Saturday, November 28, 2015         

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Hawaii is older, more racially mixed, census shows

By Michael Tsai


According to the U.S. Census Bureau's latest demographic profile of the state, Hawaii is looking a little older, a tad whiter, perhaps a bit lonelier.

The bureau is scheduled to release today detailed demographic information collected last year in Hawaii and 12 other states.

The findings are consistent with continuing trends for aging, immigration and racial composition, household composition and population distribution.

As noted by Eugene Tian, acting administrator for the Research and Economic Analysis Division of the state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism, Hawaii's "young age" population (those 14 and younger) account for 18.5 percent of the total population, down from 20.3 percent in 2000. Meanwhile, the "old age" population (65 and older) accounted for 14.3 percent of the total population, up from 13.3 in 2000. The shift is expected to become more pronounced starting this year as the first of the baby boom generation turn 65.

The average age of Hawaii residents last year was 38.6, up from 36.2 in 2000. Kauai recorded the oldest population, with a median age of 41.3 years and a 65-plus population of 14.9 percent.

Hawaii's dependency ratio — the number of dependents 14 or younger, or 65 and older, versus the total population of people ages 15 to 64 — fell to 49 from 50.6 in the past 10 years.

The state's total population increased by 12 percent to 1,360,301 in 2010 from 1,211,537 in 2000.

The neighbor islands experienced the most growth. While Honolulu's population increased 8.8 percent to 953,207 in 2010 from 876,156 in 2000, that pales in comparison to the 24.4 percent increase Hawaii island experienced as its population grew to 185,079 from 148,677. Maui County grew 20.8 percent (154,924 from 128,241), while Kauai absorbed a 14.8 percent increase (67,091 from 58,463).

Tian, who spent two days analyzing the data, noted several significant trends.

Statewide, the number of people who identified themselves as being of mixed race increased to 23.6 percent from 21.4 percent.

Of those who identified themselves by one race, African-American, Japanese and Chinese residents all recorded lower population totals from 2000 to 2010. Native Hawaiians remained level at 80,337 total, 5.9 percent of the population.

Meanwhile, white residents increased to 24.7 percent from 24.3 percent of the total population, a gain of 42,497 people.

Filipino (14.5 percent from 14.1 percent), Vietnamese (0.7 percent from 0.6 percent); other Asians (3.9 percent from 3.6 percent) and other Pacific Islanders (2.5 percent from 1.3 percent) populations all grew in proportion to the total population.

Hawaii's Hispanic-Latino population grew nearly 38 percent to 120,842 last year from 87,699 in 2000.

Within Hawaii's households, husband-wife families increased by 6.5 percent, while those with children under 18 decreased by 5.3 percent. Households that included a woman but no husband increased by 14.7 percent.

Last year, there were 106,175 people living alone, an increase of 20.4 percent over 2000. Nearly 35 percent of single-person households comprised people age 65 or older.

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