlers that arrived as migrant laborers at the end of the 19th century.
The unmixed indigenous Hawaiian population has still not restored itself to its 300,000 pre-contact level. As of 2010, only 156,000 persons declared themselves to be of Native Hawaiian only ancestry, just over half of the pre-contact level Native Hawaiian population, although an additional 371,000 persons declared themselves to possess Native Hawaiian ancestry in combination with one or more other races (including other Polynesian groups, but mostly Asian and/or Caucasian).
The United States Census Bureau estimates the population of Hawaii was 1,420,491 on July 1, 2018; an increase of 4.42% since the 2010 United States Census.
As of 2018, Hawaii had an estimated population of 1,420,491; a decrease of 7,047 from the previous year and an increase of 60,190 (4.42%) since 2010. This includes a natural increase of 48,111 (96,028 births minus 47,917 deaths) and an increase due to net migration of 16,956 people into the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 30,068; migration within the country produced a net loss of 13,112 people.
The center of population of Hawaii is located on the island of O’ahu. Large numbers of Native Hawaiians have moved to Las Vegas, which has been called the “ninth island” of Hawaii.
Hawaii has a de facto population of over 1.4 million, due in part to a large number of military personnel and tourist residents. O’ahu is the most populous island; it has the highest population density with a resident population of just under one million in 597 square miles (1,546 km), approximately 1,650 people per square mile. Hawaii’s 1.4 million residents, spread across 6,000 square miles (15,500 km) of land, result in an average population density of 188.6 persons per square mile. The state has a lower population density than Ohio and Illinois.
The average projected lifespan of people born in Hawaii in 2000 is 79.8 years; 77.1 years if male, 82.5 if female—longer than the average lifespan of any other U.S. state. As of 2011 the U.S. military reported it had 42,371 personnel on the islands.
According to the 2010 United States Census, Hawaii had a population of 1,360,301. The state’s population identified as 38.6% Asian; 24.7% White (22.7% Non-Hispanic White Alone); 23.6% from two or more races; 10.0% Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders; 8.9% Hispanics and Latinos of any race; 1.6% Black or African American; 1.2% from some other race; and 0.3% Native American and Alaska Native.
Hawaii has the highest percentage of Asian Americans and multiracial Americans and the lowest percentage of White Americans of any state. It is the only state where people who identify as Asian Americans are the largest ethnic group. In 2012, 14.5% of the resident population under age 1 was non-Hispanic white. Hawaii’s Asian population consists mainly of 198,000 (14.6%) Filipino Americans, 185,000 (13.6%) Japanese Americans, roughly 55,000 (4.0%) Chinese Americans, and 24,000 (1.8%) Korean Americans. There are over 80,000 Indigenous Hawaiians—5.9% of the population. Including those with partial ancestry, Samoan Americans constitute 2.8% of Hawaii’s population, and Tongan Americans constitute 0.6%.
Over 120,000 (8.8%) Hispanic and Latino Americans live in Hawaii. Mexican Americans number over 35,000 (2.6%); Puerto Ricans exceed 44,000 (3.2%). Multiracial Americans constitute almost 25% of Hawaii’s population, exceeding 320,000 people. Eurasian Americans are a prominent mixed-race group, numbering about 66,000 (4.9%). The Non-Hispanic White population numbers around 310,000—just over 20% of the population. The multi-racial population outnumbers the non-Hispanic white population by about 10,000 people. In 1970, the Census Bureau reported Hawaii’s population was 38.8% white and 57.7% Asian and Pacific Islander.
The five largest European ancestries in Hawaii are German (7.4%), Irish (5.2%), English (4.6%), Portuguese (4.3%) and Italian (2.7%). About 82.2% of the state’s residents were born in the United States. Roughly 75% of foreign-born residents originate in Asia. Hawaii is a majority-minority state. It was expected to be one of three states that will not have a non-Hispanic white plurality in 2014; the other two are California and New Mexico.
The third group of foreigners to arrive in Hawaii were from China. Chinese workers on Western trading ships settled in Hawaii starting in 1789. In 1820, the first American missionaries arrived to preach Christianity and teach the Hawaiians Western ways. As of 2015, a large proportion of Hawaii’s population have Asian ancestry—especially Filipino, Japanese and Chinese. Many are descendants of immigrants brought to work on the sugarcane plantations in the mid-to-late 19th century. The first 153 Japanese immigrants arrived in Hawaii on June 19, 1868. They were not approved by the then-current Japanese government because the contract was between a broker and the Tokugawa shogunate—by then replaced by the Meiji Restoration. The first Japanese current-government-approved immigrants arrived on February 9, 1885, after Kalākaua’s petition to Emperor Meiji when Kalākaua visited Japan in 1881.
Almost 13,000 Portuguese migrants had arrived by 1899; they also worked on the sugarcane plantations. By 1901, over 5,000 Puerto Ricans were living in Hawaii.
English and Hawaiian are listed as Hawaii’s official languages in the state’s 1978 constitution, in Article XV, Section 4. However, the use of Hawai’ian is limited because the constitution specifies that “Hawaiian shall be required for public acts and transactions only as provided by law”. Hawaiʻi Creole English, locally referred to as “Pidgin”, is the native language of many native residents and is a second language for many others.
As of the 2000 Census, 73.4% of Hawaii residents aged five and older exclusively speak English at home. According to the 2008 American Community Survey, 74.6% of Hawaii’s residents over the age of five speak only English at home. In their homes, 21.0% of state residents speak an additional Asian language, 2.6% speak Spanish, 1.6% speak other Indo-European languages and 0.2% speak another language.
After English, other languages popularly spoken in the state are Tagalog, Japanese and Ilocano. Significant numbers of European immigrants and their descendants also speak their native languages; the most numerous are German, Portuguese, Italian and French. 5.4% of residents speak Tagalog—which includes non-native speakers of Filipino language, the national, co-official, Tagalog-based language; 5.0% speak Japanese and 4.0% speak Ilocano; 1.2% speak Chinese, 1.7% speak Hawaiian; 1.7% speak Spanish; 1.6% speak Korean; and 1.0% speak Samoan.
The keyboard layout used for Hawaiian is QWERTY.
The Hawaiian language has about 2,000 native speakers, about 0.15% of the total population. According to the United States Census, there were over 24,000 total speakers of the language in Hawaii in 2006–2008. Hawaiian is a Polynesian member of the Austronesian language family. It is closely related to other Polynesian languages, such as Marquesan, Tahitian, Māori, Rapa Nui (the language of Easter Island), and less closely to Samoan and Tongan.
According to Schütz, the Marquesans colonized the archipelago in roughly 300 CE and were later followed by waves of seafarers from the Society Islands, Samoa and Tonga.
These Polynesians remained in the islands; they eventually became the Hawaiian people and their languages evolved into the Hawaiian language. Kimura and Wilson say, “[l]inguists agree that Hawaiian is closely related to Eastern Polynesian, with a particularly strong link in the Southern Marquesas, and a secondary link in Tahiti, which may be explained by voyaging between the Hawaiian and Society Islands”. Before the arrival of Captain James Cook, the Hawaiian language had no written form. That form was developed mainly by American Protestant missionaries between 1820 and 1826. They assigned to the Hawaiian phonemes letters from the Latin alphabet.
Interest in Hawaiian increased significantly in the late 20th century. With the help of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, specially designated immersion schools in which all subjects would be taught in Hawaiian were established. The University of Hawaii developed a Hawaiian language graduate studies program. Municipal codes were altered to favor Hawaiian place and street names for new civic developments. Hawai’i Sign Language, a sign language for the deaf based on the Hawaiian language, has been in use in the islands since the early 1800s. It is dwindling in numbers due to American Sign Language supplanting HSL through schooling and various other domains.
Hawaiian distinguishes between long and short vowel sounds. In modern practice, vowel length is indicated with a macron (kahakō). Hawaiian-language newspapers (nūpepa) published from 1834 to 1948 and traditional native speakers of Hawaiian generally omit the marks in their own writing. The ʻokina and kahakō are intended to help non-native speakers. The Hawaiian language uses the glottal stop (ʻokina) as a consonant. It is written as a symbol similar to the apostrophe or left-hanging (opening) single quotation mark.
Some residents of Hawaii speak Hawaiʻi Creole English (HCE), endonymically called pidgin or pidgin English. The lexicon of HCE derives mainly from English but also uses words that have derived from Hawaiian, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Ilocano and Tagalog. During the 19th century, the increase in immigration—mainly from China, Japan, Portugal—especially from the Azores and Madeira, and Spain—catalyzed the development of a hybrid variant of English known to its speakers as pidgin. By the early 20th century, pidgin speakers had children who acquired it as their first language. HCE speakers use some Hawaiian words without those words being considered archaic. Most place names are retained from Hawaiian, as are some names for plants and animals. For example, tuna fish is often called by its Hawaiian name, ahi.
HCE speakers have modified the meanings of some English words. For example, “aunty” and “uncle” may either refer to any adult who is a friend or be used to show respect to an elder. Syntax and grammar follow distinctive rules different from those of General American English. For example, instead of “it is hot today, isn’t it?”, an HCE speaker would say simply “stay hot, eh?” The term da kine is used as a filler; a substitute for virtually any word or phrase. During the surfing boom in Hawaii, HCE was influenced by surfer slang. Some HCE expressions, such as brah and da kine, have found their ways elsewhere through surfing communities.
Christianity is the most widespread religion in Hawaii, mainly represented by various Protestants, Roman Catholics and Mormons. The second most popular religion is Buddhism, especially among the archipelago’s Japanese community. Unaffiliated account for one-quarter of the population.
The Cathedral Church of Saint Andrew in Honolulu was formally the seat of the Hawaiian Reformed Catholic Church. When the Hawaiian Reformed Catholic Church, a province of the Anglican Communion, was merged into the Episcopal Church in the 1890s following the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii, it became the seat of the Episcopal Diocese of Hawaii. The Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace and the Co-Cathedral of Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus serve as seats of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu. The Eastern Orthodox community is centered around the Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Pacific.
The largest denominations by number of adherents were the Roman Catholic Church with 249,619 adherents in 2010, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with 68,128 adherents in 2009, the United Church of Christ with 115 congregations and 20,000 members, and the Southern Baptist Convention with 108 congregations and 18,000 members. All non-denominational churches have 128 congregations and 32,000 members.
According to data provided by religious establishments, religion in Hawaii in 2000 was distributed as follows:
A Pew poll found that the religious composition was as follows:
Note: Births in table don’t add up, because Hispanics are counted both by their ethnicity and by their race, giving a higher overall number.
Hawaii has had a long history of LGBT identities. Māhū (“in the middle”) were a precolonization third gender with traditional spiritual and social roles; māhū were a respected group of people widely regarded as healers. The concept of aikāne referred to homosexual relationships, widely accepted as a normal part of ancient Hawaiian society. Among men, aikāne relationships often began as teens and continued throughout their adult lives, even if they also maintained heterosexual partners. While aikāne usually refers to male homosexuality, some stories also refer to women, implying that women may have been involved in aikāne relationships as well. Journals written by Captain Cook’s crew record that many aliʻi (hereditary nobles) also engaged in aikāne relationships, and Kamehameha the Great, the founder and first ruler of the Kingdom of Hawaii, was also known to participate. Cook’s second lieutenant and co-astronomer James King observed that “all the chiefs had them”, and recounts that Cook was actually asked by one chief to leave King behind, considering the role a great honor.
According to Hawaiian scholar Lilikalā Kameʻeleihiwa, “If you didn’t sleep with a man, how could you trust him when you went into battle? How would you know if he was going to be the warrior that would protect you at all costs, if he wasn’t your lover?”
During the late 19th and early 20th century, the word aikāne was expurgated of its original sexual meaning by colonialism, and in print simply meant “friend”. Nonetheless, in Hawaiian language publications its metaphorical meaning can still mean either “friend” or “lover” without stigmatization.
A 2012 poll by Gallup found that Hawaii had the largest proportion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) adults in the U.S., at 5.1%, comprising an estimated adult LGBT population of 53,966 individuals. The number of same-sex couple households in 2010 was 3,239; a 35.5% increase of figures from a decade earlier. In 2013, Hawaii became the fifteenth U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage; a University of Hawaii researcher reported at the time that the law may have been able to boost tourism by $217 million.
Hawaii neighborhoods include: Aiea, Camp H M Smith, Captain Cook, Eleele, Ewa Beach, Haiku, Hakalau, Haleiwa, Hana, Hanapepe, Hauula, Hawaii National Park, Hawi, Hilo, Holualoa, Honokaa, Honolulu, Honomu, Hoolehua, Kaaawa, Kahuku, Kahului, Kailua, Kailua Kona, Kalaheo, Kalaupapa, Kamuela, Kaneohe, Kapaa, Kapaau, Kapolei, Kaunakakai, Keaau, Kealakekua, Kekaha, Kihei, Kilauea, Koloa, Kualapuu, Kula, Kurtistown, Lahaina, Laie, Lanai City, Laupahoehoe, Lihue, Makawao, Makaweli, Maunaloa, Mililani, Mountain View, Naalehu, Ninole, Ookala, Paauilo, Pahala, Pahoa, Paia, Papaaloa, Papaikou, Pearl City, Pepeekeo, Princeville, Volcano, Wahiawa, Waialua, Waianae, Waikoloa, Wailuku, Waimanalo, Waimea, Waipahu