THE 10 BEST Places To Live In Hawaii For 2020


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

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best places to live in Hawaii.

What do 1.4 million Hawaii residents know that we don't? Well, besides surfing and hula dancing, Hawaiians know that the Aloha State has some of the best places to live in America.

And lucky for you, HomeSnacks has uncovered the top ten best places to live in Hawaii for 2020.

How'd we do this?

We looked at Hawaii places with 5,000 or more residents. We took into account home prices, household income, education, and safety. Our conclusion, Hawaii is the land of sunshine and rainbows; so any place you choose to call home, will definitely be five star. Not surprising, because we can thank some of Hawaii's best places for Kona Coffee, macadamia nuts, and Hawaiian Airlines. And we can thank the other half for higher education institutions like The University of Hawaii and Chaminade University for educating the future of Hawaii.

So, what does it take to live in Hawaii's best of the best places? We suggest a good job. And probably one of the jobs that are keeping median incomes high and Hawaii's best places to live safe and enjoyable. Those include jobs in the medical field and tourism. More importantly, these jobs are keeping Hawaii's unemployment rate at 2.3% as well as one of the least dangerous states in the country.

We suggest you grab some spam, head to your favorite beach, and read on as we uncover the best of the best places in Hawaii for 2020.

Picture a cool, urban, Oahu Island city with great parks, gold star schools, and amazing people, and you will know what it's like to live in Hawaii's number one best place.

So, where is the best place to live in Hawaii for 2020? Well, according to the most recent FBI and Census data, that would be Mililani Mauka.

To see Hawaii's other best places to live, take a look below. And if you don't find your favorite there, head to the bottom.

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 2020

Mililani Mauka, HI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 19,955
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $666,000 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.8% (4th best)
More on Mililani Mauka: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The Town of Mililani Mauka consistently ranks as one of the best places to live. There aren't any surprises here. Which probably adds credibility to our data, right?

Let's see why Mililani Mauka ranks so high. First of all, the homes in Mililani Mauka are the 11th most expensive in the state of Hawaii, with the average home worth a whopping $666,000. We're not elitists, nor are we saying that big homes means a better place to live. But price reflects demand, and simply put, a lot of people want to live in Mililani Mauka if they can afford it.

Other numbers that stand out: Mililani Mauka residents have the 3rd highest income in the state, and the 24th lowest crime numbers in Hawaii.

East Honolulu, HI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 47,770
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $921,200 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.2% (8th best)
More on East Honolulu: Real Estate | Data | Photos

East Honolulu had the 8th lowest unemployment of any place in our research (2.2%) and the 24th lowest crime rate. However, the relative lack of population density and long commute times held it back from being higher on our list.

East Honolulu is home to an exceptional Volunteer Fire Department that represents so much about what it's like to live there.

Aiea, HI

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 9,439
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $780,400 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.0% (15th best)
More on Aiea: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Aiea ranks 3rd on our list of best places to live in Hawaii thanks to its low unemployment and high adjusted median income.

Additionally, its crime rate ranks in the lowest 10% of all places in Hawaii that we examined.

People have been flocking to Aiea over the past years. Goes to show that everyone wants in on this great community.

Waikele, HI

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 7,062
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $508,800 (33rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.2% (7th best)
More on Waikele: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Who doesn't want to live in Waikele? Because, according to the data, most everyone should want to.

Crime is lower than the state average, and the unemployment rate sits at only 2.2%. The school systems are generally well funded, meaning lots of personal attention for area kids.

Expect to see more of Waikele in the news in the coming months.

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 5,177
Rank Last Year: -
Median Home Value: $592,000 (23rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.8% (11th best)
More on West Loch Estate: Real Estate | Data

If you want to live in Hawaii, you can't go wrong if you decide to make the West Loch Estate area your home. However, everyone and their mother wants to live here.

Can you blame them? It's a beautiful place with really low crime, where a majority of residents are wealthy (a $103,704 median income will do that).

Plus, the residents are really involved with helping to make West Loch Estate as great as possible. You can't get it much better than in West Loch Estate.

Kaneohe, HI

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 33,739
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $728,200 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.1% (17th 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 17th lowest in the state at 3.1%, and residents make a pretty penny. Median incomes are $104,784, and the average cost of a home is $728,200. 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.

Ahuimanu, HI

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 8,239
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $675,000 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.4% (21st best)
More on Ahuimanu: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Ahuimanu has been called one of the best small towns in America. If you live here, you're most likely already aware of how great it is to live there.

Just about everyone who wants a job in Ahuimanu has one; the unemployment rate is hovering at about 3.4% and lowering. And the Ahuimanu police department is doing a solid job, as crime is the 24th lowest in the state here.

Who wouldn't want to live in a place like this?

Ewa Gentry, HI

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 25,752
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 4)
Median Home Value: $543,500 (31st best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.0% (14th best)
More on Ewa Gentry: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Let's take a look at why Ewa Gentry is a great place to call home for 2020.

There's low crime in Ewa Gentry, and the residents here are gainfully employed (3.0% unemployment rate).

You can make Ewa Gentry your home for only $543,500 which won't be too hard on a $104,755 household salary.

Ocean Pointe, HI

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 14,037
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $629,800 (15th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.3% (19th best)
More on Ocean Pointe: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Well, I guess technically 3.3% of Ocean Pointe residents who want to have a job can't find one, so not everyone has a job, but it's the 19th closest of any city in Hawaii.

You can tell they take business seriously as they have by far the coolest Chamber of Commerce website we came across in our research.

In addition to its incredibly low unemployment rate, Ocean Pointe also ranked well for crime (24th) and median income ($114,801).

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 14,449
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $614,700 (17th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.9% (25th best)
More on Royal Kunia: Real Estate | Data

In Royal Kunia, everyone loves to call Royal Kunia home! The median home value is the 17th highest in Hawaii.

Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 25th lowest in the state and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Aloha State.

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 350,003 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 47 cities, 62 towns, and 23 small towns.

We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best cities to live in Hawaii 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 47, 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. You can download the data here.

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 2020.

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. Nanakuli (Pop. 11,742)
  2. Waianae (Pop. 14,054)
  3. Makaha (Pop. 8,740)

For more Hawaii reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Live In Hawaii?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Mililani Mauka 19,955 1.8% $666,000
2 East Honolulu 47,770 2.2% $921,200
3 Aiea 9,439 3.0% $780,400
4 Waikele 7,062 2.2% $508,800
5 West Loch Estate 5,177 2.8% $592,000
6 Kaneohe 33,739 3.1% $728,200
7 Ahuimanu 8,239 3.4% $675,000
8 Ewa Gentry 25,752 3.0% $543,500
9 Ocean Pointe 14,037 3.3% $629,800
10 Royal Kunia 14,449 3.9% $614,700

How Is Your Town In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

3 thoughts on “THE 10 BEST Places To Live In Hawaii For 2020

  1. Looking for a Hawaiian city with low crime and affordabilty for husband and wife in retirement with fixed income of approximately $3500/month. Own a home in California free and clear that could sell for $300k. We are both in our 70’s. Thank you.

  2. This is bull 🤦😭😭 i live in hawaii and hate it everything is supper expensive and minimum wage is like $10.50 the hour. And apartment rent is kinda high and most of them are verry ugly. It is beautiful but only for visit, you get tired of driving in circles, Plus the traffic is horrible.

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