Poll: Americans not so hot on living in Hawaii
Foreign residents, however, think it is one of the top three states
Americans do not rate Hawaii among the top five states to live in, but people in other countries do, according to a new poll.
Hawaii is the No. 3 desirable state for more than 12,000 foreigners surveyed in the Anholt State Brands Index. California and Florida ranked at No. 1 and 2, respectively. Hawaii was followed by New York and Washington state at No. 4 and 5, respectively.
Hawaii ranked No. 8 in the domestic poll, in which more than 9,000 Americans said they would rather live in North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Colorado and Oregon as their top five choices.
The survey was designed by U.K.-based branding executive Simon Anholt and was conducted by Seattle-based Global Market Insite Inc.
California and New York ranked at No. 9 and 39 among Americans, respectively, the company said. To find out which states are in the other slots, one must pay $60,000, since the index is proprietary, according to Global Market Insite.
Hawaii scored well in some areas of the survey and not so well in others, Anholt said.
The Aloha State ranks at the top for its people and for the kind of place it is, with its climate, environment and architecture. We are fourth in the poll's measure of perceived "liveliness," or things to do.
However, when it comes to career and educational prospects we are not among the top 20 and we're at No. 48 in affordability, amenities, infrastructure and the like.
"So it's an extremely mixed bag: exceptionally good results on the metrics relating quality of life and people, and rather poor on some of the more practical stuff," Anholt said.
Tom Smyth, senior policy adviser at the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, said yesterday, "It seems to me that Hawaii did pretty well, when you look at how the other states did."
"We have this fantastic brand name," Smyth said, but Hawaii's tourism image is different from what we would sell to someone who wants to move here, open a business here or go to school here.
Also, visitors to a state spend money in different ways than locals and don't get a true resident's view of that state, he said.
Anholt said Hawaii makes huge efforts to brand and market the state as a visitor destination, but that does not pull down the state's ranking as a place to live.
Image campaigns "actually do remarkably little to change people's minds about places," Anholt said.
"These images are created over decades or centuries, via influences ranging from film and TV to famous people, legislation, products, culture and who knows what else."
North Carolina, Virginia and Colorado likely placed high among Americans because of "their relevance to American history, which is not as familiar to foreign audiences," Anholt said.
North Carolina and Virginia also ranked high as what Anholt called lifestyle destinations for their climate, attractiveness, leisure amenities, ease of finding employment, commercial opportunity and education.