These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In Hawaii For 2018


Using science and data, we can tell you which teeny specks in Hawaii are the pits.

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Most Americans have never been to Hawaii. However, as the people who live there know, Hawaii is an awesome state.

But is it all roses? Definitely not. Just like any other state, Hawaii has its trouble spots. This article aims to determine, using science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the Aloha State. Don’t shoot the messenger, this is all using data.

After analyzing more than 22 of Hawaii’s smallest cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst small towns in Hawaii where you’d never want to live:

  1. Fern Forest
  2. Eden Roc
  3. Waiohinu
  4. Pahoa
  5. Maunaloa
  6. Hanalei
  7. Kukuihaele
  8. Wainiha
  9. Haena
  10. Halaula

Of course, many of these cities would rank highly if they were in other states, since Hawaii has its stuff figured out.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers, or scroll to the bottom to see how your town ranked.

And if you already know about the small towns, check out the best places to live in Hawaii or the worst places to live in Hawaii.

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How do you decide if a place is lousy or not?

In order to rank the worst small towns to live in Hawaii, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn’t a stretch to assume that people like low crime, solid education, things to do and a stable economy.

So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

How we crunched the numbers

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data, the Census’s 2010-2014 American Community Survey, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the criteria we used:

  • Population Density (The lower the worse)
  • Highest Unemployment Rates
  • Low housing costs (meaning there’s no demand)
  • Adjusted Median Income (Median income adjusted for the cost of living)
  • Education (Number of high school dropouts)
  • High Crime

We looked at cities with populations between 100 and 1,000 people, of which, there were a lot – 22 to be exact.

Additional note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. Dropout numbers are based on the adult population, not just the current graduation rates of teenagers.

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1. Fern Forest


Population: 669
Median Income: $16,538
Median Home Value: $110,300

2. Eden Roc


Population: 599
Median Income: $19,375
Median Home Value: $111,500

3. Waiohinu


Population: 168
Median Income: $31,111
Median Home Value: $210,700

4. Pahoa


Population: 731
Median Income: $29,773
Median Home Value: $228,900

5. Maunaloa


Population: 459
Median Income: $23,000
Median Home Value: $233,800

6. Hanalei


Population: 170
Median Income: $30,000
Median Home Value: $1,812,500

7. Kukuihaele


Population: 318
Median Income: $61,250
Median Home Value: $242,100

8. Wainiha


Population: 172
Median Income: $32,250
Median Home Value: $556,800

9. Haena


Population: 215
Median Income: $32,656
Median Home Value: $814,500

10. Halaula


Population: 632
Median Income: $63,571
Median Home Value: $359,500

There You Have It – The Worst Small Towns In Hawaii

If you’re analyzing teeny places in the Aloha State with the worst economic situations, where there’s high crime and there’s not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

If you’re curious enough, here are the best small towns to live in Hawaii, according to science.

  1. Best: Mahinahina
  2. 2nd Best: Launiupoko
  3. 3rd Best: Kalihiwai

For more reading, check out:

  • 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Hawaii
  • These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Hawaii For 2018
  • 10 Worst Places To Live In Hawaii
  • Ranking Of The 100 Worst Small Towns In Hawaii

    City Rank Population Home Price
    Fern Forest 1 669 $110,300
    Eden Roc 2 599 $111,500
    Waiohinu 3 168 $210,700
    Pahoa 4 731 $228,900
    Maunaloa 5 459 $233,800
    Hanalei 6 170 $1,812,500
    Kukuihaele 7 318 $242,100
    Wainiha 8 172 $556,800
    Haena 9 215 $814,500
    Halaula 10 632 $359,500
    Paauilo 11 676 $206,500
    Honomu 12 443 $194,700
    Paukaa 13 511 $361,900
    Laupahoehoe 14 563 $326,300
    Waikane 15 621 $664,300
    Kawela Bay 16 274 $405,600
    Puako 17 795 $879,200
    Maalaea 18 339 $412,500
    Kapalua 19 310 $2,000,000
    Kalihiwai 20 303 $1,100,000
    Launiupoko 21 463 $1,500,000
    Mahinahina 22 902 $588,100

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