Is Hawaii a Good Place to Live? – Pros and Cons of Living in Hawaii

Is Hawaii a good place to live?

From perfect scenery to downright cool beaches – who would not love the Aloha State? With the number of islands surrounding this haven, Hawaii is a good place to live. In this article, we will look at 16 pros and cons of living in Hawaii.

If you’re considering moving to Hawaii or still weighing your options of the best places to live, then this article is for you. Some frequently asked questions discussed at the end of the article will also give you a hint of what to expect in Hawaii.

Let’s dive right in!

What’s it Like Living in Hawaii, the Big Island?

Life in Hawaii is mostly relaxed and easygoing. The state is the largest island chain in the world consisting of 132 islands in all. Even though only 7 out of the 132 are inhabited, the city still attracts both tourists and new residents.

If you love swimming, sailing, hiking, kayaking, sunbathing on the beach, and other activities that come with island living, Hawaii is the perfect state for you.

Hawaii is like an other-worldly experience — picturesque skies, tropical rain forests, stunning waterfalls, snorkeling by the coral reefs, and much more.

When in Hawaii, people love to explore its attractive beaches, diverse culture, and variety of outdoor activities. The population is perfect too. According to the World Population Review, Hawaii has a population of 1,474,265.

Summary of Pros and Cons of Living in Hawaii

Pros of Living in HawaiiCons of Living in Hawaii
Hawaii is BeautifulLiving in Hawaii is Expensive
Great Recreational OpportunitiesLimited Job Opportunities
Hawaii has Good ClimateLimited Options for Education
Diverse CultureThe danger of Lava Zones
Crime Rate is LowSeething Racism

Pros of Living in Hawaii

The benefits you’d get from living in Hawaii are profound. Here are some of them

1.   Hawaii is Beautiful

If anything, living in an aesthetically pleasing environment can enliven you. Topnotch scenery is one of the many blessings of Hawaii.

Hawaii’s for you if you love to view nature and take pictures! From exquisite sandy beaches to awe-inspiring mountains and then steep valleys. They all add to the beauty of Hawaii.

2.   Hawaii has a Good Climate

A climate you can trust? Must be Hawaii! The state has all-year cool weather with mild temperatures and moderate humidity.

For most parts of Hawaii, you’ll notice that there are only two seasons — “summer” falling between May – October and “Winter” falling between October – April.

If you live in Hawaii, you won’t have to worry about extreme weather, which is a major limitation in most other states.

3.   Great Recreational Opportunities

Hawaii’s all-year-round climate supports varying recreational activities— both outdoor and indoor. Hawaii is blessed with a developed park system, having over 70 state parks, 500 county parks, and a spread of botanical gardens.

Many boat moorages, surfing sites, and public tennis courts also exist. When in Hawaii, you’re free to help yourself out with whatever activity speaks most to you.

4.   Diverse Culture

Hawaii has a vibrant cultural life, with a perfect blend of oneness. Notwithstanding the diversity, they respect one another and foster the communal interest of the state. Here’s a breakdown of the racial makeup in Hawaii

  • Whites – 25.3%
  • Black or African American –  2.2%
  • Asian – 36.8%
  • Native Hawaiian – 10.5%
  • Hispanic – 11.1%

5.   Crime Rate is Low

In 2005, Honolulu ranked the third safest city among 20 large United States cities. In 2022, its violent crime rate is 2.5 incidents per 1000 residents. This is commendable, especially when compared to more violent zones in the United States.

6.   Hawaiians are a Very Friendly Bunch

There’s a vibrant “aloha” spirit in Hawaii. This mentality shapes all they do — business, living, and life in general. With this attitude, you won’t feel lonely or unaccepted in Hawaii.

7.   Booming Tourism Economy

Hawaii is a top tourist attraction, hence, the maximum use of this opportunity to enrich the economy. Following this, you’ll find most residents working in the tourist sector. If you’re seeking to thrive in the field of tourism, Hawaii is a good place to learn how it’s done!

8.   Hawaii has Great Food

What’s more important than having access to good food wherever you live? Hawaii gives you that uncommon luxury! The cultural diversity also gives the food scene that final touch. Hence, you’ll notice special cuisines peculiar to most cultures. Feel free to try them out!

9.   Rich Wildlife

For a tropical, coastal state, wildlife is only a ripple effect. Hawaii is home to beautiful species of animals. In winter, you’ll enjoy whale performances across the islands. The green sea turtles (famous Hawaiian Honu), seals, and dolphins are also worth looking forward to.

10.                Hawaii is a Romantic Haven

This pro is an extension of the “Hawaii is beautiful pro.” Romance is easy when there’s an abundance of beauty. Do you agree?

If you’re a hopeless romantic looking for the best place to have a beautiful love life with your spouse, Hawaii is a good place to live. Spas, restaurants, and private beaches are specially provided for couples.

Cons of Living in Hawaii

It’s not all rosy in Hawaii. These are disadvantages you may encounter while living in Hawaii

1.   Living in Hawaii is Expensive

If you’re not rich, living in Hawaii will be very difficult. From food to housing and maintenance – all expensive. If you live in Hawaii, you must have plans to make more money.

Sometimes one job may not cut it, except you’re being paid heavily. If they’re no plans for finance boost, moving to Hawaii may be the wrong choice (especially with family).

2.   Limited Job Opportunities

Tourism is Hawaii’s major economic booster. Because of this, you won’t see as many professional opportunities as you may want in Hawaii, but this doesn’t mean they’re nonexistent. However, a large Hawaiian population has been working remotely since the COVID-19 pandemic.

3.   Limited Options for Education

The US News reports that the Hawaii Department of Education has 294 schools and 174,441 students. Most of these schools have also been reported to be below standard, given that the Hawaiian government does not invest much in education.

Hawaii’s spending on public education is the lowest in the nation. It’s also ranked 49th worst state for teachers. If you’ll be moving to Hawaii with your family, this is a strong consideration before moving.

4.   The Danger of Lava Zones

Based on past lava activities in Hawaii, there are designated zones marked as lava zones. These zones must be avoided, considering the danger posed by the possibility of volcanic eruptions in those areas.

Hawaii has nine lava zones. So far, only Hawaii and Maui Island have lava zones. The active volcanoes in Hawaii are Hualalai, Mauna Loa, and Kilauea.

5.   Seething Racism

If you live in Hawaii, you’ll have to deal with the love-hate relationship between Asians, Local Hawaiians, and Americans. No doubt, there’s the aloha culture. However, you’ll notice tiny bits of racism going on there for sure.

If you have to live in Hawaii, be sure to stay clear of forced relationships that could become toxic.

6.   Likelihood of Drought

Though it rarely completely affects Hawaii’s Islands, drought is not alien to Hawaii. It may happen when there are no trade winds or winter storms. In recent years, Hawaii has been reported to be getting drier. Since it threatens farm produce, especially coffee briers, this con is very personal if you’re looking to become a coffee farmer in Hawaii.


If you must live in Hawaii, you can make it into what’s best for you. To live well, consider learning and understanding other cultures and perspectives. It helps living there much easier. By and large, it’s great living in Hawaii. Don’t let anyone deter you.

Frequently Asked Questions About Living in Hawaii

Where’s the most famous island in Hawaii?

Oahu is the most famous of all Hawaii 8 islands. Little wonder it’s called the “Gathering Place”. Every year, Oahu welcomes thousands of tourists to explore the scenery of the area.

Where are the safest cities to live in Hawaii?

According to Neighborhood Scout, these ten cities are the best to live in Hawaii

  • Makaweli, Kauai
  • Schofield Barracks, Oahu
  • Kilauea, Kauai
  • Kalaupapa, Molokai
  • Haleiwa, Oahu
  • Laupahoehoe, Big Island
  • Hanalei, Kauai
  • Mililani Town, Oahu
  • Kapolei, Oahu
  • Paauilo, Big Island

Can I move to Hawaii without a job?

Well, yes you can. In fact, many newcomers do that. However, Hawaii is not the place to stay unemployed for so long. Unless you have a money reserve, you should plan toward getting a job as soon as possible. Else, the high cost of living in Hawaii will drive you away.

Is property expensive in Hawaii?

Yes! Hawaii is one of the most expensive states in the nation to live in in terms of property. It will startle you to know that getting an apartment for as little as a single home can cost over $1 million. No doubt, Hawaii living is for the rich.

What is the cost of living in Hawaii?

According to Best Places, the cost of living in Hawaii is 170, which is way over the US average of 100. The median home cost is $732,000 as opposed to the $291,700 obtainable in the United States. The indices for utility is 185.8 as opposed to that of the United States which is 100. Here’s a breakdown of the average Hawaiian rent

  • One-bedroom apartment – $1609
  • Two-bedroom apartment – $2097
  • Three-bedroom apartment – $2936
  • Four-bedroom apartment – $3468