Making Sense of the Census - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News, Weather and Sports

December 27, 2010

Making Sense of the Census

Our population here in Hawaii grew by 12% over the past decade- that are almost 150,000 more people now living in these islands than 10-years ago. While it's impossible to project where things will stand in Hawaii or anywhere else in the year 2021, it is vital to look at what it will take if we continue to grow at this pace. Adding another 150,000 people throughout this archipelago over the next decade will put more pressure on already-tapped people, infrastructures, roads, and human services, to name just a few.

Where will the jobs come from to support the next influx of transplants? Will the current state of the economy, both here and abroad, and the cost of living in Hawaii, an age old concern, stop the people flow into our state? Hawaii now ranks #40 in the country in total population, and we are 15th in terms of population density, though it sure seems pretty crowded in a lot of places where you can not only hear your next door neighbor singing in the shower, you can actually name that tune!

With a new governor in place and his promise of good things to come, now might be an appropriate time to step back and look at the past decade in order to figure out how we will deal with the next decade. What went right, and what went wrong that was preventable or is correctable? The last ten-years brought Hawaii an annual economic growth rate of 2.3%, with the first five years much stronger than the last five years. What's next, how will we get wherever it is we are going, and how we will accommodate the next 150,000 residents to come in while preserving our special cultures and ways? Those are surely a few of the billion dollar questions that need to be tackled ahead of time. Think about it…

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