Hawaii has fallen to 28th among the 50 states in an ongoing United Way "State of Caring" Index of social and economic well-being, a significant drop from the 16th spot the state held in 1988.
Based on the recently released index, which uses figures through 1998:
Hawaii ranks 48th by having the second-highest yearly unemployment rate: 6.2 percent, compared with 4.5 percent nationwide.Further details are available on the Web site www.unitedway.org/stateofcaring or by ordering a 36-page brochure for $8.
It ranks 50th with the lowest percentage of fourth-graders at or above proficiency in reading: 17 percent, compared with 20 percent nationwide.
Hawaii ranks 50th in voter turnout: 40.5 percent, compared to 49.1 percent nationwide in years surveyed, 1988-1998.
"These numbers should tell the decision-makers of Hawaii that the level of caring in our communities needs to be improved," said Irving Lauber, president and chief professional officer of Aloha United Way.
But for the entire 1988-1998 time frame, Hawaii ranks in the top 10 states in some items.
Hawaii has the second-lowest percentage of teens who are high school dropouts: 4.8 percent, compared with 10 percent nationwide.
The state has the fifth-lowest percentage of children and adults who are medically uninsured: 10 percent, compared with 16.3 percent nationwide.
And it has the seventh-lowest crime rate per 100,000 inhabitants for violent offenses: 247, compared with 566 nationwide.