U.S. Census In Hawaii

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The U.S. Census Bureau surveys the public once every 10 years to determine the nation’s population and the apportionment of seats in Congress. The bureau also produces the American Community Survey, which provides demographic, economic and household statistics.


The U.S. Census is essentially the country’s once-per-decade head count. Its results are used for a wide range of government programs, particularly the apportionment of seats in Congress. That number in turn determines electoral votes in presidential elections.

Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution established the need for the decennial census, saying the enumeration of the House of Representatives shall be made once every 10 years. Rules are further laid out in Title 13 of U.S. Code.

In addition to apportioning seats in the U.S. Congress, census results are used as the official population counts for other purposes, including taxation and distribution of resources. The states receive detailed information from the federal government and redistrict seats in the state legislatures.

In December 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau released its first batch of data, revealing that Hawaii’s population was 1,360,301 as of April 1, 2010.

The median household income was $63,741.

In early 2011, the Census Bureau released state- and local-level demographic data so state governments could start the redistricting process.

The Census Bureau also produces the American Community Survey, which provides demographic, economic and household statistics on an annual basis. The bureau says its mission is to “serve as the leading source of quality data about the nation’s people and economy.”

Additional facts and figures about Hawaii are available here [pdf].

2010 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates for the State of Hawaii

The U.S. Census Bureau released data from its American Community Survey (ACS) for 2010 on September 22, 2011.

Following are some highlights for Hawaii from the 2010 ACS survey:

Looking at the population characteristics and comparing them with other states in the nation, Hawaii continues to see the following trends:

More Asians: Hawaii ranked first in terms of percentage of Asian population. 38.9 percent of Hawaii’s population said that they were Asians only (those selecting only one racial group) in 2010 versus 4.8 percent for the nation as a whole. Our state also ranked the highest for the percentage of people born in Asia.

More Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders: Hawaii also had the largest percentage of Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders only in the nation: 9.9 percent for Hawaii versus 0.2 percent for the nation in 2010.

More diverse population: Hawaii ranked first also in the percentage of mixed ethnic population at 23.8 percent compared with 2.7 percent for the nation.

Larger household size: The average household size of 2.96 persons placed Hawaii 2nd highest in the nation.

More households with elderly residents: The percentage of households with one or more people 65 years and over was 30.1 and our state ranked second in the nation. Not surprisingly, we also ranked high in the nation at fourth for the percent of households with retirement income. The percentage of our households receiving retirement income was 21.5.

More multigenerational households: Our state ranked the highest in the U.S. for percent of households that are multigenerational at 7.2 percent.

Less grandparents responsible for their grandchildren: Hawaii is ranked the lowest at 51, for the percent of grandparents (living with grandchildren) who are responsible for their grandchildren. Hawaii had 23.0 percent of the households in this category.

Higher use of public transportation or car pool: Hawaii ranked first in percentage of workers using carpool to go to work with 13.8 percent of our population in this category. Hawaii ranked seventh in the nation for proportion of population who travel to work by public transportation with 6.6 percent of our workers using this type of transportation.

More people work in the service sector: Hawaii ranked second in the nation in percentage of workers working in the service occupations with 22.4 percent of our workers in this category.

Higher value of real property: Hawaii’s median housing value was $525,400 in 2010, ranking the highest in the nation, with Washington D.C. right below our state at $426,900. The national median housing value in 2010 was $179,900.

Lower homeownership: Hawaii’s homeownership of 58.0 percent in 2010 was among the bottom 4 states and district in the nation. Washington D.C. had the lowest homeownership at 42.5 percent. New York State was the second lowest at 54.3 percent; California was the thirdlowest at 55.6 percent.

Higher cost of living: Hawaii’s median rent of $1,291 in 2010 placed Hawaii as the first in the nation. The U.S. median rent was $855 per month. Hawaii homeowner’s monthly housing cost of $2,240 in 2010 was the fourth highest in the nation. Our state also ranked high for proportion of income spent on housing. The percentage of mortgaged owners spending 30 percent or more of household income on selected monthly owner costs was second highest in the nation. For percentage of renter-occupied units spending 30 percent or more of household income on rent and utilities, Hawaii was ranked fourth in this category listing.

More people per room: With the U.S. having 3.4 percent of its occupied housing units with 1.01 or more occupants per room, Hawaii stood out in this category and ranked second in the nation. The percentage of our state’s housing units with more than one person per room was 8.5 percent.

Higher health insurance coverage: 7.9 percent of Hawaii residents didn’t have health insurance coverage in 2010. Of course that means that 92.1% of Hawaii residents were covered by health insurance. This ranked Hawaii third in the nation. In terms of health insurance coverage for children, 96.3 percent of Hawaii’s children were covered, ranking fifth place in the nation (which included D.C.) in 2010.

Background: The ACS survey started in 1996 and Hawaii was included since 2000. Between 2000 and 2004, Hawaii ACS data were available only for the State of Hawaii and the City and County of Honolulu. Starting in 2005, Hawaii County and Maui County (excluding Kalawao County) were included. Census Bureau releases 1-year data for areas with population size of 65,000 and above due to sample size issues. Data for all the four counties in Hawaii are available.


U.S. Census In Hawaii
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