Wednesday, June 6, 2001

New census data
detail Hawaiian

The information gives a
clearer picture of people on
Hawaiian Home Lands

By Pat Omandam

U.S. Census 2000 data show the Nanakuli Hawaiian Home Lands site has the state's largest homestead population with 5,099 residents.

The Kalaupapa homestead on Molokai has the oldest with a median age of 58.

There's also a 3-to-1 ratio of men-to-women living at the Waikoloa-Waialeale homestead near Waimea, Hawaii. The problem, however, is there are only eight people living there.

For the first time, the U.S. Census Bureau has included separate demographic information on the state's 61 Hawaiian Home Lands sites.

The information, originally released with Hawaii census data in May, is also part of a national demographic profile being released today by the bureau. The homestead data gives native Hawaiians as well as state officials a population snapshot of each homestead by age, gender, race, relationship and household.

"Any kind of information that we can get regarding the population that we have on the homelands helps us to be better able to service our population," said Jobie M.K.M. Yamaguchi, deputy director of the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.

For example, data on homestead household and age distribution are useful for future projects because many of those who remain on the waiting list are actually from homestead families and still reside there, she said yesterday.

Yamaguchi said before the Census 2000 data, the department commissioned its own study in 1995 to get a sense of income statistics for those living on homesteads.

"(The census data) gives us at least some more current information about the population we are trying to work with," she said.

Haunani Apoliona, who along with Yamaguchi serves on a Hawaii advisory panel to the Census Bureau, said the push to include stand-alone data for Hawaiian Home Lands began shortly after the 1990 census.

There was a need for more reliable data on homesteaders because, in past census, these sites were frequently overlapped with larger census tracts, she said.

"So now they can feel the data gathered under these boundaries is probably more accurate in terms of the demographics of the homestead population," said Apoliona, chairwoman of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

State Rep. Michael Kahikina (D, Nanakuli), a Nanakuli homesteader, said the data could be used to gauge the political make-up of homesteaders. One of the goals of the state Council on Hawaiian Homestead Associations is political status through recognition by the federal government.


Here's a list of the 10 native Hawaiian homesteads with the largest populations, according to the 2000 Census of all 61 Hawaiian Home Lands sites statewide:

1. 5,099, Nanakuli
2. 3,028, Waimanalo
3. 1,826, Lualualei
4. 1,759, Waianae
5. 1,735, Anahola-Kamalomalo, Kauai
6. 1,575, Auwaiolimu-Kalawahine-Kewalo-Papakolea
7. 1,454, Keaukaha, Hawaii
8. 1,362, Panaewa, Hawaii
9. 1,086, Hoolehua-Palaau, Molokai
10. 629, Puukapu, Hawaii

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