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Hawaii Facts

Hawaii Facts

Hawaii was the 50th and most recent state to join the United States. It’s the only state made entirely of islands. Although the state is best known for its eight major islands, it has 136 islands in total.

The popular vacation destination has its own unique culture, language, food, and beauty. It’s famous for its many public beaches, warm tropical climate, and active volcanoes.

hawaii-seal

Quick Facts

  • Capital: Honolulu
  • Population: 1.5 million
  • Nickname: The Aloha State
  • Key Cities: Honolulu, Kailua, Hilo, Pearl City
  • Postal Abbreviation: HI
  • Major Industries: Tourism, defense, agriculture, manufacturing

History

  • How did Hawaii get its name: The state of Hawaii is named for the island of Hawaii, one of its eight major islands. It’s uncertain how the island got its name, however. One theory is that it comes from the words “Hawa” meaning a traditional homeland and “ii” meaning small. Another is that it’s named in honor of the traditional discoverer of the islands, Hawaii Loa.
  • Date admitted to the Union: Friday, August 21, 1959

Geography

  • Size: 10,931 sq. miles
  • Lowest point: Pacific Ocean at sea level
  • Highest point: Pu’u Wekiu, Mauna Kea at 13,796 feet
  • Counties: 5
  • Famous locations: USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, Waikiki, Volcanoes National Park, the Dole Plantation, Haleakala Crater

Famous Hawaiians

  • Barack Obama- president
  • Bruno Mars- singer
  • Jack Johnson- singer
  • Lauren Graham- actress
  • Jason Momoa- actor
  • Manti Te’o- football player

Fun Facts

  • Hawaii is the only U.S. state that grows coffee, vanilla beans, and cacao commercially (to sell). It’s also the worldwide leader in harvesting macadamia nuts, and more than 1/3 of the world’s commercial pineapple supply comes from Hawaii.
  • There are only twelve letters in the Hawaiian alphabet: A, E, I, O, U, H, K, L, M, N, P, and W. Every syllable (and every word) ends with a vowel.
  • Along with Alaska, Hawaii is one of the only U.S. states that does not border any other state. In fact, Hawaii is the most isolated population center in the world. Some of its nearest neighbors include California (2,390 miles away), Japan (3,850 miles away), China (4,900 miles away), and the Philippines (5,280 miles away).

hawaii-no-border

  • Hawaii has the longest life expectancy in the United States. Its inhabitants live an average of 81.3 years.
  • The island of Hawaii has eight active volcanoes, and there are five additional active volcanoes on the other islands! The largest is Mount Kilauea, the most active volcano in the world. The name Kilauea means “spreading” because the volcano is still growing. Because of this, the island of Hawaii has grown by over 500 acres in the last 30 years!
  • Hawaii is the only state with two official languages: English and Hawaiian.