They come, they go.

Hawaii ranks third among all states when it came to adding new residents from the mainland or from overseas, according to the Census Bureau’s recently released results of the 2012 American Community Survey, but that doesn’t mean that our population is exploding.

The explanation? Nearly as many Hawaii residents bid the islands farewell during that time. The numbers: 61,509 residents of Hawaii left and moved to a new state, while 55,145 came in from other states. Others came from overseas.

The net result: the state’s actual population grew by 14,184 between 2011 and 2012.

Most of the explanation for the mobility, said Eugene Tian, Chief State Economist at the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, is “military movement.”

2011 Population 2012 Population Growth
1,378,129 1,392,313 1.03 percent

There are a variety of reasons why people leave: military transfers, employment opportunities, the cost of living, and personal factors, among others.

On the population front, Hawaii continues to rank number one in the percentage of ethnic Asians and mixed populations, and it was number two in household size.

Hawaii also has the highest cost of living. The median monthly housing cost for renters also puts the state at number one nationally. For the whole country, the median cost of a month’s rent is $884, while in Hawaii in 2012, it was $1,379.

Homeowners monthly mortgage payment was $2,244 in 2012, the third highest in the nation. Forty-eight percent of all homeowners with a mortgage spent 30 percent or more of their household income on monthly owner costs — just another area where Hawaii is number one.

Renters fare — at least compared to other states — only slightly better, ranking fifth with 50.3 percent who spend 30 percent or more of their household income on rent and utilities.

The median housing value was $171,900 in 2012. Compare that to Hawaii’s $496,6000, which has the highest in the country. (The median value in Washington D.C., which comes in closer to Hawaii than any state, is $460,700.)

Perhaps as a result, Hawaii is in the bottom five for home ownership with 56.9 percent of adults living in a home they own. The home ownership situation is only worse in: Washington, D.C. (41.5 percent), New York State (53.7 percent), California (54.0 percent), and Nevada (54.9 percent).

Increasingly Male Hawaii

The Great Recession took a great toll on mobility in the U.S. and it is only beginning to recover. Last year, just 2.3 percent of people nationally moved to a different state, 3.2 percent moved to another county in the same state, and 9 percent relocated within the same county.

In Hawaii, 55,145 relocated from a different state and 20,735 moved here from abroad, adding up to a total of 75,880.

More men than women moved to the state; 55.5 percent were male and 44.5 percent were female.

Here is the list of the top 10 states with new residents from abroad or other states, as a share of the current total population:

  1. North Dakota: 6.0 percent
  2. Wyoming: 5.8 percent
  3. Hawaii: 5.5 percent
  4. Alaska: 5.3 percent
  5. Nevada: 5.1 percent
  6. Colorado: 4.7 percent
  7. New Hampshire: 4.3 percent
  8. Vermont: 4.3 percent
  9. Delaware: 4.2 percent
  10. Arizona: 4.2 percent

Hawaii’s Youth Movement

Young people are moving to the Aloha state. The 2012 report found that the median age of those who move here is 27.6, not so far off from the number one youth-movement state, Vermont, where the median age of new residents was 23.4.

In Hawaii as a whole: 14.3 percent of the population, or 199,308 residents, are between 25-34, making it the largest age-bracket in the state.

Nearly 20 percent of people moving to Hawaii are under 18, while newcomers 65 and older make up just 4.6 percent of that group. In comparison, about 15 percent of people migrating to Florida were 65 and older.

Hawaii’s fresh retiree-age population was 111,941 residents who were between 65 and 74 years old in 2012, up ever so slightly from the previous year.

Getting Schooled — Sometimes

New Hawaii residents helped to put the state in 30th out of the 50 states when it comes to education. Thirty-seven percent of new residents have earned at least a Bachelor’s degree, and almost 13 percent hold graduate or professional degrees. Those who completed some college or have an associates degree made up 72.3 percent of the new residents.

For the state of Hawaii as a whole, 10.5 percent have earned Graduate or professional degrees; nearly 20 percent stopped after getting a Bachelor’s degree; 32 percent ended with some college or with associates degrees; a little over 28 percent finished their education right after graduating high school; and nearly 10 percent didn’t graduate high school.

Money, Money

New residents in Hawaii are more well off than people who are moving to most other states — at least on individual income levels, Hawaii ranks fifth in the nation with a median income of $26,141. The estimates are based on individuals, including those who don’t work, and the Census Bureau doesn’t combine the incomes for all movers, only domestic ones. (Foreign born movers made up about 20 percent of new residents, putting Hawaii at number 15 in the nation.) The numbers represent 2012 dollars that were not adjusted with a cost-of-living increase.

The top 10:

  1. New Jersey: $28,716
  2. Maryland: $28,644
  3. New Hampshire: $28,247
  4. Virginia: $26,589
  5. Hawaii: $26,141
  6. Connecticut: $24,597
  7. Alaska: $23,740
  8. Delaware: $23,171
  9. California: $22,782
  10. New York: $22,762

For the state as a whole, the median income was slightly higher, at $28,099.

The Census Bureau defines household income as “the income of the householder and all other individuals 15 years old and over in the household, whether they are related to the householder or not.”

The median household income in Hawaii was:

State Total: $66,259

Honolulu: $71,404

Maui: $61,207

Kauai: $59,238

Hawaii: $50,285

For the state as a whole, the median household income was $66,259.

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