What are the major industries in the State of Hawaii?

Hawaii’s economy is not easily summarized into conventional industry sectors common to economic analysis, i.e. those categories that comprise the Gross State Product. The primary source of income for Hawaii is the visitor sector which spreads itself over several industries, such as service, transportation and retail trade. Because of this, the question “What are the top ten industries in Hawaii?” is not easily answered.

As a partial answer to this question, the Research and Economic Analysis Division staff at the Dept. of Business, Economic Development and Tourism have developed a table called “Direct Income from Major Export Industries”. This table, included in the State of Hawaii Data Book, shows the top four export industries in terms of expenditures to be visitors, defense, raw sugar and molasses and fresh and processed pineapple.

An excellent explanation of the Gross State Product appears in Hawai‘i’s Economy (Third Quarter 1995) in the article “The Changing Structure of Hawaii’s Economy”. This shows the division of Hawaii’s economy into the conventional industry sectors. “The Economic Impact of Tourism in Hawaii: An Application of the Hawaii Input-Output Model” (First Quarter 1996) explains tourism’s role in the economy.


  • Hawaii’s Economy
    (3rd Quarter 1995 and 1st Quarter 1996), Dept. of Business, Economic Development and Tourism
  • State of Hawaii Data Book
    , Dept. of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.