|Medium Household Income:
||6,423 Square Miles
||186 Persons per Square Mile
|Date of Statehood:
||August 21, 1959
||Hawaiian Goose (Nene)
||Yellow Hibiscus (Pua Aloalo)
The State of Hawaii is made up of an island chain
that extends for about about 1600 mi. between the island of Hawaii
in the southeast and Kure Island in the northwest. The state has a
total area of 6459 sq mi, including 36 sq mi. of inland water. It is
the fourth smallest state. The mean elevation is about 3030 ft.
Nearly all of the state’s total area is accounted
for by eight main islands, which are from east to west Hawaii, Maui,
Kahoolawe, Lanai, Molokai, Oahu, Kauai, and Niihau. Northwestward
from the main islands extends a long string of islets, coral reefs,
and shoals. The largest of these is Laysan, which covers only about
1000 acres. These landforms are either uninhabited or are sparsely
populated by people staffing government facilities.
The state of Hawaii is not coextensive
with the geographical unit called the Hawaiian Islands, or Hawaiian
Chain. The inhabited Midway Islands, in the northwest, are not part
of the state but are administered by the U.S. government. The atoll
of Palmyra, an
island southwest of the main islands, was part of the Territory of
Hawaii but was specifically excluded from the state when statehood
was achieved in 1959. It remains a U.S. territory.
Average temperatures range between 72° and 79° F
throughout the year at low elevations. Lowland temperatures vary
only a few degrees from month to month and rarely more than 10° F
from day to day. Extreme temperatures rarely occur. Daytime
temperatures hardly ever rise above 95° F, and temperatures below
freezing are practically unknown at elevations of less than 4000 ft.
Weather conditions above 8200 ft can be quite severe, especially
during the winter months.
Traditional Hawaiian seasons may be generally
classified into two periods. Kau, or the summer period,
normally lasts from mid-April until mid-October; ho‘oilo,
or the winter season, usually lasts from mid-October to mid-April.
Although mild by the standards of temperate areas, the winter season
is characterized by slightly lower temperatures than those that
occur during the summer, and by frontal or cyclonic storms that can
bring strong northerly winds and much rainfall to some areas of the