10 Best Places To Live In Hawaii For 2019


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

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

When you’re looking at the best places you could live in Hawaii, Mililani Mauka came in 1st. Let’s see why.

It has a low unemployment rate and high incomes.

Plus, Mililani Mauka has an impressive history for a place of just over 20,322 people. The median home costs a cool $614,600 and households make $107,163 which is good for 4th in Hawaii.

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 isn’t just the nicest place to live in Hawaii – it’s also the one of the fastest growing places in the state. And with good reason.

It’s got the 2nd lowest unemployment rate, the highest adjusted income, and rates above most places in education.

When you’re looking at science and data, East Honolulu definitely deserves a spot on the list for 2019.

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

If you own a home in Aiea, you’re aware that your home values are skyrocketing right now. That’s a sign that things are going swimmingly. Most people there have good jobs, and the commute times are short.

The median home costs a cool $732,600 and households make $108,517 which is good for 3rd in Hawaii.Aiea has a well deserved spot on this list.

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

If you want to live in Hawaii, you can’t go wrong if you decide to make the Kaneohe 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 $92,257 median income will do that).

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

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

Waikele is feeling the love as it ranks as the 5th best city to live in Hawaii for 2019.

It ranked highly because of its high incomes (10th overall) and low crime (25th overall and one of the best in the top ten).

We think the city should probably change its motto at this point to something like “The Place To Be In Hawaii”.

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

Say what you want about expensive houses. The fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there’s A LOT of demand to live in Ocean Pointe.

The median home costs a cool $582,700 and households make $111,729 which is good for 2nd in Hawaii.

Add that all up and Ocean Pointe places 6th in our ranking of the best places to live in Hawaii for 2019.

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

If you live in Halawa, you probably know how great it is already.

Halawa has a stable economy where residents earn a large salary ($95,065). And the crime is really, really low (25th lowest in Hawaii).

If we could afford to move here, we probably would.

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’s unemployment rates are some of the lowest in the state and the median income is the 12th highest, making Ewa Gentry a great place to work and settle down if you’re look for a stable job with a stable income.

Additionally, Ewa Gentry has above average education and low crime, making this place a safe place to live.

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

Waipio is known for having a great education system and has the 28th shortest commute time.

Additionally, the unemployment rate in Waipio is the 5th lowest in Hawaii and the median income is the 2highest in the state.

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

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

There’s low crime in Laie, and the residents here are gainfully employed (4.5% unemployment rate).

You can make Laie your home for only $641,700 which won’t be too hard on a $91,836 household salary.

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

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.

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