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State of Hawaii

ORIGIN OF STATE NAME: Unknown. The name may stem from Hawaii Loa, traditional discoverer of the islands, or from Hawaiki, the traditional Polynesian homeland.

NICKNAME: The Aloha State.

CAPITAL: Honolulu.

ENTERED UNION: 21 August 1959 (50th).

SONG: "Hawaii Ponoi."

MOTTO: Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono (The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness).

COAT OF ARMS: The heraldic shield of the Hawaiian kingdom is flanked by the figures of Kamehameha I, who united the islands, and Liberty, holding the Hawaiian flag. Below the shield is a phoenix surrounded by taro leaves, banana foliage, and sprays of maidenhair fern.

FLAG: Eight horizontal stripes, alternately white, red, and blue, represent the major islands, with the British Union Jack (reflecting the years that the islands were under British protection) in the upper left-hand corner.

OFFICIAL SEAL: Same as coat of arms, with the words "State of Hawaii 1959" above and the state motto below.

BIRD: Nene (Hawaiian goose).

FLOWER: Pua aloalo (yellow hibiscus).

TREE: Kukui (candlenut tree).

LEGAL HOLIDAYS: New Year's Day, 1 January; Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., 3rd Monday in January; Presidents' Day, 3rd Monday in February; Kuhio Day, 26 March; Good Friday and Easter, March or April; Memorial Day, last Monday in May; Kamehameha Day, 11 June; Independence Day, 4 July; Statehood Day, 3rd Friday in August; Labor Day, 1st Monday in September; Election Day, 1st Tuesday after 1st Monday in November; Veterans' Day, 11 November; Thanksgiving Day, 4th Thursday in November; Christmas Day, 25 December.

TIME: 2 AM Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time = noon GMT.


The state of Hawaii is an island group situated in the northern Pacific Ocean, about 2,400 mi (3,900 km) wsw of San Francisco. The smallest of the five Pacific states, Hawaii ranks 47th in size among the 50 states.

The 132 Hawaiian Islands have a total area of 6,470 sq mi (16,758 sq km), including 6,425 sq mi (16,641 sq km) of land and only 45 sq mi (117 sq km) of inland water. The island chain extends over 1,576 mi (2,536 km) n-s and 1,425 mi (2,293 km) e-w. The largest island, Hawaii (known locally as the "Big Island"), extends 76 mi (122 km) e-w and 93 mi (150 km) n-s; Oahu, the most populous island, extends 44 mi (71 km) e-w and 30 mi (48 km) n-s.

The eight largest islands of the Hawaiian group are Hawaii (4,035 sq mi/10,451 sq km), Maui (734 sq mi/1,901 sq km), Oahu (617 sq mi/1,598 sq km), Kauai (558 sq mi/1,445 sq km), Molokai (264 sq mi/684 sq km), Lanai (141 sq mi/365 sq km), Niihau (73 sq mi/189 sq km), and Kahoolawe (45 sq mi/117 sq km). The general coastline of the island chain is 750 mi (1,207 km); the tidal shoreline totals 1,052 mi (1,693 km). The state's geographic center is off Maui, at 20°15 n, 156°20 w.


The 8 major and 124 minor islands that make up the state of Hawaii were formed by volcanic eruptions. Mauna Loa, on the island of Hawaii, is the world's largest active volcano, at a height of 13,675 ft (4,168 m). Kilauea, on the eastern slope of Mauna Loa, is the world's largest active volcanic crater: Beginning on 24 May 1969, it spewed forth 242 million cu yd (185 million cu m) of lava, spreading over an area of 19.3 sq mi (50 sq km). The longest volcanic eruption in Hawaii lasted 867 days. Further indications of Hawaii's continuing geological activity are the 14 earthquakes, each with a magnitude of 5 or more on the Richter scale, that shook the islands from 1969 to 1979; one quake, at Puna, on Hawaii in 1975, reached a magnitude of 7.2.

Hawaii, Maui, Kauai, and Molokai are the most mountainous islands. The highest peak in the state is Puu Wekiu (13,796 ft/4,208 m), on Hawaii; the largest natural lake, Halulu (182 acres/74 hectares), Niihau; the largest artificial lake, Waiia Reservoir (422 acres/171 hectares), Kauai; and the longest rivers, Kaukonahua Stream (33 mi/53 km) in the north on Oahu and Wailuku River (32 mi/51 km) on Hawaii. While much of the Pacific Ocean surrounding the state is up to 20,000 ft (6,100 m) deep, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, and Maui stand on a submarine bank at a depth of less than 2,400 ft (730 m). The lowest point of the state is sea level at the Pacific Ocean. The mean elevation is approximately 3,030 ft (924 m).


Hawaii has a tropical climate cooled by trade winds. Normal daily temperatures in Honolulu average 73°f (22°c) in February and 81°f (27°c) in August; the average wind speed is a breezy 11.3 mph (18.2 km/h). The record high for the state is 100°f (38°c), set at Pahala on 27 April 1931, and the record low is 12°f (11°c), set at Mauna Kea Observatory on 17 May 1979.

Rainfall is extremely variable, with far more precipitation on the windward (northeastern) than on the leeward side of the islands. Mt. Waialeale, Kauai, is reputedly the rainiest place on earth, with a mean annual total of 486 in (1,234 cm). Kukui, Maui, holds the US record for the most precipitation in one year739 in (1,878 cm) in 1982. Average annual precipitation in Honolulu (19712000) was 18.3 in (46.5 cm). In the driest areason upper mountain slopes and in island interiors, as in central Mauithe average annual rainfall is less than 10 in (25 cm). Snow falls at the summits of Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea, and Haleakalathe highest mountains. The highest tidal wave (tsunami) in the state's history reached 56 ft (17 m).


Formed over many centuries by volcanic activity, Hawaii's topographyand therefore its flora and faunahave been subject to constant and rapid change. Relatively few indigenous trees remain; most of the exotic trees and fruit plants have been introduced since the early 19th century. Of the 2,200 species and subspecies of flora, more than half are endangered, threatened, or extinct.

The only land mammal native to the islands is the Hawaiian hoary bat, now endangered; there are no indigenous snakes. In April 2006, a total of 317 species occurring within the state were on the threatened and endangered species list of the US Fish and Wildlife Service. These included 44 animal (vertebrates and invertebrates) and 273 plant species. The endangered humpback whale migrates to Hawaiian waters in winter; other marine animals abound. Four species of sea turtle are also endangered. Among threatened birds are several varieties of honeycreeper, short-tailed albatross, Hawaiian coot, and the Hawaiian goose (nene). The nene (the state bird), once close to extinction, now numbers in the hundreds and is on the increase. The Kawainui and Hamakua Marsh Complex, a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance, provides a habitat for at least four of the states endangered bird species, including the nene.

Animals considered endangered by the state but not on the federal list include the Hawaiian storm petrel, Hawaiian owl, Maui 'amakihi (Loxops virens wilsoni), and 'I'iwi (Vestiaria coccinea).


Environmental protection responsibilities are vested in the Department of Land and Natural Resources, and in the Environmental Management Division of the Department of Health. The Hawaii Environmental Policy Act of 1974 established environmental policies and guidelines for state agencies. Also enacted in 1974 was the Environmental Impact Statement Law, which mandated environmental assessments for all state and county projects and some private projects. Noise pollution requirements for the state are among the strictest in the United States, and air and water purity levels are well within federal standards.

Since much of Hawaii's natural wetlands have been filled in for use as agricultural lands or for urban expansion projects, wetlands now cover less than 3% of the state. The Kawainui and Hamakua Marsh Complex was designated as a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance in February 2005. Besides serving as a habitat for at least four species of endangered birds, the site is considered to be a cultural and archeological resource, one that is sacred to some native Hawaiians. In January 2006, the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources received a federal Coastal Wetlands Conservation grant of $646,250 for restoration projects in marsh. In 2005, federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grants awarded to the state included $323,930 for a beach water quality monitoring and public notification program.

The EPA banned the use of ethylene dibromide (EDB), a pesticide used in the state's pineapple fields, after high levels of the chemical were found in wells on the island of Oahu in 1983. In 2003, 3.1 million lb of toxic chemicals were released in the state. In 2003, the US EPA's database listed 87 hazardous waste sites in Hawaii, three of which were on the National Priorities List as of 2006, including the Del Monte Corp. Oahu Plantation, the Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area, and the Pearl Harbor Naval Complex. In 2005, the EPA spent over $41,000 through the Superfund program for the cleanup of hazardous waste sites in the state.


Hawaii ranked 42nd in population in the United States with an estimated total of 1,275,194 in 2005, an increase of 5.3% since 2000. Between 1990 and 2000, Hawaii's population grew from 1,108,229 to 1,211,537, an increase of 9.3%. The population is projected to reach 1.38 million by 2015 and 1.43 million by 2025. Almost four-fifths of the population lives on Oahu, primarily in the Greater Honolulu metropolitan area. Population density was 196.6 people per sq mi in 2004.

In 2004, the median age was 38. Persons under 18 years old accounted for 23.7% of the population, while 13.6% of the population was age 65 or older.

By far the largest city is Honolulu, with an estimated 2004 population of 377,260. The Greater Honolulu metropolitan area had an estimated 899,593 residents in 1999. The city of Honolulu is coextensive with Honolulu County.


Hawaii has the nation's highest percentage of Asian residents41.6% in 2000, when its Asian population numbered 503,868. In 2004, 41.8% of the population was Asian. In 2000, Pacific Islanders numbered 113,539 (including 80,137 native Hawaiians), 22,003 were black, and 3,535 were American Indians or Alaska Natives. About 87,699, or 7.2% of the total population, were Hispanic or Latino in 2000. Foreign-born residents numbered 212,229 in 2000, or 17.5% of the total state populationthe fifth-highest percentage of foreign born among the 50 states. In 2004, 9.1% of the population was Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, 2.2% was black, 0.3% was American Indian or Alaska Native, and 7.9% was of Hispanic or Latino origin. A full 20.1% of the population reported origin of two or more races.

Of Hawaii's Asian residents in 2000, 201,764 were Japanese, 170,635 were Filipino, 56,600 were Chinese, and 23,637 were Korean. The earliest Asian immigrants, the Chinese, were superseded in number in 1900 by the Japanese, who have since become a significant factor in state politics. The influx of Filipinos and other Pacific Island peoples was largely a 20th-century phenomenon. In recent decades, ethnic Hawaiians have been increasingly intent on preserving their cultural identity.


Although massive immigration from Asia and the US mainland since the mid-19th century has effectively diluted the native population, the Hawaiian lexical legacy in English is conspicuous. Newcomers soon add to their vocabulary the words aloha (love, good-bye), haole (white foreigner), malihini (newcomer), lanai (porch), tapa (bark cloth), mahimahi (a kind of fish), ukulele, muumuu, and the common directional terms mauka (toward the mountains) and makai (toward the sea), customarily used instead of "north," "east," "west," and "south." Native place-names are numerousWaikiki, Hawaii, Honolulu, Mauna Kea, and Molokai, for example.

Most native-born residents of Hawaiian ancestry speak one of several varieties of Hawaiian pidgin, a lingua franca incorporating elements of Hawaiian, English, and other Asian and Pacific languages. In 2000, 73.4% (down from 75.2% in 1990) of Hawaiians five years old or older spoke only English at home.

The following table gives selected statistics from the 2000 Census for language spoken at home by persons five years old and over. The category "Other Pacific Island languages" includes Chamorro, Hawaiian, Ilocano, Indonesian, and Samoan. The category "Other Indo-European languages" includes Albanian, Gaelic, Lithuanian, and Rumanian.

Population 5 years and over 1,134,351 100.0
  Speak only English 832,226 73.4
  Speak a language other than English 302,125 26.6
Speak a language other than English 302,125 26.6
  Other Pacific Island languages 90,111 7.9
  Tagalog 60,967 5.4
  Japanese 56,225 5.0
  Chinese 29,363 2.6
  Spanish or Spanish Creole 18,820 1.7
  Korean 18,337 1.6
  Vietnamese 8,270 0.7
  German 3,986 0.4
  French (incl. Patois, Cajun) 3,310 0.3
  Laotian 1,920 0.2
  Thai 1,496 0.1
  Other Indo-European languages 1,288 0.1
  Portuguese or Portuguese Creole 1,238 0.1


Congregationalist missionaries arrived in 1820 and Roman Catholics in 1827. Subsequent migration brought Mormons and Methodists. Anglican representatives were invited by King Kamehameha IV in 1862. Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism arrived with the Chinese during the 1850s; by the turn of the century, Shinto and five forms of Mahayana Buddhism were being practiced by Japanese immigrants.

The largest religious group is the Roman Catholic Church, with 234,588 adherents in 66 parishes as of 2004. The Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) reported a membership of 64,608 in 127 congregations for 2006, an increase from 2000, when 42,758 adherents in 112 congregations were reported. There are two Mormon temples in the state: Laie, Oahu (est. 1919) and Kona (est. 1999). Other major groups (with 2000 data) include the Assemblies of God, 21,754 members, and the Southern Baptist Convention, 20,901 members. The Southern Baptist Convention reported 636 newly baptized members in 2002. The United Church of Christ had 17,362 adherents in 2005. In 2000, the Jewish population was at about 7,000. There were 73 Buddhist, 1 Muslim, and 8 Hindu congregations reported that year without specific membership numbers. About 63.8% of the population did not specify a religious affiliation.

Aloha International, founded in 1973, is a nondenominational organization based in Kapaa that promotes a system of spiritual healing known as Huna. The organization reports a membership of about 14,000. There are several local chapters of Young Life, a Christian youth organization, and Soka Gakkai International, a Buddhist organization.


Hawaii has only two railroads: the nonprofit Hawaiian Railway Society, with 6.5 mi (10.5 km) of track on Oahu; and the commercial-recreational Lahaina, Kaanapali and Pacific on Maui, with 6 mi (10 km) of track. The islands of Oahu, Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai have public bus systems. In 2004, Hawaii's 843,876 licensed drivers traversed 4,318 mi (6,951 km) of roads and streets. There were some 532,000 passenger cars registered in 2004, along with approximately 394,000 trucks of all types and around 4,000 buses.

Hawaii's busiest port is Honolulu, with 19.085 million tons of cargo handled in 2004, making it the 39th-busiest port in the United States. Other major Hawaiian ports and their 2004 tonnage handled include Barbers Point, Oahu, 6.086 million tons; Hilo, 1.850 million tons; and Kahului, Maui, 3.9 million tons. In 2003, waterborne shipments totaled 23.642 million tons.

Most scheduled interisland passenger traffic and most transpacific travel is by air. In 2005, Hawaii had a total of 48 public and private-use aviation-related facilities. This included 31 airports and 17 heliports. The state's busiest air terminal is Honolulu International Airport, which had a total of 9,579,076 enplanements in 2004, making it the 25th-busiest airport in the United States.


Hawaii's earliest inhabitants were Polynesians who came to the islands in double-hulled canoes between 1,000 and 1,400 years ago, either from Southeast Asia or from the Marquesas in the South Pacific. The Western world learned of the islands in 1778, when an English navigator, Captain James Cook, sighted Oahu; he named the entire archipelago the Sandwich Islands after his patron, John Montagu, Fourth Earl of Sandwich. At that time, each island was ruled by a hereditary chief under a caste system called kapu. Subsequent contact with European sailors and traders exposed the Polynesians to smallpox, venereal disease, liquor, firearms, and Western technologyand fatally weakened the kapu system. Within 40 years of Cook's arrival, one of the island chiefs, Kamehameha (whose birth date, designated as 11 June, is still celebrated as a state holiday), had consolidated his power on Hawaii, conquered Maui and Oahu, and established a royal dynasty in what became known as the Kingdom of Hawaii.

The death of Kamehameha I in 1819 preceded the arrival of Protestant missionaries by a year. One of the first to come was the Reverend Hiram Bingham, who, as pastor in Honolulu, was instrumental in converting Hawaiians to Christianity. Even before Bingham arrived, however, Liholiho, successor to the throne under the title of Kamehameha II, had begun to do away with the kapu system. After the king's death from measles while on a state trip to England in 1824, another son of Kamehameha I, Kauikeaouli, was proclaimed King Kamehameha III. His reign saw the establishment of public schools, the first newspapers, the first sugar plantation, a bicameral legislature, and the establishment of Honolulu as the kingdom's capital city. Hawaii's first written constitution was promulgated in 1840, and in 1848 a land reform called the Great Mahele abolished the feudal land system and legitimized private landholdings, in the process fostering the expansion of sugar plantations. The power behind the throne during this period was Dr. Gerrit P. Judd, a medical missionary who served as finance minister and interpreter for Kamehameha III.

Diplomatic maneuverings during the 1840s and 1850s secured recognition of the kingdom from the United States, Britain, and France. As the American presence on the islands increased, however, so did pressure for US annexationa movement opposed by Alexander Liholiho, who ruled as Kamehameha IV after his father's death in 1854. His brief reign and that of his brother Lot (Kamehameha V) witnessed the arrival of Chinese contract laborers and the first Japanese immigrants, along with the continued growth of Hawaii as an international port of call (especially for whalers) and the increasing influence of American sugar planters. Lot's death in 1872 left no direct descendant of Kamehameha, and the legislature elected a new king, whose death only a year later required yet another election. The consequent crowning of Kalakaua, known as the Merry Monarch, inaugurated a stormy decade during which his imperial schemes clashed with the power of the legislature and the interests of the planters. The most significant event of Kalakaua's unstable reign was the signing of a treaty with the United States in 1876, guaranteeing Hawaii an American sugar market. The treaty was renewed in 1887 with a clause leasing Pearl Harbor to the United States.

Kalakaua died during a visit to San Francisco in 1891 and was succeeded by his sister, Liliuokalani, the last Hawaiian monarch. Two years later, after further political wrangling, she was deposed in an American-led revolution that produced a provisional government under the leadership of Sanford B. Dole. The new regime immediately requested annexation by the United States, but the treaty providing for it bogged down in the Senate and died after the inauguration of President Grover Cleveland, an opponent of expansionism. The provisional government then drafted a new constitution and on 4 July 1894 proclaimed the Republic of Hawaii, with Dole as president. The Spanish-American War, which fanned expansionist feelings in the United States and pointed up the nation's strategic interests in the Pacific, gave proponents of annexation the opportunity they had been seeking. The formal transfer of sovereignty took place on 12 August 1898, and Dole became Hawaii's first territorial governor when the act authorizing the annexation became effective in June 1900.

Notable in the territorial period were a steady US military buildup, the creation of a pineapple canning industry by James D. Dole (the governor's cousin), the growth of tourism (spurred in 1936 by the inauguration of commercial air service), and a rising desire for statehood, especially after passage of the Sugar Act of 1934, which lowered the quota on sugar imports from Hawaii. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, crippling the US Pacific fleet and causing some 4,000 casualties, quickly turned Hawaii into an armed camp under martial law. The record of bravery compiled by Nisei of the 442d Regiment on the European front did much, on the other hand, to allay the mistrust that some mainlanders felt about the loyalties of Hawaiians of Japanese ancestry. Hawaii also bore a disproportionate burden during the Korean conflict, suffering more casualties per capita than any of the 48 states.

Hawaiians pressed for statehood after World War II, but Congress was reluctant, partly because of racial antipathy and partly because of fears that Hawaii's powerful International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union was Communist controlled. The House of Representatives passed a statehood bill in 1947, but the Senate refused. Not until 1959, after Alaska became the 49th state, did Congress vote to let Hawaii enter the Union. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill on 18 March, and the question was then put to the Hawaiian electorate, who voted for statehood on 27 June 1959 by a margin of about 17 to 1. Hawaii became the 50th state on 21 August 1959.

Defense, tourism, and food processing have been the mainstays of Hawaii's economy, with the state playing an increasingly important role as an economic, educational, and cultural bridge between the United States and the nations of Asia and the Pacific. Hawaiians have faced the challenge of preserving the natural beauty of their environment while accommodating a growing population (especially on Oahu) and a thriving tourist industry. In May 2000, President Bill Clinton issued orders to federal agencies to expand their coastline protection programs, including those protecting Hawaii's coral reefs.

A prominent political issue in recent years has been the achievement of some form of sovereignty by native Hawaiians. Control of an estimated 2 million acres of land is also at stake. In 1996 a majority of the islands' roughly 200,000 descendants of indigenous Hawaiians (in 2005, roughly 400,000) voted to establish some form of self-government. In August 1998, the 100th anniversary of the US annexation of Hawaii, protesters marched in Washington, DC, demanding their full sovereignty from the US government. In July 2000, the movement got some backing in a rights bill introduced in Congress by Hawaiian senator Daniel Akaka. The bill asked that Native Hawaiians be allowed to form their own government and have status similar to that of American Indians. In 2005, the Akaka Bill (amended many times) was opposed by certain Native Hawaiian groups because it would allow the US Department of the Interior too much administrative power over their affairs.

Hawaii's tourism industry was negatively affected by the 2001 recession, the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, and the 2003 Iraq War. Hawaii's tourism business declined by about one-third in one month after the start of the Iraq War on 19 March 2003. That year, the Hawaii legislature passed a non-binding resolution condemning portions of the 2001 USA Patriot Act and the 2002 Homeland Security Act (which include sweeping federal powers to combat terrorism) and called on state and local officials to avoid any actions that threatened the civil rights of any of Hawaii's residents. Hawaii was the first state to go on record against the Patriot and Homeland Security acts.


The constitution of the state of Hawaii was written by the constitutional convention of 1950, ratified by the people of the territory of Hawaii that year, and then amended by the 1959 plebiscite on the statehood question. By January 2005, it had been amended 104 times.

There is a bicameral legislature of 25 senators elected from eight senatorial districts for four-year terms, and 51 representatives elected for two-year terms. The legislature meets annually on the third Wednesday in January; the session is limited to 60 legislative days, but a two-thirds petition by the membership secures an extension (limited to 15 days). Special sessions may be called by pe-tition of two-thirds of the members of each house. To be eligible to serve as a legislator, a person must have attained the age of majority (18), be an American citizen, have been a resident of the state for at least three years, and be a qualified voter of his district. The legislative salary in 2004 was $32,000, unchanged from 1999.

The governor and lieutenant governor are jointly elected for concurrent four-year terms and must be of the same political party. They are the only elected officers of the executive branch, except for the 13 members of the Board of Education, who also serve four-year terms. The governor, who may be reelected only once, must be at least 30 years old, a qualified voter, and must have resided in the state for five years. As of December 2004, the governor's salary was $94,780, unchanged from 1999.

The legislature can override the governor's veto by a two-thirds vote of the elected members of both houses. If the governor neither signs nor vetoes a bill, it becomes law after 10 days (excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays) when the legislature is in session or after 45 days (excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays) after the legislature has adjourned.

A constitutional amendment may be proposed by the legislature with a two-thirds vote in each house in one session or a majority vote in each house in two sessions. It must then be approved by a majority of the voters during elections.

Voters in Hawaii must be US citizens, state residents, and at least 18 years old. Restrictions apply to convicted felons and those declared mentally incompetent by the court.


Both Republicans and Democrats established party organizations early in the 20th century, when Hawaii was still a territory. Before statehood, the Republican Party dominated the political scene; since the 1960s, however, Hawaii has been solidly Democratic.

Democrat Al Gore won 56% of the vote in the presidential election in 2000, while Republican George W. Bush garnered 38%, and Green Party candidate Ralph Nader took 6%. Four years later, Democrat John Kerry won 54% of the vote to Republican incumbent George W. Bush's 45%. Democrat Daniel K. Inouye first won election to the US Senate in 1962; he was reelected in 1968, 1974, 1980, 1986, 1992, 1998, and 2004. Democratic senator Dan-iel K. Akaka, first appointed in 1990 and elected to a full term in 1994, was reelected in 2000. Both of Hawaii's representatives to the House were Democrats in 2005. A Republican, Linda Lingle, was elected governor in 2002. In 2005, Democrats held 20 of the seats in the state Senate, while Republicans held just 5. In the state House, Democrats held 41 seats to the Republican's 10. In 2004, there were 647,000 registered voters; there is no party registration in the state. The state had four electoral votes in the 2004 presidential election.

Hawaii Presidential Vote by Major Political Parties, 19602004
*Won US presidential election.
**IND. candidate Ross Perot received 53,003 votes in 1992 and 27,358 votes in l996.
***GREEN Party candidate Ralph Nader received 21,623 votes in 2000.
1960 3 *Kennedy (D) 92,410 92,295
1964 4 *Johnson (D) 163,249 44,022
1968 4 Humphrey (D) 141,324 91,425
1972 4 *Nixon (R) 101,433 168,933
1976 4 *Carter (D) 147,375 140,003
1980 4 Carter (D) 135,879 130,112
1984 4 *Reagan (R) 147,154 185,050
1988 4 Dukakis (D) 192,364 158,625
1992** 4 *Clinton (D) 179,310 136,822
1996** 4 *Clinton (D) 205,012 113,943
2000*** 4 Gore (D) 205,286 137,845
2004 4 Kerry (D) 231,708 194,191


The state is divided into five principal counties: Hawaii, including the island of Hawaii; Maui, embracing the islands of Maui, Kahoolawe, Lanai, and Molokai; Honolulu, coextensive with the city of Honolulu and covering all of Oahu and the northwestern Hawaiian Islands, from Nihoa to Kure Atoll; Kauai, including the islands of Kauai and Niihau; and Kalawao on Molokai. Kalawao is represented in the state legislature as part of Maui County.

Because there are no further forms of local government, the counties provide some services that are traditionally performed in other states by cities, towns, and villages, notably fire and police protection, refuse collection, and street maintenance and lighting. On the other hand, the state government provides many functions that are normally performed by counties on the mainland. Each principal county has an elected council and a mayor.

In 2005, the state had 15 special districts and one public school system.

In 2005, local government accounted for about 14,344 full-time (or equivalent) employment positions.


To address the continuing threat of terrorism and to work with the federal Department of Homeland Security, homeland security in Hawaii operates under the authority of the governor; the adjutant general is designated as the state homeland security adviser.

Hawaii's first ombudsman, empowered to investigate complaints by the public about any officer or employee of state or county government, took office in 1969. The State Ethics Commission, a legislative agency, implements requirements for financial disclosure by state officials and investigates alleged conflicts of interest and other breaches of ethics.

The Department of Education is headed by an elected Board of Education. It operates hundreds of schools in the state, including several for the physically and mentally disabled. It also regulates private schools and certifies teachers. The Board of Regents of the University of Hawaii oversees the state's higher educational institutions. The State Public Library system provides Hawaii's residents with access to education, information, programs and services. Highways, airports, harbors, and other facilities are the concern of the Department of Transportation.

The Department of Health operates public hospitals and various programs for the mentally ill, the developmentally disabled, and alcoholics. Civil defense and the Air and Army National Guards are under the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense. The Department of Land and Natural Resources focuses on the environment.

The Corrections Division of the Department of Public Safety operates the state prison system, along with programs for juve-nile offenders. The Department of Human Services is responsible for social services, housing, health care, child welfare, disabilities, and programs for the aged, women, and fathers. Unemployment insurance, occupational safety and health laws, and workers' compensation programs are run by the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.


The supreme court, the highest in the state, consists of a chief justice and four associate justices, all of them appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. All serve 10-year terms, up to the mandatory retirement age of 70.

The state is divided into four judicial circuits with 27 circuit court judges and four intermediate appellate court judges, also appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Senate to 10-year terms. Circuit courts are the main trial courts, having jurisdiction in most civil and criminal cases. District courts, whose judges are appointed by the chief justice with the advice and consent of the Senate to six-year terms, function as inferior courts within each judicial circuit; district court judges may also preside over family court proceedings. Hawaii also has a land court and a tax appeal court.

As of 31 December 2004, a total of 5,960 prisoners were held in Hawaii's state and federal prisons, an increase from 5,828 or 2.3% from the previous year. As of year-end 2004, a total of 699 inmates were female, up from 685 or 2% from the year before. Among sentenced prisoners (one year or more), Hawaii had an incarceration rate of 329 per 100,000 population in 2004.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in 2004 Hawaii had a violent crime rate (murder/nonnegligent manslaughter; forcible rape; robbery; aggravated assault) of 254.4 reported incidents per 100,000 population, or a total of 3,213 reported incidents. Crimes against property (burglary; larceny/theft; and motor vehicle theft) in that same year totaled 60,525 reported incidents or 4,792.8 reported incidents per 100,000 people. Hawaii does not have a death penalty.

In 2003, Hawaii spent $120,409,439 on homeland security, an average of $57 per state resident.


Hawaii is the nerve center of US defense activities in the Pacific. CINCPAC (Commander-in-Chief Pacific), headquartered at Camp H. M. Smith in Honolulu, directs the US Pacific Command, largest of the six US Unified Commands, and is responsible for all US military forces in the Pacific and Indian oceans and southern Asia. Effective 24 October 2002, the title Commander in Chief, US Pacific Command was changed to Commander, US Pacific Command (CDRUSPACOM). Military prime contract awards in the fiscal year 2004 totaled $1.7 billion, and defense payroll, including retired military pay, amounted to $3.3 billion.

As of 2004, Hawaii was home base for 65,302 Department of Defense military and civilian personnel. The US Navy and Marines accounted for 24,440 personnel; the Army, 19,408; and the Air Force, 6,801. Pearl Harbor is home port for 40 ships. The major Army bases, all on Oahu, are Schofield Barracks, Ft. Shafter, and Ft. DeRussy; Air Force bases include Hickam and Wheeler. Military reservations occupy nearly one-fourth of Oahu's land area.

There were 107,310 veterans of US military service in Hawaii as of 2003, of whom 13,644 served in World War II; 11,093 in the Korean conflict; 33,858 during the Vietnam era; and 17,058 in the Gulf War. Expenditures for veterans totaled $311 million in fiscal year 2004.


The US mainland and Asia have been the main sources of immigrants to Hawaii since the early 19th century. Immigration remains a major source of population growth: Between 1950 and 1980, Hawaii's net gain from migration was 91,000, and between 1980 and 1983, 15,000. In the 1980s, migration accounted for 23% of the net increase in population.

Since the early 1970s, about 40,000 mainland Americans have come each year to live in Hawaii. More than half are military personnel and their dependents, on temporary residence during their term of military service. From 1985 to 1990, Hawaii suffered a net loss from migration within the United States but experienced an overall net gain in migration due to immigration from abroad. Between 1990 and 1998, the net loss from domestic migration was 80,000. During the same period there was a net gain of 51,000 from international migration. In 1998, 5,465 foreign immigrants arrived in Hawaii. Between 1990 and 1998, the state's overall population increased 7.6%. In the period 200005, net international migration was 30,068 and net internal migration was 13,112, for a net gain of 16,956 people.


Among the interstate accords in which Hawaii participates are the Western Interstate Corrections Compact and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. Federal grants were estimated at $1.5 billion in fiscal year 2001. Following a national trend, federal grants dropped to $1.387 billion in fiscal year 2005. In fiscal year 2006, they stood at an estimated $1.415 billion, and an estimated $1.422 billion in fiscal year 2007.


Tourism remains Hawaii's leading employer, revenue producer, and growth sector. However, agricultural diversification (including the cultivation of flowers and nursery products, papaya, and macadamia nuts), aquaculture, manganese nodule mining, and film and television production have broadened the state's economic base. Economic growth was relatively sluggish in Hawaii at the end of the 20th century, accelerating from only 2.2% in 1998 to 3.3% in 1999 to 4.6% in 2000. The national recession of 2001 and the aftereffects of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States helped reduce the annual growth rate to 2.8% in 2001, mainly through the impact on tourism. By the third quarter of 2002, however, hotel revenue in Hawaii was showing an increase over 2001, in contrast to hotel revenues in other parts of the country. Payroll employment, after declining sharply in 2001, was also showing increases.

Hawaii's gross state product (GSP) in 2005 totaled $54 billion; in 2004 real estate was the largest sector at 16.5% of GSP, followed by lodging and food service at 8.4%, and health care and social services at 6.8%. In that same year, there were an estimated 105,242 small businesses in Hawaii. Of the 29,791 businesses having employees, a total of 28,844 or 96.8% were small companies. An estimated 3,698 new businesses were established in the state in 2004, up 1.1% from the previous year. Business terminations that same year came to 3,754, down 6.4% from 2003. Business bankruptcies totaled 47 in 2004, down 34.7% from the year before. In 2005, the personal bankruptcy (Chapter 7 and Chapter 13) filing rate was 299 filings per 100,000 people, ranking Hawaii as the 48th highest in the nation.


In 2005, Hawaii had a gross state product (GSP) of $54 billion, which accounted for 0.4% of the nation's gross domestic product and placed the state at number 42 in highest GSP among the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, in 2004, Hawaii had a per capita personal income (PCPI) of $32,625. This ranked 20th in the United States and was 99% of the national average of $33,050. The 19942004 average annual growth rate of PCPI was 2.8%. Hawaii had a total personal income (TPI) of $41,176,427,000, which ranked 40th in the United States and reflected an increase of 8.0% from 2003. The 19942004 average annual growth rate of TPI was 3.4%. Earnings of persons employed in Hawaii increased from $30,504,321,000 in 2003 to $33,021,075,000 in 2004, an increase of 8.3%. The 200304 national change was 6.3%.

The US Census Bureau reports that the three-year average median household income for 200204 in 2004 dollars was $53,123 compared to a national average of $44,473. During the same period, an estimated 9.7% of the population was below the poverty line, as compared to 12.4% nationwide.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in April 2006, the seasonally adjusted civilian labor force in Hawaii numbered 645,600. Approximately 18,000 workers were unemployed, yielding an unemployment rate of 4.6%, compared to the national average of 4.7% for the same period. Preliminary data for the same period placed nonfarm employment at 615,400. Since the beginning of the BLS data series in 1976, the highest unemployment rate recorded in Hawaii was 10.2% in March 1976. The historical low was 2.2% in November 1989. Preliminary nonfarm employment data by occupation for April 2006 showed that approximately 5.7% of the labor force was employed in construction; 2.4% in manufacturing; 19.8% in trade, transportation, and public utilities; 11.5% in education and health services; 17.5% in leisure and hospitality services; and 19.5% in government. Data were unavailable for financial activities and services.

Unionization was slow to develop in Hawaii. after World War II, however, the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union organized workers in the sugar and pineapple industries and then on the docks. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters is also well established.

The BLS reported that in 2005, a total of 141,000 of Hawaii's 545,000 employed wage and salary workers were formal members of a union. This represented 25.8% of those so employed, up from 23.7% in 2004, well above the national average of 12%. Overall in 2005, a total of 145,000 workers (26.7%) in Hawaii were covered by a union or employee association contract, which includes those workers who reported no union affiliation. Hawaii does not have a right-to-work law.

As of 1 March 2006, Hawaii had a state-mandated minimum wage of $6.75 per hour, which will increase to $7.25 per hour on 1 January 2007. In 2004, women in the state accounted for 48.5% of the employed civilian labor force. Hawaii is one of only five states where union membership is higher than 20% of the labor force.


Export cropsespecially sugar cane and pineappledominate Hawaiian agriculture, which had farm receipts exceeding $553 million in 2005.

The islands of Hawaii (Maui, Molokai, Oahu, and Kauai) are the only places in the United States where coffee is grown commercially; production in 200405 totaled 7.1 million lb (3.2 million kg). Another tropical product, pineapple, has also become a substantial export crop, with 215,000 tons produced in 2004, valued at $79.9 million, as well as macadamia nuts and tropical flowers. Taro (coco yam), used for making poi, is also grown; production in 2004 was 5.2 million lb (2.8 million kg), valued at $2,808,000. Banana production in 2003 was 22.5 million lb (10.2 million kg), valued at $9.2 million, and ginger root, 6 million lb (2.7 million kg), valued at $5.4 million.


Hawaii had an estimated 155,000 cattle and calves worth $97.6 million in 2005. In 2004, the estimated number of hogs and pigs was 22,000, worth $3.5 million. Poultry farms produced an estimated 117.2 million eggs in 2003, worth $9.4 million. Most of the eggs were for domestic consumption, making eggs one of the very few farm commodities in which the state is close to self-sufficient. Most of the state's cattle farms are in Hawaii and Maui counties.


Although it is expanding, Hawaii's commercial catch remains surprisingly small. In 2004, Hawaii landings brought in 24.2 million lb (11 million kg) with a value of $57.2 million. Though the port of Honolulu ranked eighth in the nation that year in catch value ($44.6 million), it was 42d in quantity (18.2 million lb/8.3 million kg). The most valuable commercial species are swordfish and bigeye tuna. In 2001, the state had 2,814 commercial fishing boats and vessels. Sport fishing is extremely popular, with bass, bluegill, tuna, and marlin among the most sought-after varieties. In 2004, the state had 5,796 sport fishing license holders.


As of 2003, Hawaii had 1,748,000 acres (707,940 hectares) of forestland and water reserves, with 700,000 acres (283,500 hectares) classified as commercial timberland, most of it located on the island of Hawaii. The majority of the locally grown wood is used in the manufacture of furniture, flooring, and craft items. As the sugar industry downsizes, there is an initiative to expand the forest industry by planting trees on lands formerly planted in sugarcane. Hawaii has the eighth-largest state-owned forest and natural area reserve system in the United States. Some 57% of forests are within the State Conservation District.


As of 2003, mining in Hawaii, mostly involved the extraction of sand and gravel from open pits and the quarrying of stone for crushed stone, mainly for use by the state's construction industry. According to preliminary data from the US Geological Survey, the value of Hawaii's nonfuel mineral production in 2003 (the latest year for which data was available) was estimated to be around $74 million (up about 2% from 2002).

In 2003, preliminary data showed that the output of construction grade sand and gravel totaled 600,000 metric tons or $6.9 million, while the production of crushed stone totaled 6.5 million metric tons or $66.6 million.


Devoid of indigenous fossil fuels and nuclear installations, Hawaii depends on imported petroleum for about 78% of its energy needs. Coal, hydroelectric power, natural gas, windmills, geothermal energy, and sugarcane wastes contribute the rest.

As of 2003, Hawaii had seven electrical power service providers, of which three were investor owned and three were owners of independent generators that sold directly to customers. The remaining service provider was a cooperative. As of that same year, there were 447,584 retail customers. Of that total, 415,208 received their power from investor-owned service providers. The state's sole cooperatives accounted for 32,361 customers, while there were 15 independent generator or "facility" customers.

Total net summer generating capability by the state's electrical generating plants in 2003 stood at 2.268 million kW, with total production that same year at 10.976 billion kWh. Of the total amount generated, 59.2% came from electric utilities, with the remainder coming from independent producers and combined heat and power service providers. The largest portion of all electric power generated, 8.502 billion kWh (77.5%), came from petroleum-fired plants, with coal-fired plants in second place at 1.644 billion kWh (15%) and other renewable power sources in third place at 696.766 million kWh (6.3%). Hydroelectric and other gas-fueled plants accounted for the remainder. All of Hawaii's electric power plants are privately owned.

As of 2004, Hawaii had no known proven reserves or production of crude oil or natural gas. As of 2005, the state's two refineries had a combined crude oil distillation capacity of 147,000 barrels per day.


As of 2004, food and food products accounted for slightly more than 23% of the shipment value of all manufactured goods produced in Hawaii, including sugar and pineapples. Other major industries are clothing; stone, clay, and glass products; fabricated metals; and shipbuilding.

According to the US Census Bureau's Annual Survey of Manufactures (ASM) for 2004, Hawaii's manufacturing sector covered some five product subsectors. The shipment value of all products manufactured in the state that same year was $4.560 billion. Of that total, food manufacturing accounted for the largest share at $1.066 billion. It was followed by nonmetallic mineral product manufacturing at $206.697 million; printing and related support activities at $176.659 million; miscellaneous manufacturing at $106.213 million; and apparel manufacturing at $88.540 million.

In 2004, a total of 14,035 people in Hawaii were employed in the state's manufacturing sector, according to the ASM. Of that total, 8,901 were actual production workers. In terms of total employment, the food manufacturing industry accounted for the largest portion of all manufacturing employees at 4,773 with 3,253 actual production workers. It was followed by printing and related support activities at 1,569 employees (875 actual production workers); apparel manufacturing at 1,456 employees (934 actual production workers); miscellaneous manufacturing at 1,364 employees (639 actual production workers); and nonmetallic mineral product manufacturing with 1,046 employees (654 actual production workers).

ASM data for 2004 showed that Hawaii's manufacturing sector paid $522.317 million in wages. Of that amount, the food manufacturing sector accounted for the largest share at $193.384 million. It was followed by printing and related support services at $51.311 million; nonmetallic mineral product manufacturing at $46.481 million; miscellaneous manufacturing at $42.363 million; and apparel manufacturing at $27.977 million.


According to the 2002 Census of Wholesale Trade, Hawaii's wholesale trade sector had sales that year totaling $9.9 billion from 1,876 establishments. Wholesalers of durable goods accounted for 861 establishments, while the number of nondurable goods wholesalers totaled 919, with electronic markets, agents, and brokers accounting for 96 establishments. Sales by nondurable goods wholesalers in 2002 totaled $5.9 billion. Sales data for wholesalers of durable goods and for electronic markets, agents, and brokers in the wholesale trade industry was not available.

In the 2002 Census of Retail Trade, Hawaii was listed as having 4,924 retail establishments with sales of $13 billion. The leading types of retail businesses by number of establishments were clothing and clothing accessories stores (1,239); miscellaneous store retailers (809); food and beverage stores (722); and motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts dealers (336). In terms of sales, general merchandise stores accounted for the largest share of retail sales at $2.56 billion, followed by motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts dealers at $2.55 billion and food and beverage stores at $2.2 billion. A total of 63,794 people were employed by the retail sector in Hawaii that year.

Hawaii's central position in the Pacific ensures a sizable flow of goods through the Honolulu Customs District. Exports in 2005 totaled $1.02 billion. Hawaii's major trading partners are Japan for exports and Japan, Singapore and Indonesia for imports.


Hawaii's Office of Consumer Protection, a division of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, enforces the state's consumer protection laws and provides information regarding landlord-tenant matters. It was created in 1969 to protect the interests of consumers and legitimate businesses by investigating consumer complaints alleging unfair or deceptive trade practices in a broad range of areas, including advertising, refunds, motor vehicle rentals, door-to-door sales, and credit practices.

In support of the state's Office of Consumer Protection, the state's attorney general can initiate civil and criminal proceedings; administer consumer protection and education programs; and handle consumer complaints. However, the Attorney General's Office has only limited subpoena powers and cannot represent the state before other state or federal regulatory agencies. In antitrust actions, the Attorney General's Office can act on behalf of those consumers who are incapable of acting on their own; initiate damage actions on behalf of the state in state courts; initiate criminal proceedings; and represent counties, cities, and other governmental entities in recovering civil damages under state or federal law.

The Office of Consumer Protection has offices in the cities of Hilo, Honolulu, and Wailuku.


As of June 2005, Hawaii had seven insured banks, savings and loans, and saving banks, plus three state-chartered and 96 federally chartered credit unions (CUs). Excluding the CUs, the Honolulu market area had 10 financial institutions in 2004. As of June 2005, CUs accounted for 16.1% of all assets held by all financial institutions in the state, or some $6.750 billion. Banks, savings and loans, and savings banks collectively accounted for the remaining 83.9% or $35.090 billion of assets held. The regulation of Hawaii's financial institutions is handled by the Department of Commerce and Consumer affairs Division of Financial Institutions.

In 2004, the median net interest margin (the difference between the lower rates offered to savers and the higher rates charged on loans) stood at 4.24%, down from 4.50% in 2003. As of fourth quarter 2005, the median percentage of past due/nonaccrual loans to total loans stood at 0.22%, down from 0.57% in 2004 and 0.86% in 2003.


In 2004 there were 577,000 individual life insurance policies in force with a total value of $58.5 billion; total value for all categories of life insurance (individual, group, and credit) was $91.4 billion. The average coverage amount was $101,500 per policy holder. Death benefits paid that year totaled over $234 million.

In 2003, there were three life and health insurance and 17 property and casualty insurance companies were domiciled in the state. In 2004, direct premiums for property and casualty insurance totaled $2 billion. That year, there were 49,379 flood insurance policies in force in the state, with a total value of $6.5 billion.

In 2004, 60% of state residents held employment-based health insurance policies, 3% held individual policies, and 24% were covered under Medicare and Medicaid; 10% of residents were uninsured. In 2003, employee contributions for employment-based family health coverage averaged about 26%. The average employee contribution for single coverage was 8%, the lowest in the nation. The state does not offer a health benefits expansion program in connection with the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA, 1986), a health insurance program for those who lose employment-based coverage due to termination or reduction of work hours.

In 2003, there were 730,946 auto insurance policies in effect for private passenger cars. Required minimum coverage includes bodily injury liability of up to $20,000 per individual and $40,000 for all persons injured in an accident, as well as property damage liability of $10,000. Personal injury protection is also required. In 2003, the average expenditure per vehicle for insurance coverage was $774.39.


The Honolulu Stock Exchange, established in 1898, discontinued trading on 30 December 1977. In 2005, there were 430 personal financial advisers employed in the state and 320 securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents. In 2004, there were 18 publicly traded companies within the state, with five NASDAQ companies, three NYSE listings, and three AMEX listings. In 2006, the state had two Fortune 1,000 companies; Hawaiian Electric Industries (NYSE) ranked first in the state and 755 in the nation with revenues of over $2.2 billion, followed by Alexander and Baldwin (NASDAQ).


Development and implementation of Hawaii's biennial budget are the responsibilities of the Department of Budget and Finance. The fiscal year (FY) runs from 1 July through 30 June.

Beginning in fiscal year 2000, reductions in state taxes were scheduled through fiscal year 2006, including cuts in the general excise tax, a cut in the services tax for out-of-state end usage, and incentives for high-technology business in Hawaii. From 1995 to 2000, the number of high-technology companies in Hawaii more than doubled, from 300 to 629.

In fiscal year 2006, general funds were estimated at $5.2 billion for resources and $4.6 billion for expenditures. In fiscal year 2004, federal government grants to Hawaii were nearly $2.1 billion.

In the fiscal year 2007 federal budget, Hawaii was slated to receive $15.3 million in State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) funds to help the state provide health coverage to low-income, uninsured children who do not qualify for Medicaid. This funding is a 23% increase over fiscal year 2006. It is also scheduled to receive $8.3 million for the HOME Investment Partnership Program to help Hawaii fund a wide range of activities that build, buy, or rehabilitate affordable housing for rent or homeownership, or provide direct rental assistance to low-income people. This funding is a 12% increase over fiscal year 2006.


In 2005, Hawaii collected $4,434 million in tax revenues or $3,478 per capita, which placed it second among the 50 states in per capita tax burden. The national average was $2,192 per capita. Sales taxes accounted for 48.2% of the total, selective sales taxes 13.8%, individual income taxes 31.2%, corporate income taxes 2.8%, and other taxes 4.1%.

As of 1 January 2006, Hawaii had nine individual income tax brackets ranging from 1.4 to 8.25%. The state taxes corporations at rates ranging from 4.4 to 6.4% depending on tax bracket.

In 2004, local property taxes amounted to $720,798,000 or $571 per capita. The per capita amount ranks the state 42nd highest nationally. Hawaii does not collect property taxes at the state level.

Hawaii taxes retail sales at a rate of 4%. Food purchased for consumption off premises is taxable; however, an income tax credit is allowed to offset sales tax on food. The tax on cigarettes is 140 cents per pack, which ranks 11th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Hawaii taxes gasoline at 16 cents per gallon. This is in addition to the 18.4 cents per gallon federal tax on gasoline.

According to the Tax Foundation, for every federal tax dollar sent to Washington in 2004, Hawaii citizens received $1.60 in federal spending.


Business activity in Hawaii is limited by physical factors: Land for development is scarce, living costs are relatively high, heavy industry is environmentally inappropriate, and there are few land-based mineral operations. On the other hand, Hawaii is well placed as a trading and communications center, and Hawaii's role as a defense outpost and tourist haven remains vital. The Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) is the lead agency for economic development and planning. The Office of Planning, a separate agency attached to the DBEDT, has specific responsibility for the continuous process of long-range strategic planning. Ongoing projects in the Office of Planning include facilitating a task force on "Recapturing the Magic of Waikiki," a case study in keeping resort areas vital and attractive; implementing the Environmental Protection Agency-funded Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund program; mapping the islands' agricultural subdivisions; and implementing a state Smart Growth strategy, including conducting stakeholder and public information meetings to increase awareness of Smart Growth principles and practices. The Aloha Tower Development Corporation (ATDC), formed in 1981 to develop the area around the historic landmark in downtown Honolulu, is another separate agency attached to the DBEDT. The Aloha Tower Marketplace, completed in 1994, was its first major project. The ATDC seeks to attract private investors to both strengthen the international economic base of the community and to enhance the beautification of the waterfront. The area has been included in an Enterprise Zone (EZ), making business tenants eligible for tax incentives. In 2006, Hawaii had 19 designated EZs, which are areas with high rates of unemployment, poverty, and/or public assistance. Another separate agency attached to the DBEDT is the High Technology Development Corporation (HTDC), established in 1982. Other separate agencies coordinated by the DBEDT include the Hawaii Tourist Authority, the Natural Energy of Hawaii Authority, the Hawaii Community Development Authority, the Land Use Commission, and the Housing and Community Development Corporation. The DBEDT administers the state's Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) program, established under a grant issued to Hawaii by the federal Foreign-Trade Zones Board in 1965. As of 2006, 13 sites on the islands of Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii had received FTZ designations, and, of these, three general-purpose and four special-purpose zones were active. Other divisions within the DBEDT include the Business Development and Marketing Division; the Research and Economic Analysis Division; and the Energy, Resources and Technology Division.

HawaiiState Government Finances
(Dollar amounts in thousands. Per capita amounts in dollars.)
Abbreviations and symbols: - zero or rounds to zero; (NA) not available; (X) not applicable.
source: U.S. Census Bureau, Governments Division, 2004 Survey of State Government Finances, January 2006.
Total Revenue 8,229,259 6,520.81
  General revenue 6,675,478 5,289.60
   Intergovernmental revenue 1,639,868 1,299.42
   Taxes 3,849,135 3,050.03
     General sales 1,900,377 1,505.85
      Selective sales 569,922 451.60
      License taxes 123,257 97.67
     Individual income tax 1,169,205 926.47
     Corporate income tax 58,119 46.05
     Other taxes 28,255 22.39
    Current charges 882,232 699.07
   Miscellaneous general revenue 304,243 241.08
  Utility revenue - -
  Liquor store revenue - -
  Insurance trust revenue 1,553,781 1,231.21
Total expenditure 7,856,134 6,225.15
  Intergovernmental expenditure 134,452 106.54
  Direct expenditure 7,721,682 6,118.61
    Current operation 5,999,477 4,753.94
   Capital outlay 466,569 369.71
    Insurance benefits and repayments 775,163 614.23
    Assistance and subsidies 124,136 98.36
    Interest on debt 356,337 282.36
Exhibit: Salaries and wages 2,021,447 1,601.78
Total expenditure 7,856,134 6,225.15
  General expenditure 7,080,971 5,610.91
   Intergovernmental expenditure 134,452 106.54
   Direct expenditure 6,946,519 5,504.37
  General expenditures, by function:
   Education 2,487,630 1,971.18
   Public welfare 1,346,566 1,067.01
   Hospitals 244,076 193.40
   Health 416,241 329.83
   Highways 214,046 169.61
   Police protection 13,779 10.92
   Correction 158,029 125.22
   Natural resources 109,514 86.78
   Parks and recreation 57,703 45.72
   Government administration 442,979 351.01
   Interest on general debt 356,337 282.36
   Other and unallocable 1,234,071 977.87
  Utility expenditure - -
  Liquor store expenditure - -
  Insurance trust expenditure 775,163 614,23
Debt at end of fiscal year 5,746,194 4,553.24
Cash and security holdings 13,195,390 10,455.94


The infant mortality rate in October 2005 was estimated at 5.6 per 1,000 live births. The birth rate in 2003 was 14.4 per 1,000 population. In 2000, the abortion rate stood at 22.1 per 1,000 women, a figure that was above the national average of 21.3 per 1,000 for the same year but substantially lower than the 1992 rate of 46 per 1,000. In 2003, about 82.4% of pregnant woman received prenatal care beginning in the first trimester. In 2004, approximately 81% of children received routine immunizations before the age of three.

The crude death rate in 2003 was 7.1 deaths per 1,000 population. As of 2002, the death rates for major causes of death (per 100,000 resident population) were as follows: heart disease, 201.8; cancer, 156.2; cerebrovascular diseases, 65.2; chronic lower respiratory diseases, 21.3; and diabetes, 16.4. The mortality rate from HIV infection was 2.1 per 100,000 population. In 2004, the reported AIDS case rate was at about 10.8 per 100,000 population. In 2002, about 51.6% of the population was considered overweight or obese. As of 2000, about 19.7% of state residents were smokers.

In 2003, Hawaii had 24 community hospitals with about 3,100 beds. There were about 112,000 patient admissions that year and 1.9 million outpatient visits. The average daily inpatient census was about 2,200 patients. The average cost per day for hospital care was $1,350. Also in 2003, there were about 45 certified nursing facilities in the state with 4,059 beds and an overall occupancy rate of about 93.8%. Hawaii had 302 physicians per 100,000 resident population in 2004 and 725 nurses per 100,000 in 2005. In 2004, there was a total of 997 dentists in the state.

Hawaii comes the closest of any state to providing universal health care coverage as a result of a 1974 law that requires employers to provide health insurance for full-time workers and a state insurance plan for low-income, part-time workers and Medicaid recipients. About 24% of state residents were enrolled in Medicaid and Medicare programs in 2004. Approximately 10% of the state population was uninsured in 2004. In 2003, state health care expenditures totaled $2.1 million.


In 2004, about 24,000 people received unemployment benefits, with the average weekly unemployment benefit at $323. In fiscal year 2005, the estimated average monthly participation in the food stamp program included about 93,584 persons (47,309 households); the average monthly benefit was about $138.88 per person, which was the highest average in the nation. That year, the total of benefits paid through the state for the food stamp program was about $155.8 million.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the system of federal welfare assistance that officially replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) in 1997, was reauthorized through the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. TANF is funded through federal block grants that are divided among the states based on an equation involving the number of recipients in each state. In 2004, the state program had 23,000 recipients; state and federal expenditures on this TANF program totaled $91 million in fiscal year 2003.

In December 2004, Social Security benefits were paid to 199,240 Hawaiians. This number included 141,990 retired workers, 16,210 widows and widowers, 18,050 disabled workers, 9,480 spouses, and 13,510 children. Social Security beneficiaries represented 15.6% of the total state population and 87.5% of the state's population age 65 and older. Retired workers received an average monthly payment of $945; widows and widowers, $879; disabled workers, $915; and spouses, $444. Payments for children of retired workers averaged $464 per month; children of deceased workers, $627; and children of disabled workers, $282. Federal Supplemental Security Income payments went to 22,251 Hawaii residents in December 2004, averaging $437 a month.


In 2004, there were an estimated 482,873 housing units, 427,673 of which were occupied. Only 58.9% were owner occupied, ranking the state at 48th out of 51 (the 50 states and the District of Columbia) in the number of homeowners. About 51.4% of all units were single-family, detached homes. About 22% of all housing units were within buildings of 20 or more units, which ranks as the second-highest percentage of this category of housing in the nation (after the District of Columbia). Most units relied on electricity for heating, but about 5,476 units were equipped for solar power. It was estimated that 20,719 units were lacking telephone service, 4,972 lacked complete plumbing facilities, and 8,549 lacked complete kitchen facilities. The average household had 2.87 members.

In 2004, 9,000 privately owned housing units were authorized for construction. Median home value was $364,840, the second highest in the nation. The median monthly cost for mortgage owners was $1,648 while renters paid a median of $871 per month; both figures represented the third-highest monthly median costs in the nation. In September 2005, the state received a grant of $400,000 from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for rural housing and economic development programs. For 2006, HUD allocated over $5.2 million in community development block grants to the state.


Education has developed rapidly in Hawaii: In 2004, 88% of all state residents 25 years of age or older had completed high school; 26.6% had completed four or more years of college.

Hawaii is the only state to have a single, unified public school system. It was founded in 1840. Total enrollment for fall 2002 stood at 184,000. Of these, 131,000 attended schools from kindergarten through grade eight, and 53,000 attended high school. Approximately 20.2% of the students were white, 2.4% were black, 4.5% were Hispanic, 72.4% were Asian/Pacific Islander, and 0.5% were American Indian/Alaska Native. Total enrollment was estimated at 183,000 in fall 2003 and is expected to be 193,000 by fall 2014, an increase of 5% during the period 200214. In fall 2003, there were 37,228 students enrolled in 133 private schools. Expenditures for public education in 200304 were estimated at $1.7 billion. Since 1969, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has tested public school students nationwide. The resulting report, The Nation's Report Card, stated that in 2005, eighth graders in Hawaii scored 266 out of 500 in mathematics compared with the national average of 278.

As of fall 2002, there were 65,368 students enrolled in college or graduate school; minority students composed 65.4% of total post-secondary enrollment. As of 2005, Hawaii had 20 degree-granting institutions. The University of Hawaii maintains three campusesManoa (by far the largest), Hilo, and West Oahu. Private colleges include Brigham Young University-Hawaii Campus, Chaminade University of Honolulu, and Hawaii Pacific College. There are seven community colleges.


The Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts (HSFCA) was founded in 1965. Ongoing programs include the Folk Arts Program (est. 1983) and the Hawaii State Art Museum, which opened in 2002 to feature artworks from the State Art Collection of the HSFCA. In 2005, Hawaiian arts organizations received 17 grants totaling $934,900 from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Hawaii Council for the Humanities was established in 1972 and has since granted over $4 million for over 500 projects in the state. In 2005, the state received eight grants totaling $1,207,532 from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The HSFCA was scheduled to host an International Cultural Summit in 2006, celebrating the foundation's 40th anniversary. The mission of the summit was to bring together artists, educators, and civic leaders from the state and around the world in order to discuss contemporary issues concerning culture and art in local and global communities.

The Neal Blaisdell Center in Honolulu has a 2,158-seat theater and concert hall, an 8,800-seat arena, and display rooms. Other performance facilities in Honolulu are the John F. Kennedy Theatre at the University of Hawaii, the Waikiki Shell for outdoor concerts, and the Hawaii Opera Theater, which presents three operas each season. The opera's 2007 season included Samson and Dalila, Don Giovanni, and Madama Butterfly. The Honolulu Symphony Orchestra performs both on Oahu and on the neighboring islands. Founded in 1900, the Honolulu Symphony holds claim to being the oldest American orchestra west of the Rocky Mountains. Other Oahu cultural institutions are the Honolulu Community Theater, Honolulu Theater for Youth, Windward Theater Guild, and Polynesian Cultural Center.

The annual Cherry Blossom Festival includes a number of Japanese cultural events presented from January through March, mostly on Oahu. The Honolulu Festival, established in 1994 as a forum to encourage cultural cooperation and understanding, presents a number of art exhibits and musical performances. Though fairly new, the Honolulu Festival has grown rapidly, drawing approximately 5,000 participants from Japan alone in 2005. The Aloha Festivals, which began in 1946, now consist of over 300 events taking place on six islands throughout the months of August and September to celebrate the music, dance, and history of the various cultures represented in the state; it is Hawaii's largest festival and the only statewide celebration held in the United States. In 2006, the Aloha Festivals marked its 60th anniversary with the theme Nā Paniolo Nui O Hawa'iiThe Great Cowboys of Hawaii.


For the fiscal year ending in June 2001, the Hawaii State Public Library System (HSPLS) was the state's sole public library system, operating a total of 50 libraries, of which 49 were branches. The system had a combined book and serial publication collection in that same year of 3,195,000 volumes and a total circulation of 6,747,000. The system also had 185,000 audio and 58,000 video items, 3,000 electronic format items (CD-ROMs, magnetic tapes, and disks), and four bookmobiles. In 2000, the University of Hawaii library system in Honolulu had approximately 3 million volumes. In fiscal year 2001, total operating income of the HSPLS came to $23,876,000, including $895,000 in federal grants and $21,504,000 in state grants.

Hawaii has 42 major museums and cultural attractions. Among the most popular sites are the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, Polynesian Cultural Center, Sea Life Park, Bernice P. Bishop Museum (specializing in Polynesian ethnology and natural history), and Honolulu Academy of Arts. Outside Oahu, the Kilauea Visitor Center (Hawaii Volcanoes National Park) and Kokee Natural History Museum (Kauai) attract the most visitors.


Commercial interisland wireless service began in 1901, and radiotelephone service to the mainland was established in 1931. In 2004, 95.4% of Hawaii's occupied housing units had telephones. In addition, by June of that same year, there were 819,262 mobile wireless telephone subscribers. In 2003, 63.3% of Hawaii households had a computer and 55.0% had Internet access. Hawaii had 12 major AM radio stations and 21 major FM stations as of 2003, as well as 10 major television stations. A total of 27,025 internet domain names were registered in Hawaii as of 2000.


In 2005, Hawaii had eight daily newspapers (six morning and two evening) and six Sunday newspapers: the Honolulu Advertiser (141,341 daily, 161,325 Sundays), Honolulu Star-Bulletin (64,305 daily, 64,344 Sunday), Hawaii Tribune-Herald (18,806 daily, 22,150 Sundays), Maui News (21,478 daily, 25,938 Sundays), West Hawaii Today (12,397 daily, 15,916 Sundays), and the Garden Island (8,677 daily, 9,130 Sundays).


In 2006, there were over 1,035 nonprofit organizations registered within the state, of which about 758 were registered as charitable, educational, or religious organizations. The leading organization headquartered in Honolulu is the East-West Center, a vehicle of scientific and cultural exchange. Other educational organizations of national and international interest include the International Tsunami Information Center, the Pacific Whale Foundation, and the Meteoritical Society.

State organizations promoting local and regional arts and culture include the Historic Hawaii Foundation, the Hawaiian Historical Society, the Native Hawaiian Culture and Arts Program, the Honolulu Academy of the Arts, and the Polynesian Cultural Center. State environmental concerns are supported through the Conservation Council for Hawaii and the Hawaii Agriculture Research Center, which focuses on the local sugarcane industry.


In 2004, there were 7 million visitor arrivals to the islands, an increase of 8% over 2003. Travel expenditures by visitors who arrived by air reached $10.8 billion. In 2003, Hawaii employed 153,600 people in the travel and tourism industry. An estimated 42% of visitors are from other US states. The largest international market (1.5 million visitors) is Japan.

Visitors come for scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming, fishing, whale watching, and sailing; for the hula, luau, lei, and other distinctive island pleasures; for the tropical climate and magnificent scenic beauty; and for a remarkable variety of recreational facilities, including 7 national parks and historic sites, 74 state parks, 626 county parks, 17 public golf courses, and 1,600 recognized surfing sites. Major visitor attractions include the Volcano National Park (Hawaii); USS Arizona Memorial (Oahu); Waimea Canyon (Kawai); Diamondhead Beach and Honolulu (Oahu); and Polynesian Cultural Center (Oahu). Visitors can tour coffee and pineapple plantations. The Hawaiian Islands are a popular vacation spot for honeymooners.


Hawaii has no major professional sports teams. Since 1982, the Aloha Bowl, a major college football postseason game played on Christmas Day, has been played in Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, as is the Hula Bowl, a postseason all-star game in January for college players. The Pro Bowl (the National Football League's all-star game) is also played in Honolulu on the weekend following the Super Bowl. Surfing is an extremely popular sport in Hawaii, as it is the home of the Banzai Pipeline, north of Oahu. Here, the yearly Duke Kahanamoku and Makaha surfing meets take place. Hawaii is also the site of an annual Professional Golfers' Association tournament and the world-famous Ironman Triathlon competition. The Transpac Yacht Race is held biennially from California to Honolulu. Kona is the site of the International Billfish Tournament, and the Hawaii Big Game Fishing Club holds statewide tournaments each year. Football, baseball, and basketball are the leading collegiate sports. The University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors produce the most well-known collegiate teams.


Hawaii's best-known federal officeholder is Daniel K. Inouye (b.1924), a US senator since 1962 and the first person of Japanese ancestry ever elected to Congress. Inouye, who lost an arm in World War II, came to national prominence during the Senate Watergate investigation of 1973, when he was a member of the Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities. George R. Ariyoshi (b.1926), who was elected governor of Hawaii in 1974, was the first Japanese American to serve as chief executive of a state.

Commanding figures in Hawaiian history were King Kamehameha I (1758?1819), who unified the islands through conquest, and Kamehameha III (Kauikeaouli, 181354), who transformed Hawaii into a constitutional monarchy. Two missionaries who shaped Hawaiian life and politics were Hiram Bingham (b.Vermont, 17891869) and Gerrit Parmele Judd (b.New York, 180373). Sanford B. Dole (18441926) and Lorrin Andrews Thurston (18581931) were leaders of the revolutionary movement that overthrew Queen Liliuokalani (18381917), established a republic, and secured annexation by the United States. Dole was the republic's first president and the territory's first governor. Another prominent historical figure was Bernice Pauahi Bishop (183188), of the Kamehameha line, who married an American banker and left her fortune to endow the Kamehameha Schools in Honolulu; the Bishop Museum was founded by her husband in her memory. Honolulu-born Luther Halsey Gulick (18651918), along with his wife, Charlotte Vetter Gulick (b.Ohio, 18651928), founded the Camp Fire Girls.

Don Ho (b.1930) is a prominent Hawaiian-born entertainer; singer-actress Bette Midler (b.1945) was also born in Hawaii. Duke Kahanamoku (18891968) held the Olympic 100-meter free-style swimming record for almost 20 years.


Chambers, John H. Hawaii. Northampton, Mass.: Interlink Books, 2005.

Coffman, Tom. Nation Within: The Story of America's Annexation of the Nation of Hawai'i. Kane'ohe, Hawaii: Tom Coffman/EPI-Center, 1998.

Council of State Governments. The Book of the States, 2006 Edition. Lexington, Ky.: Council of State Governments, 2006.

Haas, Michael (ed.). Multicultural Hawaiì: the Fabric of a Multiethnic Society. New York: Garland Publications, 1998.

Odo, Franklin. No Sword to Bury: Japanese Americans in Hawai'i during World War II. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2004.

Pratt, Richard C., and Zachary A. Smith (eds.). Politics and Public Policy in Hawaii. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1992.

Richardson, K. D. Reflections of Pearl Harbor: An Oral History of December 7, 1941. Westport, Conn.: Praeger Publishers, 2005.

Trask, Haunani-Kay. From a Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawaii. Monroe, Maine: Common Courage, 1993.

US Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, US Census Bureau. Hawaii, 2000. Summary Social, Economic, and Housing Characteristics: 2000 Census of Population and Housing. Washington, D.C.: US Government Printing Office, 2003.

Wooden, Wayne S. Return to Paradise: Continuity and Change in Hawaii. Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1995.

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HAWAII. When Captain James Cook arrived in the Hawaiian Islands in the 1770s, he found a people living in the most isolated location on earth who had developed a highly sophisticated agriculture based mainly on the cultivation of kalo (taro), some of which was grown in impressive irrigation systems. The subsistence economy was based on agriculture and the harvest of products from the sea. Items moved between farmers and fishermen through reciprocal gift exchanges that were not driven by values or timetables. Absent any metals, pottery clay, or textile fibers, the people developed a highly advanced culture based on the materials provided by the islands.

Politically, the people were ruled by regional moÛi (kings) of whom there might be several on one island. Religiously and legally the society was regulated by a religion based on a kapu (tabu) system that consisted of prohibitions, restrictions, and directions, all of which depended for their enforcement on the authority and punitive powers of the kahuna (priests). Under this system, women were prohibited from eating certain foods or dining with men and were restricted in other ways. The daily life of Hawaiians was also regulated by the konohiki (landlords), under whom they lived in a semifeudal status.

The makaÛainana (commoners) were subject to arbitrary exactions from the aliÛi (chiefs) in whose presence they were required to prostrate themselves, and were also subject to a formal tax annually during the makahiki season, which occurred late in every year and brought concentrations of people from the surrounding area. The burden of taxation was lightened through its accompaniment by a festival that included sports and games. It was during the makahiki festival that Captain Cook sailed into Kealakekua Bay, where he later met his unfortunate end, and the presence of the unusually large number of people may have caused him to exaggerate the population of the islands.

Early Merchant Trade

Despite their "discovery" by Cook, the islands at first seemed to offer nothing of economic benefit to the West, and their location away from established trade routes discouraged follow-up voyages. John Ledyard, an American who accompanied Cook, was struck, however, by the potential profits to be gained by trading the furs of the Pacific Northwest for the products of China at Canton. Ledyard's efforts to interest American businessmen in such a venture were met with skepticism until his stories were confirmed by the publication of the journals of the expedition, whereupon both English and American merchant ships set out to exploit the trade.

It was the fur trade between the Pacific Northwest and Canton that made the Hawaiian Islands a desirable way station and a convenient stopover between trading seasons. Thus began the rapid transformation of the islands and their people. Reciprocal gift exchanges quickly gave way to barter, then to trade and the beginnings of a commercial agriculture that focused on growing the products sought by the Westerners, many of them newly introduced to the islands. The reliance on stone and other indigenous products for tools and weapons was now supplemented by the use of metals. Western firearms were also introduced. These were used, with the help of Western advisers, by Kamehameha, a moÛi of the island of Hawaii, to unify all of the islands under his control as king of Hawaii.

The discovery of sandalwood in the islands, and its marketability in Canton, gave Hawaii an economic value it had not previously possessed and brought Western (mainly American) merchants to Honolulu to deal in this precious commodity, especially after Kamehameha's death in 1819 ended his monopoly over the trade. The aliÛi scrambled to exploit the sandalwood forests for access to the goods of the West that the fragrant wood provided, incurring debts with foreign merchants to be paid later in deliveries of sandalwood. The beginnings of a monetary economy began to intrude into the traditional subsistence way of life even in the most remote areas.

Forced Westernization and the Rise of the Sugar Industry

After Kamehameha's death, the traditional kapu system was thrown out by his successor, Liholiho, under the influence of Kamehameha's widow, Kaahumanu, whom he had appointed as kuhina nui (regent, prime minister) to advise the new king. The overthrow set the Hawaiian people adrift in a particularly chaotic time. In 1820, two events occurred that would further contribute to the transformation of the islands and to the stresses on the Hawaiian people: the arrival of the first Puritan missionaries from New England and the introduction of the first whaling ships to Hawaii's harbors. Their arrival accelerated the revolution in Hawaiian life that had been inaugurated by Cook's arrival, the main features of which would be: (1) the transition from a society in which wealth, power, and status were based on land to one in which they were increasingly measured in money; (2) the increasing control of that monetary economy—and the wealth and power and status associated with it—by Westerners rather than by the Hawaiian aliÛi; (3) the transition from a rural, largely subsistence lifestyle to an urban, consumerist one, with the accompanying rise of individualism at the expense of the traditional communalism; (4) the replacement of the traditional religion and its related social controls by a religion ill-suited to the Hawaiians in the form of Calvinist Christianity; (5) the destructive effects of the Calvinist missionaries in their efforts to replace all traditional culture with the Calvinists' own version of acceptable diversions, laws, and institutions; (6) the introduction of Western laws, practices, and institutions that were easily understood by the Westerners, but which increasingly placed the Hawaiians at a disadvantage in coping with these alien devices; (7) the blurring of class distinctions between commoners and chiefs that resulted in the loss of power and influence by the traditional leadership of the Hawaiian people, creating a vacuum increasingly filled by the missionaries and other Westerners; and (8) the integration of Hawaii into the global economy, with the accompanying globalization of Hawaiian culture and daily life.

By the 1890s, commercialism, urbanization, and individualism had replaced subsistence agriculture and rural communalism as the key features of life in the islands, while large sugar plantations marketing their products in foreign lands had largely supplanted the kuleana (small fields) of Hawaiian farmers. The Hawaiian religion had been replaced by Christianity, and the kapu system by Puritan law codes, while the traditional prerogatives of the aliÛi and of the moÛi had been usurped by a new white "aliÛi" ruling in the name of a Republic of Hawaii within which the franchise of Hawaiians had been so sharply restricted that they were a minority of voters.

While there were many milestones in the march toward this fate, a major one certainly was passage by the kingdom's legislature of the alien land law in 1850, which made it possible for foreigners for the first time to own land in fee simple. Before this act, the economic penetration by foreign interests had been limited largely to commerce. Once the security of land ownership was provided, however, foreign interests, mainly American, were willing to undertake the investment in productive ventures like sugar plantations and mills. As declining demand for whale oil and whalebone caused whaling to die out in the 1860s and 1870s, the growing, processing, and exportation of sugar rose in importance. The ratification by the United States in 1875 of a reciprocity treaty with the Kingdom of Hawaii enormously accelerated the growth of the sugar industry. The effect, however, was to make the kingdom almost totally dependent on sugar for its prosperity, and the sugar industry, in turn, almost totally dependent on the American market. Like the tentacles of an octopus, the sugar plantations reached out everywhere for lands on which to grow the valuable crop.

Another effect of the reciprocity act was to accelerate the importation of laborers (mainly Chinese and Japanese) to work on the plantations, since there were not enough Hawaiians to do the work. The Hawaiian population, estimated at between 300,000 and 500,000 at the time of Cook's arrival, had shrunk by the end of the 1870s to fewer than 60,000, while between 1876 and 1890 the sugar planters imported 55,000 Chinese and Japanese laborers. In 1876, the Hawaiians, despite their reduced numbers, still accounted for 90 percent of the population of the islands. By 1890, they were not even a majority in their own land.


The combination of the reciprocity act and the "bayonet constitution" forced by the white oligarchy on King Kalakaua in 1887 solidified the position and prosperity of that oligarchy in Hawaii. The reciprocity act permitted the shipment of sugar to the American market duty-free, thus putting it on the same basis as domestically produced sugar and at an advantage in competition with other foreign sugar. The 1887 constitution assured these planters and businessmen of control over the government of the kingdom, thus making them secure in their extensive investments in the islands. In the early 1890s, however, both profits and power were undermined by two events, one in Washington and one in Honolulu.

The first was the passage into law of the McKinley Tariff in 1890, which deprived Hawaiian sugar of all the advantages it had received by granting duty-free status to all foreign sugar while providing a bounty to domestic sugar producers. The second was the death of King Kalakaua and the succession of Liliuokalani as queen, who came to the throne determined to recover for the crown the powers it had lost in the 1887 constitution.

In January 1893, a combination of circumstances centering on the queen's proposal to promulgate a new constitution on her own initiative touched off a virtually bloodless coup. At a critical moment, U.S. forces were moved ashore from the USS Boston, then in Honolulu harbor, at the instigation of the U.S. minister to Hawaii, John L. Stevens. A provisional government was established under Sanford B. Dole and a mission was dispatched to Washington, D.C., to negotiate a treaty for annexation of the islands by the United States.

The timing was unfortunate, for a Republican sympathetic to annexation, Benjamin Harrison, was about to turn over the White House to an unsympathetic Democrat, Grover Cleveland. The treaty negotiated with the Harrison administration was stalled in the Senate until Cleveland's inauguration, whereupon Cleveland launched an investigation that seemed to reveal the culpability of the preceding administration in the overthrow. Denied the support of the White House, the annexation treaty drew dust in the Senate until the election of Republican William McKinley in 1896 and the Spanish-American War brought the renewed enthusiasm for expansion that made possible Hawaii's annexation by joint resolution of Congress. On 12 August 1898 the flag of the United States was raised over Iolani Palace in Honolulu.

Once under the U.S. Constitution, the sugar planters might have been more secure in their profits, but their political power was eroded by the guarantee of franchise to all Hawaiian adult males, which made up the majority of eligible voters. In the first territorial election, the Hawaiians' own Home Rule Party elected a majority of the legislature and also the territory's delegate to Congress. Placed on the defensive, the planters negotiated an agreement with Prince Jonah Kalanianaole Kuhio, an heir to the throne of the defunct monarchy, to run on the Republican ticket for delegate to Congress, thereby attracting enough Hawaiian voters to the Republican side to give the planter-controlled Republicans effective political domination until World War II.

During the next forty years, however, conditions were created for the political transformation of Hawaii by the arrival of tens of thousands of new immigrants, mainly now from the Philippines; by the coming to voting age of the sons and daughters of these and earlier immigrants; and by the rise of a labor movement in Hawaii. The Great Depression and New Deal of the 1930s did not impact Hawaii as much as they did the mainland United States, but they did exert an influence. Hawaii received a share of the public-works and work-relief spending that improved its infrastructure just in time for the needs of World War II. These programs were administered by federal officials from the mainland that breathed new life into the Hawaii Democratic Party. Legislation like the National Industrial Recovery Act and the National Labor Relations Act gave enormous stimulus to the unionization of Hawaii's workers. At the same time, the tendency on the part of some in the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration to deal with Hawaii as an "insular possession" like the Philippines and Puerto Rico, rather than as a territory of the United States, as in the case of the Jones-Costigan Sugar Act, convinced many that only statehood could provide the security that Hawaii's economy required.

World War II and Postwar Political Change

Within twenty-four hours of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, life in the islands changed, as the territory came under a rigorous martial law that worked closely with the white oligarchy (generally referred to as the Big Five, which consisted of Alexander and Baldwin, American Factors, C. Brewer and Company, Castle and Cooke, and Theo H. Davies and Company). On the surface it appeared to be only a brief interruption of normal conditions and that the 1930s status quo would return after the war. But numerous new factors were introduced during the war years that accelerated the changes already under way in the 1930s. For one, the war brought many new workers from the mainland who brought their union loyalties and an antipathy to the big businesses that ruled Hawaii and the political party that represented them. Many of these workers stayed after the war ended, as did many servicemen who had been exposed to the islands for the first time. Another factor was that many of Hawaii's minorities went off to fight in the war, most notably the Americans of Japanese ancestry (AJAs) who made up the famed 100th Infantry Battalion, and 442d Regimental Combat Team. Taking advantage of their veterans' benefits after the war, many would go on to receive college degrees and even postgraduate and professional degrees and would commit themselves to bringing reforms to Hawaii.

By 1954, a Democratic Party that had been reinvigorated by the leadership of former policeman John A. Burns, working with AJAs like Daniel K. Inouye and others, was able to capture control of both houses of the territorial legislature. (By 2002, the Democrats were still in control of both houses.) The loss of the Big Five's political control was soon followed by the weakening of their economic control as well. As Hawaii's delegate to Congress, Burns worked tirelessly in behalf of statehood for the islands. He was finally successful in 1959, when Congress approved a statehood bill. On 17 June of that year the voters of Hawaii ratified statehood by a margin of 17–1, and on 21 August, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill admitting Hawaii as the fiftieth state in the Union.

Hawaii since Statehood

In a special 1959 election, the last appointed governor of the territory, Republican William Quinn, became the first elected governor of the state, when he staged a surprising victory over John Burns. But in 1962, Burns defeated Quinn, ushering in an unbroken succession of Democratic governors for the remainder of the twentieth century. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party's strategy changed from that of a working-class party to one racially oriented, based on appeals to the descendants of Hawaii's immigrant plantation laborers of whatever class.

Statehood did not save Hawaii's sugar industry. The combination of rising costs and foreign competition brought the demise of the industry by the end of the twentieth century. Left at least temporarily without a viable industry, the state of Hawaii was forced to rely almost entirely on tourism for its prosperity, with tourists sought from all over the world, particularly Asia. Tourism, however, was dependent on economic conditions in the source countries. Frequent economic crises on the U.S. mainland and in Asia during these decades revealed how fragile Hawaii's economic base had become when they triggered severe recessions in the islands that continued into the twenty-first century.

Meanwhile, traditional Hawaiian culture, so long dormant that its very survival was being questioned, staged a renaissance in the 1970s, inspired in large part by developments on the U.S. mainland including the civil rights and ethnic studies movements of the 1960s. The Hawaiian renaissance encompassed both cultural and political elements, with a resurgence of interest in both traditional and more recent Hawaiian culture and language, together with the beginnings of Hawaiian political activism in opposition to development on Oahu and the U.S. Navy bombing of the island of Kahoolawe. Two laws passed during the Lyndon Johnson presidency contributed to both aspects of the renaissance. The creation of the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities in 1965 provided money to encourage the growth and under-standing of arts and humanities. With government patronage available, Hawaiians and others interested in traditional Hawaiian culture were stimulated to undertake creative activities, pursue traditional arts and crafts, and learn and disseminate information about the culture. The Model Cities program inaugurated by the federal government in 1966 encouraged grassroots political activism and provided broader opportunities for the participation and leadership of Hawaiians.

The influence of the Hawaiian renaissance profoundly affected the state's constitutional convention in 1978, particularly the "Hawaiian package" of amendments that the new constitution included. The new constitution recognized the Hawaiian language as one of the official languages of the state (just eleven years after its use was still prohibited), confirmed the Hawaiians in various traditional rights, and established the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to represent the interests of native Hawaiians. Four years later, the leader of the Hawaiian forces within the convention, John Waihee, was elected lieutenant governor of the state, and in 1986, he was elected to the first of two terms as governor.

The twentieth century ended with many Hawaiians seeking the culmination of the renaissance in some degree of sovereignty, and many others continuing the resurgent interest in Hawaiian culture and language amid new opportunities available in the state's schools and colleges. It also ended with signs of a possible resurgence of the Republican Party as an apparent result of decades that Hawaii had spent in the economic doldrums.


Daws, Gavan. A Shoal of Time: A History of the Hawaiian Islands. New York: Macmillan, 1968.

Fuchs, Lawrence H. Hawaii Pono: A Social History. New York: Harcourt, Brace, and World, 1961. Reprint, San Diego: Harcourt, Brace, and Jovanovich, 1983.

Kuykendall, Ralph S. The Hawaiian Kingdom. 3 vols. Honolulu: University of Hawaii, 1938–1967.

Gary DeanBest

See alsoHonolulu ; Sugar Industry .

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Located almost dead center in the North Pacific Ocean2,500 miles west of CaliforniaHawaii consists of a string of 132 coral and volcanic islands extending some one thousand miles from the Big Island to Wake Island. Centuries of volcanic activity have deposited layers of ash that have enriched the soil. Strong sun combined with moderate temperatures and plenty of rain have produced a long growing season in the midst of a tropical paradisea paradise that lured nineteenth-century European and American merchants and adventurers interested in exploiting Hawaii's natural resources. One result was an economy dominated by King Sugar, which employed waves of immigrants to do the backbreaking work refused by native Hawaiians.

This successive importation of workers left Hawaii with a thriving mélange of cultures, each of which made its own contribution to the twentieth-century phenomenon known as Local Food. A Creole mixture of different cuisines (including Polynesian, Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, Korean, and American), Local Food is centered on carbohydratesan ancient Hawaiian quest.

The First Polynesian Immigration

When human beings originally landed on Hawaiian shores between 300 and 500 C.E., having probably sailed roughly two thousand miles from Samoa, they encountered over a hundred species of birds, including large fowl, abundant fish and shellfish in shoreline reefs and lagoons, a few fruit trees at high altitude, ferns, several kinds of limu (seaweed), and nearly a thousand flowering plants. These species had arrived gradually on trade winds or sea currents and had evolved in isolation over hundreds of thousands of years.

But the same geologic conditionsdeep canyons, high cliffs, forests, bogs, and a wide variation in barometric pressure, rainfall, temperature, and windthat produced Hawaii's unique flora and fauna had also limited its native foods. Hawaii's astonishing diversity included almost no edible vegetation and no source of edible carbohydrates. Luckily, the early Hawaiians brought at least twenty-seven kinds of foodstuffs, including the coconut, breadfruit, sweet potato, banana, sugarcane, arrowroot, wild ginger, mountain apple, and taromuch revered by the ancient Hawaiians, who pounded the roots into a paste, poi, that remains a starchy staple today. In addition, they imported pigs, chickens, and dogs. By mistake, they brought along rats.

They lived well on their isolated islands. They ate many foods raw, including some fish. Other food was cooked in imus, earthen pits lined with kiawe wood and lava rock. They prepared for bad weather by drying and salting fish. While they had no distilled liquors, they used the roots of awa (kava) and ti (a lily relative) to brew narcotic drinks.

The Second Polynesian Immigration

The early Hawaiians were legendary seafarers who had sailed thousands of miles using the stars, sun, winds and currents, shifting cloud masses, and bird flights. There is some evidence that they continued to sail their hundred-foot-long outrigger canoes to distant islands in the Pacific, bringing back food, plants, and spouses.

Between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries, aggressive, roaming Polynesians from Samoa and Tahiti settled in Hawaii and established a feudal regime overseen by their nobles and priests. The new feudal lords protected the ancient stonewalled fishponds, which yielded five thousand pounds of fish daily, and they enhanced traditional irrigation systems by building elaborate rock terraces.

They allocated property rights fairly widely, enabling most Hawaiians to eat well. The new rulers also enforced many complex kapus, or taboos, some of which helped manage scarce resources. Their system of land division is cited by biologists for its habitat protection. The huge freshwater and seawater fishponds were integrated with agriculture, and river valleys were managed as unified systems. The upland forest, left uncut by taboo, helped supply rivers with nutrients for downstream fields and fishponds. Seasons for gathering or catching scarce food or game were strictly enforced. Some taboos were exclusionary, particularly toward women, who were barred from preparing food for or eating with men. They were not allowed to eat the best foods, such as coconuts, shark meat, and pork. Breaking the taboos was punishable by death.

The Arrival of Westerners

By the time Captain James Cook landed on Kauai in 1778, Hawaiians had developed a comfortable economic system overseen by a feudal government. The Westerners would soon change all that.

Cook was the first of many seamen to use Hawaii as a way station to refuel and resupply ships in the middle of the ocean. He was renowned for having solved the immense problem of scurvy among sailors, which he concluded was due to a lack of fresh fruits and vegetables. At every port he sought out fruit (particularly citrus), vegetables (including onions and new potatoes), fish, and meat.

The lush islands had much to offer Cook, who ruthlessly took immense amounts of food on his first trip, exploiting Hawaiian generosity. While Hawaiians had welcomed him with a lavish feast on his first visit, they knifed him to death when he returned in 1779.

Cook gave Hawaiians the first specimens of Western flora and faunagoats, English pigs, and melon, pumpkin, and onion seeds. Close behind him came whalers and traders at the end of the eighteenth century, then the American missionaries, mainly Congregationalists, in 1820.

The missionaries introduced the church, school, printed word, woolen clothes, wood houses, and many foods. They sought to clean, clothe, and feed Hawaiians according to Christian standards to make them more responsive to the gospel. Beef was already available because cattle had been imported in 1793 by Captain George Vancouver, who had convinced King Kamehameha to permit women as well as men to eat it, as long as they ate from different cows.

The Congregationalists brought their prized New England foodspotatoes, apples, salted cod, corned beef, butter, and cheese. Food became a vital tool in Christianizing Hawaiians and turning them away from their traditional practices. When Queen Regent Kaahumanu converted to Christianity in 1824, she held a service at the edge of the Halemaumau fire pit sacred to the goddess Pele. Declaring her allegiance to Jehovah, she ate ohelo berries, which were both sacred to Pele and taboo to women. Not a murmur was heard from the volcano goddess.

Dominance by Plantations

Meanwhile, Westerners had also introduced their diseases, which reduced the native Hawaiian population from an estimated 300,000 at Cook's arrival to 60,000 by the mid-1800s and 40,000 by the end of the century. The rapidly expanding sugar industrymany plantations were owned by missionaries and their descendantsimported thousands of Chinese and then Japanese laborers to replace the Hawaiians. Just as the arrival of Westerners nearly wiped out native Hawaiians, the domination of agriculture first by sugar and later by pineapples wiped out the Hawaiian system of small farming overseen by religious laws, which regulated both hunting and farming.

Although wealthy whites received important administrative posts in the Hawaiian government, thereby governing indirectly, they became increasingly unhappy with the monarchy, which they deemed corrupt and inefficient. They wanted secure property rights to build their plantations and they wanted no restrictions on their importation of labor. They overthrew the monarchy in 1893. (Hawaii became a U.S. territory in 1900 and the fiftieth state in 1959.)

Between 1852 and 1930, Chinese, then Japanese, Okinawans, Norwegians, Germans, Koreans, Puerto Ricans, Portuguese, and Filipinos were imported by the immensely powerful factors that supplied plantations with all their needs, including workers. The workers wanted their own food, and the plantation stores procured it from abroad if it could not be grown locally. What could be grown was. Thus rice became Hawaii's third most important crop, after sugar and pineapples. Most immigrants brought seeds with them, though they could not always get them to grow. Manufacturers sprang up to produce tofu, noodles, kimchi, and sake.

Into this diversity came yet another set of missionarieshome economists, most trained by Columbia University's Teachers College. Convinced of the legitimacy of their field, the home economists taught at the newly established University of Hawaii, a land-grant university. Working with the electric and gas companies in the 1920s, they developed recipes that required the new appliancesstoves, ovens, and refrigerators. They promulgated the nutritional messages and agricultural advice of the Extension Services. They catalogued locally grown tropical foodstuffs and analyzed the nutritive values of the Hawaiian diet. They encouraged the consumption of American food, including milk, which many adult Hawaiians were unable to digest properly. They trained school cafeteria managers to produce Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, and creamed corn. And they wrote the first cookbooks on Local Food.

The Development of Local Food

Hawaii's sad story of colonial exploitation is tempered by its exuberant ethnic diversity, nowhere to be found more clearly than in food. Calling themselves "locals," Hawaiians call the food they eat "Local Food," a term that most food writers now capitalize. Identified in the 1920s as a distinct phenomenon, Local Food mixes dishes from each of Hawaii's ethnic groups into unique forms, most famously the plate lunch served at diners and lunch wagons. This includes two scoops of sticky rice, meat cooked Asian style, and macaroni or potato saladall eaten with chopsticks. Local Food includes shaved ice, SPAM wonton, malasadas (Portuguese donuts), saimin (noodle soup), crack seed (Chinese preserved plum), and butter mochi (a rice confection).

Except for indigenous coconut and banana trees, most foods associated with Hawaii are imported. The first immigrants, the Canoe People, brought with them twenty-four different plants. Since about 1800, a large number of additional plants, including pineapples, papaya, avocado, guava, sugar cane, coffee, and macadamia nuts, were introduced. Even the Kiawe treea variety of the family that includes mesquite, and is now rampant throughout the islandswas introduced.

Hawaii's premier agricultural product in modern times, the pineapple, is a native of Paraguay. Although introduced in the early 1800s, it was not commercially successful until the early twentieth century, when it was canned and sold to U.S. markets. By the early 1950s, almost 75 percent of pineapple on the world market was Hawaiian, thanks to inspired advertising. Hawaii has no canneries left today. Its entire crop is distributed fresh, accounting for about one million tons of fruit, or one-third of the world's consumption.

The highly prized Kona coffee, imported by Don Francisco de Paulay Marin in 1828, thrived in Hawaii's volcanic soil, enhanced by local altitude and climate. Simultaneously mellow and robust, Kona beans became renowned worldwide after the market crash of 1899, when the large plantations began leasing their lands to families of workers, who greatly improved the methods and quality of production. Many of those families are now in their fifth generation, producing some two million pounds a year. In the 1990s, coffee began to supplant the sugar cane plantings on several other islands, including Kaua'i, Maui, Moloka'i, and O'ahuwhich now surpass Kona in total production. Most Hawaiian beans are sold for blends. Coffee marketed as a Kona blend must be at least 10 percent Kona.

Theobroma cacao, a variety of criollo, was able to take advantage of the same volcanic soil and climate and thrive. Though originally equatorial, Hawaiian cross-breed cacao, which has a nutty flavor and low acidity, grows quickly in open sun. (Its equatorial competitors need shade.) Its pods are harvested earlyin two years rather than fiveand its trees are more productive than elsewhere, averaging a hundred pods each, or five times the world's average. The chocolate is premium grade.

While macadamia nuts were brought to Hawaii as ornamentals in the nineteenth century, they did not become a commercial crop until the 1920s. Because the nut is very hard to crack, it is normally sold shelled. And because its production is labor intensiveone hundred pounds of harvested nuts yield only ten to fifteen lbs of edible meatsmacadamias garner a premium price. Hawaii has some twenty thousand acres planted with macadamia trees today. The trees have a fifty-year lifespan.

Sugar cane, now displaced as a commercial crop, was introduced by the Polynesians. In the nineteenth century it became the islands' most significant commercial crop; it was for sugar cane that the Western economic interests eventually overthrew the monarchy.

Bananas were both indigenous and imported. With seventy varieties now grown on the islandand prestige accorded to someJean-Marie Jossellin likens the Hawaiians' distinctions among bananas to the Eskimos' distinctions of the varieties of snow.

Making Sense of Tourism

Since Hawaii's resident population of 1 million serves some 6 million tourists annually, the influence of outsiders on Hawaiian food can hardly be overstated. Until the late twentieth century that influence was baleful, with Honolulu having perhaps the worst restaurants of any major Western city. Even once elegant hotels like the Royal Hawaiian serve wretchedly bad meals in the name of traditional luausoriginally religious feasts of genuine importance degraded to farce by commercial exploitation.

But it is also true that many foods thought to be Hawaiian are not. Much of the so-called Hawaiian food served at Polynesian restaurants on the American mainland was invented in California and promulgated by Trader Vic's and other restaurateurs. Fried rice, satays, curries with coconut milk, rum-based drinks garnished with flowers and paper parasols, and dishes named after the goddess Pele or King Kamehameha have no real connection with Hawaii.

Since the early 1990s, however, a genuine Pacific Rim cuisine emphasizing cross-cultural influences but using local ingredients has developed. This has benefited small farmers, giving them outlets for superb fruits and vegetablesMaui onions (comparable to Vidalias), Manoa lettuce, Kahuku watermelon, Waimanalo corn, Kona oranges (a Valencia competitor) and avocados, Puna papayas, and an amazing range of seaweeds and ferns.

Meanwhile, native Hawaiians have reversed their population declineabout one-fourth of Hawaii's resident population of one million at the start of the twenty-first century claims some Hawaiian ancestry. Who is a native? One definition is that a native Hawaiian is someone who eats palu, a condiment made of chopped bits of fish head and stomach mixed with tiny amounts of kukui (candlenut) relish, chili peppers, and garlic. Not many fraudulent Hawaiians are likely to come forward to win this credential.

See also Coffee; Fruit; Pacific Ocean Societies; Sugar and Sweeteners; Sugar Crops and Natural Sweeteners.


Corum, Ann Kondo. Ethnic Foods of Hawai'i. Honolulu: Bess Press, 1983.

Costa-Pierce, Barry A. "Aquaculture in Ancient Hawaii." Bioscience 320 (1987): 320331.

Daws, Gavan. Shoal of Time: A History of the Hawaiian Islands. Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii, 1974.

Eyre, David L. By Wind, by Wave: An Introduction to Hawai'i's Natural History. Honolulu: Bess Press, 2000.

Grimshaw, Patricia. Paths of Duty: American Missionary Wives in Nineteenth-Century Hawaii. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1989.

Juvik, Sonia P., and James O. Juvik, eds. Atlas of Hawai'i. 3d ed. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1998.

Laudan, Rachel. The Food of Paradise: Exploring Hawaii's Culinary Heritage. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1996.

Julia Vitullo-Martin

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Hawaii (state, United States)

Hawaii (həwī´ē, hävä´ē), 50th state of the United States, comprising a group of eight major islands and numerous islets in the central Pacific Ocean, c.2,100 mi (3,380 km) SW of San Francisco.

Facts and Figures

Area, 6,450 sq mi (16,706 sq km). Pop. (2010) 1,360,301, a 12.3% increase since the 2000 census. Capital and largest city, Honolulu. Statehood, Aug. 21, 1959 (50th state). Highest pt., Mauna Kea, 13,796 ft (4,208 m); lowest pt., sea level. Nickname, Aloha State. Motto,Ua Mau Ke Ea O Ka Aina I Ka Pono [The Life of the Land Is Perpetuated in Righteousness]. State bird, Hawaiian goose. State flower, hibiscus. State tree, candlenut. Abbr., HI

Land and People

The Hawaiian Islands are of volcanic origin and are edged with coral reefs. Hawaii is the largest and geologically the youngest island of the group, and Oahu, where the capital, Honolulu, is located, is the most populous and economically important. The other principal islands are Kahoolawe, Kauai, Lanai, Maui, Molokai, and Niihau. The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, consisting of uninhabited islets and excluding Midway, stretch more than 1,100 mi (1,800 km) from Nihoa to Kure. Most of islets are encompassed in the Hawaiian Island National Wildlife Refuge; the surrounding waters and coral reefs are in the vast 84-million-acre (34-million-hectare) Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Reserve. Palmyra atoll and Kingman Reef, which were within the boundaries of Hawaii when it was a U.S. territory, were excluded when statehood was achieved.

The only U.S. state in the tropics, Hawaii is sometimes called "the paradise of the Pacific" because of its spectacular beauty: abundant sunshine; expanses of lush green plants and gaily colored flowers; palm-fringed, coral beaches with rolling white surf; and cloud-covered volcanic peaks rising to majestic heights. Some of the world's largest active and inactive volcanoes are found on Hawaii and Maui; eruptions of the active volcanoes have provided spectacular displays, but their lava flows have occasionally caused great property damage. Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa are volcanic mountains on Hawaii island; Haleakala volcano is on Maui in Haleakala National Park.

Vegetation is generally luxuriant throughout the islands, with giant fern forests in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Kahoolawe, however, is arid, and Niihau and Molokai have very dry seasons. Although many species of birds and domestic animals have been introduced on the islands, there are few wild animals other than boars and goats, and there are no snakes. The coastal waters abound with fish.

More ethnic and cultural groups are represented in Hawaii than in any other state. Chinese laborers, who came to work in the sugar industry, were the first of the large groups of immigrants to arrive (starting in 1852), and Filipinos and Koreans were the last (after 1900). Other immigrant groups—including Portuguese, Germans, Japanese, and Puerto Ricans—came in the latter part of the 19th cent. Intermarriage with other races has brought a further decrease in the number of pure-blooded Hawaiians, who comprise a very small percentage of the population.


Pineapples, agricultural seeds, and sugarcane are the major agricultural products. Macadamia nuts, papayas, greenhouse vegetables, and coffee are also important. Other products include cattle and dairy products. Commercial fishing, especially tuna, is also significant. Tourism is, however, the leading source of income, and defense installations, including Pearl Harbor, follow.

Government, Politics, and Higher Education

Hawaii's constitution was drafted in 1950 and became effective with statehood in 1959. The governor is elected every four years. The legislature has a senate with 25 members and a house of representatives with 51 members. The state elects two representatives and two senators to the U.S. Congress and has four electoral votes. Multicultural Hawaii has long been a Democratic state, but Republicans have made recent gains. In 1994, Democrat Benjamin J. Cayetano became the first Filipino American to be elected governor of a U.S. state; he was reelected in 1998. Linda Lingle, elected governor in 2002, became the second Republican to win the office since statehood, and she was reelected four years later. In 2010 a Democrat, Neil Abercrombie, was elected governor, and in 2014 Democrat David Ige was elected.

Hawaii's institutions of higher learning include the Univ. of Hawaii, with campuses at Honolulu, Hilo, and Pearl City; Chaminade Univ. and Hawaii Pacific Univ., at Honolulu; and the Hawaii campus of Brigham Young Univ., at Laie, Oahu.


Early Settlers and Explorers

The first known settlers of the Hawaiian Islands were Polynesian voyagers, who may have arrived as early as AD 300; but were present by AD 800. The islands were first visited by Europeans in 1778 by the English explorer Captain James Cook, who named them the Sandwich Islands for the English Earl of Sandwich. At that time the islands were under the rule of warring native kings.

The Rule of Kamehameha I

In 1810 Kamehameha I (see under Kamehameha became the sole sovereign of all the islands, and, in the peace that followed, agriculture and commerce were promoted. As a result of Kamehameha's hospitality, American traders were able to exploit the islands' sandalwood, which was much valued in China at the time. Trade with China reached its height during this period. However, the period of Kamehameha's rule was also one of decline. Europeans and Americans brought with them devastating infectious diseases, and over the years the native population was greatly reduced. The adoption of Western ways—trading for profit, using firearms, and drinking liquor—contributed to the decline of native cultural tradition. This period also marked the breakdown of the traditional Hawaiian religion, with its belief in idols and human sacrifice; years of religious unrest followed.

Influence of the Missionaries

When missionaries arrived in 1820 they found a less idyllic Hawaii than the one Captain Cook had discovered. Kamehameha III, who ruled from 1825 until his death in 1854, relied on the missionaries for advice and allowed them to preach Christianity. The missionaries established schools, developed the Hawaiian alphabet, and used it for translating the Bible into Hawaiian. In 1839, Kamehameha III issued a guarantee of religious freedom, and the following year a constitutional monarchy was established. From 1842 to 1854 an American, G. P. Judd, held the post of prime minister, and under his influence many reforms were carried out. In the following decades commercial ties between Hawaii and the United States increased.

Development of the Sugar Industry

In 1848 the islands' feudal land system was abolished, making private ownership possible and thereby encouraging capital investment in the land. By this time the sugar industry, which had been introduced in the 1830s, was well established. Hawaiian sugar gained a favored position in U.S. markets under a reciprocity treaty made with the United States in 1875. The treaty was renewed in 1884 but not ratified. Ratification came in 1887 when an amendment was added giving the United States exclusive right to establish a naval base at Pearl Harbor. The amount of sugar exported to the United States increased greatly, and American businessmen began to invest in the Hawaiian sugar industry. Along with the Hawaiians in the industry, they came to exert powerful influence over the islands' economy and government, a dominance that was to last until World War II.

The Overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani and Annexation

Toward the end of the 19th cent., agitation for constitutional reform in Hawaii led to the overthrow (1893) of Queen Liliuokalani, who had ruled since 1891. A provisional government was established and John L. Stevens, the U.S. minister to Hawaii, proclaimed the country a U.S. protectorate. President Grover Cleveland, however, refused to annex Hawaii since most Hawaiians did not support a revolution; the Hawaiians and Americans in the sugar industry had encouraged the overthrow of the monarchy to serve their business needs.

The United States tried to bring about the restoration of Queen Liliuokalani, but the provisional government on the islands refused to give up power and instead established (1894) a republic with Sanford B. Dole as president. Cleveland's successor, President William McKinley, favored annexation, which was finally accomplished in 1898. In 1900 the islands were made a territory, with Dole as governor. In this period, Hawaii's pineapple industry expanded as pineapples were first grown for canning purposes. In 1937 statehood for Hawaii was proposed and refused by the U.S. Congress—the territory's mixed population and distance from the U.S. mainland were among the obstacles.

World War II and Statehood

On Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese aircraft made a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, plunging the United States into World War II. During the war the Hawaiian Islands were the chief Pacific base for U.S. forces and were under martial law (Dec. 7, 1941–Mar., 1943).

The postwar years ushered in important economic and social developments. There was a dramatic expansion of labor unionism, marked by major strikes in 1946, 1949, and 1958. The International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union organized the waterfront, sugar, and pineapple workers. The tourist trade, which had grown to major proportions in the 1930s, expanded further with postwar advances in air travel and with further investment and development. The building boom brought about new construction of luxury hotels and housing developments; Hawaii is home to one of the world's most expensively built resort, the Hyatt Regency Waikola, which cost $360 million to construct.

After having sought statehood for many decades, Hawaii was finally admitted to the union on Aug. 21, 1959; although it was thought at first to be solidly Republican, the state has long been a Democratic stronghold. Movements for a return of some sort of native sovereignty have been periodically active.

In Sept., 1992, the island of Kauai was devastated by Hurricane Iniki, the strongest hurricane to hit the islands in the century. Hawaii, which had enjoyed sustained economic and population growth since the end of World War II, saw both slow in the 1990s, as tourism, the sugar industry, military spending, and Japanese investment in the islands (particularly important in the 1980s) declined. The election of Barack Obama as president in 2008 marked the first time someone born in Hawaii had been elected to the office.


See J. Michener, Hawaii (1959); L. H. Fuchs, Hawaii Pono: A Social History (1961); R. S. Kuykendall, The Hawaiian Kingdom (3 vol., 1938–57); G. Daws, Shoal of Time (1968); S. Carlquist, Hawaii: A Natural History (1970); A. W. Lind, Hawaii's People (1980); J. Moon, Living with Nature in Hawaii (1987); J. F. Siler, Lost Kingdom (2012).

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Hawaii's rich history, tropical climate, and beautiful scenery have made tourism the leading source of revenue in the state. While agricultural products and military bases also contribute to the growth of Hawaii's economic base, visitors to the islands spend millions annually to enjoy the Hawaiian culture and climate.

Of the 132 Hawaiian Islands located in the northern Pacific Ocean, the eight largest are Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Niihau, and Kahoolawe. All the islands were formed by volcanic eruptions. Mauna Loa on the island of Hawaii is the largest active volcano in the world. Because of volcanic eruptions, Hawaii's terrain and vegetation have changed over the years. There are only a few species of trees left that are native to the environment. Most of the unique trees and flowers were brought to the islands from other parts of the world since the 1800s. More than half of the vegetation is considered endangered and is protected by the government.

Polynesians from Southeast Asia or the Marquesa Islands in the South Pacific were the first to arrive in the Hawaiian islands, coming by canoe between 1000 and 1400 years ago. In 1778 Captain James Cook (17281779), an English navigator, was the first Westerner to see the Hawaiian Islands. When he saw Oahu and the surrounding islands, he named them the Sandwich Islands, after the fourth Earl of Sandwich, John Montagu (17181792). The islands were ruled by chiefs under a class system called kapu. But the kapu system would eventually be destroyed as European and American influences diluted the native culture.

After Captain Cook's landing, visitors to the islands were scarce until 1786, when ships from England, France, Russia, Spain, and the United States discovered that Hawaii was a convenient stop for water and supplies on the trade route between Asia and North America. During those first years, natives were able to sell sandalwood, Hawaii's first marketable natural resource, to foreigners for money and goods. In the 1820s the demand for whale oil grew. Whaling was Hawaii's major source of income until 1860, when there were fewer whales to hunt. Petroleum and coal took the place of whale oil for fuel, and England stopped whaling during the American Civil War (18611865). During those years, Protestant missionaries and Roman Catholics arrived on the islands to spread Christianity and help establish public schools, a newspaper, a legislature, and the first sugar plantation.

During the 1850s, Chinese laborers were brought to the islands under five-year contracts to work on Hawaiian sugarcane plantations. Some left Hawaii after their work contracts expired, but others stayed and opened successful small businesses. More laborers were needed as the sugar industry grew, so Polynesians were brought to Hawaii in 1859. In the late 1860s Japanese laborers arrived. In the 1870s German and Portuguese immigrants worked the sugar plantations.

After the Civil War, sugar became the primary source of revenue for Hawaii. As pioneers moved westward in the United States, they provided a market for almost all the sugar produced in Hawaii. American sugar planters became powerful on the islands, exerting pressure for a trade agreement with the United States. In 1875 the United States lifted a tax on shipments of sugar to the United States. This reduced the price of sugar for Americans and solidified the market for Hawaiian-grown sugar. In return, Hawaii allowed only the United States to use its ports.

Americans enjoyed increasing power and influence in Hawaiian politics and society. In 1891, Queen Liliuokalani took the throne and made efforts to restore Hawaii to its native people. Unfortunately, visitors brought with them diseases that proved deadly to the natives, including smallpox, leprosy, cholera, and measles. In 1778 there were nearly 300,000 natives on the islands, but by the 1890s there were fewer than 60,000. And almost all the land and all the power was held and controlled by foreigners.

Two years later, a European and American led revolution overthrew Queen Liliuokalani, and a temporary government was formed, led by Sanford B. Dole. The new leaders immediately asked for annexation by the United States, but were denied by President Grover Cleveland (18851889, 18931897), an opponent of U.S. expansion. Hawaii's government then drafted its own constitution on July 4, 1894, and proclaimed the Republic of Hawaii, with Dole as president. On August 12, 1898, Hawaii was recognized as an independent territory, and Dole became Hawaii's first governor in June 1900. A few sugar plantation owners made huge fortunes during the territorial years and became the most influential powers in Hawaiian politics, society, and business circles.

In the early 1900s the pineapple industry was started by James D. Dole, Sanford Dole's cousin. The pineapple business generated revenue second only to the sugar crop. New groups of immigrants came from Puerto Rico, Korea, and the Philippines to work the plantations. During this time, the United States expanded its military presence in Hawaii. Fort Shafter was the first built and, in 1908, a naval base was built on Pearl Harbor; others soon followed. By 1990, military bases would cover 25 percent of the land.

Hawaii became more accessible to the rest of the world as communication and transportation further developed during the 1920s and 1930s. Radio stations and telephone systems were brought to the islands and airplanes could transport people and goods. Hawaii became a convenient stop between continents for air travel as well. Like on the mainland, the Great Depression (19291939) put many people out of work in Hawaii. People stopped buying pineapples and travelers stopped vacationing in Hawaii, which significantly affected Hawaii's economy.

In the midst of World War II (19391945), on December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked the Hawaiian port of Pearl Harbor. The United States' Pacific fleet was severely damaged, and Hawaii was placed under martial law due to distrust of Hawaiians of Japanese descent. Thousands of citizens who were of Japanese heritage living in western states such as California and Oregon were rounded up and sent to internment camps. In Hawaii, however, where 40 percent of the population was Japanese, the decision was made not to relocate the Japanese because they were integral to Hawaii's economy. Servicemen stationed in Hawaii doubled the territory's population in four years as Hawaii became the central location of the Pacific war operations.

After World War II (19391945) efforts resumed to secure statehood for Hawaii. President Dwight D.

Eisenhower (19531961) signed the bill to let Hawaii enter the Union on March 18, 1959, and Hawaii became the fiftieth state on August 21, 1959. After the war, Hawaii's tourism industry grew as additional airports, built during the war, allowed for more air traffic. Airfare was less expensive than ocean-liner fare, and enabled more people to travel. As the number of visitors grew, so, too, did the construction business as hotels and shopping centers were built.

By the 1980s, the service industry employed 80 percent of the state's workers. In 1990 tourism was the largest industry in Hawaii, with more than 100,000 visitors to the islands daily, and revenues of more than $4 billion annually. Government was the second-largest industry in Hawaii, with more than 65,000 Department of Defense employees. Of the manufactured goods that make up about 5 percent of Hawaii's gross state income, sugar production is still most important, with pineapple production second. Additional products manufactured in Hawaii are macadamia nuts, clothing, and stone, clay, and glass products.

The population of Hawaii continued to grow rapidly after it achieved statehood, primarily through migration from Asia and the U.S. mainland. Since the early 1970s, about 40,000 people have moved to Hawaii from the U.S. mainland each year. Nearly half, however, were military personnel stationed there temporarily while in the service. Between 1980 and 1990 the population of Hawaii increased 15 percent, and according to the 1990 U.S. census, nearly four-fifths of the population lived on Oahu in the metropolitan Honolulu area. Honolulu is the state capital.

While the number of inhabitants increased, annual personal income grew at a much lower rate than the national average, although the cost of living in Hawaii is much higher than on the United States mainland. Between 1995 and 1996, Hawaii saw only a 1.7 percent income increase, compared to the national average of 4.5 percent. The average personal income in Hawaii was listed as $25,159. Hawaii's personal income tax rate is one of the highest in the nation, ranging between two and ten percent. In 1995, 10.3 percent of Hawaii's residents were living below the federal poverty level.


Beckwith, Martha. Hawaiian Mythology. Honolulu: University Press, 1982.

Tabrah, Ruth. Hawaii, A Bicentennial History. New York: Norton, 1980.

Thompson, Kathleen. "Hawaii." In Portrait of America. Steck-Vaughn Publishing, 1996.

Worldmark Encyclopedia of the States. Detroit: Gale Research, 1998, s.v. "Hawaii."

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Hilo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 291

Honolulu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 303

The State in Brief

Nickname: Aloha State

Motto: Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono (The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness)

Flower: Hibiscus

Bird: Hawaiian goose

Area: 10,930 square miles (2000; U.S. rank: 43rd)

Elevation: Ranges from sea level to 13,796 feet above sea level Climate: Mild, tropical

Admitted to Union: August 21, 1959

Capital: Honolulu

Head Official: Governor Linda Lingle (R) (until 2006)


1980: 965,000

1990: 1,135,000

2000: 1,211,537

2004 estimate: 1,262,840

Percent change, 19902000: 9.3%

U.S. rank in 2004: 42nd

Percent of residents born in state: 56.9% (2000)

Density: 188.6 people per square mile (2000)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 75,238

Racial and Ethnic Characteristics (2000)

White: 294,102

Black or African American: 22,003

American Indian and Alaska Native: 3,535

Asian: 503,868

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 113,539

Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 87,699

Other: 15,147

Age Characteristics (2000)

Population under 5 years old: 78,163

Population 5 to 19 years old: 249,088

Percent of population 65 years and over: 13.3%

Median age: 36.2 years (2000)

Vital Statistics

Total number of births (2003): 18,068

Total number of deaths (2003): 8,955 (infant deaths, 139)

AIDS cases reported through 2003: 1,318


Major industries: Government; services; finance, insurance, and real estate; agriculture; tourism

Unemployment rate: 2.9% (January 2005)

Per capita income: $30,589 (2003; U.S. rank: 22nd)

Median household income: $49,839 (3-year average, 2001-2003)

Percentage of persons below poverty level: 10.7% (3-year average, 2001-2003)

Income tax rate: Ranges from 1.4% to 8.25%

Sales tax rate: 4.0%

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Hawaii (island, United States)

Hawaii, island (1990 pop. 120,217), 4,037 sq mi (10,456 sq km), largest and southernmost island of the state of Hawaii and coextensive with Hawaii co.; known as the Big Island. Geologically the youngest of the Hawaiian group, Hawaii is made up of three volcanic mountain masses rising from the floor of the Pacific Ocean—Mauna Kea (13,796 ft/4,205 m above sea level, the highest point in the state); Mauna Loa (with the huge Kilauea crater); and Hualalai. Lava flows, some of which reach the sea, and volcanic ash cover parts of the island. The north and northeast coasts are rugged with high cliffs; the west and south coasts are generally low, with some good bathing beaches. An unusual black-sand beach lies on the southeast coast. Short rivers radiate from the major summits; Wailuku River, the longest, flows into Hilo Bay. Many waterfalls are on the island. Hawaii has a tropical-rainy climate, with the north and east slopes receiving the most rain. The west and south slopes are much drier; the Kau Desert is in S Hawaii. Temperatures decrease with elevation; Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea are usually snow-covered in winter. Vegetation varies from tropical rain forest to grasslands to barren volcanic areas. Sugarcane and pineapples are the island's principal products. The Kona district of W Hawaii is the coffee belt of the United States and is also known for its health resorts and offshore deep-sea fishing. Hilo, on the east coast, is the island's largest city and chief port and is the county seat. A highway, linking the coastal towns, encircles the island. At Kealakekua Bay there is a monument to Capt. James Cook, the first English explorer to visit (1778) the Hawaiian islands. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park are on Hawaii (see National Parks and Monuments, table). All over the island heiaus (ancient temples) are found.

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Hawaii US state in the n Pacific Ocean, c.3350km (2100mi) wsw of San Francisco; the capital is Honolulu. It consists of eight large and 124 small volcanic islands. The highest point is Mauna Kea, at 4205m (13,678ft). There is an important US naval base at Pearl Harbor. Settled by Polynesians in the 9th century ad, King Kamehameha united the islands in the late 18th century. In 1893, the monarchy was overthrown. The USA annexed by Hawaii in 1898 and, in 1900, Hawaii became a US territory. It the last state to be admitted (1959) to the Union. Agriculture and tourism are the mainstays of the economy. Exports: bananas, pineapples, nuts, coffee. Area: 16,705sq km (6450sq mi). Pop. (2000) 1,211,537.

Statehood :

August 21, 1959

Nickname :

Aloha state

State bird :

Nene (Hawaiian goose)

State flower :

Yellow hibiscus

State tree :


State motto :

The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness

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Kahoolawe (kähō´ōlä´vā, –wā, kähō´lä´–), uninhabited island, 45 sq mi (117 sq km), central Hawaii; separated from Maui island to the NE by Alalakeiki Channel. The low island, dotted with many archaeological sites, served as a prison and as a military target range. In 1994 the federal government returned Kahoolawe to the state, but until 2003 the U.S. Navy continued to control access to the island while it removed unexploded ordnance. The island and its waters are managed by the Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission, and are held in trust for a future sovereign Native Hawaiian entity.

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HawaiiHawaii, skyey

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