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the median contract rent in Hawaii was $271 in 1980, compared to $198 for the United states. Table 52 shows that in Hawaii, the median contract rent for native Hawaiians was $254, compared to $207 for Filipinos, $326 for Whites, and $271 for the all races group.


One result of the high cost of housing in Hawaii is that more people rent. A comparison with total U.S. data shows that 59.7 percent of housing units were owner-occupied for the United States as a whole in 1980, compared to 45.8 percent for Hawaii. On the other hand, 42.8 percent of the housing units in Hawaii were occupied by renters in 1980, compared to only 33 percent in the United States as a whole. 8/

U.S. Census data for 1980 also allow the comparison of owners versus renters by household for Hawaii's ethnic groups. (See Table 53.) The great variation among ethnic groups is striking. Over two-thirds of Chinese and Japanese households are owner-occupied. Filipinos and native Hawaiians are split almost equally between owners and renters, close to the "all races" group average. In the White group, only 43 percent of the households are owner-occupied, which is nine percent less than the "all races" group average.

The Native Hawaiians Study Commission received housing data specifically for native Hawaiians from several Alu Like Island Centers in January 1982. The information on ownership and renting indicates that on the island of Hawaii, 58 percent of the native Hawaiians own homes, while 42 percent rent or lease. Comparable figures for other islands are: Kauai--38 percent own, 62 percent rent; Molokai--73 percent own, 27 percent rent; and Lanai--38 percent own and 62 percent rent. 9/ The data for Hawaii and Molokai indicate a ratio of ownership to rentals close t (or better than, in the case of Molokai) the U.S. average. This probably indicates that the relative cost of owning a home is lower than the State average in the areas where native Hawaiians live.

Other Housing Characteristics

The Bureau of the Census collects other information on specific housing characteristics. Data from the 1980 Census for Hawaii obtained by the Commission allows comparison across ethnic groups of the median number of persons per housing unit, the median number of rooms per unit, and the existence of plumbing facilities. (See Table 54.)

The median number of rooms per unit in Hawaii does not differ greatly among the ethnic groups, particularly for owner-occupied units. There is greater variation among groups when one compares the median number of persons living in each housing unit. Native Hawaiians and Filipinos both have more persons per room (3.53 and 3.95, respectively) than the other groups and the "all races" average (2.82).

Another indicator that is often used to determine type and quality of housing is the extent to which plumbing facilities are available. Table 55 shows these figures for Hawaii's ethnic groups. Although all groups show a very high percentage of complete plumbing facilities for the exclusive use of a single household, the incidence of complete facilities in single-family Filipino domiciles is lower than the others. The incidence of complete facilities in native Hawaiian domiciles is slightly lower than that for other groups (except the Filipino group), and native Hawaiian and Filipino households have similar incidences of partial plumbing facilities.