Census: Hawaii incomes grow, but so do housing costs - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Census: Hawaii incomes grow, but so do housing costs

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  • Census: 1 in 6 Hawaii residents live in poverty

    Census: 1 in 6 Hawaii residents live in poverty

    Tuesday, September 13 2016 8:19 PM EDT2016-09-14 00:19:44 GMT
    (Image: Hawaii News Now/File)(Image: Hawaii News Now/File)

    Hawaii has the ninth-highest poverty rate in the nation when the state’s high cost of living is taken into account, new Census estimates show.

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    Hawaii has the ninth-highest poverty rate in the nation when the state’s high cost of living is taken into account, new Census estimates show.

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    Census: Oahu has state's highest concentrations of rich and poor

    Friday, December 4 2015 10:03 PM EST2015-12-05 03:03:30 GMT
    Wednesday, December 9 2015 5:34 PM EST2015-12-09 22:34:30 GMT
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    New Census figures show just how concentrated pockets of wealth and poverty are in Hawaii. Oahu had the starkest differences in income among residents, with both the state’s wealthiest neighborhoods and the highest number of census tracts where more than 30 percent of people live below the poverty line.More >>

    New Census figures show just how concentrated pockets of wealth and poverty are in Hawaii. Oahu had the starkest differences in income among residents, with both the state’s wealthiest neighborhoods and the highest number of census tracts where more than 30 percent of people live below the poverty line.

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Incomes are going up in the islands, but skyrocketing housing costs appear to be eating up much of those gains, newly-released Census figures show.

The median household income in the islands was $73,486 in 2015, an increase of nearly $4,000 or 5.6 percent from the year before, according to American Community Survey estimates released Thursday.

Hawaii now has the third-highest median household income in the nation, behind Maryland and Washington, D.C.

At the same time, Hawaii once again topped the nation for median rents and housing values, and Hawaii residents pay the third-highest mortgage costs in the nation.

Eugene Tian, state economist, said the higher median income is something to celebrate -- and is likely attributed to gains in construction and tourism.

But he also noted that Hawaii's figures are affected by the state's household size.

The Census Bureau's definition of a household includes all the people who occupy a housing unit. And statistics have shown the Hawaii has the second-largest households in the nation, with an average of three people. (The U.S. average is two people.)

In other words, the median household income in the islands could be higher than other states, in part, because more people in Hawaii households are earning money.

Other highlights from the new Census figures include:

  • Hawaii’s median housing value grew by 7 percent from 2014 to 2015, to $566,900.
  • The median housing costs for a mortgage grew to $2,248 in 2015.
  • Honolulu topped the state for median rents. In 2015, the median rent for a two-bedroom unit in Honolulu was $1,528, while the median rent for a three-bedroom was $2,408.
  • Just 4 percent of the population was uninsured in 2015, down from 5.3 percent the year before. That’s the fourth-lowest percentage of uninsured people in the nation.
  • Hawaii’s poverty rate stayed about the same in 2015, and the state ranked 45th in the nation for its percentage of poverty. (Worth noting: The official poverty rate doesn’t consider cost of living. When cost of living is considered, Hawaii has the ninth-highest poverty rate in the nation.)

The median household income on Oahu is higher than other counties, the new statistics also show.

Oahu’s median household income was $77,273 in 2015, slightly higher than the average for Kauai ($77,140). Maui County’s median household income was $70,497.

The Big Island had the lowest median household income in the state – at $60,033.

Meanwhile, Hawaii's median family income in 2015 was $83,823, the eighth-highest in the nation.

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