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This article is about the U.S. state of Hawaii. For the island of Hawaiʻi, see Hawaii (island). For other uses, see Hawaii (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Hawaiki.

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
Flag of Hawaii State seal of Hawaii
Flag Seal
Nickname(s): The Aloha State (official), Paradise, 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")[1]
State anthem: "Hawaiʻi Ponoʻī
(Hawaiʻi’s Own True Sons)[2]
Map of the United States with Hawaii highlighted
Official language English, Hawaiian
Demonym Hawaiian (see notes)[3]
(and largest city)
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 1,404,054 (2013 est)[4]
 - Density 214/sq mi  (82.6/km2)
Ranked 13th
 - Median household income $63,746 (5th)
 - 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 Neil Abercrombie (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: Colleen Hanabusa (D)
2: Tulsi Gabbard (D) (list)
Time zone Hawaii: UTC −10
(no DST)
Abbreviations HI, US-HI
Website www.hawaii.gov
Hawaii state symbols
Animal and Plant insignia
Bird(s) Hawaiian Goose[9]
Fish Humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa[10]
Flower(s) Hawaiian hibiscus[11]
Mammal(s) Humpback whale,[12] Hawaiian monk seal[13]
Reptile Gold dust day gecko[citation needed]
Tree Kukui nut tree[14]
Inanimate insignia
Food Coconut muffin[citation needed]
Gemstone Black coral[15]
Slogan(s) The Islands of Aloha[citation needed]
Soil Hilo[citation needed]
Song(s) Hawaiʻi Ponoʻi[2]
Sport Surfing,[16] Outrigger canoeing[17]
Tartan Hawaii State Tartan (unofficial)[18]
Route marker(s)
Hawaii Route Marker
State Quarter
Quarter of Hawaii
Released in 2008
Lists of United States state symbols
Hawaii from space, January 26, 2014[19]

Hawaii (Listeni/həˈw./ or /həˈwʔ/; Hawaiian: Hawaiʻi [hɐˈvɐiʔi]) is the 50th and most recent U.S. state to join the United States. It joined the Union on August 21, 1959. It is the only U.S. state located in Oceania and the only one made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean.

Hawaii’s diverse natural scenery, warm tropical climate, abundance of public beaches, oceanic surroundings, and active volcanoes make it a popular destination for tourists, (wind) surfers, biologists, and volcanologists alike. Due to its mid-Pacific location, Hawaii has many North American and Asian influences along with its own vibrant native 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.

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 (from the northwest to southeast) Niʻihau, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Maui and the Island of Hawaiʻi. The last is the largest and is often called the "Big Island" to avoid confusing the island with the state or archipelago. The archipelago is physiographically and ethnologically part of the Polynesian subregion of Oceania.

Hawaii is the 8th-smallest, the 11th-least populous, but the 13th-most-densely populated of the 50 U.S. states. Hawaii's ocean coastline is about 750 miles (1,210 km) long, which is fourth in the United States after those of Alaska, Florida and California.

Hawaii is the only U.S. state not located in the Americas and the only state with an Asian plurality. It and Arizona are the only two states that do not observe daylight saving time, and Hawaii and Alaska are the only two states that are not in the contiguous United States.


The Hawaiian language word Hawaiʻi derives from Proto-Polynesian *Sawaiki, with the reconstructed meaning "homeland";[20] Hawaiʻi cognates are found in other Polynesian languages, including Māori (Hawaiki), Rarotongan (ʻAvaiki), and Samoan (Savaiʻi). (See also Hawaiki). According to Pukui and Elbert,[21] "Elsewhere 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."[22]

Spelling of state name

A somewhat divisive political issue arose when the constitution of the state of Hawaii added Hawaiian as a second official state language: the exact spelling of the state's name, which in the islands' language is Hawaiʻi (the ʻokina marking a Hawaiian consonant, a cut-off of breath before the final i). In the Hawaii Admission Act that granted Hawaiian statehood, the federal government recognized Hawaii to be the official state name. Official government publications, as well as department and office titles, use the traditional Hawaiian spelling, with no symbols for glottal stops or vowel length.[23] In contrast, the National and State Parks Services, the University of Hawaiʻi, and some private entities, including a local newspaper, do use such symbols.

The title of the state constitution is "The Constitution of the State of Hawaii". In Article XV, Section 1 uses "The State of Hawaii", Section 2 "the island of Oahu", Section 3 "The Hawaiian flag", and Section 5 specifies the state motto as "Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono". Since these documents predate the modern use of the ʻokina and the kahakō in Hawaiian orthography, the diacritics were not used. On the other hand, precedent for U.S. state name changes were set in 1780 when the Massachusetts Bay State changed its name to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and in the 1820s when the Territory of Arkansaw changed the spelling of its name to the Territory of Arkansas.

Geography and environment

The main Hawaiian Islands are:

Island Nickname Area Population
(as of 2010)
Density Highest point Elevation Age (Ma)[24] Location
Hawaiʻi[25] 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[26] 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[27] 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[28] 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[29] 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[30] 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[31] 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[32] 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)

World map with Hawaiian islands in the middle
The Hawaiian Islands are located in the North Pacific Ocean
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.[33]


Nā Pali coast, Kauaʻi

An archipelago situated some 2,000 mi (3,200 km) southwest of the North American mainland,[34] Hawaii is the southernmost state of the United States and the second westernmost state after Alaska. Hawaii, along with Alaska, does not border any other U.S. state.

Panorama of the Haleakala crater

Hawaii is the only state of the United States that is not geographically located in North America, grows coffee, is completely surrounded by water, is entirely an archipelago, has royal palaces, and does not have a straight line in its state boundary.

Hawaii’s tallest mountain, Mauna Kea, stands at 13,796 ft (4,205 m)[35] but is taller than Mount Everest if followed to the base of the mountain, which, lying at the floor of the Pacific Ocean, rises about 33,500 ft (10,200 m).[36]

  1. ^ Hawaii State Legislature. "Haw. Rev. Stat. § 5-9 (State motto)". Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Hawaii State Legislature. "Haw. Rev. Stat. § 5-10 (State song)". Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  3. ^ Local usage generally reserves Hawaiian as an ethnonym referring to Native Hawaiians. Hawaii resident or islander is the preferred local form to refer to state residents in general regardless of ethnicity. The Associated Press Stylebook, 42nd ed. (2007), also prescribes this usage (p. 112).
  4. ^ Cite error: The named reference PopEstUS was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  5. ^ "Summit USGS 1977". NGS data sheet. U.S. National Geodetic Survey. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "Elevations and Distances in the United States". United States Geological Survey. 2001. Retrieved October 21, 2011. [dead link]
  7. ^ Elevation adjusted to North American Vertical Datum of 1988.
  8. ^ The summit of Mauna Kea is the highest point in Oceania. Mauna Kea is also the tallest mountain on Earth when measured from base to summit. The shield volcano sits on the floor of the Pacific Ocean at a depth of 5,998 meters (19,678 ft) for a total height of 10,205.3 meters (33,482 ft)
  9. ^ Hawaii State Legislature. "Haw. Rev. Stat. § 5-17 (State bird)". Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  10. ^ Hawaii State Legislature. "Haw. Rev. Stat. § 5-11.5 (State fish)". Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  11. ^ Hawaii State Legislature. "Haw. Rev. Stat. § 5-16 (State flower and individual island flowers)". Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  12. ^ Hawaii State Legislature. "Haw. Rev. Stat. § 5-12 (State marine mammal)". Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  13. ^ Hawaii State Legislature. "Haw. Rev. Stat. § 5-12.5 (State mammal)". Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  14. ^ Hawaii State Legislature. "Haw. Rev. Stat. § 5-8 (State tree)". Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  15. ^ Hawaii State Legislature. "Haw. Rev. Stat. § 5-15 (State gem)". Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  16. ^ Hawaii State Legislature. "Haw. Rev. Stat. § 5-13.5 (State individual sport)". Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  17. ^ Hawaii State Legislature. "Haw. Rev. Stat. § 5-14 (State team sport)". Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Hawaiian tartan". Scottish Register of Tartans. National Records of Scotland. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  19. ^ Hawaii January 29, 2014
  20. ^ Pollex—a reconstruction of the Proto-Polynesian lexicon, Biggs and Clark, 1994. The asterisk preceding the word signifies that it is a reconstructed word form.
  21. ^ Pukui, Mary Kawena; Elbert, Samuel H. (1986). Hawaiian Dictionary. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. p. 62. ISBN 0-8248-0703-0. 
  22. ^ Pukui, Elbert, and Mookini 1974.
  23. ^ "Hawaiian language". Wow Polynesia. December 2, 2009. Retrieved April 16, 2011. 
  24. ^ Blay, Chuck, and Siemers, Robert. Kauai‘’s Geologic History: A Simplified Guide. Kaua‘i: TEOK Investigations, 2004. ISBN 9780974472300. (Cited in "Hawaiian Encyclopedia : The Islands". Retrieved June 20, 2012. )
  25. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Island of Hawaiʻi
  26. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Maui Island
  27. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Oʻahu Island
  28. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Kauaʻi Island
  29. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Molokaʻi Island
  30. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Lānaʻi Island
  31. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Niʻihau Island
  32. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Kahoʻolawe Island
  33. ^ "Hawaiian Islands : Image of the Day". Earthobservatory.nasa.gov. Retrieved November 5, 2010. 
  34. ^ "What constitutes the United States, what are the official definitions?". United States Geological Survey. Archived from the original on October 21, 2004. Retrieved July 3, 2007. 
  35. ^ "Mauna Kea Volcano, Hawaii". Hvo.wr.usgs.gov. Retrieved November 5, 2011. 
  36. ^ {{cite web|url=http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2001/BeataUnke.s