On Oahu, residents are headed west, out of downtown Honolulu and toward the long-discussed “second city,” the 2010 U.S. Census shows.

Official 2010 Census data released to the public Thursday shows that Pearl City’s population increased by half while Ewa Gentry’s tally more than quadrupled in the last decade.

At the same time, Mililani Mauka, Kapolei and Royal Kunia are now among the state’s largest towns after being left off the Census map 10 years ago. Meanwhile, Kailua’s growth was slow and Kaneohe’s population actually decreased.

2000 Population vs. 2010 Population

Place1 2000 Population Rank 2010 Population Rank Change Percent
Urban Honolulu CDP N/A N/A 337,256 1 N/A N/A
East Honolulu CDP N/A N/A 49,914 2 N/A N/A
Pearl City CDP 30,976 6 47,698 3 16,722 54.0%
Hilo CDP 40,759 2 43,263 4 2,504 6.1%
Kailua CDP (Honolulu County) 36,513 3 38,635 5 2,122 5.8%
Waipahu CDP 33,108 5 38,216 6 5,108 15.4%
Kaneohe CDP 34,970 4 34,597 7 -373 -1.1%
Mililani Town CDP 28,608 8 27,629 8 -979 -3.4%
Kahului CDP 20,146 9 26,337 9 6,191 30.7%
Ewa Gentry CDP 4,939 43 22,690 10 17,751 359.4%
Mililani Mauka CDP N/A N/A 21,039 11 N/A N/A
Kihei CDP 16,749 10 20,881 12 4,132 24.7%
Makakilo CDP N/A N/A 18,248 13 N/A N/A
Wahiawa CDP 16,151 11 17,821 14 1,670 10.3%
Schofield Barracks CDP 14,428 13 16,370 15 1,942 13.5%
Wailuku CDP 12,296 16 15,313 16 3,017 24.5%
Kapolei CDP N/A N/A 15,186 17 N/A N/A
Ewa Beach CDP 14,650 12 14,955 18 305 2.1%
Royal Kunia CDP N/A N/A 14,525 19 N/A N/A
Halawa CDP 13,891 14 14,014 20 123 0.9%

Source: 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data [xls]

To be sure, Census Designated Places can’t tell the whole story. Tract-by-tract or block-by-block data analysis will be necessary to get a clear picture of exactly what happened. But the first glimpse reveals a picture of Honolulu as a city in transition.

The Oahu General Plan calls for expansion into the Ewa Plain, and proposed developments at Koa Ridge and Hoopili are moving the ball in that general direction. If the rail project comes to fruition, transit-oriented development could turn Kapolei into a true “second city.” The shifts may be even more pronounced in the 2020 Census.

The Census data also confirms the Big Island, Maui and Kauai had comparatively large population gains since the 2000 Census. That trend had been evident in annual population estimates produced every July for the last decade.

Geographic area 2000 Population 2010 Population Change Percent
Hawaii County 148,677 185,079 36,402 24.5%
Maui County 128,094 154,834 26,740 20.9%
Kauai County 58,463 67,091 8,628 14.8%
Honolulu County 876,156 953,207 77,051 8.8%
State of Hawaii 1,211,537 1,360,301 148,764 12.3%

Source: 2010 U.S. Census data [xls]

As we pore over the data, we’ll have more analysis. Until then, the Census Bureau has put together a nifty tool to see the state of things in Hawaii.


  1. Data shown for places are for census designated places (CDPs) which are statistical areas defined for concentrations of population outside of incorporated places. All places shown for Hawaii are CDPs. Hawaii is the only state that has no incorporated places.
     

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