These Are The 20 Best Small Towns In Hawaii For 2019


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 2019.

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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 2019:

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

If you live in one of these small towns like Heeia, 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:

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 – 60 to be exact.

We then ranked each place in each category with scores from 1 to 60, averaged them out, and the lowest scores went to our Best Small Towns in Hawaii. Top of that list — Heeia.

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

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 4,811
Median Income: $123,750 (2nd Best)
Median Home Value: $843,500 (4th Best)
More on Heeia: Data | Homes For Sale

Maunawili, HI

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 2,020
Median Income: $143,750 (1st Best)
Median Home Value: $948,400 (2nd Best)
More on Maunawili: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 1,075
Median Income: $93,036 (7th Best)
Median Home Value: $625,000 (12th Best)
More on Mahinahina: Data | Homes For Sale

Pupukea, HI

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 4,823
Median Income: $92,939 (8th Best)
Median Home Value: $1,172,900 (1st Best)
More on Pupukea: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 1,068
Median Income: $74,698 (21st Best)
Median Home Value: $931,100 (3rd Best)
More on Poipu: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 4,013
Median Income: $83,042 (12th Best)
Median Home Value: $421,000 (32nd Best)
More on Puhi: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,655
Median Income: $110,750 (3rd Best)
Median Home Value: $622,000 (14th Best)
More on Ko Olina: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 4,949
Median Income: $102,398 (5th Best)
Median Home Value: $545,700 (20th Best)
More on West Loch Estate: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 2,863
Median Income: $75,313 (19th Best)
Median Home Value: $415,900 (33rd Best)
More on Eleele: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 1,985
Median Income: $73,750 (23rd Best)
Median Home Value: $586,500 (17th Best)
More on Lawai: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 3,294
Median Income: $106,122 (4th Best)
Median Home Value: $560,300 (19th Best)
More on Waikapu: Data | Homes For Sale

Hanapepe, HI

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 2,876
Median Income: $79,750 (16th Best)
Median Home Value: $401,800 (34th Best)
More on Hanapepe: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 4,926
Median Income: $101,932 (6th Best)
Median Home Value: $842,200 (5th Best)
More on Kahaluu: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,733
Median Income: $69,837 (26th Best)
Median Home Value: $671,500 (7th Best)
More on Waialua: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 1,780
Median Income: $78,580 (17th Best)
Median Home Value: $570,800 (18th Best)
More on Mokuleia: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 2,353
Median Income: $86,488 (10th Best)
Median Home Value: $537,000 (21st Best)
More on Kahuku: Data | Homes For Sale

Paia, HI

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 2,638
Median Income: $80,250 (14th Best)
Median Home Value: $623,300 (13th Best)
More on Paia: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 2,261
Median Income: $82,422 (13th Best)
Median Home Value: $631,400 (11th Best)
More on Kilauea: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,119
Median Income: $74,063 (22nd Best)
Median Home Value: $652,300 (8th Best)
More on Kaaawa: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 1,352
Median Income: $73,681 (24th Best)
Median Home Value: $651,400 (9th Best)
More on Omao: 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. Fern Acres
  3. Hawaiian 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 Heeia 4,811 $123,750.0 $843,500.0
2 Maunawili 2,020 $143,750.0 $948,400.0
3 Mahinahina 1,075 $93,036.0 $625,000.0
4 Pupukea 4,823 $92,939.0 $1,172,900.0
5 Poipu 1,068 $74,698.0 $931,100.0
6 Puhi 4,013 $83,042.0 $421,000.0
7 Ko Olina 1,655 $110,750.0 $622,000.0
8 West Loch Estate 4,949 $102,398.0 $545,700.0
9 Eleele 2,863 $75,313.0 $415,900.0
10 Lawai 1,985 $73,750.0 $586,500.0
11 Waikapu 3,294 $106,122.0 $560,300.0
12 Hanapepe 2,876 $79,750.0 $401,800.0
13 Kahaluu 4,926 $101,932.0 $842,200.0
14 Waialua 3,733 $69,837.0 $671,500.0
15 Mokuleia 1,780 $78,580.0 $570,800.0
16 Kahuku 2,353 $86,488.0 $537,000.0
17 Paia 2,638 $80,250.0 $623,300.0
18 Kilauea 2,261 $82,422.0 $631,400.0
19 Kaaawa 1,119 $74,063.0 $652,300.0
20 Omao 1,352 $73,681.0 $651,400.0
21 Wailua 2,906 $54,152.0 $435,100.0
22 Whitmore Village 4,496 $75,260.0 $515,000.0
23 Princeville 1,945 $72,188.0 $797,900.0
24 Kekaha 3,243 $66,890.0 $371,500.0
25 Keokea 2,282 $79,844.0 $450,000.0
26 Waimanalo Beach 3,860 $87,708.0 $468,000.0
27 Punaluu 1,226 $67,321.0 $605,200.0
28 Hana 1,047 $66,591.0 $449,300.0
29 Hauula 3,464 $84,671.0 $596,500.0
30 Haleiwa 3,625 $62,432.0 $641,000.0
31 Captain Cook 3,949 $66,510.0 $487,300.0
32 Kaunakakai 3,494 $53,147.0 $317,800.0
33 Kurtistown 1,381 $66,339.0 $287,100.0
34 Lanai City 3,185 $48,682.0 $399,600.0
35 Pahala 1,719 $62,875.0 $227,900.0
36 Keaau 2,627 $76,250.0 $310,600.0
37 Wainaku 1,278 $40,125.0 $263,600.0
38 Koloa 2,741 $49,115.0 $526,400.0
39 Hawi 1,242 $64,868.0 $331,200.0
40 Kealakekua 1,938 $62,054.0 $472,900.0
41 Papaikou 1,121 $39,500.0 $169,000.0
42 Honalo 2,288 $56,625.0 $376,800.0
43 Volcano 3,060 $30,639.0 $185,500.0
44 Waimea Cdp (Kauai County) 1,870 $60,625.0 $386,600.0
45 Haliimaile 1,031 $69,375.0 $445,800.0
46 Kapaau 1,782 $50,833.0 $348,800.0
47 Anahola 1,986 $53,438.0 $430,400.0
48 Honokaa 2,299 $62,625.0 $334,400.0
49 Kualapuu 2,013 $43,750.0 $203,800.0
50 Pepeekeo 1,605 $36,290.0 $244,800.0
51 Mountain View 3,836 $43,455.0 $205,700.0
52 Discovery Harbour 1,005 $50,682.0 $287,800.0
53 Leilani Estates 1,655 $35,799.0 $228,700.0
54 Nanawale Estates 1,766 $46,700.0 $150,500.0
55 Orchidlands Estates 3,310 $48,882.0 $240,600.0
56 Makaha Valley 1,576 $55,563.0 $167,200.0
57 Ainaloa 3,099 $30,545.0 $155,600.0
58 Hawaiian Acres 2,889 $29,722.0 $191,200.0
59 Fern Acres 1,560 $36,771.0 $165,900.0
60 Hawaiian Ocean View 4,726 $33,698.0 $141,400.0

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