Working & Living in Hawaii

Hawaii’s quality of life reflects the advantages of the state’s climate, health, recreation and cultural opportunities. Hawaii is consistently rated as one of the best states to live in when criteria include environmental factors, low crime incidence, quality of education, and longevity. Many know Hawaii as an attractive tourist destination with beautiful scenery, mild weather, friendly people and a host of cultural and recreational opportunities. These elements, and others, also make Hawaii an excellent place to live.

Hawaii’s climate is very comfortable. The average temperature is 78 degrees Fahrenheit (26° C) in cooler months and rarely gets above 90 degrees (32° C) in the summer. Residents enjoy outdoor sports and activities all year long, with ocean sports popular even during winter. Hawaii’s clothing costs are substantially below those of temperate locales. Prevailing trade winds and moderate rainfall cool the islands year-round.

Hawaii residents enjoy the longest average life expectancy in the nation. The state ranks 50th in preventable deaths and those due to accidents, 49th in deaths by cancer and heart disease, 45th in per capita number of deaths due to strokes. Hawaii ranks tenth in the number of physicians and first in number of dentists per 100,000 population.

Hawaii has a progressive health care system, with state-of-the-art equipment in hospitals throughout the state, and innovative approaches to critical issues of universal health care access and substance abuse.

Honolulu has been ranked first among the nation’s 75 largest metropolitan areas, based on six environment-related criteria in the 1995 survey by the World Resource Institute. Low humidity, cooling trade winds, and a lack of industrial pollution make Hawaii’s air quality the best in the nation. Hawaii’s water is clean and adequate for the state’s domestic, business and agricultural needs. Water is filtered by the islands’ porous lava rock in a 25-year rain-to-tap cycle. Hawaii is world-renowned for its scenic beauty. Over the years, hundreds of movies and commercials have been produced in the islands, taking advantage of Hawaii’s scenic panoramas. Hawaii’s pioneering statewide land management system reflects its concern and commitment to protection of the environment.

Hawaii hosts major higher education and research efforts. Organizations such as the East-West Center, Japan-America Institute of Management Science, and the University of Hawaii’s School for Travel Industry Management and Center for International Business Education and Research have acquired international reputations. Hawaii is at the forefront of national research in astronomy, ocean and earth sciences.

The State of Hawaii initiated the first statewide after-school program in the nation. The “A+ Program” allows working parents to concentrate on their jobs, secure in the knowledge that qualified personnel are adequately caring for their children.

State government administers Hawaii’s elementary and secondary public school system. The state ensures equal funding for all, while eliminating school district government and the need for property taxes or municipal revenues to support education.

Cultural opportunities are rich and varied in Hawaii. The state’s diverse heritage gives rise to many Asian and Pacific festivals along with Western celebrations. Hawaii has 73 museums, state monuments, zoos and similar attractions. Honolulu has twelve theatrical groups, the Hawaii Opera Theater, Honolulu Ballet and the Honolulu Symphony. The visitor industry has generated important entertainment opportunities, including Polynesian and Western groups at numerous dining establishments, shows and programs. Performances in Hawaii frequently feature outstanding touring artists and groups. In the past these have included the ballet companies of San Francisco and the Bolshoi, Broadway road productions, East Asian traditional dance ensembles and popular vocal artists. Hawaii also sees major rock and pop stars, who include Hawaii in their East Asian tours. Classical musicians perform with the Honolulu Symphony throughout its annual season.

Hawaii’s near-ideal year-round climate supports a variety of outdoor activities, particularly golf, tennis, and a wide range of ocean sports. There are 65 golf courses statewide. Hawaii has a well-developed public parks system including seven national parks, 77 state parks, 586 county parks and a number of botanical gardens. There are 282 public tennis courts, 2,100 small boat moorages, and over 1,600 recognized surfing sites. Windsurfing on Maui and Oahu takes advantage of some of the world’s best surf and wind conditions. There are miles of safe, sandy and accessible beaches statewide. Almost three-quarters of a million people attend University of Hawaii collegiate sports events each year.

Low Crime Rate
In 2005, Honolulu was ranked the third safest city among the twenty largest U.S. cities.

The People
Hawaii’s people possess the intangible “aloha” spirit. Hardworking and productive, they are also friendly and helpful. The blending of cultures in Hawaii is complemented by the presence of an international spectrum of visitors who add to the state’s rich diversity, hospitality and promise.