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Hawaii Censuses: Historical Censuses

Hawaiʻi Historical Censuses

From DBEDT Hawaii State Data Center web page (now no longer online):

The First Hawaiʻi Censuses

Sometime around A.D. 1500, Umi, king of the Big Island, supposedly conducted a census of his realm. Collecting all his people on a plain near Hualalai, he instructed each person to deposit a stone on a pile representing his district.

The first population census in historical times was undertaken in Wainiha Valley, Kauaʻi, near the beginning of the nineteenth century. A careful census of the valley counted more than 2,000 people, sixty-five of whom were described as menehune. Menehune were the legendary race of small people who worked at night building fish ponds, roads, and temples.

The first full-scale censuses, covering all the Islands, were made under missionary auspices in 1831 and 1832 and in 1835 and 1836. The first of these counts reported a total population of 130,313; the second found only 108,579.

The earliest census conducted by the Hawaiian government to achieve reasonably complete coverage was undertaken in January 1850, when enumerators found only 84,165 persons living in the Kingdom. Depopulation continued until 1876, when the total reached 53,900.

Since 1900, the U.S. Bureau of the Census has made decennial counts. The population numbered 154,001 in 1900, 422,770 in 1940, 964,691 in 1980 and 1,108,229 in 1990.

Source: Schmitt, Robert C. and Ronck, Ronn. Firsts and Almost Firsts in Hawaiʻi. Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi Press, 1995.

 

Table 1.01-- POPULATION OF COUNTIES: 1831 TO 1990

[Population counts from missionary censuses of 1831-1832 and 1835-1836, censuses conducted by the Hawaiian government from 1850 to 1896, and censuses by the U.S. Bureau of the Census beginning in 1900. Data for 1831-1896 are on a de facto or unspecified basis; data for 1900 and later years are resident totals, including armed forces stationed in Hawaii. Based on county boundaries established in 1905 and 1909]

 

Census date Total population City &
County of
Honolulu
Hawaii
County
Kauai
County
Maui
County
(including
Kalawao)
Number Percent
change
¹
1831-32² 130,313 . . . 29,755 45,792 12,024 42,742
1835-36³ 108,579 -4.6 27,809 39,364 9,927 31,479
1850: January 84,165 -1.8 25,440 25,864 7,670 25,191
1853: Dec. 26 73,138 -3.5 19,126 24,450 7,781 21,781
1860: Dec. 24 69,800 -0.7 21,275 21,481 7,134 19,910
1866: Dec. 7 62,959 -1.7 19,799 19,808 6,624 16,728
1872: Dec. 27 56,897 -1.7 20,671 16,001 5,194 15,031
1878: Dec. 27 57,985 0.3 20,236 17,034 5,811 14,904
1884: Dec. 27 80,578 5.5 28,068 24,991 8,935 18,584
1890: Dec. 28 89,990 1.8 31,194 26,754 11,859 20,183
1896: Sept. 27 109,020 3.3 40,205 33,285 15,392 20,138
1900: June 1 154,001 9.4 58,504 46,843 20,734 27,920
1910: April 15 191,874 2.2 81,993 55,382 23,952 30,547
1920: January 1 255,881 3.0 123,496 64,895 29,438 38,052
1930: April 1 368,300 3.6 202,887 73,325 35,942 56,146
1940: April 1 422,770 1.4 257,696 73,276 35,818 55,980
1950: April 1 499,794 1.7 353,020 68,350 29,905 48,519
1960: April 1 632,772 2.4 500,409 61,332 28,176 42,855
1970: April 1 769,913 2.0 630,528 63,468 29,761 46,156
1980: April 1 964,691 2.3 762,565 92,053 39,082 70,991
1990: April 1 1,108,229 1.4 836,231 120,317 51,177 100,504
¹ Annual rate since the preceding census, based on the formula for continuous compounding.
² Total population also reported as 129,814.
³ Total population also reported as 108,393 and 108,568.
Source: Robert C. Schmitt, Historical Statistics of Hawaii (University Press of Hawaii, 1977), pp. 11-14; U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1980 Census of Population, PC80-1-A13 (October 1981), table 2, and 1990 Census of Population and Housing, 1990 CPH-1-13 (August 1991), table 2.

 

POPULATION OF COUNTIES: 2000 to ----

Census date Total population City &
County of
Honolulu
Hawaii
County
Kauai
County
Maui
County
(including
Kalawao)
Number Percent
change
¹
2000 1,211,537 9.3 876,156 148,677 58,463 128,241
2010 1,360,301 12.3 953,207 185,072 67,091 154,924

mahalo!