Where do I find demographics or statistics about Hawaii?

A popular way of asking for statistics is to say “demographics” and expect a package of statistical information to magically appear customized to your personal needs, including information on the number and type of businesses in a given area and the number of schools and churches. A bit of pedantry follows.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, demography is the “study of the structure of human populations (their distributions by age, sex, marital status, etc.) and their dynamic aspects (births, death, migratory movements, etc).” In other words, demographic information is about people, and most of the statistical information about people in Hawaii comes from U.S. Census Bureau publications. This information is available in print, on cd-rom and on the Internet. Vital statistics are available from the State Dept. of Health and are distributed in print format and on their Web site.

In addition to demographic information, Hawaii has a rich and well-organized statistical heritage covering many topics. This is mainly due to the State of Hawaii Data Book, a publication similar to the Statistical Abstract of the United States, which provides statistics in twenty-four subject areas such as population, education, tourism, the labor force, agriculture and construction. Because the Data Book has been published for over 35 years, you are able to construct time series on a multitude of topics. Some of the data originates from the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, but much is summarized from other government and private sources. The footnotes direct the user to the primary sources that may provide more detailed information. Any quest for statistical information about Hawaii should begin with this useful publication. From 2001 to the present, the Data Book is only available on the Internet.