These Are The 20 Best Small Towns In Hawaii For 2018


We used science and data to determine which small towns in Hawaii are the best of the best.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Data updated for 2018.

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You’ve seen these lists before: Best places to live in Hawaii, Most Beautiful Downtowns, etc., etc. But all of them focus on major cities and towns in the Aloha State and no one pays attention to the little guy.

Well, that’s all about to change as we put together a list of the best small towns in Hawaii based on numbers–not opinions or hearsay.

We’ll dive right into our methodology in the next section; but first, we thought you might just want to know which places in Hawaii ranked the based–you know, based on science.

Before we get to the top 20, here’s a look at the 10 Best Small Towns To Live in Hawaii for 2018:

  1. Maunawili (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Heeia (Homes For Sale)
  3. Kaanapali (Homes For Sale)
  4. Ko Olina (Homes For Sale)
  5. Lawai (Homes For Sale)
  6. Puhi (Homes For Sale)
  7. Pupukea (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Eleele (Homes For Sale)
  9. Poipu (Homes For Sale)
  10. Hanapepe (Photos | Homes For Sale)

If you live in one of these small towns like Maunawili, chances are, you’re not surprised. After all, you know how great you have it.

But for the rest of you–keep reading and we’ll get to just why these small towns made our list.

For more reading on the Aloha State check out:

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How We Determined The Coolest Towns In Hawaii

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent data from the Census’s 2012-2016 American Community Survey and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the criteria we used:

  • Population Density (Higher is better)
  • Lowest Unemployment Rates
  • Housing costs (Higher is better. More demand.)
  • Adjusted Median Income (Higher is better)
  • Highly Educated Adults (Higher is better)
  • Insurance Rates (Higher is better)
  • Commute Times (Lower is better)

We looked at places with populations lower than 5,000 people and greater than 1,000, of which, there were a lot – 62 to be exact.

We then ranked each place in each category with scores from 1 to 62, averaged them out, and the lowest scores went to our Best Small Towns in Hawaii. Top of that list — Maunawili.

Keep reading to find out more about our top 20 best small towns in Hawaii.

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1. Maunawili

Maunawili, HI

Population: 2,124
Median Income: $134,792 (1st Best)
Median Home Value: $932,400 (3rd Best)
More on Maunawili: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

2. Heeia


Population: 4,536
Median Income: $110,250 (2nd Best)
Median Home Value: $767,300 (7th Best)
More on Heeia: Data| Homes For Sale

3. Kaanapali


Population: 1,068
Median Income: $90,938 (6th Best)
Median Home Value: $1,037,500 (2nd Best)
More on Kaanapali: Data| Homes For Sale

4. Ko Olina


Population: 1,691
Median Income: $104,375 (3rd Best)
Median Home Value: $575,900 (13th Best)
More on Ko Olina: Data| Homes For Sale

5. Lawai


Population: 2,152
Median Income: $76,310 (12th Best)
Median Home Value: $564,400 (16th Best)
More on Lawai: Data| Homes For Sale

6. Puhi


Population: 3,942
Median Income: $77,019 (11th Best)
Median Home Value: $408,700 (32nd Best)
More on Puhi: Data| Homes For Sale

7. Pupukea

Pupukea, HI

Population: 4,998
Median Income: $101,146 (5th Best)
Median Home Value: $1,051,200 (1st Best)
More on Pupukea: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

8. Eleele


Population: 2,739
Median Income: $72,763 (15th Best)
Median Home Value: $405,900 (34th Best)
More on Eleele: Data| Homes For Sale

9. Poipu


Population: 1,057
Median Income: $71,250 (19th Best)
Median Home Value: $793,500 (6th Best)
More on Poipu: Data| Homes For Sale

10. Hanapepe

Hanapepe, HI

Population: 2,687
Median Income: $76,090 (13th Best)
Median Home Value: $393,600 (35th Best)
More on Hanapepe: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

11. Waikapu


Population: 3,266
Median Income: $103,426 (4th Best)
Median Home Value: $517,000 (21st Best)
More on Waikapu: Data| Homes For Sale

12. Kahuku


Population: 2,486
Median Income: $85,720 (7th Best)
Median Home Value: $504,800 (22nd Best)
More on Kahuku: Data| Homes For Sale

13. Waialua


Population: 3,769
Median Income: $69,792 (21st Best)
Median Home Value: $643,700 (9th Best)
More on Waialua: Data| Homes For Sale

14. Wailua

Wailua, HI

Population: 2,656
Median Income: $54,000 (40th Best)
Median Home Value: $421,400 (30th Best)
More on Wailua: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

15. Paia

Paia, HI

Population: 2,548
Median Income: $72,361 (16th Best)
Median Home Value: $572,900 (14th Best)
More on Paia: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

16. Princeville

Princeville, HI

Source: Public domain

Population: 2,078
Median Income: $64,625 (28th Best)
Median Home Value: $809,600 (5th Best)
More on Princeville: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

17. Mokuleia


Population: 1,730
Median Income: $70,000 (20th Best)
Median Home Value: $567,900 (15th Best)
More on Mokuleia: Data| Homes For Sale

18. Kilauea


Population: 2,644
Median Income: $64,688 (27th Best)
Median Home Value: $579,400 (12th Best)
More on Kilauea: Data| Homes For Sale

19. Whitmore Village

Whitmore Village, HI

Source: Google Maps

Population: 4,570
Median Income: $74,323 (14th Best)
Median Home Value: $475,800 (25th Best)
More on Whitmore Village: Data| Homes For Sale

20. Kaaawa


Population: 1,124
Median Income: $69,500 (22nd Best)
Median Home Value: $658,700 (8th Best)
More on Kaaawa: Data| Homes For Sale

Science Can Tackle Any Issue, Even Small Ones

We said it once and we’ll say it again — this list: it’s just science. We did the research, we crunched the numbers, and it turns out, these 20 small towns in Hawaii are the best, in which to live.

And who can argue with that?

If you’re curious, here are the worst small towns in Hawaii:

  1. Hawaiian Ocean View
  2. Ainaloa
  3. Fern Acres

For more Hawaii reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Small Towns In Hawaii

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Value
1 Maunawili 2,124 $134,792 $932,400
2 Heeia 4,536 $110,250 $767,300
3 Kaanapali 1,068 $90,938 $1,037,500
4 Ko Olina 1,691 $104,375 $575,900
5 Lawai 2,152 $76,310 $564,400
6 Puhi 3,942 $77,019 $408,700
7 Pupukea 4,998 $101,146 $1,051,200
8 Eleele 2,739 $72,763 $405,900
9 Poipu 1,057 $71,250 $793,500
10 Hanapepe 2,687 $76,090 $393,600
11 Waikapu 3,266 $103,426 $517,000
12 Kahuku 2,486 $85,720 $504,800
13 Waialua 3,769 $69,792 $643,700
14 Wailua 2,656 $54,000 $421,400
15 Paia 2,548 $72,361 $572,900
16 Princeville 2,078 $64,625 $809,600
17 Mokuleia 1,730 $70,000 $567,900
18 Kilauea 2,644 $64,688 $579,400
19 Whitmore Village 4,570 $74,323 $475,800
20 Kaaawa 1,124 $69,500 $658,700
21 Omao 1,289 $61,875 $616,500
22 Kekaha 3,095 $59,550 $385,600
23 Hauula 3,578 $78,750 $561,900
24 Waimanalo Beach 4,227 $81,429 $467,100
25 Lanai City 3,446 $50,994 $371,900
26 Captain Cook 4,378 $61,518 $483,700
27 Kahaluu-Keauhou 3,381 $79,923 $520,100
28 Punaluu 1,122 $59,911 $558,600
29 Haleiwa 3,392 $65,417 $588,600
30 Keaau 2,672 $65,568 $304,900
31 Wainaku 1,293 $31,094 $254,400
32 Kaunakakai 3,729 $45,511 $315,900
33 Koloa 2,800 $48,786 $557,500
34 Honaunau-Napoopoo 2,759 $60,057 $483,800
35 Hawi 1,315 $65,458 $339,600
36 Waimea Cdp (Kauai County) 1,804 $66,111 $378,300
37 Keokea 2,021 $71,806 $441,800
38 Papaikou 1,198 $39,313 $170,800
39 Haliimaile 1,082 $61,298 $406,500
40 Honalo 2,290 $49,250 $332,200
41 Hana 1,121 $44,300 $459,100
42 Kurtistown 1,168 $51,548 $247,200
43 Kealakekua 1,966 $61,033 $440,900
44 Olinda 1,098 $72,019 $898,800
45 Honokaa 2,238 $58,813 $326,300
46 Volcano 2,511 $35,827 $191,500
47 Kapaau 1,935 $50,125 $333,800
48 Anahola 1,902 $57,386 $415,700
49 Mountain View 3,684 $44,741 $194,300
50 Pepeekeo 1,614 $33,778 $247,600
51 Kualapuu 2,072 $43,000 $180,800
52 Leilani Estates 1,629 $31,923 $219,400
53 Pahala 1,341 $47,625 $210,800
54 Discovery Harbour 1,128 $45,250 $209,500
55 Orchidlands Estates 3,221 $47,206 $227,300
56 Naalehu 1,062 $55,000 $159,300
57 Nanawale Estates 1,590 $27,321 $162,200
58 Hawaiian Acres 2,603 $30,526 $190,400
59 Makaha Valley 1,631 $54,417 $168,400
60 Fern Acres 1,392 $37,941 $172,200
61 Ainaloa 3,102 $27,128 $159,500
62 Hawaiian Ocean View 4,477 $33,861 $126,200

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