There were nearly 1.6 million Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders living in American states in 2018, up nearly 19% since 2010, according to U.S. Census estimates released Thursday.

The biggest numbers lived in Honolulu and Hawaii counties, but there were more living in Los Angeles County than Maui and Kauai counties combined.

Clark County, Nevada — home to Las Vegas — was home to the fifth-largest community of Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders in the U.S. The data excludes U.S. territories like Guam and American Samoa.

From 2017 to 2018, Clark County’s Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander community grew by nearly 1,500 — the biggest numerical jump of any county. Hawaii’s so-called “Ninth Island” continues to attract islanders with its low cost of living and established communities.

Pierce County, Washington, saw nearly a 5% jump in its community of Pacific Islanders, including Native Hawaiians, the second-largest numerical increase of any county. The county includes Tacoma and is part of Seattle’s broader metropolitan area.

Salt Lake County, Utah, had the third-biggest numerical increase in the number of Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islander residents from 2017 to 2018. The county is home to Salt Lake City and the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which conducts missionary work in the Pacific islands.

Benton County, Arkansas, is home to a much smaller Pacific Islander community, but saw a 13.5% jump from 2017 to 2018. Arkansas is home to a growing Marshallese population in part due to job opportunities.

A note to our readers

While asking for your support is something we don’t like to do, the simple fact is that our reporters, our journalism, and our impact rely on it. Since lifting our paywall and becoming a nonprofit in mid-2016, our local newsroom has benefitted from a stream of charitable support from people who want our type of journalism to survive. People like you who understand that our work is essential to a better-informed community. If you value the work of our journalists, show us with your tax-deductible support.

About the Authors