Census: Household incomes rose in Hawaii last year, but not by much

Census: Household incomes rose in Hawaii last year, but not by much

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii's economy is doing well. Tourism and construction are up, unemployment is at record lows.

But that's not translating into much higher incomes for Hawaii households, newly-released statistics show.

Census figures released this week show that the median household income in Hawaii was $77,765 last year. That's up 2.4 percent from the year before, which is not statistically significant, according to the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

Nationally, the median household income in the United States last year was $60,336, up 2.6 percent from the year before.

Meanwhile, the percentage of Hawaii families in poverty rose to 7.4 percent, up from 6 percent the year before. The overall poverty rate in the islands last year was 9.5 percent, about the same as the year before.

In analyzing the new Census figures, the state has noted that Hawaii's median household income was the fourth highest in the nation in 2017. Washington, D.C. topped the list (at $82,372), followed by Maryland and New Jersey.

But Hawaii's relatively high cost of living means that household incomes don't go as far. In fact, a ranking last year concluded that Hawaii residents are "most likely" to live paycheck to paycheck.

And the small uptick in median household income in 2017 comes on the heels of a .1 percent increase the year before.

The median income figure means that half of families bring in more than that amount and half bring in less. And while Hawaii's household income is one of the highest in the nation, its median earnings are not.

The Census figures showed that the median earnings for full-time, year-round workers in Hawaii were $46,978 in 2017. That's less than $2,000 more than the median nationally.

The median wage for men who work full-time in Hawaii was $51,594, which put the state 21st in the nation. The median earnings for women: $41,664 or 19th in the nation.

Also worth noting: The Census figures found that nearly 40 percent of Hawaii families have at least two earners.

And on Oahu, 18 percent of families have three earners or more.

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