According to the 2000 census, Hawaii ranked 42nd among the states in population, with 1,211,537 residents. This represents a rise of 9.3 percent over the 1990 census figure of 1,108,229. In 2006 the state had an average population density of 77 persons per sq km (200 per sq mi).
The population and density of habitation varies considerably among the islands. Oahu is by far the most populous island, with three-fourths of the state’s people. In 2000 it had 876,156 people, giving it a population density of 567 persons per sq km (1,467 per sq mi). Hawaii, the largest island in area, had a population of only 148,677 people and a density of 14 persons per sq km (37 per sq mi).
Population and density of the other major islands were Maui, with 117,644 inhabitants and 62 persons per sq km (162 per sq mi); Kauai, with 58,303 people and 41 persons per sq km (106 per sq mi); Molokai, with 7,257 inhabitants and 11 persons per sq km (28 per sq mi); and Lanai, with 3,193 residents, giving it 9 persons per sq km (23 per sq mi).
The native Hawaiians are descendants of the early Polynesian inhabitants of the islands. According to the 2000 census, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders were 9.4 percent of the population, and many more people have some Hawaiian ancestry. Hawaii is the only state where Asians are the largest racial group, comprising 41.6 percent of the people. The largest share of those with Asian origin are of Japanese descent.
Whites made up 24.3 percent of the people, blacks 1.8 percent, Native Americans 0.3 percent, and those of mixed ancestry or not reporting ethnicity 22.7 percent. Hispanics, who may be of any race, were 7.2 percent of the people.
Urbanization has proceeded rapidly since the 1920s. Some 91 percent of all inhabitants now live in urban areas, mostly in and around Honolulu, making the state one of the most urbanized in the country.
Honolulu, the state capital, dominates the economic, cultural, social, and political life of Hawaii. The City and County of Honolulu includes all of Oahu, together with several islets northwest of the main islands. The city proper had a population in 2005 of 377,379. The Honolulu metropolitan area is coextensive with Oahu. Hilo, the second largest city in the state, had a population of 40,759 in 2000. It serves as the shipping and business center of the island of Hawaii. "Hawaii" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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