Living in Guam Vs Living in Hawaii

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seashore during golden hour

If there’s anything to note about living conditions in several countries, it’s that there’s something special about every country, island, as well as city. No city or island can have it all, but they can have just enough to keep a resident comfortable.

Are you wondering what living in Guam as opposed to living in Hawaii feels like? This article will tell you all you need to know! In this discourse, we will explore the pros and cons of living in both Hawaii and Guam holistically.

Afterward, we’ll deal with questions others are asking about juxtaposing living in both places. This should give you a broad view of both islands. If this sounds interesting, let’s get into the discussion!

What’s it Like Living in Guam?

Guam is a relaxing island to live in. Though it’s a small city, it’s reckoned for its diversity and scenery capable of making any friendship thrive. Guam is a tourist zone! I think this is what Guam and Hawaii have in common – only that Hawaii is mostly the go-to because of its popularity.

On the negative side, Guam is called Snake Island for a reason. History records the destructive activities of venomous snakes in Guam. This venom is not very dangerous to human beings, but its effect on animals and forestry is alarming.

Summary of Pros and Cons of Living in Guam

To have a holistic view of living in Guam and Hawaii, let’s consider the advantages and disadvantages of living in both places.

Pros of Living in GuamCons of Living in Guam
If you Love the Tropics, Guam is for youTraces of Racism
It’s a Diverse Place to Live inYou Will Lack Fresh Food in Guam
Quiet Life is Best Enjoyed in GuamGuam Gets Hot
It’s a Tourist ZoneThe Cost of Living in Guam is High
Guam is Close to Other LocationsThe Rate of Crime is Rising in Guam

Pros of Living in Guam

1. Tropical Island Living

Guam is one of the most populated islands in Micronesia. Every lifestyle that comes with being on an island is what you get when living on Guam.

For people who love water, Guam is a great retirement option. You have a lot of swimming options and beaches to relax in.

2. Language Diversity

English and Chamorro are Guam’s official languages. But since almost half of the population living in Guam are Filipinos, it’s an added advantage if you speak Filipino.

Some other languages spoken in Guam are

  • Tagalog (spoken by the migrant population)
  • Korean (spoken by the tourist segment and migrants)
  • Japanese (Spoken by a dominant segment of tourists)
  • Chuukese (spoken by the Chuukese population)

3. Quiet Life

If you need peace, life in Guam will give you unadulterated peace. Most people intending to retreat for some time of isolation come to Guam.

And this doesn’t make the residents any less friendly. They’re warm and hospitable, but they’ll respect your space if you want it.

4.   Proximity to Other Destinations

From Guam, it’s easy to access Hong Kong, Manila, and Tokyo. Chances are that you’ll feel trapped sometimes on the small island. But with these other places just a few hours away, you can take a trip.

4. Influx of Tourists

Tourism is a major Guam industry. In fact, tourism employs the highest number of people in Guam.

According to Guam Economic Development Authority (GEDA), Guam entertains about 1.2 million tourists yearly. This generates about $1.4 billion for Guam’s economy and creates about 18,000 jobs.

5. Vibrant Nightlife

For such a small, calm island, the vibrance of the nightlife there is shocking. It’s suitable for all ages, so you may want to plan some family activities when in Guam.

You can find some places that might interest you on TripAdvisor.

6. Beautiful Scenery

Guam scenery comes with a perfect backdrop for every kind of occasion. Couples find it interesting to have their wedding by the beach.

The white noise from ocean waves gives the best effect. There are tons of things to do in Guam. You’ll never get tired of the beautiful sights in Guam.

Disadvantages of Living in Guam

1. Maipe Guam is hot

This is a common expression Filipinos use to express their dissatisfaction with the weather in Guam. They even had to sing a song about it!

When it’s hot in Guam, the temperature rises from 76°F to 88°F. It rarely goes below 74°F, nor does it often go above 90°F.

Even at that, the heat that Guam’s dry weather comes with is inexpressible!

2. Hint of Racism

In the heat of the Black Lives Matter Campaign, Guamanians in Hagatna took to the streets in solidarity with the cause.

According to one of the protesters, many people don’t think Black Lives Matter doesn’t apply to Guam but she experienced her fair share growing up black in Guam.

Another protester spoke up about segregation against Chuukese and Filipinos in Guam. I guess nobody could have known this if the campaign didn’t create that much uproar.

3. Limited Fresh Food Choices

In Guam, you won’t find Whole Foods and all the other fresh food options you have in the United States.

It may interest you to know that 95% of foods in Guam are imported. I think it’s a top con of living in the tropics.

Imagine a place where eggs finally reach the store shelves a month (or more) after they are laid. This will be a huge limitation for many.

4. Cost of Living is High

Did you know that living in Guam is more expensive than living in any other part of the United States? Guam is the 6th most expensive place to live in the United States.

According to Living Costs, here’s a breakdown of the cost of living in Guam:

For one person monthly:

  • Total cost of living including rent cost – $2,223
  • Without rent cost – $765
  • Cost of rent and utilities – $1,458
  • Food – $579
  • Transportation – $58

For a family of four:

  • Total cost of living including rent cost – $5,158
  • Without rent cost – $2,246
  • Cost of rent and utilities – $2,912
  • Food – $1,509
  • Transportation – $157

5.   Rising Rate of Crime

While Guam boasts of reasonable peace, there are still reports of crimes, especially in recent years.

According to Numbeo, Guam has a 50% rate of crime (on a 100% scale). The increment in crime in the last 3 years (2019 – 2022) is 67.24%. Property crimes are at a rate of 72.12%.

While this is something to consider, the rate is definitely minimal in comparison with other parts of the United States.

What’s it Like Living in Hawaii?

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 Beauty PersonifiedHousing in Hawaii is Expensive
Recreation at its BestThere are Limited Job Opportunities in Hawaii
Hawaii has Great ClimateLimited Options for Education
It has a Diverse CultureYou’ll Have to Deal With Lava Zone Scares
Crime Rate is LowRacism in Hawaii is Seething

Pros of Living in Hawaii

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.

Cons of Living in Hawaii

1.   Housing is Expensive

Hawaii has one of the highest living costs in the United State – housing and electricity tops the list of expensive things to pay for. However, on the bright side, the real estate business thrives in Hawaii. Hence, the cost of housing may be expensive, but making a good investment out of it will give you much value in the long run.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions About Living in Guam and Living in Hawaii

Is it better to live in Guam or Hawaii?

Well, both are Islands. However, while one makes you feel confined, the other gives you some freedom. Anyone can tell the difference – Guam is only about 200 square miles, 30 miles long, and 12 miles wide at most.

Hence, of all inhabited islands, Guam is one of the smallest (Lana’i and Ni’ihau are smaller than Guam). Hawaii, on the other hand, is much more spread out, with plenty of places to tour. It’s up to you to decide – small and crowded, or large enough and crowded?

Is it easier to get around Hawaii or Guam?

Since Guam is a smaller island, it’s a lot easier to move around. You won’t have to do this on foot though; there are three options – rental cars, tourist buses, or by public transport. Of all three, the public transport system is the cheapest.

For Hawaii, it’s only easy to get around when you’re exploring just one of the Islands, but it could get pretty difficult when you plan on exploring other Islands. Nonetheless, with the available inter-island flights, movement around the islands is much easier.

Are there more National Parks in Guam or Hawaii?

With Hawaii’s large landmass, it’s only natural that it has more national parks. However, Guam has an official United States National Park called War in the Pacific. There are other parks in Guam, but it’s nothing to compare with Hawaii.

On the other hand, Hawaii has an array of National Parks – 8 of them on eight different islands. When in Hawaii, you’ll definitely find a visit to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park thrilling.

Which Island has the best beaches – Guam or Hawaii?

Both islands have great beaches; however, it still depends on your preferences. Gun Beach, Tumon Beach, and Matapang Beach are Guam’s top beaches. People love Gun beach because it has become their go-to point to catch the perfect sunset.

At Matapang beach, you’re sure to experience soft sands and a pretty warm ocean. At Tumon beach, the “life of the parties” go there to meet – the vibrant nightlife, sunbathing, and great snorkeling is what the beach offers.

Where’s the best place to surf – Guam or Hawaii?

There’s no need to say too much – Hawaii, of course! However, if you’re a first-time surfer, you may start out in Guam and then get on to Hawaii’s larger surfing zones.