Census cites isle upswing


POSTED: Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Commuters in Mililani spend the most time driving to work in Hawaii - an average drive of 32.3 minutes, compared with Kahului residents, on the road about 20.7 minutes.





Economic Data

        A glance at state- and county-level data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey Data for Hawaii:


» During the past three years, Hawaii's economy was doing better than the rest of the United States, reflected in Hawaii's lower average unemployment rate during 2005-07 of 4.5 percent compared with 6.6 percent for the nation.


» Hawaii's median household income during the past three years was $62,543, higher than the U.S. median household income of $50,007.


» Hawaii had a lower poverty rate than the nation during the 2005-2007 period: 9.1 percent of the total popu-lation under the poverty line, compared with 13.3 percent of individuals for the nation.


Some 11.4 percent of Kailua and 10.8 percent of Kihei people own their own businesses or work for themselves - the highest in the state.

Those are some of the facts now available from the U.S. Census Bureau. The bureau released information yesterday that gives the first statistical “;portrait”; of communities with populations of 20,000 or more since the 2000 Census.

The new information allows comparisons between the different counties in Hawaii and 10 communities in a wide variety of topics from income to housing to population.

An analysis from Eugene Tian at the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism shows:

» The information, gathered during the peak of the housing boom, shows median housing values were highest in Kailua ($771,200) and lowest in Hilo ($306,600).

» The median price of a home in Hawaii was $272,700 in 2000. It rose to $510,500, according to these latest estimates.

» Hawaii's rate of homeownership is below the U.S. average but rose slightly compared with the 2000 Census. About 58.9 percent of residents own their home, compared with the U.S. average of 67.3 percent. In 2000, 56.5 percent of Hawaii residents lived in their own homes. Homeownership is highest on Kauai (66.6 percent) and lowest on Oahu (56.9 percent).

» For those who rented, the lowest cost was in Kahului at $803 a month, compared with Mililani, where the median rent was $1,656. The median rent statewide was $1,144.

The census information shows that before the current downturn, as now, Hawaii was doing better than the rest of the nation with a 4.5 percent unemployment rate compared with 6.6 percent nationwide.

Per capita income was $27,814 statewide, compared with the U.S. average of $26,178. Kailua had the highest income per resident ($37,947), and Waipahu the lowest ($18,396).

The information also shows we are getting a little better educated. The percentage of high school graduates in Hawaii increased to 88.7 percent of those over age 25 from 84.6 percent in 2000.





On the Net:

        For more in-depth results of the census report http://media.starbulletin.com/documents/20081208_survey1.pdf

More high school graduates lived in Mililani, where 95.5 percent had at least a high school degree.

Families were bigger in Waipahu, where an average of 4.3 family members lived with each other, compared with Hilo, where 2.99 relatives shared a home.

The new data released yesterday was collected over three years, from 2005 through 2007, providing a mid-decade snapshot of every community with at least 20,000 residents.

“;Communities are no longer limited to a once-a-decade look at their population's characteristics,”; said Steve Murdock, U.S. Census Bureau director, in a written news release.

The new information “;will allow small towns and communities to track how they are changing on an ongoing basis,”; he said.

The data comes from the American Community Survey. Census takers interview 3 million households a year for the survey, which produces annual data for geographical areas with populations of 65,000 or more. For areas with at least 20,000 people, the survey produces three-year averages.

The statistics can be downloaded from the Census Web site at http://www.census.gov.

The information covers a wide variety of topics, including the statistic that if you are a man, the chances of meeting women are better in Kaneohe, where there are 94.9 men for every 100 women, than in Pearl City, where there are 107 males for every 100 females.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.