The people of Hawaii

Hawaii may have the most perse population of any state. New census figures show that no single race can count even a quarter of the population in the islands.

Detailed census figures from the 2010 count have just been released for Hawaii. The population of the entire state is 1,360,301 – around the number of people who live in Phoenix, Arizona or San Antonio, Texas. Hawaii is number 40 on the list of states by population, two places higher than in the 2000 census. It passed up Maine and New Hampshire over the past decade.

The people who populate the islands of Hawaii are a perse group. The largest single race is white with 24.7 percent, but the combined category of “Asian” numbers 38.6 percent. That includes the second and third largest single races: Filipino and Japanese. They traded places this census with Filipinos at 14.5 percent and Japanese at 13.6 percent (Japanese were in second place and Filipinos in third in the 2000 count).

For the United States as a whole, the population is over 72 percent white and Asians are just under 5 percent. The second largest racial group in the United States is people of Hispanic or Latino origin at just over 16 percent. In Hawaii, Hispanic/Latinos account for almost 9 percent of the population – I think that’s the closest correlation of any of the races between Hawaii and the U.S. overall. That group is growing in Hawaii, with a 38% increase since 2000, much higher than the overall state population growth of 12%.

But the counts by race don’t tell the whole story. Almost tied with the number for “white” is the category of people with two or more races: 23.6%. That group is just 2.9% in the United States overall. And the possible combinations are pretty impressive too: 28 different races are listed as contributing to Hawaii’s population mixture.

Posted by: Bruce Fisher