Census data released today reveals that key trends in Hawaii’s population growth tracks closely with other states along the West Coast, including California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska.
Hawaii’s population grew 12.3% between 2000 and 2010 to a total of 1,380,301 people. The other West Coast states grew at similar low double-digit rates: California 10%, Oregon 12%, Washington 14.1% and Alaska 13.3%.
With very limited land area, it follows that Hawaii’s population density, defined as number of people per square mile, also grew. Hawaii now ranks as the #15 most dense state. By comparison, California ranks at #13 for density. The other West Coast states remain much less dense, with Washington ranking #27, Oregon #41 and Alaska #52.
Despite growth in population and density, there was no change in Hawaii’s number of congressional representatives. We retain two senators and two representatives.
The housing bubble tracks closely with population growth. Hoards of people moved out West and to coastal areas during the past decade, buying houses they couldn’t afford with subprime loans. Now that the bubble has burst, an important question to ask is how does the foreclosure rate impact population numbers in real time. But for that answer, we will have to wait for the next census in 2020.