Nhsc-v1-40

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nhsc-v1-40

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The first immigrant labor group to arrive was the Chinese, followed by Japanese and, eventually, others. This new infusion of population from China and Japan brought with it new diseases. The first outbreak of leprosy occurred as a result. (Hawaiians called the disease ma'i Pake--the Chinese sickness.) The kingdom of Hawaii responded with quarantine stations to examine all incoming workers. However, the dread disease had established itself within the population, and, in an attempt to contain its spread, the leper settlement at Kalaupapa on the island of Molokai was established.

In any event, the greater consequence of labor immigration was the change in the composition of the total population. By 1896, full- Hawaiians represented less than half of the total population for the first time. Within a decade, this change was even more pronounced, as the Hawaiian population was less than one-third the number of non-natives, as shown in Chart 2.

As Chart 3 shows, most conspicuous in this non-native population were Asian immigrants, primarily from China and Japan. Especially after favorable arrangements for Hawaiian sugar were established with the United States in the Reciprocity Treaty of 1876, this portion of the population increased even more.

The influx of immigrant population— largely adult males—created an imbalance in the male/female ratio. Only Portugal required the re-settlement of wives and children as a condition of labor contracts. Although later efforts were made by the nation of Japan to facilitate "picture bride" arrangements for their people, plantations continued to assime that workers would return to their native countries. However, as might be expected in such a situation, patterns of increasing inter-marriage began to emerge.

Although intimate contact is known to have occurred between Hawaiians and Westerners since 1778, it was not until the Census of 1850 that a separate category designated "half caste" began to enumerate the children of these unions. In that year, more than 500 hapa haole children were counted. Three years later, this number had doubled. By 1890, this change in the genetic background of native Hawaiians accounted for about 15 percent of the total native Hawaiian population, as shown in Table 3.

Population Trends from 1900 to 1960

With the emergence of a new group composed of full- and part-Hawaiians (see Table 4 ) , there was a significant reversal in the declining native Hawaiian population trend in the first half of the twentieth century. Major factors that accounted for this population increase were: establishment of a program of Western preventive medicine and Hawaiians learning the value of Western medicine and changing their mode of life accordingly; the build-up of some immunity to disease; and growing inter-marriage. Part-Hawaiians have become Hawaii's most rapidly expanding ethnic group. 15/

Age and sex pyramids for the native Hawaiian population (illustrated in Chart 4) nearly approximate a normal distribution. The base is decidedly broad in 1920 and even broader in 1960; the broader the base, the younger the population. The median age of 16.0 for native Hawaiian males in 1960 was lower than that of any other major ethnic group in Hawaii.

Population Trends from 1960 to 1980

Federal and State figures vary substantially on the population of Hawaii in 1980. Table 5 shows the U.S. Census Bureau tally for Hawaii in

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