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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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 2019.

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; and any place you choose to call home, will definitely be five star. Not surprising, 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 the jobs that are keeping median incomes high and Hawaii's best places to live safe and enjoyable are 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 2019.

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 on place.

So, where is the best place to live in Hawaii for 2019? 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 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

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

Mililani Mauka has a stable economy where residents earn a large salary ($107,163). And the crime is really, really low (25th lowest in Hawaii).

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

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 a short drive from everything, but who would want to leave the 2nd best place in Hawaii?

Homes are priced around $859,000 and residents have the 30th shortest commute in Hawaii.

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 takes 3rd place on our list of best places in Hawaii for 2019 thanks to a strong showing in unemployment rate (10th overall) and things to do.

Aiea is no stranger to top ten lists, being named one of the best places to live in the country by multiple outlets over the past ten years. And that tends to happen when home prices hit $732,600 at the median.

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 is feeling the love as it ranks as the 4th best city to live in Hawaii for 2019.

It ranked highly because of its high incomes (11th 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".

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 makes a case for being one of the best places to live in Hawaii mainly because of a low crime rate and a higher than average household income level.

And when school spending is higher than the national average and only 4.5% of folks are jobless, you can bet Waikele residents are glad to live where they do.

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 had the 18th lowest unemployment of any place in our research (4.5%) and the 25th lowest crime rate. However, the relative lack of population density and long commute times held it back from being higher on our list.

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

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 Town of Halawa 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 Halawa ranks so high. First of all, the homes in Halawa are the 9th most expensive in the state of Hawaii, with the average home worth a whopping $638,700. 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 Halawa if they can afford it.

Other numbers that stand out: Halawa residents have the 9th highest income in the state, and the 25th lowest crime numbers in Hawaii.

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 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 Ewa Gentry has one; the unemployment rate is hovering at about 3.7% and lowering. And the Ewa Gentry police department is doing a solid job, as crime is the 25th lowest in the state here.

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

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

At an unemployment rate of 3.2%, everyone who wants a job can get one in Waipio. And the residents command high salaries ($77,902 a year combined income), and live in big fancy homes ($492,300 each).

We're not saying money is why these cities are the 'best' in Hawaii. What we're implying is that money means safety and peace of mind. And there's nothing wrong with that.

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

Well, I guess technically 4.5% of Laie residents who want to have a job can't find one, so not everyone has a job, but it's the 18th 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, Laie also ranked well for crime (25th) and median income ($91,836).

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 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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