The 10 Best Places To Live In Hawaii For 2019


We used science and data to determine the best places to call home in Hawaii.

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our fifth time ranking the best places to live in Hawaii.

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Where are the best places in the state of Hawaii?

To the untrained eye they are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places in Aloha State where people have the best jobs, residents are all above average, and the sun shines the most.

However, here at HomeSnacks, we don’t trust the untrained eye and instead look to data to understand the best places to call home in Hawaii.

There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against.

After analyzing 49 places in Hawaii, we came up with this list of the best places.

Well, it looks like you should check out Mililani Mauka if you’re thinking of moving to Hawaii — it’s the best the Aloha State has to offer according to the data.

Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best places to live in Hawaii.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

For more Hawaii reading, check out:

The 10 Best Places To Live In Hawaii For 2019

Mililani Mauka, HI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 20,322
Rank Last Year:
Median Home Value: $614,600 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.2% (1st best)
More on Mililani Mauka: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Let’s take a look at why Mililani Mauka is a great place to call home for 2019.

There’s low crime in Mililani Mauka, and the residents here are gainfully employed (2.2% unemployment rate).

You can make Mililani Mauka your home for only $614,600 which won’t be too hard on a $107,163 household salary.

East Honolulu, HI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 47,957
Rank Last Year:
Median Home Value: $859,000 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.7% (2nd best)
More on East Honolulu: Real Estate | Data | Photos

East Honolulu is known for having a great education system and has the 30th shortest commute time.

Additionally, the unemployment rate in East Honolulu is the 2nd lowest in Hawaii and the median income is the 1st highest in the state.

Aiea, HI

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 9,594
Rank Last Year:
Median Home Value: $732,600 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.8% (10th best)
More on Aiea: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Aiea is just about as close to a perfect area as you can get. Residents here are gainfully employed, and the schools are some of the best in the state. It’s safe, and residents get to enjoy the benefits of quality at home living.

It’s quite a gem tucked away in Hawaii.

Kaneohe, HI

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 35,065
Rank Last Year:
Median Home Value: $664,400 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.3% (15th best)
More on Kaneohe: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Kaneohe has it made. In fact, according to science, it’s one of the best places to live in the state of Hawaii.

The unemployment rate is the 15th lowest in the state at 4.3%, and residents make a pretty penny. Median incomes are $92,257, and the average cost of a home is $664,400. Which is an indication that lots of people want to live here.

We wouldn’t be surprised if more and more publications call Kaneohe one of America’s gems.

Waikele, HI

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 7,648
Rank Last Year:
Median Home Value: $434,100 (37th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.5% (18th best)
More on Waikele: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Looks like little Waikele might be a hidden gem in Hawaii. The population is shrinking a bit, despite the fact that home values are still rising ($434,100) and crime is really low (25th lowest in the state).

Perhaps the cat’s now out of the bag — quick better move in before prices go up more.

Ocean Pointe, HI

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 12,274
Rank Last Year:
Median Home Value: $582,700 (16th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.5% (18th best)
More on Ocean Pointe: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Ocean Pointe has a strong showing in our best places to live in Hawaii analysis, coming it at 6th best.

It ranks highly like many others in the top ten for a low unemployment rate and high adjusted median income. It scored extra points relative to the top ten for its size and things to do.

If you’re thinking of moving to Hawaii, Ocean Pointe is a great option.

Halawa, HI

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 14,455
Rank Last Year:
Median Home Value: $638,700 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.8% (10th best)
More on Halawa: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The crime is the 25th lowest in the state in Halawa, and there were only 48 violent crimes in the entire city last year. We think it’s even safer here than the numbers indicate.

The schools are some of the best in Hawaii, and residents live in very expensive homes. They also earn more than most every other city in the state. Residents in Halawa earn $95,065 a year.

Ewa Gentry, HI

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 23,168
Rank Last Year:
Median Home Value: $468,800 (33rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.7% (9th best)
More on Ewa Gentry: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Ewa Gentry is a cute little city where crime is far below the state average, and where it’s affordable. The schools are also solidly rated.

Home prices clock in at $468,800 and households earn a median salary of $91,872. One could get used to that.

Waipio, HI

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 11,554
Rank Last Year:
Median Home Value: $492,300 (26th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.2% (5th best)
More on Waipio: Real Estate | Data | Photos

In Waipio, everyone loves to call Waipio home! The median home value is the 26th highest in Hawaii.

Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 5th lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Aloha State.

Waipio should consider renaming to Paradise Valley in our humble opinion.

Laie, HI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 5,782
Rank Last Year:
Median Home Value: $641,700 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.5% (18th best)
More on Laie: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Laie broke into the top ten best places to live in Hawaii on the back of a low unemployment and a quality schools system.

It placed 18th overall for its low unemployment rate and the 13th highest median income of any place in our analysis.

However, it only has the 6th shortest average commute time of any place in Hawaii.

Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Hawaii

The Pressing Question: Size

Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Urban Honolulu with a population of 349,597 against places with a population of 18?

We firmly decided no, that just isn’t fair.

So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:

  • Cities — Populations over 5,000
  • Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 5,000
  • Small Towns — Populations below 1,000

This left us with 49 cities, 62 towns, and 23 small towns.

We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best places have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,000 people to truly be ‘the best’.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.

How We Calculated The Best Cities To Live In Hawaii

Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.

We ranked each place in Hawaii across a number of criteria from one to 49, with one being the best.

We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title “Best Place To Live In Hawaii”.

The criteria we looked at were:

  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Population Density (Higher better)
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Commute Time
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data.

After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in Hawaii? That would be Mililani Mauka.

If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Hawaii.

Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Mililani Mauka at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Wrapping Up The Best Places When It Comes To Living In Hawaii

If you’re looking at areas in Hawaii with the best economic situations, where there’s lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

Mililani Mauka made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for the best place to live in Hawaii for 2019.

Best Towns To Live In Hawaii

  1. Maunawili (Pop. 2,124)
  2. Heeia (Pop. 4,536)
  3. Puhi (Pop. 3,942)
  4. Kaanapali (Pop. 1,068)
  5. Ko Olina (Pop. 1,691)
  6. Lawai (Pop. 2,152)
  7. Pupukea (Pop. 4,998)
  8. Hanapepe (Pop. 2,687)
  9. Poipu (Pop. 1,057)
  10. Waikapu (Pop. 3,266)

Best Small Towns To Live In Hawaii

  1. Mahinahina (Pop. 902)
  2. Launiupoko (Pop. 463)
  3. Kapalua (Pop. 310)
  4. Kalihiwai (Pop. 303)
  5. Maalaea (Pop. 339)
  6. Puako (Pop. 795)
  7. Kawela Bay (Pop. 274)
  8. Paukaa (Pop. 511)
  9. Waikane (Pop. 621)
  10. Honomu (Pop. 443)

If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Hawaii according to the data:

  1. Makaha (Pop. 8,934)
  2. Waianae (Pop. 13,426)
  3. Hawaiian Paradise Park (Pop. 11,787)

For more Hawaii reading, check out:

Where Are The The Best Places To Live In Hawaii?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Mililani Mauka 20,322 2.2% $614,600
2 East Honolulu 47,957 2.7% $859,000
3 Aiea 9,594 3.8% $732,600
4 Kaneohe 35,065 4.3% $664,400
5 Waikele 7,648 4.5% $434,100
6 Ocean Pointe 12,274 4.5% $582,700
7 Halawa 14,455 3.8% $638,700
8 Ewa Gentry 23,168 3.7% $468,800
9 Waipio 11,554 3.2% $492,300
10 Laie 5,782 4.5% $641,700

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