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.
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.
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.
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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