According to Census data from 2010 to 2014, Big Island residents 25 years and older earned a median of $30,853 per year – $6,561 less than the state median, and $3,044 less Kauai, which had the next lowest pay in the state.
The data also showed the poverty rate among Big Island high school graduates and bachelor’s degree holders grew the fastest in the state. From 2005 to 2009, 11.7 percent of high school graduates earned below the poverty line, which was $11,161.
By 2014, that poverty rate increased to 18.9 percent.
During that same time period, Hawaii Island residents older than 25 without a high school diploma earned a median of $19,895 a year, compared to $22,247 statewide. Maui residents without a diploma earned the most, at $27,306 a year.
Income inequality continues to grow in Hawaii and nationwide. A 2013 study by Pew Research Center found that in 2012, nearly $1 out of every $2 of income in the U.S. went to the college-educated. That meant half of the U.S.’s total income was going to only a third of its households.
Hawaii residents with bachelor’s degrees also saw an increase in the poverty rate.
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