Hawaii, the Aloha state, is comprised primarily of eight islands in the Pacific Ocean. Hawaii’s landscape is unique in that it exhibits towering volcanoes, lush valleys, and sandy beaches. It is the only state that has its own official native language. Hawaii covers 6,423 square miles, with a 2012 estimated population of 1,392,313 people – 257,625 living in rural Hawaii (USDA-ERS). Honolulu, the capital, is located on the island of Oahu. The state’s largest cities are Honolulu, Hilo, Kailua, Kaneohe and Waipahu. Hawaii is the most racially and ethnically diverse state in the nation. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 26.1% of the state’s population is white, 38.3% is Asian, 10.1% is Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, 2.1% is African American/Black, and 9.5% is of Hispanic/Latino origin (2012).
There are 23 hospitals in Hawaii (Kaiser, 2011), 13 of which are located in rural areas (North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center, Dec. 2008). The state has 9 hospitals identified by the Flex Monitoring Team as Critical Access Hospitals (June 2013). There are 2 Rural Health Clinics in Hawaii (Kaiser, 2012), and 14 Federally Qualified Health Centers provide services at 67 sites in the state (Kaiser, 2011).
Most Hawaiians have some form of health insurance coverage, although 8.0% of its residents lack health insurance (Kaiser, 2011). According to the Economic Research Service, The average per-capita income in 2012 for residents of Hawaii was $44,767 although rural per-capita income lagged at $34,725. Estimates from 2012 indicate a poverty rate of 17.1% exists in rural Hawaii, compared to a 10.5% level in urban areas of the state. 2012 ACS data reports that 9.8% of the rural population has not completed high school, compared to 9.7% of urban populations. The unemployment rate in rural Hawaii is 8.1%, while in urban Hawaii it is 5.3% (USDA-ERS, 2012).For a national comparison, please see an overview of the United States.
U.S. Census Bureau: State & County QuickFacts; USDA Economic Research Service: State Fact Sheets; Kaiser Family Foundation State Health Facts; Flex Monitoring Team: Critical Access Hospital List
Directory of Rural Health
Contact information for people and organizations in Hawaii with an interest in rural health.
There are more organizations related to Hawaii in the organizations section.
Last Reviewed: 5/1/2013