Kauai

| Suggest an Edit

Kauai, also known as the “Garden Isle,” is oldest of the Hawaiian Islands and the fourth largest island, measuring 552 square miles. It was the last island to be conquered by King Kamehameha I.

Kauai has a population of about 69,691 with a median household income of $65,101, the third highest income among the major islands. According to a 2016 U.S. Census Report, the median age of residents on the island was 39.4 years with 77.5 percent of the population aged 18 or older. Kauai is divided into five main regions: Lihue, the East Side (Coconut Coast), the North Shore, the South Shore and the West Side.

The Latest

For the 2010 midterm elections, incumbent Bernard Carvalho won his re-election bid for mayor in a landslide, receiving 77 percent of the vote. His challenger, Diana LaBedz received 16 percent (about 7 percent of ballots were left blank).

Land

Kauai is roughly circular in shape. Almost half of its shoreline is covered with beaches. The island is the 21st largest island in the United States and is located about 105 miles northwest of Oahu.

One of Kauai’s most prominent features is the Napali Coast, on the island’s north shore. Spanning 17 miles, the shoreline features rugged terrain, cliffs, and waterfalls and is a major tourist attraction. There is only one way to access the Napali Coast by land: an 11-mile hike beginning at Kee Beach and finishing at Kalalau Beach. Most see the Nepali Coast by boat.

Kauai’s highest peak is Mt. Kawaikini at 5,243 feet above sea level. Mt. Waialeale, in the center of the island, is often considered the wettest spot on earth with about 460 inches of annual rainfall.

History

In King Kamehameha I’s quest to unite all of the Hawaiian islands, Kauai for a long time remained a thorn in Kamehameha’s side. The king launched two separate attacks on Kaui – whole armadas of ships and canoes – and failed both times. His force was first driven back by a storm and the second time, reportedly by sickness. Eventually, Kauai’s King Kaumualii, decided to submit peacefully, allowing the island to fall under Kamehameha’s rule.

Kamehameha became known as “Kamehameha the Great” and would thereafter establish diplomatic ties with Westerners. The Kingdom of Hawaii was officially established in 1810.

In 1835, the first sugar mill on Kauai opened in Old Koloa Town. Sugar became the predominant industry for the island in the 19th century, lasting well into the 20th century until tourism replaced agriculture as the island’s main industry.

Economy

Of Kauai’s employed population 17,100 worked in management, professional, or related occupations. About 7,764 worked in sales and office work and 9,868 were in service occupations. There were 3,828 in construction, maintenance or repair work  and 2,576 were employed by production, transportation or material moving businesses.

While private industry employed the bulk of Kauai’s population, the report found that 15 percent worked for federal, state or local government agencies. The rest were self-employed.

The average commute time to work for Kauai residents was 19.2 minutes. About 78 percent of workers drove to work alone, 12 percent carpooled and the rest used public transportation, other means or worked from home.

As of 2916, Kauai’s unemployment rate was 3.0% percent.

Of the 22,405 households in Kauai County, the median income was $62,359.

Eleven percent of Kauai residents lived in poverty in 2016.

Demographics

According to the U.S. Census, the average household size on Kauai was 2.8 people. The majority of Kauai residents, 58 percent, were born in Hawaii.

Families made up 71 percent of the households in Kauai. For residents over the age of five, 18 percent spoke a language other than English at home.

About 89 percent of Kauai residents over the age of 25 had earned a high school diploma while only 24 percent had a bachelor’s degree or higher. Between 2006 and 2008, there were 13,000 Kauai residents enrolled in schools: 1,400 in nurseries or kindergarten, 9,800 in elementary or high school and 2,200 in college or graduate school.

One of the main institutions of higher learning on Kauai is the Kauai Community College:

Kauai Community College
3-1901 Kaumuali´i Highway
Lihue, HI 96766
(808) 245-8311
http://kauai.hawaii.edu/

Have feedback? Suggestions? Email Us!

Kauai
Kauai: Why Hanalei Has Turned Into A Traffic Nightmare Allan Parachini

Kauai: Why Hanalei Has Turned Into A Traffic Nightmare

With the North Shore’s marquee destinations still off-limits to tourists, the small town has become a packed daytime destination.

Kauai: Biggest Local Election In A Generation Allan Pararchini/Civil Beat

Kauai: Biggest Local Election In A Generation

New political blood is assured as six candidates seek the mayorship and a whopping field of 24 seek posts on the County Council.

Kauai: Why The Beef Industry Is Rapidly Expanding On The Garden Island Allan Pararchini/Civil Beat

Kauai: Why The Beef Industry Is Rapidly Expanding On The Garden Island

The Hawaii market develops a taste for meat born, raised and slaughtered in the islands, and these ranchers are happy to serve it up.

The Quest To Rebuild An Old Russian Fort On Kauai — And Meet Putin Mike Coots/Civil Beat

The Quest To Rebuild An Old Russian Fort On Kauai — And Meet Putin

But a UH archaeologist says the Russian presence was minimal — and any plan should focus on the fort’s place in Native Hawaiian history.

Kauai: Repairing Storm Damage Is A Chance To Solve Tourist Congestion Contributed by David Kuraoka

Kauai: Repairing Storm Damage Is A Chance To Solve Tourist Congestion

Fixing Kuhio Highway will be costly and complicated, but may provide impetus for a long-term plan limiting daily visitors in the area.

Big Island, Kauai Medical Pot Shops Still Waiting Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Big Island, Kauai Medical Pot Shops Still Waiting

A Kauai dispensary plans to open soon, but Big Island dispensaries have yet to start growing their first crop.

Hawaii Seeks Federal Disaster Assistance For Flood-Ravaged Kauai Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Hawaii Seeks Federal Disaster Assistance For Flood-Ravaged Kauai

The state’s detailed assessment of damage includes destroyed homes and roads, lost tourism dollars and PTSD among residents.

Kauai: Rum Distilleries Keep Hawaii’s Sugar Industry Alive Allan Parachini/Civil Beat

Kauai: Rum Distilleries Keep Hawaii’s Sugar Industry Alive

The islands’ cane crop will never return to the production levels of plantation days, but it’s essential for these local businesses.

Floods Have Left Behind ‘A Different World’ On Kauai’s North Shore Matt Feeser/Civil Beat

Floods Have Left Behind ‘A Different World’ On Kauai’s North Shore

The storm’s toll in Hanalei and more remote areas includes destroyed homes, lost jobs and vanished tourist dollars.

Check Out These Before-And-After Photos Of The Kauai Flood Google

Check Out These Before-And-After Photos Of The Kauai Flood

Take a look at the first Google satellite imagery capturing the extent of the flooding, road damage and altered beachscapes.

Lifeline To Kauai’s North Shore Must Be Rebuilt Now, Relocated Later DLNR

Lifeline To Kauai’s North Shore Must Be Rebuilt Now, Relocated Later

UPDATED: Officials expect to reopen one lane for emergency access on the damaged Kuhio Highway by May 7.

Reality Sets In For Kauai’s Flooded-Out Residents Courtesy of Courtney McLaughlin

Reality Sets In For Kauai’s Flooded-Out Residents

“It’s so surreal that everything that we had is now just part of the land,” said an Anahola resident surveying her ruined homestead.