Hawaii Population Characteristics 2011

Honolulu Skyline (Photo courtesy of UHERO)
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Honolulu Skyline (Photo courtesy of UHERO)

BY DR. EUGENE TIAN – The U.S. Census Bureau released the 2011 National, State and County population characteristics on May 17, 2012.  The following are a few facts about Hawaii.

On July 1, 2011, Asians (alone or in combination) accounted for 57.1% of the state total population (ranked #1 in the nation in terms of shares of Asians in total population; ranked second was California at 15.5%).


On July 1, 2011, Honolulu County had the largest percentage of Asian (alone or in combination with other races) population at 61.2%, followed by Kauai County at 51.3%, Maui County at 47.6%, and Hawaii County at 45.6%.

On July 1, 2011, Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders (alone or in combination) accounted for 26.1% of Hawaii’s total population (ranked #1 in the country in terms of shares of this race group in the total population).

Hawaii County had the largest share of Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders at 34.0%, followed by Maui County at 27.4%, Kauai County at 25.6%, and Honolulu County at 24.4%.

On July 1, 2011, White (alone or in combination) accounted for 42.8% of the state total population (ranked on the bottom in terms of shares of this race group in the total population with Washington D.C. ranked second lowest having 44.3% of its population in this category).

Within the state, Hawaii County ranked the first in terms of shares of White population.  56.2% of the total population on the Big Island was White alone or in combination with other races on July 1, 2011.  Maui County had 52.1% of White population and ranked the second, followed by Kauai County at 51.2%, and then Honolulu County at 38.1%.

On July 1, 2011, Hawaii had 5,835 people with American Indian and Alaska Native race alone.  There were 27,443 people with Black race alone in Hawaii on July 1, 2011.

On July 1, 2011, the population 65 year and above accounted for 14.7% (ranked 8th in the nation), while persons 85 years of age and above shared 2.4% of the total population (8th place in the nation).

Overall, the State of Hawaii was ranked #1 in regard to minority populations with 77.1% of our population categorized as part of a minority group.  “Minority” is defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as the population identifying their race and ethnicity as something other than non-Hispanic White race alone.  By county, Honolulu County was the highest with an 80.6% minority population.  Next was Kauai County with a 69.6% minority population, followed by Hawaii County with 69.0% and Maui County with 68.3%.

Looking more closely at the data, it can be seen that Hawaii’s youngest generation had an even higher minority percentage than our total population.  The percentage of the population aged 0 to 4 years old which belonged to a minority race or ethnic group was 84.3%, compared with the 77.1% figure for the total population.  Also, unlike the minority figures for our total population, all counties now had minority population percentages in the 80th percentile for this young age group – Hawaii County with 86.9%; Honolulu County with 83.9%; Maui County with 83.7% and Kauai County with 83.3%.

Hawaii’s population 65 years and above increased by 3.1% from July 1, 2010 to July 1, 2011 while our total population increased 0.8% a year during the same period.

On July 1, 2011, Kauai County had the highest percentage of 65 year+ population at 15.5% followed by the Big Island with 15.1%.  14.8% of the population in Honolulu County was 65 years or above in July 2011 while Maui County had the smallest share of 65 year+ population at 13.4%.

Population in Honolulu County was relatively younger with median age of 37.9 years in July 2011, followed by Maui County at 39.7 years, and Hawaii County at 41.0 years.  Median age for population on Kauai was 41.4 years in July 2011.  Statewide median age in July 2011 was 43.1 years.

On July 1, 2011, Hawaii’s total population consisted of 50.2% males and 49.8% females.  There are more females than males for Asians but for other races, there are more males than females.

Mixed race population in Hawaii was 22.9% on July 1, 2011, while the percentage of mixed race population in the nation on the same day was only 2.3%.

School age population (5-17 years) decreased by 822 between the 2010 to 2011 period.

The population and its characteristics are estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau based on the 2010 Census population, vital statistics, administrative records, Federal tax return, and the results from the American Community Survey. These estimates tend to change when more information become available.

Source:  Hawaii State Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism, Research and Economic Analysis Division.





  1. Not so bad only close to 15% of Oahu will need HandiVan Now and definitely within the Rail is built in ten years time when all those that are currently 65years will be turning 75. The 55 year-old crowd will be 65 and moving onto HandiVan as well. Gee, HandiVan is currently denying people rides, Buses are reducing routes and jamming the system and with a supposed younger median age, why aren’t those people taking mass transit now? If they do not take it now, they will not take rail in the future. Billions spent for nothing that should be invested in HandiVans and an aging population. Oh well, stupid City Council and Hart. But then again-those people all drive their own cars lol.

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