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(In Detail) (Full size)
State nickname: The Aloha State

In Detail
Capital Honolulu
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water
 - % water
Ranked 43rd
28,337 km2
16,649 km2
11,672 km2
 - Total (2000)
 - Density
Ranked 42nd
Admittance into Union
 - Order
 - Date

August 21, 1959
Time zone

Hawaii: UTC-10/ (no daylight savings time)
16°55'N to 23°N
154°40'W to 162°W


2450 km
4,205 meters
925 meters
0 meters
ISO 3166-2:US-HI

Hawaii (or Hawai‘i) is a state of the United States, consisting of an archipelago of islands in the northern Pacific Ocean.

Hawai‘i is the only island state and is the southernmost state in the U.S. It was also the most recent state (the 50th) to join the Union; it became a state on August 21, 1959. As of the 2000 census, the population is 1,211,537.

Honolulu is the state capital.

The state motto is ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono ("the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness").

Hawai‘i has two official languages, English and Hawaiian. The state flower is the yellow hibiscus (hibiscus brackenridgei) (pua ma‘o hau hele) and the state bird is the nene (Hawaiian goose). The state fish is the humuhumunukunukuapua`a (Picasso Trigger).

USS Hawaii was named in honor of this state.

Table of contents


The islands were first settled by Polynesians between 200-600AD and were probably visited by spaniards from 1527. Juan Gaetano[?], a Spanish navigator, arrived in 1555. On January 18, 1778 James Cook landed. He named the islands the Sandwich Islands for the fourth Earl of Sandwich, John Montague[?].

Hawaii was united under a single ruler, Kamehameha I, for the first time in 1795. The Great Mahele[?] (land division) was signed in Hawaii on March 7, 1848 and on March 18, 1874 Hawaii signed a treaty with the United States granting Americans exclusive trading rights. The Hawaiian monarchy lasted until January 17, 1893, when the monarchy of Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii was overthrown. Later that same year the islands were annexed by the United States. Queen Liliuokalani surrendered to the United States following an insurrection by non-Hawaiian residents of the islands. (In January of 1993, a Joint Resolution [PL 103-150] was passed by the United States Congress apologizing for the illegal overthrow.) A short-lived Republic of Hawaii (1894 - 1898) developed before a more long-term association of Hawaii with the United States as a Territory crystallized (1898).

A large proportion of Hawaii's population is of Asian (and especially Japanese) descent, from those early immigrants who came to the islands in the nineteenth century to work on sugar plantations. The first Japanese arrived in Hawaii on February 9, 1885.

Hawaii officially became a United States territory[?] on February 22, 1900 and its territorial legislature convened for the first time on February 20, 1901. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill on March 18, 1959 which allowed for Hawaiian statehood.

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 was the trigger for the United States' entry into World War II.

Law and Government

The Hawaiian state government follows the typical state government organization in that it has 3 branches, executive, legislative and judicial. The state government is based on the old Kingdom of Hawaii government, but with changes to prevent it from conflicting with the federal government. The executive branch is headed by the Governer of the state and all state agencies belong to this branch. The legislative body consists of the Senate with 25 members and the house with 51 members. The highest state court is the Hawaiian Supreme Court.

The current Govenor of the state is Linda Lingle[?]. List of Hawaii Governors. The U.S. senators are Daniel K. Akaka[?] (Democrat) and Daniel K. Inouye[?] (Democrat).

Geography See: List of Hawaii counties

Hawaii consists of 137 islands comprising a total of 16,636 km2 (6,423.4 square miles). The main Hawaiian islands are;

Hawaii is a chain of volcanic islands. Recent volcanic activity has been limited to the Big Island.

The islands receive most rainfall on their north and east coasts. These are the windward coasts, as they are exposed to the northeasterly tradewinds. The south and west, or leeward, coasts, tend to be much drier. Because of this, most tourist areas have been built on the leeward coasts.

The chain of islands was formed as the Pacific plate moved northwest over a hot spot in the earth's crust. Hence the islands in the northwest of the archipelago are older and typically smaller (largely due to erosion over time). Hawai‘i (the Big Island) is the largest and youngest island in the chain. Ni‘ihau is privately owned and home to a small native Hawaiian community. Kaho‘olawe was formerly a military bombing site, and is uninhabited.

Mauna Kea is considered by some the highest mountain in the world, since its base is 3,280 fathoms low and top is 13,796 feet high (33,476 feet total).

Economy The total gross output for the state in 1999 was $41 billion placing Hawaii 40th compared to the other states. The Per Capita Income for Hawaiian residents was $28,221. Tourism is the state's largest industry. Other industrial outputs are food processing, apparel, fabricated metal products, stone, clay and glass products. The agricultural outputs are sugarcane, nursey stock, livestock, and macadamia nuts.


The population of Hawaii is approximately 1.2 million, while the de facto population is over 1.3 million due to military presence and tourists. O‘ahu is the most populous island, with a population of just under one million. The largest city is the capital, Honolulu, located on O‘ahu. Other populous cities include Hilo and Lahaina


Colleges and Universities

Miscellaneous Information

Directions in Hawaii are not expressed in terms of a north-south-east-west grid but, instead, by a radial system that uses local landmarks. For example, in Honolulu (on the south coast of Oahu), mauka means inland (literally, "toward the mountain"s, which is northward) and makai means "toward the sea" (southward, the opposite of mauka). "Diamond Head" means "east," because that's the main landmark on the coast east of Honolulu, and "Ewa" means "west," because that town is on the coast west of Honolulu. So instead of saying something was on the north-west corner of an intersection in Honolulu, it would be said to be "mauka and ewa" of that intersection. On the opposite (north) side of Oahu, mauka means "southward," and makai means "northward," because now the mountains in the middle of the island are south of you, and the ocean is north of you.

Hawaii, being part of the United States, is included in the North American Numbering Plan. Its area code within that plan is 808.

Hawai‘i Standard Time is UTC-10. Hawai‘i does not observe Daylight Saving Time.

See also: Hawaiian alphabet

Hawaii has been the setting for many television shows including Hawaii Five-O and Magnum P.I.[?]

See also: Music of Hawaii

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