Nhsc-v1-36

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nhsc-v1-36

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for the original population count of Hawaiians in 1778 ranged from 100,000 to 500,000. 4_/ Estimates are almost completely missing from 1779 to 1822. The sociologist, Romanzo Adams, did much research to fill in this gap. Missionary estimates after 1823 are characterized by Adams as "not very accurate, but nevertheless, valuable." 5/ The first censuses in 1839, 1847, and 1848 were not successful. A moderately successful count was obtained in 1849, but 1850 is the date of the first acceptable population count.

Censuses were taken by the kingdom of Hawaii from 1847 to 1896. The last census, in 1896, was accurate and comprehensive. Problems with the kingdom's census data include the fact that age data were most frequently misreported and ethnic breakdowns were different from those used after annexation. However, Schmitt evaluates the kingdom's census data as follows:

Findings were usually consistent with what is known of the general social and economic conditions of the period. Notwithstanding their limitations, the censuses contributed greatly to knowledge of the demography of Hawaii. 6_/

From 1900 to 1980, U.S. Bureau of the Census data can be used. Here again problems occur, especially in the area of misclassification of race. Schmitt says of the U.S. Census data:

Although the errors and discrepancies cited...sometimes involve thousands of persons, their net effect is often insignificant in relation to the total population. For all their limitations, the U.S. census reports offer an unequaled statistical picture of the social, demographic and economic development of Hawaii since 1900. V

There are important considerations that must be taken into account in using U.S. Census data and the statistics compiled by the State of Hawaii. For the 1980 U.S. Census, "race" was assigned on the basis of self-identification. If the person was unsure of his/her race, the race of the mother was used (in 1970, race of the father was used). In gathering State of Hawaii statistics, respondents are asked their ethnic composition and those with mixed blood, including part-Hawaiian, are included in the latter category. Exacerbating this difference is the fact that in 1970 and 1980, the category "part-Hawaiian" was not used in the U.S. Census. Many part- Hawaiians may have believed that the "Hawaiian" category was only for those with a large percentage of Hawaiian blood.V S

The natural result of the differences in these methods is that the State of Hawaii counts many more native Hawaiians than the U.S. Census does and, therefore, State and U.S. Census figures cannot be accurately compared. The actual effects of these differences are a matter of debate that cannot be resolved at this time. However, the reader should at least be aware that this issue exists. In this Report, the origin of the statistics used is clearly identified in the text or in each table.

Definitions

The definition used by the U.S. Congress for the term "native Hawaiian" in the Act creating the Native Hawaiians Study Commission is as follows: "any individual whose

V1 For a more complete explanation of the differences in the data collection for the 1970 and 1980 censuses, see page 41, below.

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