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The cost and availability of housing are problems encountered by all U.S. citizens today. The first part of this chapter examines statewide data on housing in Hawaii. It also compares specific housing characteristics and costs for the major ethnic groups in Hawaii. Since some unique features in the housing situation for native Hawaiians have resulted from the Hawaiian Home Lands program, this chapter will also look at these in detail.
A word about some of the data used in this chapter is necessary. All of the 1980.housing statistics for different ethnic groups in the following section were obtained from a special tabulation of the 1980 Census of the Population that the U.S. Bureau of the Census performed for the Native Hawaiians Study Commission. Sources for other data are noted in the text. 1/
B. HOUSING CHARACTERISTICS
The State of Hawaii reported that in 1981 there were 343,000 housing units in Hawaii. This compares with 217,000 units in 1970. There were also 80,000 condominium units at the end of 1980 and 26,000 military and public housing units. 2/
The physical limitations of an island community will, of course, have an impact on the overall availability of housing. The high population density in Hawaii, particularly on Oahu, is also a factor. In 1980, there were 163.8 people per square mile of land area in Hawaii. This density is comparable to that in California (151.4) and about two and one-half times the population density for the United States as a whole (64). 3/ The de facto population density on the island of Oahu, however, was 1,386.8 per square mile. 4/
The State reports that housing has been in relatively short supply throughout the decade of the 1970's. 5/ Table 48 shows that the 1980 homeowner vacancy rate for Hawaii was 1.4, compared to 1.8 for the United States as a whole. The rental vacancy rates were 10.3 for Hawaii and 7.1 for the United States. 6/ (All tables are at the end of the chapter.)
The cost of housing is high in Hawaii compared to that in the United States as a whole. The median value of a house in Hawaii is two and one-half times greater than the national median value. (See Table 49.) Per capita income for all persons in the United States and in Hawaii, while Hawaii is higher, are not much different. In 1980, the personal income, per capita, was $10,101 in Hawaii and $9,521 for the United States as a whole. 7/
Data from the 1980 Census allow comparisons of the median value of owner-occupied housing units (non-condominium) in Hawaii for the major ethnic groups. (See Table 50.) The native Hawaiian group of owners has the lowest median value of all groups ($92,800), while the greatest values were reported by the Chinese ($137,900) and White ($134,500) groups.
Median rents paid in Hawaii and in the United States as a whole also differed considerably. Table 51 compares the median contract rents paid in 1970 and 1980 in the United States and in Hawaii. It shows that
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