Hawaii

Hawaii (/həˈw.i/ (listen) hə-WY-ee; Hawaiian: Hawaiʻi [həˈvɐjʔi] or [həˈwɐjʔi]) is a state in the Western United States located in the Pacific Ocean about 2,000 miles from the U.S. mainland. It is the only state outside North America, the only state that is an archipelago, and the only state in the tropics. Hawaii is also one of four U.S. states that were once independent nations along with Vermont, Texas and California.[11]

Hawaii
Hawaiʻi  (Hawaiian)
State of Hawaii
Mokuʻāina o Hawaiʻi  (Hawaiian)
Nickname(s): 
The Aloha State (official), Paradise of the Pacific,[1] The Islands of Aloha, The 808 State[2]
Motto(s): 
Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono
("The Life of the Land Is Perpetuated in Righteousness")[3]
Anthem: Hawaiʻi Ponoʻī
(Hawaiʻi's Own True Sons)[4]
Map of the United States with Hawaii highlighted
CountryUnited States
Before statehoodTerritory of Hawaii
Admitted to the UnionAugust 21, 1959 (50th)
Capital
(and largest city)
Honolulu
Largest metro and urban areasHonolulu
Government
  GovernorDavid Ige (D)
  Lieutenant GovernorJosh Green (D)
LegislatureState Legislature
  Upper houseSenate
  Lower houseHouse of Representatives
JudiciarySupreme Court of Hawaii
U.S. senators
U.S. House delegation1: Ed Case (D)
2: Kai Kahele (D) (list)
Area
  Total10,931 sq mi (28,311 km2)
  Land6,423 sq mi (16,638 km2)
  Water4,507 sq mi (11,672 km2)  41.2%
Area rank47th (land)
Dimensions
  Length1,522 mi (2,450 km)
  Widthn/a mi (n/a km)
Elevation
3,030 ft (920 m)
Highest elevation13,796 ft (4,205.0 m)
Lowest elevation
(Pacific Ocean[6])
0 ft (0 m)
Population
 (2020)
  Total1,455,271
  Rank40th
  Density221/sq mi (82.6/km2)
  Density rank13th
  Median household income
$77,765[9]
  Income rank
4th
Demonym(s)Hawaii resident,[10] Hawaiian[lower-alpha 1]
Language
  Official languagesEnglish, Hawaiian
Time zoneUTC−10:00 (Hawaii)
USPS abbreviation
HI
ISO 3166 codeUS-HI
Traditional abbreviationH.I.
Latitude18° 55′ N to 28° 27′ N
Longitude154° 48′ W to 178° 22′ W
Websiteportal.ehawaii.gov
Hawaii state symbols
Living insignia
BirdNene
FishHumuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa
FlowerPua aloalo
InsectPulelehua
TreeKukui tree
Inanimate insignia
DanceHula
FoodKalo (taro)
GemstoneʻĒkaha kū moana (black coral)
OtherHeʻe nalu (surfing) (state individual sport)
State route marker
State quarter
Released in 2008
Lists of United States state symbols

Hawaii comprises nearly the entire Hawaiian archipelago, 137 volcanic islands spanning 1,500 miles (2,400 km) that are physiographically and ethnologically part of the Polynesian subregion of Oceania.[12] The state's ocean coastline is consequently the fourth longest in the U.S., at about 750 miles (1,210 km).[lower-alpha 2] The eight main islands, from northwest to southeast, are Niʻihau, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Maui, and Hawaiʻi, after which the state is named; it is often called the "Big Island" or "Hawaii Island" to avoid confusion with the state or archipelago. The uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands make up most of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, the nation's largest protected area and the third largest in the world.

Settled by Polynesians some time between 1000 and 1200 CE, Hawaii was home to numerous independent chiefdoms.[13] In 1778, British explorer James Cook was the first known non-Polynesian to arrive at the archipelago; early British influence is reflected in the state flag, which bears a Union Jack. An influx of European and American explorers, traders, and whalers arrived shortly thereafter, introducing diseases that decimated the once isolated indigenous community. Hawaii became a unified, internationally recognized kingdom in 1810, remaining independent until Western businessmen overthrew the monarchy in 1893; this led to annexation by the U.S. in 1898. As a strategically valuable U.S. territory, Hawaii was attacked by Japan on December 7, 1941, which brought it global and historical significance, and contributed to America's decisive entry into World War II. Hawaii is the most recent state to join the union, on August 21, 1959.[14] In 1993, the U.S. government formally apologized for its role in the overthrow of Hawaii's government, which spurred the Hawaiian sovereignty movement.

Of the 50 U.S. states, Hawaii is the eighth-smallest in land area and the 11th-least populous, but with 1.4 million residents ranks 13th in population density. Two-thirds of the population lives on O'ahu, home to the state's capital and largest city, Honolulu. Hawaii is among the country's most diverse states, owing to its central location in the Pacific and over two centuries of migration. As one of only six majority-minority states, it has the nation's only Asian American plurality, its largest Buddhist community,[15] and the largest proportion of multiracial people.[16] Consequently, it is a unique melting pot of North American and East Asian cultures, in addition to its indigenous Hawaiian heritage.

Historically dominated by a plantation economy, Hawaii remains a major agricultural exporter due to its fertile soil and uniquely tropical climate in the U.S. Its economy has gradually diversified since the mid-20th century, with tourism and military defense becoming the two largest sectors. The state attracts tourists, surfers, and scientists from around the world with its diverse natural scenery, warm tropical climate, abundance of public beaches, oceanic surroundings, active volcanoes, and clear skies on the Big Island. Hawaii hosts the U.S. Pacific Fleet, the world's largest naval command, as well as 75,000 employees of the Defense Department.[17]

Although its relative isolation results in one of the nation's highest costs of living, Hawaii is the third-wealthiest state.[17] Honolulu performs well in several world livability indexes, ranking 22nd out of 140 cities worldwide in the 2019 Global Liveability Index, more than any American city.[18]


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