Fewer people live on Oahu? Really?
Hawaii's population growth appears to be slowing down, with Oahu's dropping for the first time in seven years.
That fewer people lived on Oahu in 2007 than the year before probably wasn't evident to anyone stuck in traffic on the freeways or looking for housing, but the U.S. Census Bureau says there were.
For the first time in seven years, the population of the City & County of Honolulu dropped, but because the decline totaled a mere 1,114, the decrease doesn't seem significant, not with 905,601 people still calling the island home.
The counts were different on Kauai, Maui and Hawaii, where human numbers have swelled since 2000 by 7.5 percent, 10.7 percent and 16.4 percent respectively.
There are theories about the shift, but in truth, no one can say for sure why people jump islands, or move to the mainland. Experts suggest the decrease on Oahu has something to do with military deployments or that the census estimates are off.
Though economic conditions didn't much change, retirees are known to leave Hawaii for states where the cost of living isn't as high and fixed incomes stretch further. Even so, many island-born people who spend career years on the continent frequently return.
Space, a likelihood of cheaper housing and a more leisurely lifestyle have city dwellers opting for neighbor islands that also prove attractive to part-time residents and investors who can afford the resort-style homes and condos proliferating there.
All in all, statewide population growth seems to be slowing. Nonetheless, with 1,283,388 of us inhabiting about 6,423 square miles of land, there's no shortage of company.
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