A Tale of Two Hawaiis

State of Hawaii 2011 Reapportionment Commission

Honolulu, residents on the neighbor islands might say, is too big, too busy, too expensive. Folks on Oahu's Windward Side might say the same, happy for the separation of the Koolau.

Some city denizens, in the meantime, might view Windward residents and people on Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Maui and Hawaii Island as too laid-back and too dismissive of Honolulu's primacy in state government and industry.

Geographically, Hawaii's two congressional districts are quite different. The 1st District essentially covers greater Honolulu and is mostly urban, while the 2nd District consists of the rest of Oahu and the neighbor islands, and it is largely rural.

No surprise, then, that the districts have clear differences when it comes to government services, particularly in transportation, agriculture and infrastructure.

Now, fresh data from the U.S. Census Bureau reveals other important distinctions, breaking the congressional districts down by who lives there, what jobs they hold, how much money they make, their educational attainment and what it costs to live there.

Hawaii doesn't require its U.S. House representatives to reside in their respective district. Judging from the new census information, perhaps it should; when it comes to income, housing, work and health, it's a tale of two Hawaiis.

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