Hawaii population

Census Bureau turns Hawaii’s population gain into loss

The US Census Bureau overestimated Hawaii’s 2020 population by 6.79%, or 98,812 people, according to an internal review released this month of the 2020 census.

This virtually erases Hawaii’s supposed population growth over the past decade and highlights the state’s astronomical cost of living.

According to data from the 2020 initial censusHawaii’s population grew by 6.52% to 1,455,271 between 2010 and 2020. However, in its 2020 Post-Census Survey Estimate Reportthe US Census Bureau determined that the population decreased by 0.26%.

This decline for the decade can be attributed to Hawaii’s population decline that began in 2016 and continued through 2020, amounting to a net loss of approximately 22,000 inhabitants. This figure represents all births and deaths in the state, as well as people leaving and moving to the islands.

Keli’i Akinapresident and CEO of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, said the revised 2020 census figures confirm what the institute had suspected all along.

Keli’i Akina

“When the numbers initially came out in January, we pretty much thought there must have been an error in the data,” he said. “In confidential conversations with knowledgeable census experts, we were assured that initial data updates would show a continued exodus of Hawaii residents, and that is exactly what has happened.”

In six states – Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas – the Census Bureau underestimated the population. The New Orleans nonprofit data center said NPR Thursday that “many southern states were hit by disasters, hurricanes as the door-to-door work continued,” leading many people not to complete the census.

According to the Washington, D.C.-based publication The hill, counting errors for Texas and Florida likely cost them extra congressional seats. The census underestimated their populations by 1.92% and 3.48%, respectively.

Meanwhile, in eight states — Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island and Utah — the Census Bureau overestimated populations.

The revised census report does not explain why the 2020 figures were inaccurate, but Eugene Tianchief state economist, said in Honolulu featured advertiser that one of the reasons for the overcoverage in Hawaii could be that out-of-state residents who own homes here have been unable to return to their primary residences on the mainland due to coronavirus lockdowns. Pierre Fulek, a University of Hawaii economist, said students in Hawaii for spring break 2020 might also have been unable to return home to the mainland for the same reason.

For Hawaii policymakers, these new statistics serve as a reminder that the state encouraged its residents to leave and discouraged potential residents from moving to Hawaii. You can read the stories of many of those who left on the institute’s website here.

Akina said the reasons for the exodus include Hawaii’s lack of affordable housing, high taxes, excessive regulations that have stifled business opportunities, and the federal Jones Act, which limits shipping competition to the islands and increases the cost. of all goods.

From a tax perspective, he added, fewer residents means fewer people to pay taxes — yet the legislature continues to raise taxes, spending and debt.

“If the Legislature and the Governor – and the Counties – do not act quickly to expand individual freedom, economic freedom and responsible government, I am sure we will all see more of our families, friends and neighbors leave the islands in the coming days.”