Locals often use the expression “Lucky we live Hawaii” when something reminds us of how special it is to be in the islands. According to a new Harris poll, a lot of other people agree. Hawaii is ranked just below California in the poll that asks all U.S. Adults “If you could live in any state in the country, except the state you live in now, what state would you choose to live in?”

Hawaii moves up from number three last year by trading places with Florida, which is followed by Colorado and Arizona as number five. Hawaii has been ranked number two just once before since 1997 when Harris began asking the question. That year, Hawaii ranked only 7th best and slipped to 9th in 1999. From 2001 – 2006, it remained steady at third, behind Florida and California, moving up to second in 2006 before falling back to third for the next two years.

Harris believes the rankings show “the powerful attraction of a warm climate.” Colorado and Oregon are the only two of the top eight states, apart from Hawaii, that are not in the mainland Sunbelt.

The poll broke down responses by gender and age. Men and women agree on the top three choices: California, Hawaii and Florida. But for number four, men chose Texas and women chose Colorado, while at number five, men placed New Jersey and women North Carolina.

The poll notes a disagreement between younger and older people. Among the age group 18-33, called “Echo Boomers” by the poll, Hawaii is not in the top five. New York takes number two behind California, followed by New Jersey, Colorado and Florida. “Gen X” (ages 34-45) respondents ranked Hawaii number 4, behind California, Florida and Texas and ahead of Oregon. But Hawaii is the number one state where Baby Boomers (46-64) and Matures (65+) would prefer to live.

The online poll surveyed 2,620 adults aged 18 and over between September 14 to 20, 2010.


  1. You are right, you are lucky to live in Hawaii. And while I had every intention of moving there in two years or so, I think we have decided against it. One, it will cost us thousands of dollars to get there. Plus, there is no room for growth in the industries that my girlfriend and I are in. Plus, once we get there it would be expensive to leave. I want to make Hawaii a place I can always visit rather than a place I call home. So when the time comes to move we are headed west to Scottsdale, Arizona. Similar in the beauty that you have to offer in Hawaii, just no oceans! Great read; I read everything you post. Just keep dreaming of the islands!

  2. I don't know how many times I have said that phrase since moving here.  I'm sure the other top states have something great going on…. but whatever that great is….. our great is something completely off the charts – you have to be here to understand it…

  3. I moved here two and a half years ago. It is true some things are more expensive HOWEVER, I have no heating or air conditioning bills, I can wear one wardrobe all year long (no winter coats, boots, etc.) and am able to buy fresh food from the farmers market twice a week. My out-of-pocket expenses are no higher here than they were on the mainland, but we are living in a much smaller apartment. I love it here!
    Thanks for the comments all and Ricky keep reading!  There are direct flights to Hawaii from Arizona any time you want to visit!

Leave a Reply

Click for the BBB Business Review of this Travel Agencies & Bureaus in Honolulu HI
Travel Industry Logos