Hawaii housing costs are among the highest in the nation. All the measures listed in the chart below were already bad in 2009 and got worse since then.


Crime down but…

Property and drug-related crime still worse than national average.



A bleak snapshot of life on the street

  • More than half of all homeless individuals have lived in Hawaii 10 years or more; up until three years ago a majority of the homeless were lifetime residents of the Islands.
  • About 28 percent of homeless individuals are Hawaiian or part-Hawaiian.
  • About 28 percent of the homeless are employed.
  • 27 percent have some college education.
  • Families with children increased from 23 percent of the people in shelters in 2005 to 39 percent in 2012.
  • More people today have been homeless for a year or more than in 2006.

Source: UH Center on the Family, Homeless Service Utilization Report



The Economic Policy Institute created a Family Budget Calculator for 2013 that measures the income families need for a “secure yet modest living standard” and is tailored for a city’s specific costs. Honolulu’s costs rank it as the third costliest city in the nation, after New York and Washington, D.C. Here are three budgets for Hawaii using the calculator at www.epi.org/resources/budget/:



Housing: Based on Department of Housing and Urban Development fair market rents at the 40th percentile – the dollar amount below which 40 percent of standard-quality rental units are rented.

Food: Based on the “low-cost plan” outlined by the Department of Agriculture to achieve a nutritionally adequate diet. Assumes all food is bought at grocery stores and prepared at home.

Transportation: Based on the costs of owning and operating a car. Average miles driven determined geographically by National Household Travel Survey.

Childcare: For those budgets based on a single child, the cost is for a 4-year-old. For those budgets based on two children, one is a 4-year-old and the other is a school-age child. The costs are based on the Child Care Aware of America annual report on the costs of childcare by state.

Healthcare: Insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses by geographic area.

Other necessities: Costs of clothing, personal care, household supplies, school supplies and other items of necessity from Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey.

Taxes: Use National Bureau of Economic Research’s Internet TAXSIM to gather information on federal personal income taxes, state income taxes and federal Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes.

Social and Cultural Map

Many factors divide Hawaii’s people while some bring us together. These loops show how negative factors reinforce each other, making it harder to break out to better solutions.