Maui is the second largest Hawaiian island, measuring 727.2 square miles. In the early days of the Kingdom of Hawaii, Lahaina served as the capital city. During the 19th century, much of the island was covered by pineapple and sugar plantations, including industry giant Alexander & Baldwin. Today, the plantations have largely given way to private industry and tourism.

Known as the "Valley Isle," Maui is the seat of Maui County, which includes the islands of Maui, Lanai and Molokai. Maui has a population of about 144,000 with a median household income of $67,619 — one of the highest in the state. According to a 2008 U.S. Census Bureau report, the median age of island residents was 38.1 years, with 22 percent of Maui residents aged 18 or younger. The island's highest peak, an old volcano known as Haleakala measuring 10,023 feet above sea level, is a major astrophysics research center.

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