Location of Hawaii in the Pacific
( or in English; Hawaiian
: Moku āina o Hawai
) is the newest of the 50 U.S.
, and is the only state made up entirely of islands.
located on an archipelago in the central
Ocean, southwest of the continental United States,
southeast of Japan, and
northeast of Australia.
was admitted to the Union on August 21, 1959
capital is Honolulu on the
island of Oahu.
The most recent census estimate puts the
state's population at 1,283,388.
The state encompasses nearly the entire volcanic Hawaiian Island chain
, which comprises
hundreds of islands spread over 1,500 miles (2,400 km).
southeastern end of the archipelago, the
eight "main islands" are (from the northwest to southeast) Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe, Maui, and
last is by far the largest, and is often called the "Big Island" or
"Big Isle" to avoid confusion with the state as a whole. This
archipelago is physiographically and ethnologically part of the
subregion of Oceania
In standard American English, Hawaii
is generally . In the
, it is generally
or . Hawaii has produced one U.S. President
, Barack Obama
The Hawaiian language
derives from Proto-Polynesian
, with the reconstructed
cognate words are found in other Polynesian languages, including
According to Pukui and Elbert, "Elsewhere in Polynesia, Hawai i or
a cognate is the name of the underworld or of the ancestral home,
but in Hawai i the name has no meaning."
Geography and environment
The main Hawaiian Islands are:
Pāhoehoe and Aā lava flows side by
side at the Big Island of Hawaii in September, 2007
An archipelago situated some southwest of the North American
mainland, Hawaii is the southernmost state of the United States and
the second westernmost state after Alaska. Only Hawaii and Alaska
are outside the contiguous United States and do not share a border
with any other U.S. state.
Hawaii is the only state of the United States that:
- is not geographically located in North America
- grows coffee
- is completely surrounded by water
- is entirely an archipelago
- has a royal palace
- does not have a straight line in its state boundary
Map of Hawaii
tallest mountain, Mauna
Kea stands at but is taller than Mount Everest if followed to the base of the mountain—from the
floor of the Pacific Ocean, rising about .
Nā Pali coast, Kaua i
All of the Hawaiian islands were formed by volcanoes erupting from
the sea floor from a magma source
described in geological theory as a hotspot
. As the tectonic plate
beneath much of the Pacific
Ocean moves in a northwesterly direction, the hot spot remains
stationary, slowly creating new volcanoes. This explains why only
volcanoes on the southern half of the Big Island, and the Lō ihi Seamount deep below the waters off its southern coast, are
presently active, with Lō ihi being the newest volcano to
volcanic eruption outside the Big
Island occurred at Haleakalā on Maui before the late 18th century, though
Haleakalā's most recent eruptive activity could be hundreds of
In 1790, Kīlauea exploded in the deadliest
eruption known to have occurred in what is now the United States.
As many as
5,405 warriors and their families marching on Kīlauea were killed in an eruption in 1790.
Volcanic activity and subsequent erosion created impressive
geological features. The Big Island is the world's second highest
instability of the volcanoes has generated damaging earthquakes with related tsunamis, particularly in 1868 and 1975.
Flora and Fauna
Because of the islands' volcanic formation, native life before
human activity is said to have arrived by the "3 W's": wind
(carried through the air), waves (brought by ocean currents), and
wings (birds, insects, and whatever they brought with them).
isolation of the Hawaiian Islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and the wide range of environments on high islands
in and near the tropic, has resulted in a
vast array of endemic flora and fauna (see Endemism in the Hawaiian
Hawaii has more endangered species and has
lost a higher percentage of its endemic species than anywhere in
the United States.
File:Niihau sep 2007.jpg|Niihau File:Kauai from space oriented.jpg|Kauai File:Island of Oahu - Landsat
File:Maui Landsat Photo.jpg|Maui File:Molokaifromsatellite.jpg|Molokai File:LanaiLandsat.jpg|Lānai File:KahoolaweLandsat.jpg|Kahoolawe File:Island of Hawai'i - Landsat
There are several areas in Hawaii under the protection of the
National Park Service
are designated as national parks:
National Park near Kula, Maui, includes Haleakalā, the dormant volcano that formed east Maui; and
Volcanoes National Park in the southeast region of the island of Hawaii,
which includes the active volcano Kīlauea and its various rift zones.
three national historical
parks: Kalaupapa National Historical
Park in Kalaupapa, Molokai, the site of a former colony
for Hansen's disease patients; Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical
Park in Kailua-Kona on the island of Hawaii; and Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical
Park in Hōnaunau on the island of Hawaii, the site of an
ancient Hawaiian place of refuge. Other areas under the
control of the National Park Service include Ala Kahakai National
Historic Trail on the island of Hawaii and the USS
Arizona Memorial at Pearl
Harbor on Oahu.
Papahānaumokuākea Marine National
Monument was proclaimed by President George W. Bush
on June 15, 2006. The monument covers
roughly 140,000 square miles (360,000 km²) of reefs,
atolls and shallow and deep sea (out to offshore) in the Pacific
Ocean, larger than all of America's National Parks combined.
The climate of Hawaii is typical for a tropical area, although
temperatures and humidity tend to be a bit less extreme due to
constant trade winds
from the east.
Summer highs are usually in the upper 80s °F, (around 31°C)
during the day and mid 70s, (around 24 °C) at night. Winter
day temperatures are usually in the low to mid 80s, (around
28 °C) and (at low elevation) seldom dipping below the mid 60s
(18 °C) at night. Snow, not usually associated with tropics,
falls at on Mauna
Kea and Mauna
Loa on the Big Island in some winter months.
Snow rarely falls on Maui's Haleakala. Mount
Waialeale, on the
island of Kauai, has the second highest average annual rainfall on
Earth, about .
Most of Hawaii has only two seasons: the dry
season from May to October, and the wet season from October to
Local climates vary considerably on each island, grossly divisible
into windward (Koolau
) and leeward (Kona
) areas based upon location relative to
the higher mountains. Windward sides face cloud cover. The tourist
industry therefore concentrates resorts on sunny leeward
Monthly normal low and high temperatures for various
one of four U.S. states that were independent prior to becoming
part of the United States, along with the Vermont Republic (1791), the Republic of Texas (1845), and the California
Republic (1846), and one of two (Texas was the other) with
formal diplomatic recognition
The Kingdom of
existed from 1810 until 1893 when the monarchy was
overthrown by resident American (and some European) businessmen. It
was an independent republic from 1894 until 1898, when it was
annexed by the United States as a territory, until becoming a state
greatest historic significance is as the target of surprise
Pearl Harbor by Imperial
Japan on December 7, 1941. The attack on
Harbor and other military and naval installations on
O ahu, carried out by aircraft
and by midget submarine brought the
United States into World War
Pre-European contact — Ancient Hawaii (800-1778)
earliest habitation supported by archaeological evidence dates to as early as
300 BCE, probably by Polynesian settlers from the Marquesas, followed by a second wave of migration from Raiatea and Bora Bora in the 11th century.
The first recorded
European contact with the islands was in 1778 by British explorer
Polynesians from the Marquesas and possibly the Society Islands may
have first populated the Hawaiian Islands between 300 and 500 CE.
There is a great deal of debate regarding these dates.
archaeologists and historians believe that there had been an early
settlement from the Marquesas and a later wave of immigrants from
1000, who were said to have introduced a new line of high chiefs,
the Kapu system, the practice of human sacrifice and the building of heiaus.
This later immigration is detailed in
about Pa ao
. Other authors have argued that there is no
archaeological or linguistic evidence for a later influx of
Tahitian settlers, and that Pa ao must be regarded as a myth.
However, this seems very unlikely due to the fact that the Kapu
system and the practice of human sacrifice were only common in
Regardless of the question of Pa ao and the history of the Royal
Hawaiian lineage, historians agree that the history of the islands
was marked by a slow but steady growth in population and the size
of the Kapu
chiefdoms, which grew to encompass
whole islands. Local chiefs, called ali i
ruled their settlements and fought to extend their sway and defend
their communities from predatory rivals. This was conducted in a
system of allies of various ranks similar to the tribal systems
James Cook — European arrival and the Kingdom of Hawaii
The 1778 arrival of British explorer James
is usually taken to be Hawaii's first contact with
. Cook named the islands the
in honor of one of
his sponsors, John
Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich
. He published the geographical
coordinates of the islands and reported the native name
erroneous translation lives on in Owyhee County, Idaho, which was named after three Hawaiian members of a
trapping party who were killed in that area.
Cook visited the Hawaiian islands twice. During his second visit in
1779, he attempted to abduct a Hawaiian chief and hold him as
ransom for return of a ship's boat that was stolen by a different
minor chief; the chief's supporters fought back, and Cook was
After Cook's visit and the publication of several books relating
his voyages, the Hawaiian islands received many European visitors:
explorers, traders, and eventually whalers who found the islands a
convenient harbor and source of fresh food. Early British influence
can still be seen from the design of the local Flag of Hawaii which
has the British Union Flag in the corner.
Visitors introduced diseases to the formerly isolated islands, and
the Hawaiian population plunged precipitously. Native Hawaiians did
not have resistance to influenza
, and measles
others. During the 1850s, measles killed a fifth of Hawaii's
During the 1780s and 1790s the chiefs were constantly fighting for
power. After a series of battles that ended in 1795 and forced
cession of the island of Kaua i in 1810, all of the inhabited
islands were subjugated under a single ruler who would become known
as King Kamehameha the Great
established the House of
, a dynasty that ruled over the kingdom until
Christian missionaries began to arrive in the early 1800s
eventually converted many of the population to Christianity
. Their influence led Kamehameha II
to end the human sacrifice and
the Kapu system, and Kamehameha III
was the first Christian king.
famous and beloved of the missionaries was Father Damien, a Catholic priest who helped
bring order and hope to the colony of lepers
which had been raised on an isolated part of the island of Molokai.
Other well-remembered missionaries who served in the Kingdom of
Hawaii included Protestant Hiram Bingham I
and Joseph F. Smith
of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints
Other missionaries, however, are not remembered as fondly. A number
who came to Hawaii during this period took a more earthly view of
the islands and their people, and over the years began to exert
influence on politics and society. A number abandoned their
callings to seek commercial fortune, and to this day, when a person
of any race who was born in Hawaii calls someone a "missionary," it
is considered an insult. It is said that "The Protestants came to
the islands to do good, and they did right well" (a colloquialism
meaning that they had prospered).
The death of the bachelor King Kamehameha
— who did not name an heir — resulted in the popular election
. Lunalilo died after only one year
and 25 days in office, without naming an heir. Though it was known
that he favored Emma
, widow of
Kamehameha IV, it is believed that "the People's King" desired the
people to choose his successor as they had chosen him. In a hotly
contested and allegedly fraudulent election by the legislature in
1874 between Kalākaua and Emma, which led to riots and the landing
of U.S. and British troops to keep the peace, governance was passed
on to the House of
In 1887, under the influence of Walter
, a group of kingdom
subjects, members of the Hawaiian government, American and European
businessmen forced Kalākaua
threat of arms to sign the 1887 Constitution of
the Kingdom of Hawaii
which stripped the king of administrative
authority, eliminated voting rights for Asians and set minimum
income and property requirements for American, European and native
Hawaiian voters, essentially limiting the electorate to elite
Americans, Europeans and those few native Hawaiians who had amassed
wealth. Because the 1887 Constitution was signed under threat of
violence, it is commonly known as the "Bayonet Constitution". King
Kalākaua, though nearly powerless, reigned until his death in 1891.
His sister, Lili uokalani
him to the throne and ruled until her overthrow in 1893. Today
Kalākaua is remembered as "the Merrie Monarch," inspiration for the
festival which is held every
In 1893, Queen Lili uokalani announced plans to establish a new
constitution that would have replaced the 1887 Constitution of
the Kingdom of Hawaii
. On January 14, 1893, a group of mostly
Euro-American business leaders and residents who opposed the
Queen's plans formed a Committee of Safety
to overthrow the Queen and seek
annexation by the United States
. United States Government
Minister John L. Stevens
, responding to a request from the
Committee of Safety, summoned a company
of uniformed U.S. Marines to
come ashore. As one historian noted, the presence of these troops
effectively made it impossible for the monarchy to protect
Revolution of 1893 — the Republic of Hawaii (1893-1898)
In January 1893, Queen Lili uokalani
was replaced by a Provisional Government composed of members of the
Committee of Safety. There was much controversy in the following
years as the queen tried to re-establish her throne. The
administration of President Grover
commissioned the Blount
, which concluded that the removal of Lili uokalani was
illegal. The U.S. Government first demanded that Queen Lili
uokalani be reinstated, but the Provisional Government refused.
Congress responded to Cleveland's referral with another
investigation, and submitted the Morgan
by the U.S. Senate on February 26, 1894, which found all
parties (including Minister Stevens) with the exception of the
queen "not guilty" from any responsibility for the overthrow. The
accuracy and impartiality of both the Blount and Morgan reports has
been questioned by partisans on both sides of the historical debate
over the events of 1893.
In 1993, a joint Apology
regarding the overthrow was passed by Congress and
signed by President Clinton, apologizing for the overthrow of the
Hawaiian Kingdom. It is the first time in American history that the
United States government has apologized for overthrowing the
legitimate government of a sovereign nation.
of Hawaii ended on July 4, 1894, replaced by the Republic of
Annexation — the Territory of Hawaii (1898-1959)
After William McKinley
presidential election in 1896, Hawaii's annexation to the U.S. was
again discussed. The previous president, Grover Cleveland
, was a friend of Queen
Lili uokalani. He remained opposed to annexation, but McKinley was
open to persuasion by U.S. expansionists and by annexationists from
Hawaii. He met with a committee of annexationists from Hawaii,
, Francis Hatch
and William Kinney. After negotiations, in June 1897, McKinley
agreed to a treaty of annexation with these representatives of the
Republic of Hawaii. The president then submitted the treaty to the
U.S. Senate for approval.
The Newlands Resolution
annexed the Republic
to the United States and it became the Territory of Hawaii
opposition in the islands, the Newlands Resolution was passed by
the House June 15, 1898, by a vote of 209 to 91, and by the Senate
on July 6, 1898, by a vote of 42 to 21. Its legality continues to
be questioned because it was a United States Government resolution,
not a treaty of cession or conquest as is required by international
law. Both houses of the American Congress carried the measure with
Hawaii was granted self-governance and retained Iolani Palace as the territorial capitol building.
several attempts at statehood, Hawaii remained a territory for
sixty years. Plantation owners and key capitalists, who maintained
control through financial institutions, or "factors," known as the
, found territorial status
convenient, enabling them to continue importing cheap foreign
labor; such immigration was prohibited in various states.
Revolution of 1954 — the State of Hawaii (1959-present)
All representative districts voted at
least 93% in favor of Admission acts.
Ballot (inset) and referendum results for the Admission Act of
In the 1950s the
power of the plantation owners was finally broken
non-violent revolution by descendants of immigrant laborers.
Because they were born in a U.S. territory, they were legal U.S.
citizens. The Hawaii Republican
, which was strongly supported by the plantation owners,
was voted out of office. The Democratic Party of Hawaii
dominated state politics for 40 years. Expecting to gain full
voting rights, Hawaii's residents actively campaigned for
In March 1959, both houses of Congress passed the Hawaii Admission Act
and U.S. President
Dwight D. Eisenhower
signed it into law.
Atoll, part of the Kingdom and Territory of Hawaii, from
the new state.) On June 27 of that year, a referendum was held
asking residents of Hawaii to vote on accepting the statehood
Hawaii voted 17 to 1 to accept. There has been
criticism, however, of the Statehood plebiscite, because the only
choices were to accept the Act or to remain a territory, without
the option of independence or addressing the legality surrounding
the overthrow. Despite the criticism, the United Nations Special Committee on
later removed Hawaii from the United
Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories
After statehood, Hawaii quickly modernized with a construction boom
and rapidly growing economy. Later, state programs promoted
Hawaiian culture. The Hawaii State
Constitutional Convention of 1978
incorporated as state
constitutional law programs such as the Office of Hawaiian Affairs
promote the indigenous Hawaiian language and culture.
Cities and towns
The movement of the Hawaiian royal family from the island of Hawaii
to Maui, and subsequently to O ahu, explains why certain population
centers exist where they do today. The largest city, Honolulu, was the one chosen by Kamehameha III as the capital of his kingdom
because of the natural harbor there, the present-day Honolulu Harbor.
Now the state capital, Honolulu is located along the southeast
coast of O ahu. The previous capital was Lahaina, Maui. Some major towns are Hilo, Kāne
ohe, Kailua, Pearl City, Waipahu, Kahului, Kailua-Kona, Kīhei, and
As of 2005, Hawaii has an estimated population of 1,275,194, which
is an increase of 13,070, or 1.0%, from the prior year and an
increase of 63,657, or 5.3%, since the year 2000. This includes a
natural increase since the last census of 48,111 people (that is
96,028 births minus 47,917 deaths) and an increase due to net
migration of 16,956 people into the state. Immigration from outside
the United States resulted in a net increase of 30,068 people, and
migration within the country produced a net loss of 13,112 people.
The center of population of Hawaii is located directly between the
two islands of O ahu and Moloka i.
Hawaii has a de facto
population of over 1.3 million due
to military presence and tourists. O ahu, which is nicknamed "The
Gathering Place", is the most populous island (and the one with the
highest population density), with a resident population of just
under one million in , about 1,650 people per square mile (for
comparison, New Jersey, which has 8,717,925 people in is the
most-densely populated state with 1,134 people per square mile.)
Hawaii's 1,275,194 people, spread over 6,423 square miles
(including many unpopulated islands) results in an average
population density of 188.6 persons per square mile, which makes
Hawaii less densely populated than states like Ohio and
The average projected lifespan of those born in Hawaii in the year
2000 is 79.8 years (77.1 years if male, 82.5 if female), longer
than the residents of any other state.
U.S. military personnel make up approximately 1.3% of the total
population in the islands.
Race and ethnicity
According to the 2008 American
conducted by the U.S. Census
, White Americans
27.1% of Hawaii's population; of which 24.8% were non-Hispanic
made up 2.4% of Hawaii's population; of which 2.3%
were non-Hispanic blacks. American Indian
up 0.2% of the state's population; of which 0.1% were non-Hispanic.
made up 38.5% of the
state's population; of which 37.6% were non-Hispanic. Pacific Islander Americans
9.0% of the state's population; of which 8.6% were non-Hispanic.
Individuals from some other race made up 1.4% of the population; of
which 0.1% were non-Hispanic. Multiracial Americans
made up 21.4% of
the population; of which 17.8% were non-Hispanic. In addition,
Hispanics and Latinos
made up 8.7% of Hawaii's population.
Hawaii has the highest percentage of Asian Americans, mainly
175,000 Filipino Americans
161,000 Japanese Americans
addition, there are roughly 53,000 Chinese Americans
and 40,000 Korean Americans
. Indigenous Hawaiians
number at 70,000 (or
5.5%). Over 110,000 Hispanic and Latino Americans make Hawaii their
are the largest
group numbering at 37,000; Puerto Ricans
35,000. Also, Hawaii has the highest percentage of multiracial
individuals, roughly 21% of Hawaii's
population. Eurasian Americans
a prominent mixed-race group; there are roughly 61,000 Eurasian
Americans in Hawaii.
The five largest European
in Hawaii are German
(4.3%), and Italian
(2.7%).In terms of nativity, 82.2%
of Hawaii's residents were born in the United States while 17.8%
were foreign-born. Roughly 75.0% of the foreign-born residents hail
Hawaii is a majority-minority
in which non-Hispanic whites do not form a majority.
Hawaii was the second majority-minority state. Both Hawaii and
Mexico have been majority-minority since the early 20th
century, but New Mexico became a state before Hawaii.
The largest ancestry
in Hawaii as of 2008 are:
Hawaii population density map
The third group of foreigners to arrive upon Hawaii's shores, after
the Polynesians and Europeans
, were the
. Chinese employees serving on
Western trading ships disembarked and settled starting in 1789. In
1820 the first American missionaries arrived in Hawaii to preach
Christianity and teach the Hawaiians what the missionaries
considered modern ways. They were instrumental in convincing Chiefs
to end the practice of human sacrifice. A large proportion of
Hawaii's population has become a people of Asian
ancestry (especially Chinese
) many of whom are descendants
from those waves of early foreign immigrants brought to the islands
in the nineteenth century, beginning in the 1850s, to work on the
sugar plantations. The first 153 Japanese
immigrants arrived in Hawaii on
June 19, 1868. They were not "legally" approved by the Japanese
government established after the Meiji
because the contract was between a broker and the
, by then
terminated. The first Japanese government-approved immigrants
arrived in Hawaii on February 9, 1885 after Kalākaua's petition to
when Kalākaua visited
Japan in 1881.
Almost 13,000 Portuguese
come to Hawaii by 1899. They worked on the sugar plantations, as
many had done previously. By October 17, 1901, 5,000 Puerto Ricans
their new homes on the four islands. Currently, there are over
30,000 Puerto Ricans or Hawaiian-Puerto Ricans and roughly 55,000
Hawaiian-Portuguese living in Hawaii.
The State of Hawaii has two official languages recognized in its
adopted at the
. Article XV, Section 4, specifies
that "Hawaiian shall be required for public acts and transactions
only as provided by law
" [italic added]. Hawaii Creole English
(locally referred to
as 'Pidgin') is the native dialect of many born-and-raised
residents and is a second dialect for many other residents.
According to the 2008 American
, 74.6% of Hawaii's residents over the age of
five speak only English at home. In addition, 2.6% of the state's
residents speak Spanish; 1.6% speak other Indo-European languages
; 21.0% speak
an Asian language
; and 0.2% speak
a different language at home.
After English, the second-, third- and fourth-most spoken
individual languages are Tagalog
(most are bilingual in Filipino
descendants also speak their native languages; the most numerous
As of the 2000 Census, 73.44% of Hawaii residents age 5 and older
speak only English at home. Tagalog speakers make up 5.37% (which
includes non-native speakers of Filipino language
, the national
co-official Tagalog-based language), followed by Japanese at 4.96%,
at 4.05%, Chinese
at 1.92%, Hawaiian at 1.68%,
Spanish at 1.66%, Korean
Hawaiian is a member of the Polynesian
branch of the Austronesian
family. It began to
develop around 1000 A.D., when Marquesans or Tahitians of that era
colonized Hawaii. Those Polynesians
the islands, thereby becoming the Hawaiian people. Consequently,
their language developed into the Hawaiian language. Before the
arrival of Captain James Cook, the Hawaiian language was never
written. The written form of Hawaiian was developed mainly by
American Protestant missionaries
1820–1826. They assigned letters from the Latin alphabet that
corresponded to the Hawaiian sounds.
Interest in the Hawaiian language increased significantly in the
late 20th century. With the help of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs
created by the 1978 constitutional convention, specially designated
Hawaiian language immersion schools were established where students
would be taught in all subjects using Hawaiian. Also, the University of Hawaii
Hawaiian language graduate studies program. Municipal codes were
altered in favor of Hawaiian place and street names for new civic
Hawaiian distinguishes between long and short vowels. In modern
written Hawaiian, vowel length can be indicated with a macron
Also, Hawaiian has the glottal stop
a consonant. In writing, it can be indicated with the apostrophe,
with the opening single quote, or with the ( okina
In Hawaiian-language newspapers published from 1834–1948, the
was used. However, in texts written mainly
for Hawaiian-language pedagogy, especially since 1950, the modern
Hawaiian-language spelling used is Hawai i
, with an okina
written between the final two vowels. The modern spelling is pushed
mainly by teachers of Hawaiian language at the University of
Hawaii. However, traditional native speakers of Hawaiian generally
never use okinas nor kahakos in their own writing. For this reason,
some teachers of Hawaiian language, such as NeSmith , are
advocating greater appreciation for the traditional native
spellings with no okinas nor kahakos.
Some locals speak Hawaii Creole
(HCE), often called "pidgin
lexicon of HCE derives mainly from English but also has words from
Hawaiian, Chinese, Japanese, Ilocano and Tagalog from the Philippines and Portuguese.
During the 19th century,
there was a great increase in immigration from foreign countries
(mainly China, Japan, Portugal — especially from the Azores
archipelago — and Spain), and a pidgin English developed which by
the early 20th century became a creole English, as pidgin speakers
had children who acquired the pidgin as their own native language.
HCE speakers can use some Hawaiian words without those words being
considered archaic. Most place names are retained from Hawaiian, as
are some names for plants or animals. For example, tuna fish
are often called "ahi". HCE speakers
have modified the meanings of certain English words. For example,
the terms "aunty" and "uncle" can be used to refer to any adult who
is a friend, or a friend to the family. It is also used as a sign
of respect for elders. Throughout the surfing
boom in Hawaii, HCE has influenced surfer
slang. Some HCE expressions, such as brah
, have found their way to other places.
Certain words can be dropped if their meaning is implicit. For
example, instead of saying "It is hot today, isn't it?", an HCE
speaker is likely to say simply "stay hot, eh?" When a word does
not come to mind quickly, the slang term is "Da Kine" which refers
to any word you can't think of.
Spelling of state name
A somewhat divisive political issue that has arisen since the
constitution of the State of Hawaii added Hawaiian as a second
official state language is the exact spelling of the state's name
in official documents. As prescribed in the Hawaii Admission Act
Hawaiian statehood, the federal government recognizes
to be the official state name. Official government
publications, as well as department and office titles, use the
traditional Hawaiian spelling, that is, with no symbols for glottal
stops or vowel length. In contrast, some private entities,
including a local newspaper, are using such symbols.
The title of the state constitution is "The Constitution of the
State of Hawaii". In Article XV therein, Section 1 uses "The State
of Hawaii", Section 2 "the island of Oahu", Section 3 "The Hawaiian
flag", and Section 5 specifies the state motto as "Ua mau ke ea o
ka aina i ka pono". Since these documents predate the modern use of
and the kahakō
in Hawaiian orthography, the disputed spelling conventions were not
used in these cases.
The nuances in the Hawaiian language debate are often not obvious
or well-appreciated among English speakers outside Hawaii . The
issue has often been a source of friction in situations where
correct naming conventions are mandated , as people frequently
disagree over which spelling is correct or incorrect, and where it
is correctly or incorrectly applied.
Religion was distributed among the Hawaiian population in 2000 as
"Other" includes Bahá'í
, the Hawaiian
, and other religions.This data
was provided by religious establishments, so “Unaffiliated”
who are Irreligious
, and those who have a
religion but are not religiously active.
A 2009 Gallup poll
found religion was
distributed this way, excluding those of other non-Christian
religions and those who had "no opinion":
A special case is Ho oponopono
ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness,
combined with prayer. It is both philosophy and way of life.
Traditionally ho oponopono is practiced by healing priests or
kahuna lapa au
among family members
of a person who is physically ill.
The history of Hawaii can be traced through a succession of
(see Sugar plantations in Hawaii
. Since statehood in 1959,
tourism has been the largest industry in Hawaii, contributing 24.3%
of the Gross State Product (GSP) in 1997, despite efforts to
diversify. The gross output for the state in 2003 was US$47
billion; per capita income for Hawaii residents was
Exports from Hawaii include food and apparel. These industries play
a small role in the Hawaii economy, however, due to the
considerable shipping distance to the ports of the West Coast of
the United States. Food exports include coffee
(see coffee production in Hawaii
. Agricultural sales for 2002,
according to the Hawaii Agricultural Statistics Service, were
US$370.9 million from diversified agriculture, US$100.6 million
from pineapple, and US$64.3 million from sugarcane.
Hawaii has a relatively high state tax burden. In 2003, Hawaii
residents had the highest state tax per capita at US$2,838. This is
partly because education, health care and social services are all
rendered at the state level, as opposed to the municipal level in
all other states.
Millions of tourists contribute to the collection figure by paying
the general excise tax
and hotel room tax;
thus not all the taxes collected come directly from residents.
Business leaders, however, consider the state's tax burden too
high, contributing to both higher prices and the perception of an
unfriendly business climate. See the list of businesses in Hawaii
for more on commerce in the state.
Hawaii was one of the few states to control gasoline prices through
a Gas Cap Law
. Since oil company profits
in Hawaii compared to the mainland U.S. were under scrutiny, the
law tied local gasoline prices to those of the mainland. It took
effect in September 2005 amid price fluctuations caused by Hurricane Katrina
, but was suspended in
culture of Hawaii
. Hawaii represents the
northernmost extension of the vast Polynesian
triangle of the south and central Pacific Ocean.
While traditional Hawaiian culture remains
only as vestiges influencing modern Hawaiian society, there are
reenactments of the ceremonies and traditions throughout the
islands. Some of these cultural influences are strong enough to
have affected the culture of the United States at large, including
the popularity (in greatly modified form) of luaus
Hawaii is home to numerous cultural events. The annual Merrie Monarch Festival
international Hula competition. The state is also home to the
, the premier film festival for pacific rim
cinema. Honolulu is also home to the state's long running GLBT film festival, the Rainbow Film Festival.
Hawaii's health care system insures over 95% of residents. Under
the state's plan, businesses are required to provide employees who
work more than twenty hours per week with health care. Heavy
regulation of insurance companies helps keep the cost to employers
down. Due in part to the system's emphasis on preventive care,
Hawaiians require hospital treatment less frequently than the rest
of the United States, while total health care expenses (measured as
a percentage of state GDP) are substantially lower. Given these
achievements, proponents of universal health care
elsewhere in the
U.S. sometimes use Hawaii as a model for proposed federal and state
health care plans. Critics, however, claim that Hawaii's success is
due at least in part to its mild climate and to its status as a
chain of islands whose economy is heavily based on tourism:
features that make it more difficult for businesses unhappy with
paying the plan's premiums to relocate elsewhere.
Hawaii has the only U.S. state with a unified school system. Policy
decisions are made by the fourteen-member state Board of Education.
The Board sets statewide educational policy and hires the state
superintendent of schools, who oversees the state Department of
Education. The Department of Education is divided into seven
districts, four on O ahu and one for each of the other
The main rationale for centralization is leveling out inequalities
that would exist between highly populated O ahu and the more rural
Neighbor Islands, and between lower-income and more affluent areas
of the state. In most of the United States schools are funded from
local property taxes. Republican Governor Linda Lingle proposed
replacing the statewide board with seven elected district boards.
The Democratic-controlled state legislature opposed her proposal,
favoring expansion of decision-making power to the schools and
giving them discretion over budgeting.
Educators struggle with large populations of children of non-native
English-speaking immigrants, whose cultures are often different
from that of the mainland (from which most of the course materials
come, and where most standards for schools are set).
Public elementary, middle, and high school scores in Hawaii tend to
be below average on national tests mandated under the No Child Left Behind Act
. Some of
this can be attributed to the Hawaii State Board of Education
requiring all eligible students to take these tests and reporting
all student test scores unlike, for example, Texas and Michigan.
Results reported in August 2005 indicate that two-thirds of
Hawaii's schools failed to reach federal minimum performance
standards in math and reading (of 282 schools across the state, 185
On the other hand, the ACT college
show that Hawaii 2005 seniors scored slightly
above the national average (21.9 compared with 20.9). In the more
widely accepted SAT
college-bound seniors tend to score below the national average in
all categories except mathematics.
Hawaii educates more students in independent institutions of
secondary education than any other state in the United States.
four of the largest independent
School, Kamehameha Schools, Mid-Pacific
Institute, and Punahou
The second Buddhist high school in the
United States, and first Buddhist high school in Hawaii, Pacific
Buddhist Academy, was founded in 2003. The first native designed
and controlled public charter school in Hawaii was the Kanu O Ka Aina New
Century Charter School
Independent and charter schools can select their students, while
the regular public schools must take all students in their
district. The Kamehameha Schools are especially notable for being
the only schools in the United States that openly grant admission
to students based on ancestry and the wealthiest schools in the
United States, if not the world, having over nine billion US dollars
in estate assets.
Colleges and universities
Graduates of institutions of secondary learning in Hawaii often
either enter directly into the work force or attend colleges and
universities. While many choose to attend colleges and universities
on the mainland or elsewhere, most choose to attend one of many
institutions of higher learning in Hawaii. The largest of these
institutions is the University of
System. It consists of: (1) the flagship research
university at Mānoa; (2) two comprehensive campuses Hilo and West
O ahu; and (7) seven Community Colleges. Students choosing
private education attend Brigham
Young University–Hawaii, Chaminade University of
Honolulu, Hawaii Pacific University, or University of the Nations.
Stephen Diocesan Center
is a seminary
of the Roman Catholic
Diocese of Honolulu
Law and government
Presidential elections results
The state government of Hawaii is modeled after the federal
government with adaptations originating from the kingdom era of
Hawaiian history. As codified in the Constitution of Hawaii
, there are
three branches of government: executive, legislative and
The executive branch is led by the Governor of Hawaii
and assisted by the
Lieutenant Governor of
, both elected on the same ticket. The governor, in
residence at the grounds of Washington Place, is the only public official elected for the state
government in a statewide race; all other administrators and judges
are appointed by the governor.
The lieutenant governor is
concurrently the Secretary
of State of Hawaii
. Both the governor and lieutenant governor
administer their duties from the State Capitol.
The governor and lieutenant governor
oversee twenty agencies and departments.
The legislative branch consists of the Hawaii State Legislature
twenty-five members of the Hawaii
led by the President
of the Senate
and fifty-one members of the Hawaii House of
led by the Speaker of the House
. They also govern
from the State Capitol. The judicial branch is led by the highest
state court, the Hawaii State Supreme Court, which uses Aliiolani Hale as its chambers.
Lower courts are organized
as the Hawaii State
The state is represented in the United States Congress
by a delegation
of four members
. They are the senior and junior United States Senators
representative of Hawaii's 1st congressional
and the representative of Hawaii's 2nd congressional
. Many Hawaii residents have been appointed to
administer other agencies and departments of the federal government
by the President of the
. All federal officers of Hawaii administer
their duties from the Prince Kuhio Federal Building
near the Aloha
Tower and Honolulu
Hawaii has supported Democrats in 10 of its 12 presidential
elections with the exception of 1972
. In 2004,
John Kerry won the state's 4 electoral votes by a margin of 9
percentage points with 54% of the vote. Every county in the state
supported the Democratic candidate. In 1964, favorite son
candidate, Senator Hiram Fong
of Hawaii sought the Republican
nomination while Patsy Mink ran in the Oregon primary in
Honolulu native Barack Obama,
serving as United States
Senator from Illinois, was elected President of the United
States on November 4, 2008.
Obama had won the Hawaiian
Democratic Caucus on February 19, 2008 with 76% of the vote. Obama
was the third Hawaii-born candidate to seek the nomination of a
major party and the first presidential nominee from Hawaii.
Prince Kuhio Federal Building also houses agencies of the federal
government such as the Federal Bureau of
Revenue Service and the United States Secret
Service. The building is the site of the federal
courts and the offices of the United States
Attorney for the District of Hawaii, principal police officer
of the Department of Justice in the United
States District Court for the District of Hawaii.
Unique to Hawaii is the way it has organized its municipal
governments. There are no incorporated cities in Hawaii. All local
governments are administered at the county
County governs the entire island of Oahu.
County executives are the Mayor of
, Mayor of Honolulu
Mayor of Kauai
and Mayor of Maui
, all elected in nonpartisan
A system of state
encircles each main island. Only O ahu has federal
highways. Travel can be slow due to narrow winding roads, and
congested in cities. Each major island has a public bus
provide most mainland
and inter-island travel. Hawaiian
, Mokulele Airlines
use jets between the larger
airports in Honolulu, Līhu e, Kahului, Kona, and Hilo, while
and Pacific Wings
serve smaller airports. These
airlines also provide air freight service between the
Norwegian Cruise Lines
provides passenger cruise service between the islands. The Hawaii Superferry
planned to operate
between O ahu and other major islands. Legal issues over
environmental impact statements and protests temporarily delayed
it. Service to Maui started in December 2007, but shut down in
- Pollex—a reconstruction of the Proto-Polynesian lexicon, Biggs
and Clark, 1994. The asterisk preceding the word signifies that it
is a reconstructed word form.
- Pukui and Elbert 1986, p. 62.
- See also: Pukui, Elbert, and Mookini 1974.
- Mauna Kea Volcano, Hawaii.
- Living on Active Volcanoes—The Island of Hawaii, U.S.
Geological Survey Fact Sheet 074-97.
- Human Footprints in Relation to the 1790 Eruption
of Kīlauea, Swanson, D. A.; Rausch, J., American
- Climate of Hawaii.
- Hawaii Weather|Hawaii Weather Forecast|Hawaii
- US CODE: Title 20,7512. Findings.
- Hawaii State Government.
- Kuykendall, "The Hawaiian Kingdom Volume I: Foundation and
Transformation", p18 "Cook's plan was to get the king on board the
Resolution and keep him there until the stolen boat was returned —
a plan that had been effective under similar circumstances in the
- Hawaii (state, United States). Encyclopædia
- Migration and Disease. Digital
- U.S. Navy History site.
- Kuykendall, R.S. (1967) The Hawaiian Kingdom, 1874-1893.
Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. p. 648.
- Hawaii Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand by
- 1897 Hawaii Annexation Treaty.
- Human Rights differs from Equal Rights.
- Support For The Hawaiian Sovereignty Elections
- Hawaii Reporter: Hawaii Reporter.
- New Jersey Quickfacts.
- Hawaii Quickfacts.
- Top 12 states in population density.
- Average life expectancy at birth by state.
- Language Map Data Center.
- State of Hawaii Data Book 2000, Section 1 Population,
- Honolulu Advertiser.
- Gallup Poll Daily tracking.
- Hawaii sandalwood trade.
- Whaling in Hawaii.
- Honolulu Star-Bulletin Hawaii News.
- Two-Thirds Of Hawaii Schools Do Not Meet
Requirements - Education News Story - KITV Honolulu
- Honolulu Advertiser, August 17, 2005, p. B1
- The Constitution of the State of Hawaii. Article XV.
- Bushnell, O. A. 1993. The Gifts of Civilization: Germs and
Genocide in Hawaii. ISBN 0824814576. Honolulu: University of
- Kinzer, Stephen 2007, Overthrow: America's Century of
Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq. ISBN 0805082409. Times
- Schamel, Wynell and Charles E. Schamel. "The 1897 Petition
Against the Annexation of Hawaii." Social Education 63, 7
(November/December 1999): 402-408.
- Stokes, John F.G. 1932. "Spaniard and the Sweet Potato in
Hawaii and Hawaiian-American Contacts." American Anthropologist,
New Series, v, 34, n, 4, pp. 594–600.