As of September 2021, Hawaii had experienced a decline in population for the third year in a row. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Hawaii’s population had dropped by 2.2% over the previous year, which is a significant decline. The primary reason for this population decline is due to the high cost of living and the lack of affordable housing, which has led many Hawaiians to move to the mainland United States in search of better economic opportunities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also played a role in the population decline as the state’s tourism industry, which is a significant contributor to the state’s economy, was hit hard by the pandemic. Many individuals who relied on the tourism industry for employment have been forced to leave the state in search of work elsewhere.
In terms of where Hawaiians are moving to, many are relocating to the West Coast of the United States, particularly California, Oregon, and Washington. These states offer more affordable housing and a lower cost of living, as well as a robust job market. Other popular destinations for Hawaiians include Las Vegas, Nevada, and Phoenix, Arizona.
It’s worth noting that the population decline in Hawaii is not evenly distributed across the state. Some areas, such as Honolulu, have seen a smaller decline in population, while other areas, particularly rural areas, have seen a more significant population decline. This has led to concerns about the sustainability of these rural communities and the need for policies that encourage economic growth and development in these areas.