Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders concentrated in West

By Janis L. Magin, The Associated Press
Friday December 14, 2001

HONOLULU — Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are such a tiny minority in the United States that only seven states count them as more than one-tenth of a percent of the population, according to a 2000 census report released Thursday. 

Not surprisingly, more than half of them live in Hawaii and California, and nearly three-fourths are concentrated in the West. 

Of the 281.4 million people in the United States, 398,835 respondents in the 2000 census checked off Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander. 

A total of 874,414 checked that category in combination of one or more other races, the report said. When taking another race into account, twice as many states — a total of 14 — could count those as more than one-tenth of a percent of the population. 

Nationally, more people identified themselves as Native Hawaiian, 401,162, than any other Pacific Islander group, followed by Samoan, 133,281, and Guamanian or Chamorro, 92,611. 

In Hawaii, where whites account for less than a quarter of the population, more than one in five identified themselves as multiracial, the highest percentage of any state. 

Of the 1.2 million people in Hawaii, 282,667 identified themselves as Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders alone or in combination with another race, or 23.3 percent of the state population, by far the highest in the nation. 

Honolulu has the most Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders with 25,457, or 6.8 percent of the population of 371,657. New York had the second largest population of Pacific Islanders who counted themselves as more than one race, 19,203, but that accounted for just two-tenths of 1 percent of the city’s 8 million people. 

Nearly three quarters of Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders live in the West, the report said. Eight states — Hawaii, California, Washington, Utah, Nevada, Oregon, Arizona and Colorado — reported Pacific Islanders populations of 10,000 or more.