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Hawaii State Guide

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The state of Hawaii is the only state to be located in Oceania and is the only place in America to be formedFlag of Hawaii entirely of islands.  The state of Hawaii is also called the Aloha State. The state was discovered by Polynesians during the 3rd and 7th centuries A.D. and later by British Captain James Cook in the year 1778. Hawaii is the 50th and the most recent sate to be added in the Union. Hawaii joined the Nation as the 50th state on 21st August, 1959. Honolulu, the State Capital of Hawaii and is located on the Island of Oahu.

Hawaii Fast Facts[1]
  • Capital: Honolulu
  • Largest city: HonoluluHawaiian Goose
  • Largest metro: Oahu metropolitan area
  • Nickname: The Aloha State
  • State Flower: Yellow hibiscus 
  • State Bird: Hawaiian goose
  • State Tree: Candlenut
  • State Song: Hawaii Ponoi
  • State Motto: Ua mau ke ea o ka ‘aina i ka pono
    (The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness)

History of Hawaii

The state of Hawaii became the 50th state of America in the year 1959[2], but the history of the state traces back to the early centuries. In between 3rd and 7th centuries A.D the Polynesians from the Marquesas Islands discovered Hawaii. Settlers from Tahiti arrived 500 years later and they instituted a strict social hierarchy based on a taboo system. Over the centuries the Hawaiian culture flourished, giving rise to the art of the hula and the sport of surfing.

Captain James Cook in the year 1778 visited Kauai at Waimea Bay. He named the archipelago the Sandwich Islands. He also opened the doors to the west. Only a year later, Cook was killed in Kealakekua Bay on Hawaii Island.

King Kamehameha in the year 1791 united the warring factions of Hawaii Island. In the year in 1810 he also joined all the Hawaiian Islands into one royal kingdom. King Kamehameha’s son, Liholiho, abolished the ancient taboo system after his death.

The first Protestant missionaries came to Hawaii Island in the year 1820. Hawaii turned into a port for traders, whalers and seamen. The whaling industry in Lahaina Harbor in Maui flourished. Western disease took a heavy toll on the Native Hawaiian population, throughout these years of growth.

Western culture continued to grow in Hawaii. , American Colonists in the year 1893, overthrew the Hawaiian Kingdom in a peaceful and yet still controversial manner. Hawaii became a territory of the United States in the year 1898.

Sugar and pineapple plantations in the 20th century, contributed much to the economy of Hawaii and bringing an influx of Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese and Filipino immigrants. Under the leadership of James Dole, Lanai, became world’s leading exporter of pineapple and came to be known as the “Pineapple Island.”

The Japanese attacked the Pearl Harbor on Oahu on December 7, 1941. Japan signed its unconditional surrender on the USS Battleship Missouri, on 2nd September, 1945. Hawaii joined the United States as the 50th State in the year 1959. Today, the state has become a global gathering place for the people to share in the spirit of aloha.

Hawaii History Timeline

300 – 700 AD: Polynesian settlers came to Hawaii from Marquesas.
1778:  Hawaiian Islands discovered by British Captain, James Cook, he named them Sandwich Islands.
1782: King Kamehameha I controlled northern Island of Hawaii.
1795: Hawaii was unified by King Kamehameha I.
1820: Christian missionaries visited Hawaii.
1826: U. S. and Hawaii signed treaty of friendship, navigation and commerce.
1829: First coffee plantation was done in Kona.
1831: Catholic missionaries were compelled to leave Hawaii.
1840: First constitution of Hawaii adopted.
1842: First House of Representatives met.
1846: Construction of Governor’s Residence {Washington Place) completed.
1868: First Japanese contract workers came to Hawaii.
1893:  Government ministers overthrew Monarchy.
1894: Republic of Hawaii was formed.
1898: Resolution to annex Hawaii passed by U.S. Congress.
1901: James Drummond Dole established Hawaiian Pineapple Company.
1910: First airplane flight in Hawaii took place.
1920: Hawaii National Park set up by by Act of Congress.
1934: President Roosevelt visited Hawaii.
1941: Pearl Harbor attacked by Japanese.
1959: Hawaii became 50th state of U. S.
1995: Last sugar plantation on Hawaii Island of closed.
2011: 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor commemorated.

Geography of Hawaii

The Hawaiian Islands is located in the central Pacific Ocean approximately 3,000 miles approximately from the continental United States. It is the southernmost state of the United States. It is also the only American state that is not geographically located in North America. Hawaii is also the only state that is entirely surrounded by water and can be considered an archipelago.
Map of hawaii

The Major Islands of Hawaii

The State of Hawaii comprises of eight major and 124 minor islands in the 1,523 mile archipelago. The eight major islands of Hawaii are: the islands of Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Lanai, Niihau, Molokai and Kahoolawe.

Hawaii Islands: It is the largest habitable island of Hawaii. The Hawaii Island was formed by five volcanoes and two of the volcanoes are still active. Mauna Kea, he highest point in the state is located in this island.

Maui Island: This Island often called the Valley Island since many canyons that cut into the two mountains. This Island was formed by two volcanoes. Haleakala is the highest point on Maui Island.

Kahoolawe Island: It is a small, uninhabited island in Hawaii next to Maui. This island is dry and windswept.

Molokai Island: The Island can be divided into three regions depending on its physical feature. The eastern region of the island is covered with rugged mountains and canyons. The western region is the dry plateau. The central area of the Island is a fertile plain used for growing various crops.

Lanai Island: The 98% of the land is owned by the makers of Dole pineapple products.

Oahu Island: This Island consists of two mountain ranges which are the Koolau Range in the east and the Waianae Range in the west. Diamond Head is the most notable landmark in the island. It is 760-foot extinct volcanic crater situated on the southeastern end of the island at the end of Waikiki.

Kauai Island: Kawaikini Peak is located in the center of the island. Kauai Island is also called the Garden Island.

Niihau Island: This is a private island and is nicknamed as "The Forbidden Island.” The island is by the Robinson family of Kauai.

Forest service in Hawaii

The Division of Forestry and Wildlife of Hawaii is responsible to protect and manage native ecosystems, watersheds and cultural resources and also give outdoor recreation and sustainable forest products opportunities, while making possible community involvement, partnerships and education.

Forests in Hawaii

There are several programs managed by the Division of Forestry and Wildlife in order to protect the wildlife, forest and watershed resource of Hawaii. The programs include Forest Stewardship Program, Forest Legacy Program, Conservation Resource Enhancement Program, Watershed Partnership Program, Natural Area Partnership Program and Kaulunani Urban Forestry Program.

To know more about these programs Click here.

The Hawaii Experimental Tropical Forest was set up in the year 2007. The Forest is divided into two units which are: The Laupahoehoe Wet Forest which covers an area of 12,343 acres and the Puu Waawaa Dry Forest, which covers an area of 38,885 acres. The Hawaii Experimental Tropical Forest is part of a network of USFS Experimental Forest and Range units located across the United States.

To know more about Hawaii Experimental Tropical Forest Click here.

Climate of Hawaii

The Climate of Hawaii is typical for the tropics, although due to constant trade winds from the east temperatures and humidity tend to be a bit less here.

The summer temperature normally is 31 degree C during the day and around 24 degree C at night. The temperature during the winter is usually 28 degree C during the day and around 18 degree C at night. In some winter month’s snow falls on Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa on Hawaii Island. Mount Waialeale located on Kauai Island has the second-highest average annual rainfall on Earth. Most of Hawaii State experience only two seasons which are the dry season that is from the month of May to October and the wet season from the month of October to April. The local climate of Hawaii differs considerably on each island.

Geography Quick Facts
  • Total Land area: 6,422.63 square miles
  • Longitude: 154 degree 40'W to 162 degree W
  • Latitude: 16 degree 55' N to 23degree N
  • Highest point: Mauna Kea( 13,796 ft)
  • Lowest Point: Pacific Ocean (sea level)
  • Major Rivers: Wailuku River (Hawaii), Anahulu River (Oahu)
  • Longest stream: Kaukonahua Stream (Oahu, 33 miles)

Demographics of Hawaii

The population of Hawaii as of 2014 estimation by the U.S. Census Bureau was 1,419,561. The 2014 census reflected a hike of 4.36% since the year 2010.

Hawaii population quick facts according to the Census Bureau[3]
  • Population, 2014 estimate: 1,419,561
  • Population, 2013 estimate: 1,408,987
  • Population, 2010 (April 1) estimates base: 1,360,301
  • Population, percent change - April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014: 4.4%
  • Population, percent change - April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013: 3.6%
  • Population, 2010: 1,360,301
  • Persons under 5 years, percent, 2013: 6.5%
  • Persons under 18 years, percent, 2013: 21.9%
  • Persons 65 years and over, percent, 2013: 15.6%
  • Female persons, percent, 2013: 49.5%
Hawaii Racial Groups
  • White alone, percent, 2013 (a): 26.6%
  • Black or African American alone, percent, 2013 (a): 2.3%
  • American Indian and Alaska Native alone, percent, 2013 (a): 0.4%
  • Asian alone, percent, 2013 (a): 37.7%
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, percent, 2013 (a): 10.0%
  • Two or More Races, percent, 2013: 23.1%
  • Hispanic or Latino, percent, 2013 (b): 9.8%
  • White alone, not Hispanic or Latino, percent, 2013: 23.0%
The major religious groups in the state are:
  • Protestantism
  • Catholicism
  • Buddhism
  • Hinduism
  • Judaism
  • Islam

Economy of Hawaii  

Several sectors play an important role in the economic growth of Hawaii. The Tourism Industry in Hawaii is the largest Industry in Hawaii. Some other sectors that contributed in the economic development of the state include agriculture, Forests, Fisheries, and Mining, Information and Communications, Information and Communications and Foreign and Interstate Commerce.
Economy of Hawaii
Hawaii Economy facts and figures[4]
  • Gross domestic product (GDP) in billion of current dollars of all industry total in 2013 - $249,251
  • Hawaii Per capita real GDP in 2013 - $ 70,110
  • Hawaii Per capita personal income in 2014 - $46,396
  • Hawaii’s unemployment rate in 2015 – 4.1%

Agriculture in Hawaii

  • The top 5 agricultural products of Hawaii are Coffee, Fresh herbs, Macadamia nuts, Papayas, Bananas, Cabbage and Lettuce
  • Hawaii’s most important agricultural income is generated from exotic fruits, coffee, macadamia nuts, flowers and foliage.
  • Hawaii's most valuable crops include Sugar cane and pineapples.
  • Hawaii’s other livestock products are cattle and calves, dairy, bee and pigs and hogs.

Industry in Hawaii

  • Hawaii has seen development in some industries in recent time. The emerging industry of Hawaii includes biotechnology, digital media and creative industries.
  • Hawaii's leading manufacturing activity is Food processing mainly refined sugar and canned pineapple
  • Hawaii's leading service industry is business and personal services which include private health care, accounting and engineering, law, firms, restaurants, hotels, rental car agencies.
  • The next important service industry in Hawaii are insurance, finance and real estate.

Tourism in Hawaii

Tourism is also a principal part of the economy of Hawaii. It is the largest industry in the state of Hawaii and it contributes a large share to improve the economy of Hawaii.

The top places to visit in Hawaii include:Hawaii Islands

Hawaii Business quick facts

  • Private nonfarm establishments, 2012: 31, 4961
  • Private nonfarm employment, 2012: 492, 0891
  • Private nonfarm employment, percent change, 2011-2012: 1.3%1
  • Nonemployer establishments, 2012: 97,151
  • Total number of firms, 2007: 120,374
  • Black-owned firms, percent, 2007: 0.9%
  • American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms, percent, 2007: 1.3%
  • Asian-owned firms, percent, 2007: 47.2%
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander-owned firms, percent, 2007: 9.5%
  • Hispanic-owned firms, percent, 2007: 3.6%
  • Women-owned firms, percent, 2007: 31.0%
  • Manufacturers shipments, 2007 ($1000):    8,799,266
  • Merchant wholesaler sales, 2007 ($1000): 8,894,672
  • Retail sales, 2007 ($1000): 17,611,851
  • Retail sales per capita, 2007: $13,793
  • Accommodation and food services sales, 2007 ($1000): 8,042,210
  • Building permits: 2013:3,882

Transportation in Hawaii

The Department of Transportation of Hawaii is responsible to design, plan, construct, maintain and operate state facilities in all modes of transportation which includes land, air and water.

Transporatiom in Hawaii

The Road Transportation of Hawaii is encircled by a system of state highways. The state of Hawaii is composed of two thousand four hundred fifty (2,450) lane miles of highway. The major Highways in Hawaii are Interstate H-1, Interstate H-2, Interstate H-3 and Interstate H-201.

Air transportation is an essential gateway of Hawaii that serves the locals and tourists from all over the world. The major airports in Hawaii are Hilo International Airport, Honolulu International Airport, Kahului Airport, Kona International Airport, Molokai Airport, Lanai Airport and Lihue Airport.

The Hawaiian Railway Society is an educational non-profit organization which is responsible in preserving, protecting and restoring the rich railroad history of Hawaii

All modes of Water Transportation is maintained and operated by the Harbors Division of Hawaii. The state of Hawaii consists of several ports which are located on major Hawaiian Islands.

Read more about Transportation in Hawaii.

Government of Hawaii

The government of Hawaii is divided into three branches the Executive Branch, The Legislative Branch and Seal of Hawaiithe Judicial Branch.

The head of the Executive Department of Hawaii is the Governor. All the executive power of the state of Hawaii is vested on the hands of the Governor. The Lieutenant Governor is the second highest officer in the state after the Governor. 

The legislative power of the State of Hawaii is divided among the House of Representative and the State Senate. The members of the house and the senate shall be elected at an election.

The Hawaii Judiciary Branch looks after all the law and regulations of the state. All the Judicial decisions of the state of Hawaii is taken by the Supreme Court of Hawaii, The Intermediate Court of Appeals, Land Court, Tax Appeal Court, Circuit Courts, Family Courts, District Courts and Office of the Administrative Director of the Courts.

Hawaii Taxation

The Department of Taxation in Hawaii administers the laws of the tax for the State of Hawaii in a uniform, consistent and fair manner. Major Taxes administered by the Hawaii Taxation Department are Income Taxes, General Excise and Use Tax, Transient Accommodations Tax, Rental Motor Vehicle and Tour Vehicle Surcharge Tax.

Read More about Hawaii Government.

Hawaii Health Care

The Health Department of Hawaii is responsible to improve and protect the health and environment of all the people of the state of Hawaii. The Department offers Appropriate, Affordable and Assured quality medical services to the people of the state. The Health Department works to promote health and well-being of the people, Prevent disease and injury and also promotes healthy lifestyles, strength and integrity of families of Hawaii.

The state of Hawaii is the home of many good hospitals which work efficiently for the improvement of health of the people of the state. Hawaii hospitals are well equipped with all the latest medical facilities. Some of the major hospitals of the Hawaii are Pacific Cancer Institute of Maui, Hawaii Pacific Health, Kau Hospital and Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children.

Read more about Hawaii Health Care.

Education in Hawaii

The education system in Hawaii consists of the public and private schools, public and private universities, colleges and high schools. The Education Department of Hawaii is responsible to manage and assess the workings of all universities, colleges and schools in the state. The mission of the Department is to give the best education and values to the student of the state to make sure success in education, workplace and in every spheres of life. The Hawaii State Board of Education administers grades K-12 public school system in the state.

Education System in Hawaii

Hawaii Private Universities and Colleges
Hawaii Public Universities and College

Sports in Hawaii

Sporting events can enhance the economy of Hawaii, quality of life and image. The Hawaii tourism authority, recognizing these benefits has developed a sports marketing program in order to increase the state’s sports presence to a globally competitive level.

Following are the sports that are currently supported by Hawaii Tourism Authority:
  • Hyundai Tournament of Champions
  • Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai
  • Sony Open in Hawaii
  • Hawaii Beach Volleyball Festival
  • Ohana Cup
  • LPGA Lotte Championship
  • Kauai Marathon
  • Ironman World Championships
  • EA Sport Maui Invitational
  • Xterra World Championships
  • XTERRA Trail Run World Championship
  • Hawaii Bowl
  • Diamond Head Classic

Tradition and Culture of Hawaii

If you go deep into the local community of Hawaii one can experience a culture alive with “paniolo” Festival parade float(cowboys), fire dancers, Chinese dragons, culinary events, ethnic festivals, and an exotic collection of festivals and celebrations unique in all the world. One can also enjoy parades, food and craft fairs, street parties, concerts and family activities throughout the year that honor every aspect of diverse culture of Hawaii.

Some of the notable Festival in Hawaii include:

  • Honolulu Marathon (December)
  • the Hawaii International Film Festival (October),
  • Oahu’s Prince Lot Hula Competition (July)
  • Eo E Emalani I Alakai Festival (October)
  • Fetsivals of Aloha (October)
  • Hilo Chinese New Year Festival
  • Kona Coffee Cultural Festival
  • Wailea Wine & Food Festival
  • Hawaii Book & Music Festival

To know more about Festivals of Hawaii Click here.

Interesting Facts about Hawaii

  • The state of Hawaii was described as "the loveliest fleet of islands” by Mark Twain.
  • Hawaii is a string of 137 islands.
  • The state of Hawaii has eight major islands which are Kauai, Niihau, Oahu, Lanai, Molokai, Maui, Kahoolawe and Hawaii.
  • The State Song of Hawaii is Hawaii Ponoi.Flower lei
  • The Honolulu County in Hawaii is the smallest of the four counties.
  • The state insect of Hawaii is Kamehameha butterfly.
  • Traditional gift of Aloha in Hawaii is Flower lei.
  • The most popular tourist destination in Hawaii is the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.
  • Maui Island is known as the "Valley Isle".
  • Hawaii Island is known as the "Big Island".
  • Kauai is known as the "Garden Island".

  1. Hawaii Fast Facts
  2. Hawaii Statehood
  3. Demographics of Hawaii
  4. Economy Fast Facts
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