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Honolulu, Hawaii

Mayor: Kirk Caldwell (to Jan. 2017)

2010 census population (rank):1 337,256 (53); Male: 192,781 (49.3%); Female: 197,957 (50.7%); White: 76,145 (19.5%); Black: 5,718 (1.6%); American Indian and Alaska Native: 834 (0.2%); Asian: 209,747 (53.7%); Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 29,744 (7.6%); Other race: 3,270 (0.8%); Two or more races: 65,250 (16.7%); Hispanic/Latino: 20,883 (5.3%). 2010 percent population 18 and over: 82.1%; 65 and over: 18.1%; Median age: 41.9

2012 population estimate (rank): 345,610 (54)

See additional census data

Land area: 85.7 sq mi.(221.9 sq km)1;

Alt.: Highest, 2,013 ft.1; lowest, sea level

Avg. daily temp.: Jan., 71.4° F; July, 78.9° F

Churches: Roman Catholic, 39; Buddhist, 51; Jewish, 2; Protestant and others, 402;

City-owned parks1: 6,108 ac.;

Radio stations1: AM, 17; FM, 11;

Television stations1: 12

Civilian Labor Force (MSA) Aug. 2011: 442,8092;

Unemployed (Sept 2011): 5.7%2;

Per capita personal income (MSA) 2009: $30,9172

Chamber of Commerce: Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, 1132 Bishop St., Suite 402, Honolulu, HI 96813

1. Census Designated Place. In accordance with Hawaiian law, the U.S. Census Bureau defines the state's "cities" and "towns" as census-designated places (CDPs). The Census Bureau defines Honolulu CDP as the portion of the City and County that is coextensive with the Judicial District of Honolulu.
2. City and county.

Honolulu is the capital and largest city of Hawaii, on the southeast coast of the island of Oahu. The city is legally coextensive with the county of Honolulu, which includes the entire island of Oahu and most of the Northwest Hawaiian Islands, from Nihoa to Kure Atoll, except Midway. The population of Oahu makes up 73% of the state's total population. It is situated in the central Pacific Ocean 2,397 mi west-southwest of San Francisco. Honolulu's name derives from the native words hono, meaning “a bay,” and lulu, meaning “sheltered.”

Honolulu's early history was one of turbulence and conflict. One of the last areas on the globe to be explored and exploited by Europeans (it was first visited by British captain James Cook in 1778), Hawaii was subject to strong pressures from many forces, including American missionaries, who arrived in 1820, and opportunistic whalers. These whalers were among those who built Honolulu originally, bringing trade, commerce, and prosperity that led to expansion into the sugar and pineapple industries.

As early as 1814, Russia tried to move in, and Russian soldiers built a bastion at the harbor's edge. The British flag was raised in 1843 and French forces occupied Honolulu in 1849. Each time control was returned to the independent native kingdom without bloodshed. In 1898, a group of Americans completed a project attempted at intervals during the previous 65 years—annexation to the United States. Honolulu was incorporated as a city in 1907.

The Honolulu area was bombed by Japan in a surprise attack on the unprepared U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. This action forced the United States to enter World War II. “Remember Pearl Harbor” became a famous American wartime slogan.

Hawaiian statehood in 1959 and the viability of commercial air travel to the island brought boom times to Honolulu. Tourism is the city's principal industry, followed by federal defense expenditures and agricultural exports (chiefly pineapples).

See also Encyclopedia: Honolulu.

Selected famous natives and residents:

  • Hiram Bingham explorer;
  • Jean Erdman dancer and choreographer;
  • Hiram Fong senator;
  • Daniel Inouye senator;
  • Duke Kahanamoku surfer and Olympian swimmer;
  • Bette Midler actress and singer;
  • Kelly Preston actress;
  • Louise Morgan Sill author;
  • Don Stroud actor;
  • Merlin D. Tuttle biologist and wildlife photographer.

Information Please® Database, © 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

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