DBEDT Releases Population and Economic Projections to 2045

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Hawai‘i’s economy as measured by gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to grow 1.7 percent per year between 2016 and 2045, according to a new report released by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT).

Population and Economic Projections for the State of Hawai‘i to 2045” predicts that civilian jobs will grow at an annual rate of 0.8 percent; the population will grow at an annual rate of 0.5 percent. Visitor arrivals by air travel are expected to grow at 1.1 percent annually through the same period.

The report was compiled using data from the 2010 Decennial Census, 2016 vintage intercensal population estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau, 2016 estimates of economic variables, and input-output tables based on the 2012 Economic Census. It is the ninth report in a series of long-range projections by DBEDT that first began in 1978. DBEDT’s last report was released in March 2012 with projections through 2040. The report is conducted every four to six years.

“The report provides the best estimates from our economists, which are based on trends and our understanding of the economic future,” said DBEDT Director Luis P. Salaveria. “These projections will help the state and counties with infrastructure and economic planning, while businesses can use the projections in developing their growth strategies.”

Table courtesy of DBEDT.


“The world changes rapidly with new technology and regulations, so it is difficult to project the economic indicators precisely into the future,” said DBEDT’s Chief State Economist Dr. Eugene Tian. “In our DBEDT 2040 projection series, which was released in 2012, we projected our resident population would be 1,418,250 in 2015, the actual estimate for the same year by the U.S. Census Bureau was 1,425,157, a difference of 6,907 people or a 0.5 percent forecasting error for that year.”

Some highlights of the DBEDT 2045 forecast include:

  • Resident populations will grow at 0.7 percent per year between 2016 and 2025. Then the growth rate will drop to 0.5 percent per year between 2025 and 2035, and will further drop to 0.3 percent between 2035 and 2045;
  • By 2045, Hawai‘i will have a total resident population of 1,648,600—15.4 percent higher than the 2016 population level of 1,428,557;
  • Neighbor island counties will experience faster growth in resident populations than Honolulu County. As a result, Honolulu will have 65.1 percent of the state’s total resident population by 2045, down from 69.5 percent in 2016;
  • The elderly population (65+ years) will grow at an annual rate of 1.7 percent between 2016 and 2045. The population at age 85+ will grow at an annual rate of 3.6 percent during the same period;
  • By 2045, the elderly population (65+ years) will account for 23.8 percent of Hawai‘i’s total resident population compared with 17.1 percent in 2016;
  • Visitor arrivals are projected to increase at an annual rate of 1.1 percent during the 2016–2045 period with daily visitor census at 302,500 by 2045—38.6 percent higher than the 2016 count of 218,272;
  • Hawai‘i’s economy, as measured by real gross domestic product (GDP), is expected to grow at 1.7 percent per year between 2016 and 2045, a rate lower than the previous 30 years at 1.9 percent between 1986 to 2016;
  • Statewide real personal income (adjusted for inflation) will grow at an annual rate of two percent between 2016 and 2045—higher than the 1.8 percent experienced during the past 30 years between 1986 and 2016;
  • Statewide total civilian jobs will grow at an annual rate of 0.8 percent between 2016 and 2045, lower than the 1.5 percent experienced during the 30 years prior 2016;
  • The growth in self-employed jobs will be at 1.3 percent per year, higher than that of wage and salary jobs at 0.6 percent per year between 2016 and 2045;
  • The sectors with projected higher job growth rates include Health Services (1.3 percent annual growth rate), Educational Services (1.3 percent annual growth), Business Services (1.2 annual growth), Professional Services (1.1 percent annual growth), and Eating and Drinking Places (1 percent annual growth) between 2016 and 2045.


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