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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 51 of the state's most populous cities (over 5,000 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 Hawaiian Ocean View.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2021.
For more Hawaii reading, check out:
The 10 Worst Places To Live In Hawaii For 2021
Hawaiian Ocean View, HI needs a big hug right now. The unemployment rate here is 22.7%, the median income is just above the poverty line, and the crime is the 26th highest in the state. You have a 1 in 33.3 chance of being robbed here every year.
You could find a much better place to call home.
Hawaiian Beaches is a CDP located on the eastern side of the Island of Hawaii.
Here, you can find the absolute cheapest homes of anywhere in Hawaii. There's a reason homes sell for an average of $190,000. It means no one wants to live here. Homes are priced by demand.
Income levels here are $34,000, and nearly 1 in 5 people in Hawaii Beaches lives below the poverty line. Plus, the unemployment rate is 5.7%, which is really high for Hawaii.
Waianae is the 3rd worst city in Hawaii for 2021. When you're comparing other cities to Waianae, things just don't look great, at least according to science.
Waianae is the 26th most dangerous place in Hawaii, according to FBI statistics. And the residents here have a hard time keeping a job -- at least in comparison to the rest of the state. The unemployment rate is 13.5%, worse than the state average.
Home values are really low ($375,100), and residents earn just $62,172 a year.
Makaha is another place in the Aloha State that has some real eye-opening numbers. The unemployment rate in Makaha is a staggering 12.7%, but at least those who have jobs earn a modest salary ($50,992 a year). Homes are actually priced respectfully at $404,900, but still far lower than the state average.
Crime in Makaha is bad, but not horrible.
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $303,300 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (28th 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 ($303,300), and income levels ($54,870). Many people here live at or below the poverty line and the unemployment rate is 3.6%, which is the highest in the state.
The unemployment rate in Nanakuli is a sky high 11.9%, which is the 5th highest in the state. Ouch.
The median income in Nanakuli is $75,031. That means 15.3% of the population is living below the poverty line. Crime isn't horrible here, but you have a 1 in 33.3 chance of being the victim of a property crime when you're within city limits every year.
Maili ranks as the 7th worst city on this list.
Maili has the 26th highest crime rate in Hawaii, where residents have a 1 in 33.3 chance of being robbed every year. Homes are the 10th cheapest in the state ($464,900), and the uninsured rate here is far below average as well.
When you're looking at science and data, Lahaina is the worst place you can live in Hawaii. Let's see why.
The unemployment rate here is 5.5%. The schools are underfunded, and property values are well below the state average. A home costs $686,800, which is a sure sign of lack of demand.
You have a 1 in 33.3 chance of being the victim of some type of property crime here every year. That's not fun, either.
You can sure expect that Waipahu is going to be a pretty rough place to live, it comes in 9th in our analysis. It is. In fact, Waipahu has the 26th-highest crime rate in the state. Probably no surprises there.
There were 80 violent crimes here in 2021, and residents have a 1 in 33.3 chance of being the victim of a property crime. That means, most likely, if you live in Waipahu, either you or someone on your block had their home or car broken into last year.
You can also imagine that the economy here is in the pits -- the unemployment rate sits at 4.3% which is the 20th worst in Hawaii.
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.
How we determined the worst places to live in Hawaii for 2021
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 51 cities.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 51 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 -- Hawaiian Ocean View. 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, Hawaiian Ocean View ranks as the worst city to live in Hawaii for 2021.
If you're curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Hawaii:
- East Honolulu (Pop. 47,540)
- Mililani Mauka (Pop. 20,090)
- Waikele (Pop. 7,442)
For more Hawaii reading, check out:
Where Are The Worst Places To Live In Hawaii?
|1||Hawaiian Ocean View||5,011|
|5||Hawaiian Paradise Park||11,202|