Seniors in Hawaii
to double by 2030

The elderly will grow to 22.3%
of the total, or 13th-largest
share among states

The number of Hawaii residents age 65 and older will double in three decades, according to a new report by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The state's senior citizen population is projected to rise to about 327,000 from about 161,000 by 2030, the report said.

The elderly will rise to 22.3 percent of the state's population in 2030 from 13.3 percent in 2000, ranking Hawaii 13th in the nation in the percentage of people age 65 or older. All states showed an increase in the number of seniors.

Hawaii's overall population is expected to grow by more than 250,000 residents, or 21 percent, during the same time, to almost 1.47 million. That would make Hawaii the 42nd most populated state in the nation, down from its current spot of 41.

"It's pretty modest growth," state economist Pearl Imada Iboshi said. "I think as we continue to grow, we have to watch and be careful of resources such as water and provide for infrastructure, but it's a very modest growth rate, so we should be able to appropriately prepare for that."

She said the population growth rates in Hawaii have historically been about 1 percent per year, so the projected growth is a significant slowdown from previous years.

The report did not break down which islands or areas of the state would see the most growth. It also did not include the state's sizable military population.

There are an estimated 55,000 military personnel in Hawaii.

According to the census projections, Florida, California and Texas will account for 46 percent of the nation's population growth, with each gaining more than 12 million residents. Florida will supplant New York as the nation's third-largest state, behind California and Texas.

The largest population growth -- 88 percent -- is projected in the South and West, according to census officials.

Andrew Mason, director of population studies at the University of Hawaii, said most of U.S. population growth is driven by immigration.

U.S. Census Bureau

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