The 10 Worst Small Towns In Hawaii For 2022


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

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the worst small places to live in Hawaii.

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 64 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:

So what is the worst small town to call home in Hawaii for 2022? According to the most recent census data, Hawaiian Beaches is the worst small town to live in Hawaii.

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.

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

The 10 Worst Small Towns In Hawaii For 2022

1. Hawaiian Beaches

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 4,621
Rank Last Year: -
Median Home Value: $189,100 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.6% (5th worst)
More on Hawaiian Beaches:  Data | Photos

2. Hawaiian Ocean View

Hawaiian Ocean View, HI

Source: Wikipedia
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 4,803
Rank Last Year: -
Median Home Value: $155,800 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.5% (7th worst)
More on Hawaiian Ocean View:  Data | Photos

3. Fern Acres

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,740
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $192,800 (7th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 18.0% (3rd worst)
More on Fern Acres:  Data

4. Pahoa

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,234
Rank Last Year: -
Median Home Value: $314,900 (17th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.5% (13th worst)
More on Pahoa:

5. Nanawale Estates

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,385
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $154,600 (worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.2% (28th worst)
More on Nanawale Estates:  Data

6. Leilani Estates

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,784
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $215,700 (9th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 18.3% (2nd worst)
More on Leilani Estates:  Data

7. Orchidlands Estates

Orchidlands Estates, HI

Source: Wikipedia
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 3,116
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 5)
Median Home Value: $268,400 (13th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.0% (16th worst)
More on Orchidlands Estates:  Data | Photos

8. Honaunau-Napoopoo

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,515
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 4)
Median Home Value: $492,200 (33rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.0% (15th worst)
More on Honaunau-Napoopoo:  Data | Photos

9. Mountain View

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 3,517
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $220,500 (10th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 2.9% (48th worst)
More on Mountain View:  Data | Photos

10. Ainaloa

Ainaloa, HI

Source: Wikipedia
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 3,636
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 5)
Median Home Value: $184,600 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.0% (9th worst)
More on Ainaloa:  Data | Photos

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 determined the worst small towns to live in Hawaii for 2022

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data and the Census's 2016-2020 American Community Survey, 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 1,000 and 5,000 people, of which, there were a lot - 64 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.

This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.

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. Ko Olina (Pop. 1,713)
  2. Maunawili (Pop. 1,915)
  3. Heeia (Pop. 4,503)

For more Hawaii reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In Hawaii

Rank Town Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Hawaiian Beaches 4,621 14.6% $189,100
2 Hawaiian Ocean View 4,803 13.5% $155,800
3 Fern Acres 1,740 18.0% $192,800
4 Pahoa 1,234 9.5% $314,900
5 Nanawale Estates 1,385 5.2% $154,600
6 Leilani Estates 1,784 18.3% $215,700
7 Orchidlands Estates 3,116 9.0% $268,400
8 Honaunau-Napoopoo 2,515 9.0% $492,200
9 Mountain View 3,517 2.9% $220,500
10 Ainaloa 3,636 10.0% $184,600
11 Naalehu 1,007 6.5% $171,300
12 Hawaiian Acres 2,890 6.1% $222,100
13 Discovery Harbour 1,142 9.7% $354,500
14 Kaunakakai 3,076 3.6% $304,300
15 Captain Cook 4,361 4.5% $531,900
16 Kalaeloa 2,421 11.3% $1,000
17 Laupahoehoe 1,242 9.2% $408,200
18 Pepeekeo 1,531 3.8% $312,100
19 Honokaa 2,339 7.3% $359,400
20 Kualapuu 1,887 4.0% $210,900
21 Pahala 2,023 16.6% $190,300
22 Kurtistown 3,230 5.3% $373,300
23 Paia 2,285 9.5% $737,100
24 Anahola 2,425 3.9% $440,100
25 Kaumakani 1,148 1.5% $1,000
26 Koloa 2,448 4.9% $663,600
27 Waimea Cdp (Kauai County) 1,682 3.7% $461,200
28 Wainaku 1,066 3.0% $286,800
29 Keaau 1,280 6.8% $234,200
30 Kapaau 1,927 4.7% $353,400
31 Hawi 1,325 14.1% $489,600
32 Wailua 2,481 4.3% $532,300
33 Hanamaulu 4,689 4.2% $477,200
34 Kilauea 2,879 1.6% $678,600
35 Kekaha 3,246 2.2% $404,700
36 Hauula 3,298 5.8% $695,000
37 Keokea 2,471 8.5% $753,800
38 Mokuleia 2,176 4.3% $717,500
39 Lanai City 2,846 2.3% $459,200
40 Punaluu 1,113 5.1% $608,700
41 Lawai 2,497 9.5% $641,700
42 Wheeler Afb 2,124 4.6% $1,000
43 Kaanapali 1,115 19.1% $1,369,200
44 Hanapepe 2,763 4.5% $490,500
45 Whitmore Village 3,764 3.1% $587,700
46 Kealakekua 2,393 2.1% $479,200
47 Puhi 4,316 0.7% $468,900
48 Omao 1,495 7.0% $755,500
49 Princeville 1,918 4.3% $858,400
50 Waialua 3,112 2.6% $720,300
51 Waikapu 3,754 2.5% $650,300
52 Kahuku 2,226 6.1% $601,100
53 Kahaluu 4,681 6.0% $920,300
54 Holualoa 2,827 1.5% $992,700
55 Waimanalo Beach 4,280 4.9% $614,600
56 Iroquois Point 4,968 6.9% $1,000
57 Pupukea 4,070 1.3% $1,151,400
58 Kaaawa 1,235 3.7% $787,800
59 Haleiwa 4,589 2.9% $881,700
60 Eleele 2,710 0.5% $463,400
61 Poipu 1,005 0.7% $1,049,200
62 Ko Olina 1,713 2.7% $668,700
63 Maunawili 1,915 1.5% $1,104,000
64 Heeia 4,503 1.0% $910,400

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