Study: Hawai‘i No. 2 in Nation for Least Political Engagement

October 21, 2018, 11:00 AM HST (Updated October 19, 2018, 12:39 PM)

Big Island Now file photo.

According to a new study compiled by the personal finance website WalletHub, Hawai‘i ranks No. 2 in the nation for the U.S. states with the least political engagement.

The study, 2018’s Most and Least Politically Engaged States, reports that Hawai‘i had the lowest percentage of both registered voters and electorate who voted during the 2016 presidential election.

The study also ranked Hawai‘i’s political engagement as follows: (1=Most, 25=Average, 51=Least):

  • 32nd – % of Electorate Who Voted in 2014 Midterm Elections
  • 51st – % of Electorate Who Voted in 2016 Presidential Election
  • 44th – Change in % of Electorate Who Actually Voted in 2016 Elections vs. 2012 Elections
  • 42nd – Total Political Contributions per Adult Population
  • 18th – Civic Education Engagement

Nationwide, WalletHub reported that only 61.4% of the voting age population voted during the 2016 presidential election and 36.4% in the 2014 midterm election. Despite a record number of Americans voting in the 2016 election (137.5 million), the total sum accounts for only 61.4% of the voting-age population. Worldwide, the U.S. is ranked 26 of 32 for voter participation.


Income levels appear to significantly impact voter turnout and public policy, according to WalletHub. During the 2016 election, only 41.4% of registered voters with incomes of less than $10,000 voted. In comparison, 80.3% of those with incomes of $150,000 or more voted.

The study obtained its findings by comparing the 50 states and the District of Columbia across ten key indicators of political engagement including percentage of registered voters in the 2016 presidential election and total political contributions per adult population.

Graphic courtesy of WalletHub.

Source: WalletHub



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