These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Hawaii For 2018


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

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2018.

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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:

  1. Mililani Mauka (Photos | Homes)
  2. East Honolulu (Photos | Homes)
  3. Aiea (Photos | Homes)
  4. Kaneohe (Photos | Homes)
  5. Waikele (Photos | Homes)
  6. Ocean Pointe (Photos | Homes)
  7. Halawa (Photos | Homes)
  8. Ewa Gentry (Photos | Homes)
  9. Waipio (Photos | Homes)
  10. Laie (Photos | Homes)

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:

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The Pressing Question: Size

Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit cities with populations over 100,000 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.

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How We Calculated The Best Place 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.

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.

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1. Mililani Mauka

Mililani Mauka, Hawaii

Source: Public domain

Population: 20,322
Rank Last Year: N/A
Home Values: $614,600 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.2% (1st best)
More on Mililani Mauka: Real Estate | Data
Let’s take a look at why Mililani Mauka is a great place to call home for 2018.

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.

2. East Honolulu

East Honolulu, Hawaii

Source: Public domain

Population: 47,957
Rank Last Year: N/A
Home Values: $859,000 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.7% (2nd best)
More on East Honolulu: Real Estate | Data
Known for its low unemployment rates and great education, East Honolulu is a wonderful place to live in this state.

The relatively stable household incomes and below average crime rates don’t hurt either!

While it may not be as great as some other places on this list, East Honolulu still holds its own in in Hawaii.

3. Aiea

Aiea, Hawaii

Population: 9,594
Rank Last Year: N/A
Home Values: $732,600 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.8% (10th best)
More on Aiea: Real Estate | Data
Crime is something that doesn’t happen very often in Aiea. Statistically the 25th safest place in the state, there were only 32 violent crimes in the entire city last year.

It’s really beautiful in Aiea, and new homes continue to replace older homes. Resident earn $108,517 a year, and homes are valued at more than $732,600.

What else could you possibly want if you’re someone who likes the the good things in life?

4. Kaneohe

Kaneohe, Hawaii

Population: 35,065
Rank Last Year: N/A
Home Values: $664,400 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.3% (15th best)
More on Kaneohe: Real Estate | Data
Kaneohe has a really low crime rate (25th lowest) and only 4.3% of the people are unemployed. Additionally, residents here have high paying jobs ($92,257). And that goes a long way.

The population is growing at a steady clip, and the cost of living is lower than it should be. So people have an extra incentive to live in Kaneohe.

5. Waikele

Waikele, Hawaii

Population: 7,648
Rank Last Year: N/A
Home Values: $434,100 (37th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.5% (18th best)
More on Waikele: Real Estate | Data
Crime is something that doesn’t happen very often in Waikele. Statistically the 25th safest place in the state, there were only 25 violent crimes in the entire city last year.

It’s really beautiful in Waikele, and new homes continue to replace older homes. Resident earn $93,652 a year, and homes are valued at more than $434,100.

What else could you possibly want if you’re someone who likes the the good things in life?

6. Ocean Pointe

Ocean Pointe, Hawaii

Population: 12,274
Rank Last Year: N/A
Home Values: $582,700 (16th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.5% (18th best)
More on Ocean Pointe: Real Estate | Data
Things can’t get much better than in the town of Ocean Pointe. The crime is the 25th lowest in the entire state, and the residents who live in Ocean Pointe make huge salaries, and almost all of them have great jobs.

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

7. Halawa


Population: 14,455
Rank Last Year: N/A
Home Values: $638,700 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.8% (10th best)
More on Halawa: Real Estate | Data
Halawa is a short drive from everything, but who would want to leave the 7th best place in Hawaii?

Homes are priced around $638,700 and residents have the 18th shortest commute in Hawaii.

8. Ewa Gentry

Ewa Gentry, Hawaii

Population: 23,168
Rank Last Year: N/A
Home Values: $468,800 (33rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.7% (9th best)
More on Ewa Gentry: Real Estate | Data
There’s two types of people who live in Ewa Gentry. Either the old hold outs who have lived there forever and are watching their home values skyrocket, or those d who can afford to buy a $468,800 home there.

Either way, you’re set. Your kids go to great schools, there’s a ton of things to do, and you earn a great salary. Ewa Gentry is exactly what you hoped for when you played that board game, LIFE as a kid.

9. Waipio

Waipio, Hawaii

Population: 11,554
Rank Last Year: N/A
Home Values: $492,300 (26th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.2% (5th best)
More on Waipio: Real Estate | Data
If you own a home in Waipio, 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 $492,300 and households make $77,902 which is good for 21st in Hawaii.Waipio has a well deserved spot on this list.

10. Laie

Laie, Hawaii

Source: Public domain

Population: 5,782
Rank Last Year: N/A
Home Values: $641,700 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.5% (18th best)
More on Laie: Real Estate | Data
Laie ranks as the 10th best place in Hawaii for 2018. Let’s take a look at why.

Laie has a lower crime rate than the cities mentioned above. Laie’s cost of living is a tick higher, but families also earn much higher salaries – to the tune of $91,836 a year.

The knock? We can’t really find one 🙂

Wrapping Up The Best Of The Best 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 2018.

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:

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

For more Hawaii reading, check out:

Detailed List Of 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
11 West Loch Estate 5,183 5.8% $503,000
12 Ahuimanu 8,312 5.7% $607,700
13 Waimalu 13,478 2.9% $382,900
14 Makakilo 20,353 6.6% $564,200
15 Royal Kunia 14,424 4.8% $571,700
16 Kahaluu 5,009 3.9% $804,100
17 Kula 7,326 3.4% $811,400
18 Haiku-Pauwela 7,564 5.2% $750,900
19 Ewa Villages 7,568 4.0% $484,200
20 Pukalani 8,332 4.6% $594,100
21 Kalaheo 5,099 4.6% $631,400
22 Kapolei 19,206 6.5% $464,200
23 Urban Honolulu 349,597 4.4% $601,500
24 Hanamaulu 5,039 3.5% $401,300
25 Waimanalo 6,296 3.5% $586,300
26 Wailea 5,833 4.9% $857,900
27 Lihue 7,196 4.1% $516,700
28 Napili-Honokowai 6,856 2.7% $413,700
29 Lahaina 12,675 4.8% $552,900
30 Waihee-Waiehu 9,177 6.7% $427,200
31 Wailua Homesteads 5,987 7.3% $571,800
32 Waipahu 41,590 5.6% $562,600
33 Makawao 6,362 6.0% $526,900
34 Ewa Beach 15,165 5.6% $462,100
35 Kihei 21,964 7.0% $469,300
36 Wailuku 16,179 7.8% $463,500
37 Kalaoa 11,198 5.7% $489,400
38 Holualoa 9,439 8.4% $470,600
39 Waipio Acres 5,169 8.7% $341,700
40 Kahului 30,164 7.3% $490,900
41 Wahiawa 17,696 6.3% $508,200
42 Hilo 45,579 6.1% $298,500
43 Kapaa 10,753 6.7% $479,200
44 Nanakuli 12,042 13.2% $294,300
45 Hawaiian Beaches 5,035 19.3% $199,900
46 Maili 8,943 14.3% $387,300
47 Makaha 8,934 16.6% $353,100
48 Waianae 13,426 13.7% $322,200
49 Hawaiian Paradise Park 11,787 6.4% $245,400

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