Immigration from the Mainland

The continual flow of mainlanders moving to Hawaii is a hot-button issue on the islands. Many local residents, those born here and those who moved here a long time ago, feel the aloha spirit is eroding as more and more people want to share it. A recent article in the Pacific Business News out of Oahu sounds the alarm:

4 percent of Oahu housing units are owned by Mainland residents, 8 percent of Big Island housing units, with a high concentration on the west side, more than 20 percent of Maui housing units and 21 percent of Kauai housing units.

This suggests a continuation, and perhaps an intensification, of a Mainland migration to neighbor islands. State figures have previously shown that more than half the population of Kauai and Maui moved here from the Mainland.

The SMS report says 60 percent of these housing units were bought since 2000 and 71 percent of respondents spend only two to four weeks a year
in their Hawaii home.

However, I think those numbers are more reflective of the growing idea of “vacation ownership” that includes condos and time-shares. I doubt time-shares are counted in those numbers, but vacation condos surely are. Few condos would really qualify as places you’d want to move to permanently. So I’m waiting to see some more descriptive numbers.

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