Hawaii was home to some 7,000 more residents in 2009 than lived in the islands in 2008, according to new data released by the U.S. Census Bureau.
While the official results of the 2010 Census won’t be released until closer to the end of the year, the population estimate for 2009 and a mountain of other data for all geographies with populations of 65,000 or more were made available Tuesday as part of the annual American Community Survey.
“Collectively, ACS and census data are critical components of the nation’s information infrastructure, providing data essential to our economy and our communities,” Census Bureau director Robert Groves said in a press release that accompanies the data. “ACS data are required by numerous federal programs and for planning and decision making at the state and federal level. ACS data help communities and businesses create jobs, plan for the future, establish new businesses and improve our economy.”
The data, which included more than 40 subject areas, shows that Hawaii’s population increased from 1,288,198 to 1,295,178. The national population estimate is now at 307 million, up from 304 million.
Hawaii’s population differs quite dramatically from the nation’s as a whole.
More than 5 percent of Hawaii residents moved from either out-of-state or out-of-country between 2008 and 2009, while less than 3 percent of U.S. residents changed states or moved from overseas. That transient population has accumulated over time: Just 54 percent of Hawaii residents were born here while 59 percent of U.S. residents are living in the state they were born.
Hawaii has a larger proportion of foreign-born residents, 17.3 percent versus the nationwide rate of 12.5 percent. But more of Hawaii’s immigrants have become citizens, 58 percent versus the nationwide rate of 44 percent. Still, more Hawaii residents speak a language other than English at home, 25 percent versus 20 percent across the country. The vast majority of Hawaii’s non-English speakers converse in an Asian or Pacific Islander language.
Hawaii, the birthplace of America’s first mixed-race president, is an outlier versus the rest of the nation in that department. Nearly 24 percent of residents are two or more races versus 2.4 percent across the country.
Because of the prevalence of mixed-race individuals across the islands, no one race can claim to be a majority. Asians still lead the pack with 37.1 percent of the population, followed by whites with 26.9 percent. Across the United States, nearly 75 percent of residents are white.
Of the Asian races in Hawaii, Filipinos are most common with 177,000 residents, followed by the Japanese (172,000) and Chinese (54,000). There are 70,000 Native Hawaiians and about 45,000 other Pacific Islanders.
Hawaii is home to more elderly persons than the country as a whole. Nearly 98,000 Hawaii residents are 75 years or older, good enough for 7.6 percent of the population. Across the country, that figure is 6.1 percent. Hawaii’s median age is 37.9 years, higher than the U.S. median of 36.8 but down from the 38.3 mark in 2008.
Hawaii’s public education system has been criticized, but the percentage of high school graduates is higher than the country as a whole. The portion of residents 25 years or older without a high school diploma is significantly lower in Hawaii at 9.6 percent than for the entire U.S. — 14.8 percent. And slightly more Hawaii residents have obtained at least a Bachelor’s degree, 29.5 percent to 27.9 across the nation.
That higher degree of education hasn’t necessarily translated into better jobs.
The No. 1 industry both in Hawaii and the country at large is “Educational services, and health care and social assistance,” which employs better than 20 percent of the populace in both locations. But while retail is the No. 2 industry of employment for American residents with 11.6 percent, Hawaii’s No. 2 industry is “Arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation and food services” with 16.4 percent. Overall, 23 percent of Hawaii’s employed civilians worked in service occupations versus about 18 percent in the rest of the country.
Construction supplied 7.1 percent of Hawaii jobs in 2009, down from 9.3 percent in 2008.