was first explored by Captain James Cook in 1778.
Throughout the following centuries, Hawaii arose from inter-island tribal warring to a completely unified kingdom before it became an official U.S. territory at the turn of the 20th century. It was decades later before the islands entered the Union as the 50th State, on August 21, 1959.
Today, with its isolation from the mainland, Hawaii's notoriously high cost of living still does not stop those who visit the lush tropical islands from dreaming of moving or retiring here some day.
However, with average home prices at $500,000 and up, the rich-and-famous are the lucky few who own villas
or vacation homes here. (On a relatively more positive note, Hawaii is one of the handful of US states that does not levy property taxes.)
Not surprisingly, the travel industry continues to boom in Hawaii with a majority of job opportunities available in tourism led by lower-paid wait staff and related hotel and restaurant fields, as well as retail sales.
Since 90% of food must be shipped in from the mainland meanwhile expect higher prices at the supermarket, although costs have been offset somewhat by the introduction of Costco's, Walmart, and other discount chains. More reasonable prices for fruits and vegetables can also be found at local farmer's markets.
So are there any practical reasons for moving to paradise? They would include lower utility bills (no need for heating or air conditioning in many areas), and zero expenditure on snow plows or winter coats. And the beaches are still free.
Major cities: Honolulu (capital) Hilo, Kailua, Kaneohe,
Population : 1,285,498
Asian : 41.5%
White : 26.8%
Native Hawaiian : 9.0%
Black, African American : 2.3%
Hispanic : 8.0%
High school graduates : 84.6%
Bachelor's degree or higher : 26.2%
Average household income: $51,359
of Living: Traditionally, Hawaii is known for its relatively high per capita state tax burden
and the perception of an unfriendly business climate. Due mainly to shipping costs into the state, Hawaii's
cost of living is 52.60% higher than the U.S. average.
Personal Income Taxes: Hawaii collects income taxes from its residents using nine brackets, ranging from 1.4 percent to 11.0 percent. Along with Oregon, Hawaii shares the distinction of having the highest top income-tax rate in the U.S. Hawaii residents must file their personal income tax using the Hawaii Individual Resident Income Tax Long Form (N-11) or Short Form (N-13) by April 15.
& Real Estate Overview : also see Zillow
- Hawaii Real Estate Home ownership rate : 56.5%
Average home price: $565,345
Average travel time to work : 26 minutes
: Like many state-run systems, a decent public school may be hard to find in many areas throughout Hawaii except in the more expensive neighborhoods. However, many private schools are also available and attended by some 15% of Hawaiian school children, higher than the national average of 10%. Also see Hawaii
Department of Education | Best Elenentary Schools in Hawaii
Weather : Typically described as tropical, the general climate is more subtropical due to the cooling effect of the surrounding ocean. Summer temperatures seldom reach above the upper 80s °F, and winter temperatures seldom dip below the
mid-60s. Snow is not uncommon on the higher elevations of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa on the Big Island.
Honolulu Board of Realtors - Detailed guide to the island's real estate market with consumer information, property tax data, current mortgage rates, lists of homes and condos for
sale, and a searchable database of approved realtors.