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Is living in Hawaii right for you?

For many people, living in Hawaii is a dream. The warm weather, beautiful beaches, and unique culture make it a desirable place to call home.

However, like any place, Hawaii has its pros and cons that should be considered before making the move.

This article will address the pros and cons of living in Hawaii helping you decide if moving there is the right for you and your family.

Living in Hawaii Overview

Hawaii is located in the Pacific Ocean, about 2,000 miles southwest of the mainland United States.

Hawaii is made up of a 6 major islands, including Hawaii (also known as the Big Island), Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, and Lanai.

One of the biggest pros of living in Hawaii is the beautiful weather. With temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to mid-80s year-round, you can enjoy outdoor activities and beach days all year long.

Hawaii is famous for it’s amazing beaches, making it a paradise for water lovers.

The state’s unique culture and traditions also make it a fascinating place to live, with a blend of Polynesian, Asian, and American influences.

However, the cost of living in Hawaii is high, and it can be difficult to find affordable housing. The isolation of the islands can also make it challenging to access goods and services that are readily available on the mainland.

Let’s dive deeper into the pros and cons of living in Hawaii.

Waikiki beach and diamond head
Waikiki beach and diamond head

Pros of Living in Hawaii

Living in Hawaii has its fair share of pros and cons. In this section, we will discuss some of the pros of living in Hawaii.

Natural Beauty

If you have been to Hawaii or have seen online photos and videos, its breathtaking natural beauty is second to none.

The islands mentioned above are home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, stunning waterfalls, and lush green forests.

The natural beauty of Hawaii is not limited to just the beaches and forests, but also includes the unique volcanic landscapes.

The islands are home to several active volcanoes, making it a unique place to live. If you love nature, then Hawaii is a great choice.

Waterfall in Kauai With Rainbow and Bird Overhead
Waterfall in Kauai With Rainbow and Bird Overhead

Climate

Hawaii has a tropical climate, which means that the temperature is warm and pleasant all year round.

The average temperature in Hawaii ranges from 78 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit or 25.6 to 29.4 Celsius.

During the summer months, the temperature stays pretty consistent with little variation. Expect the temperatures at night to be around 10 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than the daytime temperature.

The weather in Hawaii is perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking, surfing, and swimming.

On average, Hawaii will receive between 25 to 30 inches of rain each year with December being the rainiest month.

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Rich Cultural Heritage

Hawaii has a unique and fascinating cultural heritage, with a blend of Native Hawaiian, Asian, and Western influences.

You can enjoy traditional Hawaiian music, dance, art, and cuisine, as well as festivals and celebrations that showcase the islands’ diverse cultural traditions.

Living in Hawaii gives you the opportunity to experience different cultures and learn from them.

Three Strong Men Juggling Fire in Hawaii - Fire Dancers
Three Strong Men Juggling Fire in Hawaii – Fire Dancers

Healthy Lifestyle

Living in Hawaii promotes a healthy lifestyle. Hawaii is consistently ranked as one of the healthiest states in the US, with a focus on healthy living and wellness.

Hawaii also has one of the highest life expectancies in the United States.

Many people take advantage of a wide range of fitness and wellness activities, including yoga, meditation, and healthy eating options.

The islands are also home to several farmers’ markets that sell fresh, locally grown produce.

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If you are an outdoor enthusiast, the warm weather in Hawaii allows for several outdoor activities such as hiking, surfing, and swimming.

Outdoor Activities

As mentioned, Hawaii is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. The islands are home to several hiking trails, surfing spots, and beaches.

The warm weather in Hawaii makes it possible to enjoy outdoor activities all year round. The islands are also home to several national parks, including Haleakala National Park and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Here are some other popular outdoor activities:

  • Snorkeling and scuba diving
  • Golfing
  • Whale watching
  • Kayaking
  • Ziplining
  • Camping
young man surfing

Education

If you are interested in education, Hawaii is home to a number of excellent schools and universities. The University of Hawaii at Manoa, is a top-ranked research institution and offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs.

Hawaii has a number of excellent colleges and universities, including the University of Hawaii system, which includes three universities and seven community colleges.

The Hawaii State Department of Education provides public education to students from kindergarten through 12th grade. The system includes both traditional public schools and public charter schools.

The school year in Hawaii varies slightly as classes start in early August and end in late May. Hawaii has a mandatory 180-day school year and requires students to complete a minimum of 22 credits to graduate from high school.

Safe place to live

You will be happy to learn that Hawaii is a very safe place to live. It has one of the lowest crime rates in the country with only 3,642 violent crimes reported in 2020.

This is equal to 258 offences per 100,000 residents.

Cons of living in Hawaii

In this section, we will discuss some of the cons of living in Hawaii.

Cost of living

One of the biggest cons to living in Hawaii is the cost of living. It seems like the cost of living is increasing everywhere these days but Hawaii has one of the highest costs of living in the US.

Everything from housing to groceries is more expensive than on the mainland. This can make it very difficult for some residents to make ends meet.

According to Payscale.com, the cost of living in Honolulu, Hawaii is 84% higher than the national average.

Isolation

As Hawaii is a chain of islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, this can make some residents feel isolated from the rest of the world.

Travel to and from the islands can be expensive and time-consuming, which can make it difficult to visit family and friends on the mainland.

Hawaii’s isolation can also create challenges in terms of emergency response. For example, if there is a natural disaster or other emergency, it may take longer for help to arrive than it would in other parts of the USA.

This can be especially concerning for residents who live in remote areas of the state.

islands of hawaii

Limited career opportunities

Although there is a great education system in Hawaii, many people feel there is a lack of employment opportunities in certain areas.

I’m not saying there are no jobs available in Hawaii, but the job market can be competitive and there are fewer opportunities than in larger cities on the mainland.

Some residents may struggle to find work in their field or may need to work multiple jobs to make ends meet.

With the high cost of living, a high paying job is necessary which can be difficult to find in Hawaii.

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Traffic delays

Traffic can be a major issue in Hawaii, especially on Oahu where the population is high. The city of Honolulu is located here.

Commutes can be long and frustrating, and parking can be difficult to find in some areas.

Roads are often congested, especially during peak travel times. This can create challenges for residents in terms of commuting to work or school, running errands, or attending appointments.

The roads are narrow and public transportation options are limited which can make it difficult to get around, especially during rush hour.

Not only are traffic delays inconvenient, but they can also have a negative impact on the environment and your health. Congested roads can lead to increased air pollution and can contribute to stress and anxiety.

Hawaii’s is currently working to improve its transportation infrastructure. The city of Honolulu is currently building a new rail transit system that will reduce traffic congestion and provide an alternative mode of transportation.

Natural disasters

Hawaii is prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes, tsunamis, and volcanic activity. There are systems in place to keep residents safe but these events can be disruptive and dangerous.

Crowded areas

As Hawaii is a popular tourist destination, certain areas can be crowded and busy, especially during peak travel season.

If you don’t mind being around large groups of people, this won’t bother you.

Many people find it challenging to enjoy some of the island’s most popular attractions due to the crowded space.

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Healthcare options

Although Hawaii has excellent healthcare facilities, there are limited options for specialized care.

It’s possible that you may need to travel to the mainland for certain medical treatments that are not available in Hawaii.

As there is a shortage of healthcare providers, It can also be difficult to find doctors who are accepting new patients.

Another challenge facing Hawaii’s healthcare system is the high cost of healthcare. As you know, Hawaii has one of the highest costs of living in the US, and healthcare costs can be particularly expensive.

The following video from a current resident explains the pros and cons of living in Hawaii.

Housing shortages

There are 2 main reasons why there is a housing shortage in Hawaii.

  • Hawaii has a limited amount of land.
  • High demand.

For these reasons, it can be challenging to find affordable housing. This can be especially difficult for families or those with lower incomes.

The population of Hawaii has been growing steadily over the years, and this has also put pressure on the housing market.

Not only is there a limited amount of land, but the cost is very high. Hawaii is a small state with limited land available for development, and this drives up the cost of land and housing.

This makes it difficult for developers to build new housing units, and it also makes it difficult for residents to afford to buy or rent a home.

View over Waikiki showing new condos under construction as the city of Honolulu expands on Oahu, Hawaii
View over Waikiki showing new condos under construction as the city of Honolulu expands on Oahu, Hawaii

Interesting Hawaii Facts

Before you make a decision to move to Hawaii, here are some interesting facts.

  • The population of Hawaii is 1.44 million as of 2022.
  • The total land area of Hawaii is 10,932 sq. miles.
  • Hawaii is the only state in the US that has two official languages: English and Hawaiian.
  • Hawaii has the highest life expectancy of any state in the US.
  • The Hawaiian alphabet has only 12 letters: A, E, I, O, U, H, K, L, M, N, P, and W.

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