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Hawaii County, Hawaii

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Hawaii County is a county located in the U.S. State of Hawaii. It is conterminous with the Big Island of Hawaii. As of 2000 the population was 148,677. The county seat is Hilo. There are no incoporated cities in Hawaii County.

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Geography The 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) of it is water. The total area is 20.81% water.

Demographics As of 2000, there are 148,677 people, 52,985 households, and 36,877 families residing in the county. The population density is 14/km² (37/mi²). There are 62,674 housing units at an average density of 6 persons/km² (16 persons/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 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 are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

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

In the county the population is 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 are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 39 years. For every 100 females there are 100.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 97.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county is $0, and the median income for a family is $0. Males have a median income of $0 versus $0 for females. The per capita income for the county is $0. 0.00% of the population and 0.00% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 0.00% are under the age of 18 and 0.00% are 65 or older.

Cities and Towns

Hawai`i is the largest island in the Hawaiian Islands chain. It is often referred to as the Big Island to distinguish it from the U.S. state Hawaii.

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 the islands, was killed on Hawai`i.

The name used to be written Owhyhee; but a better apprehension of the native pronunciation has led to its being altered into Hawaii.

There is volcanic activity[?], including lava flows on the southern side of the island. Hawai`i Volcano National Park[?] encompasses the summits. Mauna Loa, the largest volcano on this island, is the tallest mountain on Earth when measured from base (on the ocean floor) to summit.

The leeward side is the Kona[?] coast.

The largest town is Hilo[?], on the windward coast, and is one of the wettest cities in the world.

Tourist information:

The Big Island is famous for volcanoes. The volcano shot up a fountain of lava few hundred feet tall a couple decades ago. Some helicopters would fly tourists close to the fire fountain. Nowadays, the volcano is still active but the top of the lava flow had hardened and the lava flows underground in tunnels. At the sea shore where the lava meet the ocean, tourists can see billows of white steam rising from the shore line. At night, the lava lights up the steam to give a 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 quite common on the big island.

The Kilauea Caldera[?] is also a famous tourist attraction. The floor of the caldera is flat like a lake and was formed when the lake of lava receded and hardened.

It is the greatest volcanic crater in the world. It is called sometimes Kirauea, sometimes Kilauea; for the natives seem not very particular about the pronunciation of their l and their r; but where one uses l another as pertinaciously employs r, while a third set use a sound between the two, as you may have heard some people do at home. Situated on the lower slopes of a lofty mountain called Mouna-Roa, or Loa (for there is the same dubiety about the l and the r here as in the former case), the crater of Kilauea is a vast plain between fifteen and sixteen miles in circumference, and sunk below the level of its borders to a depth varying from two hundred to four hundred feet--the walls of rock enclosing it being for the most part precipitous. The surface of the ground is very uneven, being strown with huge stones and masses of volcanic rock, and it sounds hollow under the tramp of the foot.

Towards the centre of the plain is a much deeper depression. Those who have ventured to approach it, and look down, describe it as an awful gulf, about eight hundred feet in depth, and presenting a most gloomy and dismal aspect. The bottom is covered with molten lava, forming a great lake of fire, which is continually boiling violently, and whose fiery billows exhibit a wild terrific appearance. The shape of the lake resembles the crescent moon; its length is estimated at about two miles, and its greatest breadth at about one mile. It has numerous conical islands scattered round the edge, or in the lake itself, each of them being a little subordinate crater. Some of them are continually sending out columns of gray vapour; while from a few others shoots up what resembles flame. It is, probably, only the bright glare of the lava they contain, reflected upwards. Several of these conical islands are always belching forth from their mouths glowing streams of lava, which roll in fiery torrents down their black and rugged sides into the boiling lake below. They are said sometimes to throw up jets of lava to the height of upwards of sixty feet. The foregoing woodcut can convey only an imperfect idea of this immense crater.

The outer margin of the gulf all round is nearly perpendicular. The height of the bounding cliffs is estimated at about four hundred feet above a black horizontal ledge of hardened lava, which completely encircles it, and beyond which there is a gradual slope down into the burning lake. The surface of the molten lava is at present between three and four hundred feet below this horizontal ledge; but the lava is said sometimes to rise quite up to this level, and to force its way out by forming an opening in the side of the mountain, whence it flows down to the sea. An eruption of this kind took place in 1859. On one side of the margin of the lake there is a long pale yellow streak formed by a bank of sulphur. The faces of the rocks composing the outer walls of the crater have a pale ashy gray appearance, supposed to be due to the action of the sulphurous vapours. The surface of the plain itself is much rent by fissures. It is said that the glare from the molten lava in the lake is so great as to form rainbows on the passing rain-clouds.

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[?].

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