These Are The 10 Most Expensive Cities In Hawaii


We used science and data to determine which cities in Hawaii that will put a big dent in your wallet.

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Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and Hawaii does this very well. Families love the Aloha State’s beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.

But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state — and that’s how we’re going to help you.

These are the places in Hawaii that cost a pretty penny — the most expensive cities in the state. After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in Hawaii:

  1. Pupukea
  2. Wailea
  3. East Honolulu
  4. Kula
  5. Aiea
  6. Laie
  7. Haiku-Pauwela
  8. Wailua Homesteads
  9. Kaneohe
  10. Royal Kunia

If you’re wondering, Nanakuli is the most affordable city in Hawaii.

Read on to see why these places cost so much more than average. Or check out the most affordable places in Hawaii.

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How We Determined The Most Expensive Cities In Hawaii

There are basic necessities that you have to buy no matter where in the country you live. Those things include:

  • Housing
  • Food
  • Gas
  • Health Insurance
  • Utilities
  • Transportation

You can then compare the cost of these things in each of the places in Hawaii to figure out which is the most expensive.

For reference, the United State averages a cost of living 100. A score below 100 means that the city has a below average cost of living while a score over 100 has a high cost of living for that category.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 48 places in Hawaii that have more than 5,000 people.

The city with the highest cost of living index, Pupukea, rank as being the most expensive.

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1. Pupukea

Pupukea, Hawaii

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,498
Services Index: 122
Groceries Index: 154
Housing Index: 435
Healthcare Index: 110
Transportation Index: 153
Utilities Index: 217

2. Wailea

Wailea, Hawaii

Source: Flickr

Population: 6,107
Services Index: 122
Groceries Index: 154
Housing Index: 400
Healthcare Index: 110
Transportation Index: 153
Utilities Index: 217

3. East Honolulu

Source: Google Maps

Population: 48,926
Services Index: 122
Groceries Index: 154
Housing Index: 396
Healthcare Index: 110
Transportation Index: 153
Utilities Index: 217

4. Kula

Kula, Hawaii

Source: Flickr

Population: 6,687
Services Index: 122
Groceries Index: 154
Housing Index: 358
Healthcare Index: 110
Transportation Index: 153
Utilities Index: 217

5. Aiea

Aiea, Hawaii

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 9,181
Services Index: 122
Groceries Index: 154
Housing Index: 321
Healthcare Index: 110
Transportation Index: 153
Utilities Index: 217

6. Laie

Laie, Hawaii

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,447
Services Index: 122
Groceries Index: 154
Housing Index: 319
Healthcare Index: 110
Transportation Index: 153
Utilities Index: 217

7. Haiku-Pauwela

Haiku-Pauwela, Hawaii

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,689
Services Index: 122
Groceries Index: 154
Housing Index: 308
Healthcare Index: 110
Transportation Index: 153
Utilities Index: 217

8. Wailua Homesteads

Source: Google Maps

Population: 5,521
Services Index: 122
Groceries Index: 154
Housing Index: 301
Healthcare Index: 110
Transportation Index: 153
Utilities Index: 217

9. Kaneohe

Kaneohe, Hawaii

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 33,443
Services Index: 122
Groceries Index: 154
Housing Index: 296
Healthcare Index: 110
Transportation Index: 153
Utilities Index: 217

10. Royal Kunia

Source: Google Maps

Population: 14,779
Services Index: 122
Groceries Index: 154
Housing Index: 284
Healthcare Index: 110
Transportation Index: 153
Utilities Index: 217

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck

Well there you have it, the places in Hawaii that have the highest cost of living, with Pupukea ranking as the most exensive city in the Aloha State.

If you’re curious, here are the most least expensive cities in Hawaii:

  1. Nanakuli
  2. Waianae
  3. Hawaiian Paradise Park

For more Hawaii reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Hawaii

City Rank Population Services Groceries Healthcare Housing Transportation Utilities
Pupukea 1 5,498 122 154 110 435 153 217
Wailea 2 6,107 122 154 110 400 153 217
East Honolulu 3 48,926 122 154 110 396 153 217
Kula 4 6,687 122 154 110 358 153 217
Aiea 5 9,181 122 154 110 321 153 217
Laie 6 5,447 122 154 110 319 153 217
Haiku-Pauwela 7 7,689 122 154 110 308 153 217
Wailua Homesteads 8 5,521 122 154 110 301 153 217
Kaneohe 9 33,443 122 154 110 296 153 217
Royal Kunia 10 14,779 122 154 110 284 153 217
Mililani Mauka 11 21,051 122 154 110 284 153 217
Ahuimanu 12 8,728 122 154 110 283 153 217
Pearl City 13 47,277 122 154 110 280 153 217
Pukalani 14 8,067 122 154 110 279 153 217
Mililani Town 15 28,217 122 154 110 277 153 217
Lahaina 16 11,941 122 154 110 276 153 217
Halawa 17 14,363 122 154 110 270 153 217
Makawao 18 6,674 122 154 110 263 153 217
Ocean Pointe 19 10,502 122 154 110 262 153 217
Kapolei 20 16,890 122 154 110 248 153 217
Holualoa 21 9,098 130 158 112 241 153 238
Kahului 22 27,339 122 154 110 246 153 217
Kihei 23 22,314 122 154 110 245 153 217
Makakilo 24 19,819 122 154 110 242 153 217
Kalaoa 25 10,257 130 158 112 231 153 238
Waipahu 26 40,532 122 154 110 240 153 217
Wailuku 27 16,196 122 154 110 236 153 217
West Loch Estate 28 5,971 91 97 101 244 87 100
Waihee-Waiehu 29 9,663 122 154 110 231 153 217
Lihue 30 6,955 122 154 110 229 153 217
Whitmore Village 31 5,254 122 154 110 226 153 217
Waipio 32 11,424 122 154 110 226 153 217
Wahiawa 33 17,473 122 154 110 224 153 217
Kapaa 34 10,582 122 154 110 222 153 217
Waikoloa Village 35 6,841 130 158 112 211 153 238
Ewa Gentry 36 22,663 122 154 110 220 153 217
Waikele 37 7,868 122 154 110 217 153 217
Waimanalo 38 5,807 122 154 110 216 153 217
Napili-Honokowai 39 6,491 122 154 110 208 153 217
Ewa Beach 40 14,291 122 154 110 205 153 217
Waimalu 41 12,680 122 154 110 198 153 217
Maili 42 9,399 122 154 110 184 153 217
Ewa Villages 43 7,141 122 154 110 184 153 217
Hilo 44 44,549 130 158 112 150 153 238
Makaha 45 8,663 122 154 110 164 153 217
Hawaiian Paradise Park 46 11,623 130 158 112 140 153 238
Waianae 47 12,694 122 154 110 163 153 217
Nanakuli 48 12,181 122 154 110 147 153 217

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