Hawaii County, Hawaii

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Hawaii County, Hawaii
Seal of Hawaii County, Hawaii
Seal (Detail)
Map of Hawaii highlighting Hawaii County
Location in the state of Hawaii
Seat Hilo
 - Total
 - Water

13,174 km² (5,087 mi²)
2,742 km² (1,059 mi²) ?% 
 - (2000)
 - Density

Official Website

Hawai'i County is a county located in the state of Hawai'i in the Hawaiian Islands. It is coterminous with the Island of Hawaii (sometimes called the Big Island). As of 2000 Census the population was 148,677. The county seat is Hilo. There are no incorporated cities in Hawai'i County (see Hawai'i Counties).



Hawai'i County has a total area of 13,174 km² (5,087 mi²); 10,433 km² (4,028 mi²) of it is land and 2,742 km² (1,059 mi²) is water (mostly all off the ocean shoreline but counted in the total area by the U.S. Census Bureau, making these numbers unreliable for most purposes). The largest town is Hilo, located on the windward coast and one of the wettest cities in the world.


Hawai'i County has a mayor-council form of municipal government. Executive authority is vested in the Mayor, elected by the voters on a non-partisan basis to a four-year term. Legislative authority is vested in the nine-member County Council, each of whose members represent a district. Members of the County Council are elected on a non-partisan basis to two-year terms.


Hawai`i was the home island of Kamehameha the Great, who by 1795 had violently united most of the Hawaiian Islands under his rule. He gave his kingdom the name of his native island, which is why we now call all the islands Hawai`i. Captain James Cook, who made the Western world aware of these "Sandwich isles", was killed on Hawai`i. The current mayor of Hawaii County is Harry Kim.


As of 2000, there were 148,677 people, 52,985 households, and 36,877 families residing in the county. The population density was 14/km² (37/mi²). There were 62,674 housing units at an average density of 6/km² (16/mi²). The racial makeup of the county was 31.55% White, 0.47% African American, 0.45% Native American, 26.70% Asian, 11.25% Pacific Islander, 1.14% from other races, and 28.44% from two or more races. 9.49% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 52,985 households out of which 32.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.60% were married couples living together, 13.20% had a woman whose husband did not live with her, and 30.40% were non-families. 23.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.75 and the average family size was 3.24.

In the county the population was spread out with 26.10% under the age of 18, 8.20% from 18 to 24, 26.20% from 25 to 44, 26.00% from 45 to 64, and 13.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 100.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.70 males.

Cities and towns

Tourist information

The Big Island is famous for its volcanoes. Kilauea, the most active, has been erupting almost continuously for more than two decades.

At the coast where the lava meets the ocean, one can sometimes see billows of white steam rising from off the shoreline. At night, the lava lights up the steam to give an orange glow. When the molten lava makes contact with the ocean, the sea water turns into steam, and the sudden cooling of the lava causes the newly formed lava rocks to explode and crack into small pieces. The broken up lava is further ground into black sands along the shore by the ocean waves. Black sand beaches are common on the big island.

Another popular tourist spot is the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut orchard and factory. It is interesting and good shopping for chocolate and the famous Macadamia nuts.

External links

Flag of Hawaiʻi State of Hawaii

Cities | Geography | History | Language | Landmarks

State capital: Honolulu
Largest communities: Hilo | Honolulu | Kahului | Waipahu | Lihue
Islands: Hawaii | Kahoolawe | Kauai | Lanai | Maui | Molokai | Niihau | Northwestern Hawaiian Islands | Oahu
Counties: Hawaii | Honolulu | Kalawao | Kauai | Maui
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