Hawaii Facts

Hawaii is the 50th state of the United States. It achieved statehood on August 21, 1959. The capital city of Hawaii is Honolulu and it is also the largest city. The demonym of Hawaii is Hawaiian. The state covers a total area of 10,931 sq miles. Understand interesting Hawaii facts and trivia to promote your knowledge.

Facts about Hawaii

  • Mauna Loa is the world's most expansive volcano in terms of mass and volume.
  • Iolani Palace is the only official royal palace in America.
  • It is the only US state with tropical rainforests.
  • Molokai island features the highest sea cliffs in the world.

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Location and Geography: Hawaii is unique among US states in terms of its geography. It is actually a large chain of Polynesian islands, located in the Pacific Ocean more than two thousand miles away from the continental United States. It has a tropical ecosystem unlike any other state, and is well-known for its many beautiful and scientifically interesting volcanoes.

Counties and Regions: Hawaii does not have "regions" like other states, as it is an island archipelago and therefore naturally divided into smaller parts. Its five counties are the smallest administrative bodies in the state; Hawaii does not have city or other local governments. The counties are as follows:
  • Hawaii
  • Maui
  • Honolulu
  • Kauai
  • Kalawao
  • Kalawao County does not operate the way other counties do, as it is populated only by a handful of lepers. The entire state of Hawaii is a grouping of more than one hundred islands, of varying sizes, but there a few that are considered to be the main ones:
  • Hawaii (called "the Big Island")
  • Maui
  • Kahoolawe
  • Lanai
  • Molokai
  • Oahu
  • Kauai
  • Niihau
  • Tahua
  • Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

Major Cities: The largest towns in Hawaii were founded as the royal family moved from place to place, ending with Honolulu on the island of Oahu, which is now the state capital. Honolulu is by far the most populated community in the state, with roughly four hundred thousand residents and about five hundred thousand more living in the general metropolitan area. Other large towns in Hawaii, such as Hilo and Kailua, do not even begin to approach Honolulu’s population levels.

Population: About one million, three hundred thousand people in total live on the Hawaiian Islands. The vast majority of these are concentrated around Honolulu, the state’s main commercial center. The number of tourists that arrive each year is usually many times the number of permanent residents.

Story Behind the Name: The word "Hawaii" comes from the language spoken by the people native to the islands, and also serves as the name of the largest island in the archipelago. Linguists have found that some other Polynesian languages have a similar word that means something like "homeland."

History and Colonization: When European explorers first discovered the Hawaiian archipelago in the eighteenth century, it was already home to a thriving civilization of competing tribal chiefs. Adventurers, missionaries, and merchants began arriving in larger and larger numbers, and many of the native Hawaiians fell victim to foreign diseases. Nevertheless, the area remained under native control for another century. The islands were first united under a single leader at the turn of the nineteenth century, when a chieftain called King Kamehameha the Great established rulership over the entire Hawaiian archipelago. His descendants would remain in control until the 1880s, when King Kamehameha V died without an heir and was replaced by democratically elected kings.

The overthrow of the native system of government was a conspiracy that brewed for a long time among the white European settlers. The plan was to take over the island and then request that it be annexed by the United States. Through increased pressure on the Hawaiian royalty and aid from the US military, the usurpers overthrew the last native ruler, Queen Lili’uokalani, in 1893. The details and legitimacy of these actions have been much debated, but precisely one hundred years later in 1993, the United States government issued a formal apology for aiding in the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Hawaii became a territory of the United States and was used as one of its main military platforms in the Pacific. It was the site of a major turning point in the mid-twentieth century, when Japan’s attack at Pearl Harbor brought the U.S. into the conflict of World War II. Hawaii did not become a state until 1959, the last one to enter the union.

The Hawaiian islands were originally developed as agricultural producers, providing goods such as coffee, sugar, and tropical fruits to the American and European markets of the nineteenth century. Today, Hawaii is primarily known for its tourism-based economy, although it still has significant agricultural exports. It is also a draw for many scientific organizations interested in studying volcanoes, weather patterns, sea life, and the tectonic plates of the Earth.

More Facts & Trivia about Hawaii

1) Hawaii is nicknamed "The Aloha State".

2). Hawaii is the 50th state of the United States of America. It attained statehood on August 20, 1959.

3) The state of Hawaii features the maximum density of population in the U.S.

4) Hawaii is the state with the maximum width in the United States.

5) The state of Hawaii is the remotest place on earth.

6) Hawaii forms the most extensive chain of islands in the world.

7) The maximum temperature recorded in the state was 100° F or 37.8° C, calculated in Pahala in 1931. The lowest temperature documented in the state was 12° F or -11.1° C, calculated on Mauna Kea in 1979.

8) The alphabet of Hawaii includes just 12 letters:
  • Consonants: H, K, L, M, N, P, W
  • Vowels: A, E, I, O, U
9) Hawaii is the sole state in the United States to produce coffee. Coffee estates in the state cover more than 6,200 acres of land. In 2003, the amount of coffee production was 8.5 million pounds.

10) Hawaii is a major pineapple producer in the country.

11) The capital of the state is Honolulu.

12) The official flower is the Yellow Hibiscus.

13) The official song is Hawaii Ponoi.

14) The official bird is the Nene or Hawaiian Goose.

15) The official mammal is the Humpback Whale.

16) The official tree is the Kukui or Candlenut.

17) The state is made up of eight big islands and they are Kauai, Niihau, Molokai, Oahu, Maui, Lanai, Hawaii or the Big Island, and Kahoolawe.

18) Iolani Palace is the sole imperial palace in the country. It is situated on Oahu Island.

19) The first Asian-American to be elected to the U.S. Senate was Hiram Fong of this state.

20) Hawaii is the most culturally diverse state in the United States.

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Last Updated on: September 28th, 2017