Local Connection: Census Brain Drain

Local Connection: Census Brain Drain

The census bureau has confirmed Hawaii's population is shrinking as more people leave the islands.

Most experts say the reason is economic -- that we have officially reached the point where the price of paradise is not worth it for many residents.

Until recently, the population movement to Mainland was balanced by immigration and local births, but that is no longer the case.

There may be some people who celebrate this trend. Fewer people is less taxing for the natural environment, and leaves us all a little more breathing room. But most experts say this is not a good sign at all.

It shows that despite some industries booming, we still don't have healthy, balanced economic growth. We don't have enough housing and wages are overall too low.

We expect that incumbent politicians will brag about the strength of our economy during this election year. But we need to keep up the pressure to diversify this economy, lower the cost of living, and provide affordable housing.

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