East Hawaii News

Hawaii County Residents Second Oldest in State

June 26, 2014, 1:43 PM HST
* Updated June 26, 4:59 PM
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Big Island residents have the second-highest median age among counties in the state, barely trailing Kauai County, according to data released today by the US Census Bureau.

That’s the case if one doesn’t count Hawaii’s fifth county, Kalawao, which encompasses Kalaupapa Peninsula on the island of Molokai and is officially in the judicial district of Maui County.

Kalawao County’s 90 or so residents have a median age of 58.3, the bureau said.

The median means half of the population is above that age and half is below.

Kauai County’s median age on July 1, 2013 was 41.5 years old, followed by Hawaii County at 41.3  and Maui County at 40.0.

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Honolulu County is the youngest in the state with a median age of 36.8, slightly less than the nation’s median age of 37.6.

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Not surprisingly, Hawaii and Kauai counties had the highest percentage of residents age 65 or older, which in both made up 16.8% of the population.

Hawaii County joins the nation as a whole in having an aging population. The median age of the US increased slightly – 0.1 of a year – from 2012, but Honolulu, Maui and Kauai counties all grew younger in 2013 compared to the year before, the Census Bureau said.

The bureau did not provide figures on the 2012-2013 changes for Hawaii’s counties.

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The Census Bureau previously reported that Hawaii County was third among the four main counties in population growth.

Ethnically, Hawaii is bucking the trend nationally where non-Hispanic, single-race whites were the largest group in 2013 at 197.8 million.

Hispanics were next with a population of 54 million, followed by blacks at 45 million, Asians (19.4 million), American Indians and Alaska Natives (6.4 million) and those in the Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders category who total 1.4 million.

In Hawaii, Asians account for 790,998 of the population followed by 323,463 non-Hispanic single-race whites, 52,454 blacks, 37,200 American Indians and Alaska Natives, 366,425 Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders and 138,065 Hispanics.

Hawaii County had the biggest share of Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders, which accounted for 26.1% of its population.

The Big Island also ranked first for its percentage – 56.4% — of the white population.

The county with the largest percentage of people reporting to be Asian, either alone or in combination with other races, was Honolulu with 60.4%.

(The Census Bureau said the sum of populations for the five “race alone or in combination” groups add to more than the total population because those responding to the census survey may report more than one race.)

***Updated 4:56 p.m.***

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