The 10 Worst Places To Live In Hawaii For 2024

The worst places to live in Hawaii are Makaha and Haiku-Pauwela for 2024 based on Friday Night Science.

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 49 of the state’s most populous cities (over 5,100 people), we came up with this list as the 10 worst places to live in the state of Hawaii:

Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Methodology | Summary | Table

Worst Places To Live In Hawaii Map

Where are these places, you wonder? And before you get all riled up and say we’re picking on small towns in Hawaii, that’s not the case.

We understand there’s a lot of good in every place. For example, the best place to live in Hawaii is Mililani Mauka.

However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty and ‘friendly people’), the state has far better options for making a place home. And the worst place to live in Hawaii? The worst place to live in Hawaii is Makaha.

Read below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your city fared in 2024.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the worst cities in America or the worst states in America.

For more Hawaii reading, check out:

The 10 Worst Places To Live In Hawaii For 2024

Makaha, HI

Source: Wikipedia User Nicolai Edgar Andersen | CC BY-SA 4.0
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Population: 10,042
Average Home Price: $436,915
Median Income: $57,235
Unemployment Rate: 9.7%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0319
More on Makaha: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Here’s another seaside community located on the western shore of O’ahu. Again, the town suffers no lack of sun and ocean breezes. Check out Aki’s Beach if you’re ever there on vacation.

Day-to-day life comes with its challenges, though. Once again, poverty and affordability present the biggest problems. Nearly a third of the 10,042 residents live below the poverty line. Education suffers in this financial environment, with the town’s elementary school receiving a 2/10 rating on Greatschools.

Meanwhile, the cost of living sits 50% above the national average. This comes with a median home price of $436,915, a figure that compares to median income of $57,235.

Haiku-Pauwela, HI

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY-SA 3.0
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Population: 9,245
Average Home Price: $990,304
Median Income: $94,495
Unemployment Rate: 6.6%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0319
More on Haiku-Pauwela: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Haiku-Pauwela, located in Maui County, Hawaii, has unfortunately earned a reputation as one of the worst places to live in the state. While its natural beauty may be enticing, the city struggles with various issues that make it a challenging place to reside. Crime statistics reveal that Haiku-Pauwela faces safety concerns, with a high property crime rate. This poses a threat to the well-being and security of its residents. Additionally, the area experiences significant poverty levels and low income, contributing to the overall challenges faced by its inhabitants.

Despite these challenges, it is important to note that with dedicated efforts and community support, Haiku-Pauwela has the potential to improve. By addressing the underlying factors that contribute to crime rates and poverty, the city can work towards creating a safer and more prosperous environment for its residents. With its picturesque location within Maui County, Haiku-Pauwela possesses the opportunity to transform into a thriving community that offers a higher quality of life for its residents.

Waianae, HI

Source: Wikipedia User Chanilim714 | CC BY-SA 3.0
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Population: 13,749
Average Home Price: $590,487
Median Income: $77,435
Unemployment Rate: 9.7%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0319
More on Waianae: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

You know you’re in trouble when your town gets known for its homeless. Well, that’s the case with Waianae. The area houses the Pu’uhonua o Waianae, the state’s largest homeless camp (one big enough and well-established enough to have its own Facebook page ).

And you know what? It all makes sense. After all, Waianae faces a 9.7% unemployment rate and a 18.4% poverty rate. At the same time, the median home price sits at $590,487, a big ask when the median income comes in at $77,435. It ranks as the 3rd worst place to live in Hawaii for 2024.

But, this being Hawaii, there is an upside. This town on the western shore of O’ahu sits along the water, with access to many beaches, including Pokai Bay Beach.

Nanakuli, HI

Source: Flickr User AndrewEick | CC BY 2.0
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Population: 12,370
Average Home Price: $491,841
Median Income: $77,453
Unemployment Rate: 11.1%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0319
More on Nanakuli: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

The western coast of O’ahu consists of a string of communities with similar profiles. Gorgeous beaches? Check. Expensive living conditions? Check. High unemployment and elevated poverty levels? Check and check.

Nanakuli fits this pattern perfectly. Located about 40 minutes outside of Honolulu, the community features beautiful oceanside attractions, like Zablan Beach. However, that comes with a cost of living 50% above the national average and a median home value of $491,841.

You also get a spotty economy, as the tourist trade doesn’t provide enough employment for everyone in town. As a result, the community faces a 11.1% unemployment rate and a 16.5% poverty level.

Pupukea, HI

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY-SA 3.0
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Population: 5,130
Average Home Price: $1,290,120
Median Income: $99,180
Unemployment Rate: 6.2%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0319
More on Pupukea: Data | Real Estate

Maili, HI

Source: Wikipedia User Nicolai Edgar Andersen | CC BY-SA 4.0
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Population: 12,114
Average Home Price: $662,699
Median Income: $105,625
Unemployment Rate: 12.7%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0319
More on Maili: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Let’s see if you’ve been paying attention to this list so far. We’re going to give you a little info about Maili and see if you can guess the rest.

The town sits along the western shore of O’ahu, about 40 minutes away from Honolulu . Can you figure out how it ended up on this list?

That’s right: you get enchanting scenery and excellent access to waves and sand, at places like Māʻili Beach Park. But you also face the typical tradeoff. Just like the surrounding communities (many of which make this list as well), Maili comes with a tough commute, an extremely high cost of living, and a high poverty rate, in this case hovering at 15.8%.

Lahaina, HI

Source: Public domain
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Population: 12,906
Average Home Price: $1,085,380
Median Income: $83,443
Unemployment Rate: 5.7%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0319
More on Lahaina: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Lahaina is located on the eastern shore of Maui, within sight of the Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Pretty good spot, huh? The community has other benefits as well. It features a solid economy, with a 5.7% unemployment rate and a $83,443 median income. At the same time, it has good housing, solid schools, and excellent amenities (including whales!).

So how did it end up on this list? Well, the price tag for all these advantages starts to add up. The cost of living tracks at 75% above the national average. This includes a median home value of $1,085,380.

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Population: 13,041
Average Home Price: $464,269
Median Income: $81,236
Unemployment Rate: 1.7%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0319
More on Hawaiian Paradise Park: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Hawaiian Paradise Park ranks as the 8th worst place to live in Hawaii for 2024, let’s take a look at why. Communities in Hawaii often come with names that promise idyllic living conditions. In reality, many of these fall short of their lofty monikers. Add Hawaiian Paradise Park to the list of disappointments.

Located on the eastern shore of the Island of Hawai’i, the town has the usual complement of gorgeous ocean landscapes (well, usual for Hawaii, that is). Just head to Shipman Beach to see what we mean.

Unlike many of the entries on this list, Hawaiian Paradise Park doesn’t have a massive poverty problem. However, affordability remains an issue. The cost of living tops the national average by 40% and the median home price hovers at $464,269. At the same time, isolation makes simple activities, like a commute to work, more difficult.

Waipahu, HI

Source: Public domain
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Population: 39,873
Average Home Price: $861,933
Median Income: $87,961
Unemployment Rate: 4.8%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0319
More on Waipahu: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Located about 15 minutes from the Pearl Harbor National Memorial, Waipahu sits along the harbor’s West and Middle Lochs. If you like golf, this is the place for you. Several courses dot the local landscape.

A great place for retired executives. Maybe not an ideal location for working families. The commute is difficult and the local schools are spotty. In addition, the town sports an intimidating cost of living. Expenses in the region top the U.S. norm by 75%, while the median home value comes in above $500,000. It ranks as the 9th worst place to live in Hawaii for 2024.

Kahului, HI

Source: Wikipedia User ideatrendz | CC BY-SA 2.0
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Population: 27,233
Average Home Price: $947,061
Median Income: $94,712
Unemployment Rate: 4.7%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0319
More on Kahului: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Kahului, located in Maui County, ranks as the fifth worst place to live in Hawaii for 2023. While it may have its attractions, such as the Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum and Kanaha Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary, Kahului faces significant challenges. One of the main concerns is its crime rate, making it a dangerous place to live. Although specific crime statistics are not available, Kahului’s high ranking in violent and property crime indicates a cause for concern. However, it’s important to note that with concerted efforts and community involvement, Kahului has the potential to improve its safety and become a more desirable place to live within the beautiful state of Hawaii.

Methodology: How we determined the worst places to live in Hawaii for 2024

To figure out the worst places to live in Hawaii, we used Saturday Night Science to idenift 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

The data comes from the Census’s most recent American Community Survey and the FBI Uniform Crime Report.

We broke crime down into violent crime and property crime to give violent crime a more significant weight. If you did a simple calculation of all crimes per capita, property crimes are typically 7x more common and bias that ranking.

Furthermore, only cities with at least 5,000 people were considered — leaving 49 cities.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 49 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 ten worst cities in Hawaii. This article is an opinion based on facts meant as infotainment. We updated this article for 2024. This list is our tenth time ranking the worst places to live in Hawaii.

Summary: 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 little to do, this is an accurate list.

And in the end, Makaha ranks as the worst city to live in Hawaii for 2024.

The worst cities in Hawaii are .

If you’re curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Hawaii:

  1. Waikele (Pop. 7,551)
  2. Ahuimanu (Pop. 9,177)
  3. Mililani Mauka (Pop. 21,546)

For more Hawaii reading, check out:

Worst Places To Live In Hawaii

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Price Median Income Crime Per Capita
1 Makaha 10,042 9.7% $436,915 $57,235 0.0319
2 Haiku-Pauwela 9,245 6.6% $990,304 $94,495 0.0319
3 Waianae 13,749 9.7% $590,487 $77,435 0.0319
4 Nanakuli 12,370 11.1% $491,841 $77,453 0.0319
5 Pupukea 5,130 6.2% $1,290,120 $99,180 0.0319
6 Maili 12,114 12.7% $662,699 $105,625 0.0319
7 Lahaina 12,906 5.7% $1,085,380 $83,443 0.0319
8 Hawaiian Paradise Park 13,041 1.7% $464,269 $81,236 0.0319
9 Waipahu 39,873 4.8% $861,933 $87,961 0.0319
10 Kahului 27,233 4.7% $947,061 $94,712 0.0319
11 Kula 6,578 4.0% $1,294,723 $93,452 0.0319
12 Hilo 47,627 6.8% $489,606 $75,589 0.0319
13 Wahiawa 17,400 3.6% $804,544 $81,433 0.0319
14 Ewa Villages 6,550 1.3% $826,827 $82,903 0.0319
15 Kihei 22,247 6.5% $1,082,813 $89,892 0.0319
16 Kapolei 22,701 5.6% $863,723 $121,768 0.0319
17 Kahaluu-Keauhou 7,001 4.9% $824,874 $87,472 0.0319
18 Urban Honolulu 348,547 5.1% $775,104 $82,772 0.0319
19 Kahaluu 5,065 5.6% $1,229,332 $123,365 0.0319
20 Kapaa 10,846 1.9% $881,980 $87,895 0.0319
21 Waimalu 13,932 7.4% $600,174 $85,710 0.0319
22 Waimanalo 5,743 4.2% $974,481 $127,143 0.0319
23 Wailea 6,517 5.8% $1,406,269 $89,088 0.0319
24 Laie 5,411 9.0% $1,277,549 $108,965 0.0319
25 Wailua Homesteads 7,189 3.9% $906,612 $113,306 0.0319
26 Waipio Acres 5,393 2.5% $605,059 $91,703 0.0319
27 Lihue 8,649 1.1% $815,376 $73,641 0.0319
28 Ewa Beach 15,167 4.2% $852,428 $114,207 0.0319
29 Royal Kunia 13,919 6.4% $871,767 $128,791 0.0319
30 Iroquois Point 5,921 9.0% $0 $100,794 0.0319
31 Waihee-Waiehu 11,029 3.1% $737,382 $124,601 0.0319
32 Ewa Gentry 27,198 3.5% $776,134 $125,300 0.0319
33 Wailuku 16,590 3.5% $872,690 $93,908 0.0319
34 Makakilo 21,055 5.6% $820,097 $115,435 0.0319
35 Halawa 14,411 3.3% $1,052,178 $100,321 0.0319
36 Napili-Honokowai 6,779 7.1% $821,834 $101,939 0.0319
37 Pukalani 7,930 3.3% $973,588 $119,426 0.0319
38 Hickam Housing 9,502 9.9% $0 $111,139 0.0319
39 Makawao 7,704 3.0% $1,027,207 $109,385 0.0319
40 Schofield Barracks 18,133 8.9% $0 $69,755 0.0319
41 Waipio 11,138 2.6% $705,468 $99,815 0.0319
42 Ocean Pointe 16,173 2.9% $868,619 $136,540 0.0319
43 East Honolulu 49,491 3.8% $1,212,724 $151,224 0.0319
44 West Loch Estate 6,469 1.8% $876,218 $119,250 0.0319
45 Kaneohe 35,493 4.5% $1,031,688 $120,451 0.0319
46 Aiea 9,571 4.6% $840,829 $130,507 0.0319
47 Waikele 7,551 0.5% $735,211 $115,858 0.0319
48 Ahuimanu 9,177 1.9% $915,947 $124,018 0.0319
49 Mililani Mauka 21,546 2.0% $925,717 $132,043 0.0319
About Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson earned his masters in Business Administration from the Drucker School At Claremont Graduate University. He has written for 39 publications across the country and ran the media relations department at Movoto, a real estate portal based in San Francisco. He has been featured in over 500 publications as an expert in real estate and as an authority on real estate trends.

Nick's the creator of the HomeSnacks YouTube channel that now has over 260,000 subscribers and is an excellent source to learn about different parts of the country.

32 thoughts on “The 10 Worst Places To Live In Hawaii For 2024

  1. I can’t believe how much I love this article. I didn’t even have to read it. It’s all true, but I would go even farther.

    I try not to speak in extremes very often as I don’t find very many opinions I can get behind whole-heartedly. But, Hawai’i as a whole is definitely the very worst place to live or visit; I mean, just don’t even look at pictures of this horrible place online, (blech!), and that is never going to change. You can take that to the bank when you return to the place from whence you came.

    Aloha nō!

  2. That is a very “haole” perspective of looking at our beautiful home. The best advice ever given about Hawaii was by Anthony Bourdaine when he told all who watched his show, “stay away from Hawaii, don’t come here” and I totally agree. Don’t come from your castle and convenience on the mainland and expect the same on an island far away from many of the resources you’re used to. Don’t complain, just go back where you came from. Aloha

  3. An interesting list. I live in one of these places, its comfortable and feels totally safe (except for the imported homeless people from the mainland harassing kids where to score weed) and have lived in a place that is on the BEST list that didn’t feel safe at all. Hawaii is a paradoxical place that is a total mystery to mainlanders- Our standards for good bad places to live would leave any mainlander scratching their heads. But that was a fun read.

    1. Hi Vita. Can you tell me where you live, I am moving to Hawaii and would love your input. I will gladly give you my email so we can collaborate. Thank you.

    2. The designation of the “worst places to live in Hawaii” seems controversial to me given the state’s reputation for natural beauty and cultural richness. It’s important to recognize that every location has its own set of challenges and drawbacks, even in paradise.

      By shedding light on areas like Makaha and Haiku-Pauwela, this article makes me consider Hawaiian life beyond the idyllic imagery often associated with the islands. It also makes think more about understanding the local communities and their unique socioeconomic dynamics.

  4. I used to live in Wahiawa (and yes I have native Hawaiian blood), it was pretty seedy out there. It reminded me of some more rundown mainland cities in a way because of how paved over a lot of it was Meth was a problem for sure. I did see drug addicted hookers. A lot of wannabe gangsters were around but they always respected me and my ways.

    If you were a white military man you probably didn’t exactly love it. Enlisted men would walk over from base to the McDonalds and would have to cross the bridge back and forth. Occasionally kids would hang out there and kick/snatch the food bags from their hands. If the enlisted guy made a fuss about it, some big dudes would emerge to make sure they kept on going.

    A couple weeks after I moved back to the Kapahulu area one of my neighbors was shot and killed because he tried to intervene in a domestic argument outside of our old apartment building.

    I can’t say I missed much about living in Wahiawa.

  5. This whole article is full of crap. I live half of the time in So Cal and the other half in north Hilo and spend a lot of time on Maui. I have always believed that Hawaii is a place where if you give respect you get respect. If you don’t then you will have problem like anywhere else. Hawaii is a beautiful place with mostly wonderful people. It’s so funny how most of the comments show that folks want you to go back from where you came. LOL. They know that the problems on Hawaii came from somewhere else.

    1. Most of the issues here are Not from somewhere else. With property crime rates Much Higher than the national average, it’s accurate to say you cannot leave your pets alone here for a minute. That’s pretty sad. Check out Big Island Thieves page on Fb for example. The animal welfare here is Non-existent by mainland standards. And yes it is Very Pretty by the coastline but There is a very dark side to paradise once you actually live here. Many people live in Un-permitted dwellings without The basic utilities. And obviously the “go-home” sentiment runs deep.

  6. Too bad you can’t “grammar check” your header before you post an article. Maybe you could strengthen your credibility.

  7. Yada yada yada .. Do not come at all .. The problems come from those who come and try to change things!! Attitude adjustment .. Hawai’i is a Kingdom! Mainland attitudes should stay on the mainland! Inaccuracies abound! Waihee / Waiehu are mostly Hawaiian Homelands … Properties occupied by Hawaiians! Hawaiian Paradise Park, Hawaiian Beaches / Hawaiian Shores are subdivisions with each having one small store close by. Perceptions are a strange thing! You are obviously on the outside looking in ! Hawai’i is much like a third world country and we like it that way! BTW folks should not try to purchase land here as ALL titles are clouded and in the near future many will come to know Hawai’i was never a part of the USA! It is under military occupation .. Regime change coming soon! Aloha Aina !!!!

    1. Why so many native Hawaiians in the US military? This seems a dishonorable thing to do and disrespectful to Hawaiian ancestors. Am I wrong?

  8. Definitely on the outside looking in. I’ve lived it what some would call the ghetto on the mainland. I currently live in Makaha and love it here. I drive through Nanakuli everyday on my way home. The worst part about living here is the traffic. Is there crime, well that’s a stupid question, where there are people there is crime. If you come here respecting the locals you won’t have much problems. One silly fact you overlooked, poor people don’t steel from poor people, they would rather head to the rich communities for the nice stuff. I feel safe in Makaha been here for many years with my family and we love it. You can still find plenty of Aloha from most people in Hawaii, don’t judge people and live life with Love and Aloha and you will find it is usually returned.

    1. Julie R. No he does not. He sounds like he really lives there and you don’t. Always felt safe in HPP, except from the wild pigs.

  9. You are correct about some things for most likely the wrong reasons. As someone who has lived in Paradise Park for 11 years and apprasied RE all over the big island for 20 years, I will share some personal observations. I apologize in advance if they seem negative, but the truth is what is most important, not “beliefs”. I have lived here for 28 years, and just have no other place left to go to.

    1. The worst thing about HPP is the NOISE! If its not the tourist helicopters usually flying right overhead during the day (for the wealthy, at around $500 a seat) to see the volcano, its the constant sounds from the neighbors gas-motor weed-wackers, chain saws, lawnmowers, bulldozers, construction or constantly barking dogs & crowing roosters everywhere! HPP is reportedly the largest subdivision in acreage in the US that is within 12 miles of a town.

    2. There is VERY little here to get, see, or do on most islands. The traffic into Hilo, the only real town in Hawaii County 12 miles away is very BUSY on the 2-4 lane roads. We would wither away without Amazon, which can still happen at any time if they decide to raise shipping costs. Hilo is so poor in construction quality, good restaurants, and amenities, it could be compared well to any 3rd world town, like in South America.

    3. Nobody spoiled by the mainland’s accessability is likely to appreciate Hawaii, and all costs are much higher. There are not enough jobs despite what we are told, and I seriously doubt the accuracy of all the statistics in this article. Many are on welfare including EBT cards.

    4. The U of HI has recognized that local sea life HAS been contaminated by the Fukushima disaster, but this truth is almost never spoken about here.

    5. The state is “owned” by the deep-state Democrats, and legalized life-saving cannabis will probably never be allowed by vote for the health or well being of most human beings (all with biochemical receptors for it) here.

    Conclusion: Many COULD reasonably compare the vastly remote Hawaiian islands to a prison state in some significantly honest ways! And no, you wouldnt like it here, so forget about moving to Hawaii! Aloooo-fricking-ha!

    And save your vacations for visits to states where they respect the freedom of humanity to choose as much as they respect or tolerate other substances they profit from.

  10. I lived in HPP for 2 years and on the surface, the author has it right. There is a lot of property crime in HPP, good paying jobs are scarce, and other things like – no mail delivery, no trash pick up, slow police response times, dogs running loose on the roads, and unpaved roads.

    However, we loved the people that lived in HPP. The people on the big island are for the most part, kind, loving, and friendly. It wasn’t my favorite place due to the distance to civilization (i.e. restaurants, stores, movie theaters, etc); but you can’t beat the amount of house you can get in HPP vs. Oahu.

  11. Is there a negative attitude by some of the locals toward white people here? Of course, you can get that in any US state. Let’s be honest with ourselves. The white elitists of the US are the reason for that attitude- they have used and abused others for so long and needless to say tricked Hawaiians out of their own land (Mark Zuckerburg is still doing it today). So, while us the common white person who didn’t come from money and aren’t dependents of “the man” may not be at fault- you can’t really take offense to the attitudes of circumstance. There are many natives of Hawaii that are not white that understand us visitors are just here temporarily and thankful for our short stay in their paradise, here to spend our money on their local businesses, and have no ill intentions. You can’t let people’s negativity toward you impact how you view a people as a whole and while others may struggle with that themselves you cannot take it personally. I am on a 30 day vacation in Oahu and staying in Makaha. I am happy I chose this side of the island as it has more of an at home feel versus the crowded city of Honolulu (ironic I say that living in Phoenix). You know what I see on this side of the island? I see town’s being neglected by a government that has plenty of money and resources (just like on the so-called mainland). That’s right. The US neglect in funding the right things is the problem. The US has their priorities ass backwards. Homelessness and drug addiction are worldwide problems and the US is no different, believe that- and imprisoning people for either is not the answer. Bless all of Hawaiians. I hope one day you are able to control your own land and resources without you know who having any say in it. I wish you all nothing but prosperity and good health. Thank you for you being you.

  12. I’m a data scientist. This is not data science. Maybe “date” science (as stated in the first sentence. Didn’t bother editing, even after updating. Weak.), but this is someone irresponsibly cherry-picking data and applying an inaccurate analysis. Rates of employment should be considered in conjunction with age. Basic stuff. This is not worth reading and certainly not factual. Also, who prefers a higher population density. Just terrible and irresponsible.

  13. Don’t let this article discourage you. I have been living in the Waianae area for a bit and have been loving it.

  14. I’ve vacationed in Waianae the past two years.

    I used to escape my endless northern climate winters by vacationing in the Phoenix area but when it came time to retire and escape the majority of winter, I chose to buy a retreat in Waianae, HI.

    There are positives to both places and there are negatives. Waianae is pretty much like a third world country. The people are friendly but poverty is widespread (shame on the state of Hawaii!) Phoenix is much more modern in every way imaginable, from infrastructure to restaurants to entertainment, however, it doesn’t have an ocean and that was a big draw.

    If you’re looking for modern amenities, social interaction with fellow retirees, organized activities and unlimited recreational opportunities, then Hawaii in general and places like Waianae in particular, are probably not for you. If you just want to sit back, take in the views and are not concerned with your social life, then a place like Waianae might be your ticket to paradise.

  15. I’ve been going to the west side for over 40 years . This article is crap. Give aloha and respect and you get it back. I’m guest here in the Hawaiian islands and I never forget that. I have many friends ( locals) on many islands and I still can’t believe that the state of Hawaii doesn’t care for the indigenous people of Hawaii . Most locals aren’t homeless as much as they are house less . I’ve had many run ins with idiots but most where on meth etc and their behavior is obviously modified by the drugs etc.
    I can think back to the early 80’s watching tourists getting robbed on Makaha beach – in the middle of the afternoon. Times have certainly changed though.
    You want to see some $hit holes ? Just head to the mainland and pick any state and just drive around – the Democrats have ruined almost every state they control and Hawaii will be no different.

  16. If this was based on science and data, the “City of Wai’anae” would be described as “ONE” not mentioning the little “Area Towns” as separate places. Science and data would conclude that everyone in “Wai’anae, Makaha, Ma’ili, and Nanakuli” have the SAME zip code of 96792 which is the City of Wai’anae. I have to conclude with…WAI’ANAE IS ONE OF THE WORST PLACES TO LIVE…SO STAY OUT!!! HAHA!!!

  17. The things they used to rate towns like jobs, entertainment, home prices, ect reflect a modern material judgement. When I moved to Hilo 50 years ago I fell in love with its authenticity and feeling that I was able to time travel to what used to be. Part of this includes meeting the locals and getting along with them. It takes time, I especially like the Hawaiians, what a beautiful good hearted race. Just remember a stink eye can get you a puff lip, no one likes to be treated with disdain. A smile and kind eye, its nice.

  18. Wow. This was a bit of an eye opener/sad coming to understand that so much mainland crap is spewed at an island community.
    My wife and I are in the process of job interviews on Oahu and wanted to see what’s what with neighborhoods. Came across this article which at first I found helpful. But then when I read “very low housing cost ($994,000)” I realized that this is just some self absorbed douche that doesn’t really understand how MOST people live.
    We aren’t wealthy, we aren’t going to exotic places to stare and take selfies with people of other cultures to make ourselves feel better about out meaningless lives, but this article sure painted that picture of the author. Maybe because our backgrounds in anthro have conditioned us to take people and places for who and what they are and not try to be the white saviors, so many seem to try to do.
    We’ll be headed to Oahu in a month or so, and we’ll look around for ourselves. Talk to some people, eat in the local non-touristy spots, and with any luck, we’ll be neighbors with some great people in a few months.

  19. Did not go far enough – for me ALOHA means – A Load of Horrible A…., lived on Kauai many years and Big Island. If you live there you find the people are not friendly and want everyone to leave and go out of their way to let you know that. Married to Hawaiian, so prejudiced. Lots of crime, police harrasment etc.,

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