Hawaii population

Hawaii’s population declines for fifth straight year

For the fifth consecutive year, Hawaii’s population has declined, according to the annual report of the United States Census Bureau. population estimates.

From July 2020 to July 2021, Hawaii’s population decreased from 1,451,911 to 1,441,553. This is a population decrease of 10,358 or 0.7%.

Hawaii ranks fourth in the country for the highest population decline. The top three, including the District of Columbia, were Illinois at 0.9%, New York at 1.6%, and DC ranked first at 2.9%.

The state’s population decline breaks a long pattern of positive growth. Before 2017, the last negative population change was in 1999, and before that, in 1963.


Last year, the Census Bureau also released its 2020 census population results for Hawaii, which is only counted once per decade. Hawaii recorded a population increase of 7% from 2010 to 2020, however, the annual growth rate was the slowest the state has ever recorded. It increased half as fast as in 2000 and 2010.

Hawaii’s high cost of living has always been a major reason many residents have moved, but the pandemic has increased economic hardship as unemployment rates have risen.

In March 2020, Hawaii had a unemployment rate of 2.1% with 13,993 unemployed, but by April of that year it had skyrocketed to 21.9% with 139,635 unemployed, according to the Hawaii Department of Labor. The unemployment rate has since fallen considerably, but was last recorded at 6.4%, or 41,113 unemployed, in October 2021.

The majority of residents leaving the state are between the ages of 18 and 34 and have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

“It is not the higher wages per se that encourage people to move to the mainland, but rather the types of jobs available on the mainland,” writes the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Hawaii in a new report focused on Hawaii-born residents moving to the continental United States

Residents of Honolulu County on the island of Oahu are more likely to move than other counties, and that’s to other US states, according to a 2019 DBEDT report.

California, Nevada, Texas and Washington were the main destinations.