East Hawaii News

Hawaii County Has Most Whites and Hawaiians, Least Asians

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Asians account for more than half of Hawaii’s population, according to information released today by the US Census Bureau.

According to the bureau’s most recent estimates, as of July 1, 2012, those with at least a portion of Asian ethnicity accounted for 56.9% of the state’s population.

That makes Hawaii the state with by far the highest concentration of Asians, followed by California at 15.8%.

census bureau logoAsians are also the fastest-growing ethnic group in the US, the Census Bureau said. Between July 2011 and July 2012 their population grew by 530,000, or 2.9%, to a total of 18.9 million.

More than 60% of that growth came from international migration.


The state with the fastest-growing Asian population – percentage-wise – was South Dakota.

Among Hawaii’s counties, Honolulu had the highest percentage of Asian population, either alone or in combination with other races, at 60.9%. Kauai County was second at 51.4%, followed by Maui County at 47.7% and Hawaii County at 45.7%.

When it came to native Hawaiians and other Pacific islanders, either alone or in combination, that order was reversed. The Big Island had the state’s highest percentage at 34.3%, followed by Maui County at 27.5%, Kauai County at 25.8% and Honolulu County at 24.4%

Non-Hispanic whites also represented the highest percentage of the population in Hawaii County at 56.2%, followed by Maui County at 52.3%, Kauai County at 51.3% and Honolulu County at 38.3%.


Whites made up the second-highest percentage of the population statewide at 43.0%, giving Hawaii the lowest percentage of white population in the country. Washington DC ranked second at 44.8%.

When it came to age, 15.1% of Hawaii’s population was 65 or above, which ranked it ninth in the nation in that category.

And that segment of the portion of the population is growing quickly. For the year-long period ending July 1, 2012, the number of those 65 or older grew by 4.1%, more than four times the overall growth rate of the state.

The state’s percentage of residents 85 years and older in mid-2012 was 2.5%. Only four states had a higher percentage.


Kauai County had the highest median age at 41.8 years old, followed closely by Hawaii County at 41.3 years. Maui County’s median age was 40.2 years while Honolulu had the youngest at 37.3 years.

The statewide median age in July 2012 was 38.3 years.

The Hawaii numbers were distilled from Census Bureau data by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Totals can add up to more than 100% because of combinations of races.

The Census Bureau said the numbers are estimates based on the 2010 Census population, vital statistics, administrative records, federal tax returns and the results from the American Community Survey.

***Updated to correct median age for Hawaii County.***

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