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Hawai’i has “Diversified Culture”

Posted: April 26, 2018

The Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) released a report recently, “Demographic, Social, Economic, and Housing Characteristics for Selected Race Groups in Hawaii,” which shows the different lifestyles among the 14 top race groups in Hawaii.

“We have the most diversified culture, workforce, and lifestyle among all the states in the nation,” said DBEDT Director Luis P. Salaveria. “This gives us an advantage in terms of international trade and tourism by supplying the diversified work force and providing a wide variety of food and cultural activities. At the same time, there are more demand for government and private services, especially in the areas of education and health care.”

Chief State Economist Dr. Eugene Tian noted that the Pacific Islander groups (Samoan, Marshallese, Guamanian or Chamorro, and Tongan) have significantly larger household sizes, higher poverty rates, higher unemployment rates, lower home ownership, and lower per capita income. Population in these groups are the youngest in the state.

Some highlights from this report are:

  • Nearly a fourth, 23.7 percent of Hawaii’s population identified as multiracial during the 2011-2015 period while the share of multiracial population in the U.S. was 3 percent during the same time period.
  • The top five “race alone or in combination” groups were as follows: White (43 percent) Filipino (25 percent), Japanese (22.1 percent), Native Hawaiian (21.3 percent) and Chinese (14.1 percent).
  • The median age in Hawaii was 38 years old. Of the groups studied, Japanese had the oldest median age at 43.9 years, and the Marshallese had the youngest median age at 18.5.
  • 53.8 percent of the population living in Hawaii during the 2011-2015 period were born in Hawaii. Native Hawaiians had the largest share of native-born population. The Marshallese had the largest share of foreign-born population.
  • An estimated 33.5 percent of all households had at least one child living in it, and an estimated 32.5 percent of households had at least one person 65 or older living in it.
  • More than 95 percent of the White, Japanese, Black or African American, and Okinawan populations in Hawaii had at least a high school diploma during the 2011-2015 period.
  • Blacks or African Americans aged 16 and older had the highest rates of labor force participation in Hawaii. Okinawans had the lowest civilian unemployment rate during the 2011-2015 period.
  • One-tenth, 10.4 percent of civilian workers in Hawaii were self-employed during the 2011-2015 period. The Vietnamese had the highest rates of self-employment.
  • The median household income in Hawaii was $69,515. Of the top five largest race groups in Hawaii, Filipinos had the highest household income and Native Hawaiians had the lowest.
  • An estimated 7.7 percent of families in Hawaii lived in poverty during the 2011-2015 period. An estimated 11.2 percent of all people in Hawaii lived in poverty.
  • Homeownership rates in Hawaii were among the lowest in the nation. An estimated 56.9 percent of homes in Hawaii were owner occupied while the U.S. home ownership was 63.9 percent. Only three race groups had homeownership rates greater than the national average: Okinawans (77.3 percent), Japanese (73.6 percent) and Chinese (64.1 percent).

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