Article Table Of Contents
Naming the worst places to live in Hawaii might sound like a silly thing to do. Hawaii is probably the most exotic and beautiful state in the nation. It's a destination for vacations and honeymoons.
The Hawaiians are fiercely protective of their state, and rule breakers are not tolerated. In fact, while tourism is the biggest job provider and economic backbone of the state, most locals would rather prefer that you stay out.
But is it all good in The Aloha State? Of course not. Just like every other state, Hawaii has its least desirable spots. The purpose of this post is to use science and data to determine which places are the worst you could possibly live in if you make Hawaii your home.
After analyzing 47 of the state's most populous cities (over 5,200 people), we came up with this list as the 10 worst places to live in the state of Hawaii:
What? Where are these places you wonder? And before you get all riled up and say we're picking on small town America, that's not the case.
We understand there's a lot of good in every place.
However, according to data (which doesn't measure things like beauty and 'friendly people'), there are far better options in the state for making a place home. And the worst place to live in Hawaii? That would be Makaha.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2020.
For more Hawaii reading, check out:
The 10 Worst Places To Live In Hawaii For 2020
Makaha is also a pretty crummy place to live, when you look at the numbers. Yes, we're aware that it's beautiful and "fun". But that ignores important things like jobs and income.
Makaha residents earn the 1st-lowest salaries in the state. At $52,097 a year, people here most likely have a hard time getting ahead in life. And the average home costs are $383,200, which means there isn't a lot of demand.
Crime is the 24th highest in Hawaii per capita, and the unemployment rate here is highest in the state, at 16.7%.
If you live in Waianae, this might not be a surprise, but you have the 24th highest crime rate, per capita in the state of Hawaii. Every year you spend here, you have a 1 in 34.0 chance of being the victim of a property crime like a car break in or home invasion robbery.
That's a lot of stolen cell phones, laptops and black license plates.
Plus there were 80 violent crimes in the last FBI reporting year. That means if you spent a year there, you'd have a 1 in 400 chance of being raped or attacked.
Finally, the folks who live here earn the 3rd lowest salaries in Hawaii At $59,213 a household, that's simply not enough to get by for most folks.
According to science, Nanakuli is the 3rd worst place you can live in Hawaii.
Let's see why. Nanakuli has the 24th-highest crime rate in the state, surprisingly. In terms of number of crimes per person, Nanakuli is certainly up there.
Factor in a very low housing cost ($339,300), and the 3rd-highest unemployment rate in the state (13.3%), and across the board, Nanakuli doesn't sound like the best of the best.
Plus, there's simply not a lot to do here (unless you count having a Walmart and a Piggly Wiggly as fun). We're aware that people enjoy outdoor activities, but in terms of pure entertainment, you'd have to drive a ways away.
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $280,100 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 3.9% (22nd worst)
More on Hawaiian Paradise Park: Data
HPP is right next door to Hawaiian Beaches. It is also not a real 'city'. The population has almost doubled here in the last 15 years. Does that sound appealing?
It's certainly not paradise here when you consider home values ($280,100), and income levels ($56,738). Many people here live at or below the poverty line and the unemployment rate is 3.9%, which is the highest in the state.
Sure, it's in a beautiful area, and there's lots of culture, especially in terms of music. But, if you're measuring desirability, it's the 5th worst in Hawaii.
Maili residents had a 1 in 34.0 chance of being the victim of a property crime. Meaning lots of stolen laptops, cell phones and sports jerseys.
The unemployment rate in Maili is through the roof, as more than 9.5% of the population can't get a job. At least their mortgages aren't too high; at $443,900, Maili has the 9th-lowest home prices in the state of Hawaii.
When you're looking at science and data, the city of Lahaina is the 6th worst place you can live in the state of Hawaii. Let's see why.
Residents who live in Lahaina, located in Maui County, have the 24th most crimes in the state committed against them. Factor in a much-lower income level--per resident--and homes valued around $631,300, and you've got yourself a crummy place to live. In terms of comparing it to the rest of Hawaii, that is.
Wailea is just a tiny place in the middle of nowhere where people have a hard time making ends meet. Folks here earn barely more than $72,072 a year, which is barely over the poverty line. And for Hawaii, a 5.3% unemployment rate is really high.
Crime is also the 24th highest in Hawaii here. Meaning people need to stop breaking into homes and start looking for jobs.
Now we can get to some actual cities that might have some normal numbers. In this case, Kahului ranks high mainly due to the low economic numbers. Homes are the 22nd cheapest in the state here at $563,500. Say what you want about low cost of living. What the data says is that cheaper homes means less demand. And there isn't a lot of demand to live in Kahului.
The median income levels here are the 22nd lowest in the state of Hawaii, at $81,614. Crime is above average, but not horrible like some of the cities we'll talk about in a minute. And almost 4.5% of people in Kahului were without jobs according to the latest numbers.
Wahiawa is a medium sized city just outside Schofield Barracks in the middle of Oahu.
Here, crime is the 10th highest in the state, and income levels and home values are far below the state average. It is known as a drug infested town, where you're more likely to get ripped off than killed. Commenters in forums say it's 'run down' here and kind of 'ghetto.'
Another commenter said it's the armpit of Oahu.
The hookers here might be good entertainment for those stationed nearby. At least they have that.
Kapaa is the 24th most dangerous place in the state of Hawaii. That's part of the reason it's the 10th worst place in Hawaii.
The fact remains, that when you're within Kapaa city limits, you have a 1 in 34.0 chance of being robbed or having something you own vandalized.Does that sound like a fun place to live?
Did you know Kapaa also has the 18th highest unemployment rate in the state at 4.5%? Or that homes are only valued at $499,500?
Say what you want about cheap living. The fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there's little demand to live in Kapaa.
How we determined the worst places to live in Hawaii for 2020
To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what cities have the least amount of those things.
We don't think it's a stretch to assume that people like the following things:
- Good education
- Lots of jobs
- Low crime
- Low poverty
- Nice homes
- High incomes
- High population density (Lots of things to do)
- Short work commutes
- Health insurance
We broke crime down into violent crime and property crime to give violent crime a larger weight -- if you did a simple calculation of all crimes per capita, property crimes are normally 7x more common and really bias that ranking.
Furthermore, only cities with at least 5,000 people were considered -- leaving 47 cities.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 47 for all the criteria with a #1 ranking being the worst for the particular criteria.
Next, we averaged the rankings into one "Worst Place To Live Score".
Finally, we ranked every city on the "Worst Place To Live Score" with the lowest score being the worst city in Hawaii -- Makaha. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in Hawaii. You can download the data here.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.
Wrapping Up The Worst In Hawaii
If you're looking at areas in Hawaii with the worst economic situations, where there's higher than average crime, and not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
And in the end, Makaha ranks as the worst city to live in Hawaii for 2020.
If you're curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Hawaii:
- Aiea (Pop. 9,439)
- Mililani Mauka (Pop. 19,955)
- Waikele (Pop. 7,062)
For more Hawaii reading, check out:
Where Are The Worst Places To Live In Hawaii?
|4||Hawaiian Paradise Park||11,479|