31% of Hawaii families don't earn enough to cover basic needs: study

31% of Hawaii families don't earn enough to cover basic needs: study

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A family of four needs to bring in nearly $78,000 on Oahu to be "self-sufficient," or able to cover expenses without government or other outside help, according to a new state report.

That self-sufficiency income is up from $74,940 in 2014, and $22,000 more than what the same family would have needed a decade ago.

The biennial self-sufficiency study is aimed at gauging how the state's cost of living affects families, and what they need to be able to make ends meet.

The latest report, released last month, shows that nearly one third of Hawaii families don't meet self-sufficiency income levels.

For a single adult, the self-sufficiency income in Hawaii was put at nearly $33,000.

A single parent with two children needs to bring in at least $69,000 in Hawaii to be self-sufficient.

To come up with the self-sufficiency levels, the report's authors looked at the costs of housing, food, transportation, child care, and taxes.

They found that families on the Big Island needed the lowest self-sufficiency income to make ends meet, while some of the highest incomes needed were seen on Kauai and Maui.

On Oahu, a single person would need to earn $15.79 an hour to cover basic needs.

A single adult with one child in preschool and the other in school would need to earn $34 an hour to be self-sufficient. That's 300 percent above the state's minimum wage, the report notes.

For a family of four on Oahu, the report put the total cost of basic needs at $6,497 a month. That includes $1,787 for housing, $1,131 for child care and $1,260 for food.

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