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Hawai`i

Welcome to Hawai`i and a brief overview of The Aloha State.

Brought into the union at the same time as Alaska, Hawai`i, like Alaska, is not part of the 48 "conterminous" states. It is the only state of its kind, a chain (the world's longest) of islands located about 2,400 miles southwest of California in the North Pacific Ocean.

The Hawai`ian islands are a chain of 132 islands, 1,523 miles long. When we think of the Hawai`ian islands, we usually think of the eight largest islands. The remaining 124 islands are not much more than atolls and pieces of volcanic rock that remain above the water, are not suitable for human life, and combined, make up only about 3 square miles. The main islands are, in order by size

Hawai`i4,038 square miles
Maui729 square miles
O`ahu608 square miles
Kaua`i553 square miles
Moloka`i261 square miles
Lana`i140 square miles
Ni`ihau73 square miles
Kaho`olawe45 square miles (uninhabited)

Midway Island (really two islands), in the far northwestern part of the group of islands, is not part of the state of Hawai`i but is controlled by the United States Navy.

Hawai`i among the states

  • Statehood: August 21, 1959 (50th state)
  • Abbreviation: HI (postal)
  • Capital: Honolulu on the island of O`ahu.
  • Size: 6,471 square miles, includes inland water (47th)
  • Coastline: 750 miles'
  • Hawai`ian motto: Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono (The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness)
  • State bird: Nene (Branta sandwicensis) adopted 1957.
  • State flower: Pua Aloalo (Hibiscus brackenridgei) adopted 1988.
  • State song: "Hawai`i Pono`i", words by King David Kalakaua, music by Professor Henry Berger, adopted 1967.
  • State tree: Kukui tree (Aleurites moluccana) adopted 1959.


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