The state Reapportionment Commission has a long road ahead before producing any new voting district maps, but data from the latest U.S. Census already can provide hints about where population has shifted in Hawaii and which areas can expect more representation.
At least until the commission office is fully up and running, the information on reapportionment is posted on the state Office of Elections website (hawaii.gov/elections/reapportionment).
The site answers frequently asked questions about reapportionment and has downloadable files explaining the process. But the most interesting documents are posted under the heading "Reapportionment Online Maps," displaying population changes between the last two Census periods, 2000-2010, in each state Senate and House district.
Here are some observations about which areas are growing fastest in each county:
» Oahu — The districts covering Kapolei and parts of Ewa and Mililani (19 and 20 in the Senate, 38, 40 and 43 in the House) showed above-average rates of growth.
The communities from Nanakuli to Kaena Point, around to Pupukea and south to Mililani, as well as Waipahu’s makai edge, seem to be holding their own, with average population growth. One part of Honolulu, Senate District 12 — including Iwilei, Downtown, Kakaako and Waikiki — also grew at an average pace.
Most of the rest of the island — Pearl City, Aiea, urban and East Honolulu, Windward Oahu to Kahuku — show below-average growth.
» Maui — Senate District 6, encompassing Molokai, Lanai and most of East Maui, grew at an average rate of 12 percent. Senate Districts 4 and 5 grew 21-30 percent, above average. Fastest growing among House Districts are 8 and 9, including the Wailuku-Kahului area, at 35 and 26 percent, respectively.
» Hawaii — The area around Hilo and up the Hamakua Coast (Senate District 1 and House Districts 1-3) grew at an average pace, 4-12 percent. The rest of the island clocks in at an above-average growth rate, as high as 50 percent in House District 4 (Puna, Pahoa, Hawaiian Acres).
» Kauai — Growth was measured for the county at 15 percent, ranging from 9 percent on the west side of Kauai to 20 percent in and around Lihue (House District 15).