DBEDT Releases Population and Economic Projections to 2045

Posted on Jun 28, 2018 in News

For Immediate Release: June 28, 2018

HONOLULU—The Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) released a report today, “Population and Economic Projections for the State of Hawaii to 2045.”

The report shows that Hawaii’s economy, measured by real gross domestic product (GDP), will grow at 1.7 percent per year between 2016 and 2045; civilian jobs will grow at 0.8 percent annual rate; population will grow at 0.5 percent annual rate; and visitor arrivals by air planes will grow at 1.1 percent annual rate during the same period.

This is the ninth in a series of long-range projections dating back to the first report published by DBEDT in 1978. The 2045 Series uses the detailed population characteristics from the 2010 Decennial Census, 2016 vintage intercensal population estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau, 2016 estimates of economic variables, and input-output (I-O) tables based on the 2012 Economic Census as baseline data for the projection. DBEDT’s last long-range projection was released in March 2012 for projections up to 2040.

“The report provides the best estimates from our economists, which are based on trends and our understanding of the economic future,” said DBEDT Director Luis P. Salaveria. “These projections will help the state and counties with infrastructure and economic planning, while businesses can use the projections in developing their growth strategies.”

DBEDT’s Chief State Economist Dr. Eugene Tian explains: “The world changes rapidly with new technology and regulations, so it is difficult to project the economic indicators precisely into the future. We conduct this long range forecast every five to six years. We also conduct short-term economic forecasts every quarter of the year. In our DBEDT 2040 projection series, which was released in 2012, we projected our resident population would be 1,418,250 in 2015, the actual estimate for the same year by the U.S. Census Bureau was 1,425,157, a difference of 6,907 people or a 0.5 percent forecasting error for that year.”

Following are some of the highlights of the report:

  • Resident population will grow at 0.7 percent per year between 2016 and 2025, then the growth rate will drop to 0.5 percent per year between 2025 and 2035, and will further drop to 0.3 percent between 2035 and 2045.
  • By 2045, Hawaii will have a total resident population of 1,648,600, 15.4 percent higher than the 2016 population level of 1,428,557.
  • Neighbor island counties will experience faster growth in resident population than Honolulu County and, as a result, Honolulu will have 65.1 percent of the state total resident population by 2045, down from the 69.5 percent in 2016.
  • The elderly population (65+ years) will grow at an annual rate of 1.7 percent between 2016 and 2045, and the population at age 85+ will grow at an annual rate of 3.6 percent during the same period.
  • By 2045, the elderly population (65+ years) will account for 23.8 percent of Hawaii’s total resident population as compared with 17.1 percent in 2016.
  • Visitor arrivals are projected to increase at an annual rate of 1.1 percent during the 2016-2045 period with daily visitor census at 302,500 by 2045, 38.6 percent higher than the 2016 level of 218,272.
  • Hawaii’s economy, as measured by real gross domestic product (GDP), is expected to grow at 1.7 percent per year between 2016 and 2045, a rate lower than the previous 30 years at 1.9 percent between 1986 to 2016.
  • Statewide real personal income (inflation adjusted) will grow at 2 percent annual rate between 2016 and 2045, higher than the 1.8 percent experienced during the past 30 years between 1986 and 2016.
  • Statewide total civilian jobs will grow at an annual rate of 0.8 percent between 2016 and 2045, lower than the 1.5 percent experienced during the 30 years prior 2016.
  • The growth in self-employed jobs will be at 1.3 percent per year, higher than that of wage and salary jobs at 0.6 percent per year between 2016 and 2045.

Sectors with higher job growth rate include Health Services (1.3 percent annual growth rate), Educational Services (1.3 percent annual growth), Business Services (1.2 annual growth), Professional Services (1.1 percent annual growth), and Eating and Drinking Places (1 percent annual growth) between 2016 and 2045.

The full report is available here.

Annual average growth rate for selected economic indicators

Indicator Actual Projection
1985-1995 1995-2005 2005-2016 2016-2025 2025-2035 2035-2045
Resident Population 1.4 0.8 0.9 0.7 0.5 0.3
Real GDP 2.9 1.9 1.2 1.8 1.7 1.6
Civilian Jobs 2.5 1.3 1.0 0.9 0.8 0.6
Real personal income 1.7 2.7 1.2 2.1 2.0 1.8
Visitor arrivals by air 3.1 1.3 1.6 1.7 0.9 0.8
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Media Contact:

Christine Hirasa
Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism
Phone: (808) 587-9006
Mobile: (808) 286-9017
Website: dbedt.hawaii.gov