Hawaii Outpaced U.S. In Income Growth, Poverty Decline Since 2000

·By Michael Levine

American Community Survey shows the islands escaped the worst damage from the economic recession.


What do you think of the economic changes in Hawaii over the past 10 years? Join the conversation.

1. The inflation adjustment provided by the U.S. Census Bureau was 1.28729056, based on consumer price index increases between 1999 and 2009. In Hawaii, the adjustment multiplier was 1.3278499 and was based on consumer price index changes in Honolulu as computed by the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization. That means Honolulu inflation has been greater than U.S. inflation, and Civil Beat deflated 2009 incomes in Hawaii more to conduct its comparison of real income changes.

2. Poverty level is a nationwide figure, so Hawaii's faster-than-the-nation inflation means that some Hawaii citizens could see their incomes eclipse the federal poverty line even as their buying power decreases. Civil Beat explored the higher cost of living in Hawaii as part of its coverage of food stamp applications.

3. Smaller geographies and smaller sample sizes create significant margins of error. Median income and poverty rates can fluctuate quite dramatically while staying within the margin of error. Data from the 2000 Census does not include margins of error. All data should be taken with a grain of salt, Census Director Robert Groves said in his blog the day the data was released.

Furthermore, because the 2009 American Community Survey data rolls up samples from 2005 through 2009, some of its data was compiled before the economic recession of the last two years.