Honolulu Population 2017

The population of Honolulu is estimated at 402,500, up from 390,700 at the last official census.

Honolulu is a major hub for military defense, international business, and travel. It is also the only Hawaiian city with a population greater than 50,000. At the last census in 2010, Honolulu's population was 390,700, which is believed to have grown to 402,500. This makes Honolulu the 46th most populous city in the United States, with a metropolitan area boasting a population of 955,000.

Honolulu's population density is currently around 5,570 people per square mile. While small in terms of total population, Hawaii as a whole is one of the most densely populated states. The islands make up just 10,900 square miles of land, and rank 13th in population density.

Honolulu Demographics

According to the 2010 census, the racial and ethnic breakdown of Honolulu was:

  • Asian: 54.8%
  • White: 17.9%
  • Black or African American: 1.5%
  • American Indian or Alaska Native: 0.2%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 8.4%
  • Other race: 0.8%
  • Two or more races: 16.3%
  • Hispanic or Latino of any race: 5.4%

By comparison, the population of Honolulu in 1970 was 34% white and 54% Asian and Pacific Islander.

Asian Americans are the majority in Honolulu. The largest ethnic groups include Japanese (20%), Filipinos (13%), Chinese (10%), Koreans (4%), Vietnamese (2%) and Asian Indians (0.3%). Those of just Native Hawaiian ancestry are just 3.2% of the population today. Samoan Americans account for 1.5% of Honolulu's population, Marshallese people account for 0.5% and Tongan people make up 0.3% of the population.

Hawaii is the only U.S. state with an Asian majority.

Honolulu History

Honolulu was first inhabited by original Plynesian migrants, who lived in the area as far back as the 11th century. When Kamahameha I conquered O'ahu, the royal court was moved from Hawai'i to the island of Waikiki in 1804, and was moved again in 1809 to what is now Honululu. The capital was moved again just three years later to Kailua-Kona.

The first foreigner to reach Honolulu Harbor was Captain William Brown of Great Britain in 1794, with many more ships following to create a a focal area for merchant ships sailing between Asia and North America.

Kamahameha III moved the capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom again in 1845 from Lahaina to Honolulu. The area was eventually transformed into a modern capital, and it became the commerce center for all of the islands.

Through the end of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century, Honolulu had a turbulent history, including the overthrowing of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893 and annexation by the U.S. in 1898. In 1941, the Pearl Harbor, near Honolulu, was attacked by the Japanese, which gained the city historical recognition. Despite this, Honolulu remains the largest city of Hawaii and the main airport and seaport.

Today, more than 7.6 million people visit the Hawaiian Islands, with most entering through the Honolulu International Airport.

Honolulu Population Growth

According to the last census, the population of the island of Oahu, on which Honolulu is located, grew 8.8% from 2000 to 2010. By 2030, the state as a whole is projected to have a population of 1.47 million, up more than 9% from the 2010 population of 1.34 million.

Honolulu itself is growing more slowly. After double-digit growth from 1900 to 1980, the city posted flat growth in 1990. Since then, growth has been much slower for several reasons. Among them, it is one of the most expensive rental markets in the United States. Honolulu's population is expected to continue its modest growth that lags behind other Hawaiian Islands.

Year Population Change
2015 352,769 4.60%
2010 337,256 -9.30%
2000 371,657 1.70%
1990 365,272 0.10%
1980 365,048 12.40%
1970 324,871 10.40%
1960 294,194 18.60%
1950 248,034 38.30%
1940 179,326 30.30%
1930 137,582 65.10%
1920 83,327 59.70%
1910 52,183 32.80%
1900 39,306 71.60%
1890 22,900 34.70%
1880 17,000 21.40%
1870 14,000 0.00%

Honolulu Population in 2017 Source: Hawkins Biggins

Honolulu Race Data

Race Population Percentage
White 62,156 18.01%
Black or African American 6,553 1.90%
American Indian and Alaska Native 402 0.12%
Asian 186,664 54.09%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 28,792 8.34%
Some Other Race 2,653 0.77%
Two or More Races 57,910 16.78%

Population Pyramid

Honolulu Housing Indicators

Indicator Value
Total Housing Units 145,490
Owner-Occupied Units 54,460
Renter-Occupied Units 72,717
Median Home Value $584,200
Median Rent $1,327
Vacancy Rate 12.6%
Houses With Mortgage 31,618
Houses Without Mortgage 22,842
Median Number of Rooms (per House) 3.7

This chart shows the employment and labor force participation rates in Honolulu for residents over 16 years of age. The 2015 unemployment rate is 3% and the labor force participation rate is 63.8%.

Honolulu Family/Household Indicators

Indicator Value
Average Household Size 2.63
Average Family Size 3.43
Married Couple Families 53,673
Male Householder (no wife) Families 5,812
Female Householder (no husband) Families 15,036
Non Family Households
Unmarried Partner Households (Opposite Sex) 5.5%
Unmarried Partner Households (Same Sex) 0.6%