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Hawaii

 

HAWAII
Hawaii is the 40th highest population ranking
 state in the United States of America.


HAWAII

Hawaii

 

Coordinates: 21°18′41″N 157°47′47″W / 21.31139°N 157.79639°W / 21.31139; -157.79639

State of Hawaii
Mokuʻāina o Hawaiʻi  (Hawaiian)
Flag of Hawaii State seal of Hawaii
Flag Seal
Nickname(s): The Aloha State (official), Paradise of the Pacific,[1] The Islands of Aloha
Motto(s): Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono
("The Life of the Land is Perpetuated in Righteousness")[2]
State song(s): "Hawaiʻi Ponoʻī
(Hawaiʻi's Own True Sons)[3]
"
Map of the United States with Hawaii highlighted
Official language English, Hawaiian
Demonym Hawaiian[a]
Capital
(and largest city)
Honolulu
Largest metro Oahu metropolitan area
Area Ranked 43rd
 • Total 10,931 sq mi
(28,311 km2)
 • Width n/a miles (n/a km)
 • Length 1,522 miles (2,450 km)
 • % water 41.2
 • Latitude 18° 55′ N to 28° 27′ N
 • Longitude 154° 48′ W to 178° 22′ W
Population Ranked 40th
 • Total 1,431,603 (2015 est)[4]
 • Density 214/sq mi  (82.6/km2)
Ranked 13th
 • Median household income $63,746 (5th)
Elevation
 • Highest point Mauna Kea[5][6][7][8]
13,796 ft (4205.0 m)
 • Mean 3,030 ft  (920 m)
 • Lowest point Pacific Ocean[6]
sea level
Before statehood Territory of Hawaii
Admission to Union August 21, 1959 (50th)
Governor David Ige (D)
Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui (D)
Legislature State Legislature
 • Upper house Senate
 • Lower house House of Representatives
U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D)
Mazie Hirono (D)
U.S. House delegation 1: TBD
2: Tulsi Gabbard (D) (list)
Time zone Hawaii: UTC −10
(no DST)
ISO 3166 US-HI
Abbreviations HI
Website www.hawaii.gov
[show]Hawaii state symbols
Living insignia
Bird Nene[9]
Fish Humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa[10]
Flower Hawaiian hibiscus[11]
Insect Kamehameha butterfly[12]
Mammal Humpback whale,[13] Hawaiian monk seal[14] Hawaiian hoary bat[15]
Tree Kukui nut tree[16]
Inanimate insignia
Dance Hula[17]
Gemstone Black coral[18]
Instrument Ukulele,[19] Pahu[19]
Song Hawaiʻi Ponoʻi[3]
Sport Surfing,[20] Outrigger canoe paddling[21]
Tartan Hawaii State Tartan (unofficial)[22]
State route marker
Hawaii state route marker
State quarter
Hawaii quarter dollar coin
Released in 2008
Lists of United States state symbols

Hawaii (English pronunciation: Listeni/həˈwʲi/ hə-WY-(y)ee; locally, [həˈwɐ(ɪ)ʔi]; Hawaiian: Hawaiʻi [həˈvɐjʔi]) is the 50th and most recent state of the United States of America, receiving statehood on August 21, 1959.[23] Hawaii is the only U.S. state located in Oceania and the only one composed entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean.[24] Hawaii is the only U.S. state not located in the Americas. The state does not observe daylight saving time.

The state encompasses nearly the entire volcanic Hawaiian archipelago, which comprises hundreds of islands spread over 1,500 miles (2,400 km). At the southeastern end of the archipelago, the eight main islands are—in order from northwest to southeast: Niʻihau, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Maui and the Island of Hawaiʻi. The last is the largest island in the group; it is often called the "Big Island" or "Hawaiʻi Island" to avoid confusion with the state or archipelago. The archipelago is physiographically and ethnologically part of the Polynesian subregion of Oceania.

Hawaii's diverse natural scenery, warm tropical climate, abundance of public beaches, oceanic surroundings, and active volcanoes make it a popular destination for tourists, surfers, biologists, and volcanologists. Because of its central location in the Pacific and 19th-century labor migration, Hawaii's culture is strongly influenced by North American and Asian cultures, in addition to its indigenous Hawaiian culture. Hawaii has over a million permanent residents, along with many visitors and U.S. military personnel. Its capital is Honolulu on the island of Oʻahu.

Hawaii is the 8th-smallest and the 11th-least populous, but the 13th-most densely populated of the fifty U.S. states. It is the only state with an Asian plurality. The state's coastline is about 750 miles (1,210 km) long, the fourth longest in the U.S. after the coastlines of Alaska, Florida and California.

Contents

 

Etymology

The state of Hawaii derives its name from the name of its largest island, Hawaiʻi. A common Hawaiian explanation of the name of Hawaiʻi is that was named for Hawaiʻiloa, a legendary figure from Hawaiian myth. He is said to have discovered the islands when they were first settled.[25][26]

The Hawaiian language word Hawaiʻi is very similar to Proto-Polynesian *Sawaiki, with the reconstructed meaning "homeland".[27] Cognates of Hawaiʻi are found in other Polynesian languages, including Māori (Hawaiki), Rarotongan (ʻAvaiki) and Samoan (Savaiʻi) . According to linguists Pukui and Elbert,[28] "[e]lsewhere in Polynesia, Hawaiʻi or a cognate is the name of the underworld or of the ancestral home, but in Hawaii, the name has no meaning".[29]

Spelling of state name

A somewhat divisive political issue arose in 1978 when the Constitution of the State of Hawaii added Hawaiian as a second official state language.[30] The title of the state constitution is The Constitution of the State of Hawaii. Article XV, Section 1 of the Constitution uses The State of Hawaii.[31] Diacritics were not used because the document, drafted in 1949,[32] predates the use of the okina (ʻ) and the kahakō in modern Hawaiian orthography. The exact spelling of the state's name in the Hawaiian language is Hawaiʻi.[b] In the Hawaii Admission Act that granted Hawaiian statehood, the federal government recognized Hawaii as the official state name. Official government publications, department and office titles, and the Seal of Hawaii use the traditional spelling with no symbols for glottal stops or vowel length.[33] In contrast, the National and State Parks Services, the University of Hawaiʻi and some private enterprises implement these symbols. No precedent for changes to U.S. state names exists since the adoption of the United States Constitution in 1789. However, the Constitution of Massachusetts formally changed the Province of Massachusetts Bay to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1780, and in the 1819 the Territory of Arkansaw was created but was later admitted to statehood as State of Arkansas.

Geography and environment

Main article: Hawaiian Islands
Hawaii from space, January 26, 2014[34]

There are eight main Hawaiian islands, seven of which are permanently inhabited. The island of Niʻihau is privately managed by brothers Bruce and Keith Robinson; access is restricted to those who have permission from the island's owners.

The main islands and undersea terrain of Hawaii
Island Nickname Area Population
(as of 2010)
Density Highest point Elevation Age (Ma)[35] Location
Hawaiʻi[36] The Big Island 1 4,028.0 sq mi (10,432.5 km2) 185,079 4 45.948/sq mi (17.7407/km2) Mauna Kea 1 13,796 ft (4,205 m) 0.4 19°34′N 155°30′W / 19.567°N 155.500°W / 19.567; -155.500 (Hawaii)
Maui[37] The Valley Isle 2 727.2 sq mi (1,883.4 km2) 144,444 2 198.630/sq mi (76.692/km2) Haleakalā 2 10,023 ft (3,055 m) 1.3–0.8 20°48′N 156°20′W / 20.800°N 156.333°W / 20.800; -156.333 (Maui)
Oʻahu[38] The Gathering Place 3 596.7 sq mi (1,545.4 km2) 953,207 1 1,597.46/sq mi (616.78/km2) Mount Kaʻala 5 4,003 ft (1,220 m) 3.7–2.6 21°28′N 157°59′W / 21.467°N 157.983°W / 21.467; -157.983 (Oahu)
Kauaʻi[39] The Garden Isle 4 552.3 sq mi (1,430.5 km2) 66,921 3 121.168/sq mi (46.783/km2) Kawaikini 3 5,243 ft (1,598 m) 5.1 22°05′N 159°30′W / 22.083°N 159.500°W / 22.083; -159.500 (Kauai)
Molokaʻi[40] The Friendly Isle 5 260.0 sq mi (673.4 km2) 7,345 5 28.250/sq mi (10.9074/km2) Kamakou 4 4,961 ft (1,512 m) 1.9–1.8 21°08′N 157°02′W / 21.133°N 157.033°W / 21.133; -157.033 (Molokai)
Lānaʻi[41] The Pineapple Isle 6 140.5 sq mi (363.9 km2) 3,135 6 22.313/sq mi (8.615/km2) Lānaʻihale 6 3,366 ft (1,026 m) 1.3 20°50′N 156°56′W / 20.833°N 156.933°W / 20.833; -156.933 (Lanai)
Niʻihau[42] The Forbidden Isle 7 69.5 sq mi (180.0 km2) 170 7 2.45/sq mi (0.944/km2) Mount Pānīʻau 8 1,250 ft (381 m) 4.9 21°54′N 160°10′W / 21.900°N 160.167°W / 21.900; -160.167 (Niihau)
Kahoʻolawe[43] The Target Isle 8 44.6 sq mi (115.5 km2) 0 8 0 Puʻu Moaulanui 7 1,483 ft (452 m) 1.0 20°33′N 156°36′W / 20.550°N 156.600°W / 20.550; -156.600 (Kahoolawe)

Topography

World map with Hawaiian islands in the middle
The Hawaiian Islands are located in the North Pacific Ocean

The Hawaiian archipelago is located 2,000 mi (3,200 km) southwest of the continental United States.[44] Hawaii is the southernmost U.S. state and the second westernmost after Alaska. Hawaii, along with Alaska, does not border any other U.S. state. It is the only U.S. state that is not geographically located in North America, the only state completely surrounded by water and that is entirely an archipelago, and the only state in which coffee is cultivable.

In addition to the eight main islands, the state has many smaller islands and islets. Kaʻula is a small island near Niʻihau that is often overlooked. The Northwest Hawaiian Islands is a group of nine small, older islands to the northwest of Kauaʻi that extend from Nihoa to Kure Atoll; these are remnants of once much larger volcanic mountains. Across the archipelago are around 130 small rocks and islets, such as Molokini, which are either volcanic, marine sedimentary or erosional in origin.[45]

Hawaii's tallest mountain Mauna Kea is 13,796 ft (4,205 m) above mean sea level;[46] it is taller than Mount Everest if measured from the base of the mountain, which lies on the floor of the Pacific Ocean and rises about 33,500 feet (10,200 m).[47]

Geology

Main article: Hawaii hotspot
Pāhoehoe, or smooth lava, spills into the Pacific Ocean, forming new rock off the coast of the Island of Hawaii.

The Hawaiian islands were formed by volcanic activity initiated at an undersea magma source called the Hawaii hotspot. The process is continuing to build islands; the tectonic plate beneath much of the Pacific Ocean continually moves northwest and the hot spot remains stationary, slowly creating new volcanoes. Because of the hotspot's location, all currently active land volcanoes are located on the southern half of Hawaii Island. The newest volcano, ʻihi Seamount, is located south of the coast of Hawaii Island.

The last volcanic eruption outside Hawaii Island occurred at Haleakalā on Maui before the late 18th century, though it could have been hundreds of years earlier.[48] In 1790, Kīlauea exploded; it was the deadliest eruption known to have occurred in the modern era in what is now the United States.[49] Up to 5,405 warriors and their families marching on Kīlauea were killed by the eruption.[50] Volcanic activity and subsequent erosion have created impressive geological features. Hawaii Island has the third-highest point among the world's islands.[51]

On the flanks of the volcanoes, slope instability has generated damaging earthquakes and related tsunamis, particularly in 1868 and 1975.[52] Steep cliffs have been created by catastrophic debris avalanches on the submerged flanks of ocean island volcanoes.[53][54]

Flora and fauna

Corvus hawaiiensis, the endemic Hawaiian crow (ʻalalā), is extinct in the wild.

Because the islands of Hawaii are distant from other land habitats, life is thought to have arrived there by wind, waves (i.e. by ocean currents) and wings (i.e. birds, insects, and any seeds they may have carried on their feathers). This isolation, in combination with the diverse environment (including extreme altitudes, tropical climates, and arid shorelines), produced an array of endemic flora and fauna. Hawaii has more endangered species and has lost a higher percentage of its endemic species than any other U.S. state.[55] One endemic plant, Brighamia, now requires hand-pollination because its natural pollinator is presumed to be extinct.[56] The two species of BrighamiaB. rockii and B. insignis—are represented in the wild by around 120 individual plants. To ensure these plants set seed, biologists rappel down 3,000-foot (910 m) cliffs to brush pollen onto their stigmas.[57]

The extant main islands of the archipelago have been above the surface of the ocean for fewer than 10 million years; a fraction of the time biological colonization and evolution have occurred there. The islands are well known for the environmental diversity that occurs on high mountains within a trade winds field. On a single island, the climate around the coasts can range from dry tropical (less than 20 inches or 510 millimetres annual rainfall) to wet tropical; on the slopes, envionments range from tropical rainforest (more than 200 inches or 5,100 millimetres per year), through a temperate climate, to alpine conditions with a cold, dry climate. The rainy climate impacts soil development, which largely determines ground permeability, affecting the distribution of streams and wetlands.

Protected areas

Several areas in Hawaii are under the protection of the National Park Service.[58] Hawaii has two national parks: Haleakalā National Park located near Kula on the island of Maui, which features the dormant volcano Haleakalā that formed east Maui, and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in the southeast region of the Hawaiʻi Island, which includes the active volcano Kīlauea and its rift zones.

There are three national historical parks; Kalaupapa National Historical Park in Kalaupapa, Molokaʻi, the site of a former leper colony; Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park in Kailua-Kona on Hawaiʻi Island; and Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, an ancient place of refuge on Hawaiʻi Island's west coast. Other areas under the control of the National Park Service include Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail on Hawaiʻi Island and the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor on Oʻahu.

The Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument was proclaimed by President George W. Bush on June 15, 2006. The monument covers roughly 140,000 square miles (360,000 km2) of reefs, atolls, and shallow and deep sea out to 50 miles (80 km) offshore in the Pacific Ocean—an area larger than all of the national parks in the U.S. combined.[59]

Climate

A true-color satellite view of Hawaii shows that most of the vegetation on the islands grows on the northeast sides which face the wind. The silver glow around the southwest of the islands is the result of calmer waters.[60]

Hawaii's climate is typical for the tropics, although temperatures and humidity tend to be less extreme because of near-constant trade winds from the east. Summer highs usually reach around 88 °F (31 °C) during the day and 75 °F (24 °C) at night. Winter day temperatures are usually around 83 °F (28 °C); at low elevation they seldom dip below 65 °F (18 °C) at night. Snow, not usually associated with the tropics, falls at 13,800 feet (4,200 m) on Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa on Hawaii Island in some winter months. Snow rarely falls on Haleakalā. Mount Waiʻaleʻale on Kauaʻi has the second-highest average annual rainfall on Earth, about 460 inches (12,000 mm) per year. Most of Hawaii experiences only two seasons; the dry season runs from May to October and the wet season is from October to April.[61]

The warmest temperature recorded in the state, in Pahala on April 27, 1931, is 100 °F (38 °C), making it tied with Alaska as the lowest record high temperature observed in a U.S. state. Hawaii's record low temperature is 12 °F (−11 °C) observed in May 1979 on the summit of Mauna Kea. Hawaii is the only state to have never recorded sub-zero Fahrenheit temperatures.

Climates vary considerably on each island; they can be divided into windward and leeward (koʻolau and kona, respectively) areas based upon location relative to the higher mountains. Windward sides face cloud cover.

Honolulu
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
2.3
 
 
80
66
 
 
2
 
 
80
66
 
 
2
 
 
81
68
 
 
0.6
 
 
83
69
 
 
0.6
 
 
85
71
 
 
0.3
 
 
87
73
 
 
0.5
 
 
88
75
 
 
0.6
 
 
89
75
 
 
0.7
 
 
89
74
 
 
1.8
 
 
87
73
 
 
2.4
 
 
84
71
 
 
3.2
 
 
81
68
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: National Climate Data Center
Hilo
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
9.3
 
 
79
64
 
 
9.6
 
 
79
64
 
 
13
 
 
79
65
 
 
12
 
 
79
66
 
 
8.1
 
 
81
67
 
 
7.4
 
 
82
68
 
 
11
 
 
83
69
 
 
9.9
 
 
83
70
 
 
9.9
 
 
83
69
 
 
9.8
 
 
83
69
 
 
16
 
 
81
67
 
 
12
 
 
79
65
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: National Climate Data Center
Kahului
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
2.9
 
 
81
63
 
 
1.9
 
 
81
63
 
 
2.5
 
 
81
64
 
 
1.6
 
 
82
66
 
 
0.7
 
 
84
67
 
 
0.2
 
 
86
70
 
 
0.5
 
 
87
71
 
 
0.5
 
 
88
71
 
 
0.4
 
 
88
70
 
 
1.2
 
 
87
70
 
 
2.2
 
 
84
68
 
 
3.4
 
 
82
65
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: National Climate Data Center
Lihue
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
3.8
 
 
78
66
 
 
3.2
 
 
78
66
 
 
4.6
 
 
78
67
 
 
2.3
 
 
79
69
 
 
2.1
 
 
81
70
 
 
1.6
 
 
83
73
 
 
1.9
 
 
84
74
 
 
2.1
 
 
85
75
 
 
2.1
 
 
85
74
 
 
3.8
 
 
83
73
 
 
4.5
 
 
81
71
 
 
5.2
 
 
79
68
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: National Climate Data Center