“The mainland in recent years is booming with more job opportunities,” said Eugene Tian, Hawaii’s chief economist.
Military deployment also contributed. Oahu’s military population decreased from nearly 50,000 in 2014 to about 43,000 in 2018, according to the state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism.
Hawaii’s state population also fell from nearly 1.43 million in 2016 to 1.42 million in 2018.
Honolulu County now makes up 69% of the state’s population, down from 72.3% in 2000. The Big Island makes up 14.1% of the state population, while Maui County has 11.8% and Kauai County has about 5%.
Tourist numbers have gone in the opposite direction. Visitor arrivals to Hawaii reached an all-time high in 2018 for the seventh year in a row.
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