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Hawaii is known for its natural beauty, vibrant culture, and luxury resorts that attract wealthy visitors from around the world. If you’re wondering which city in the Aloha State has the highest concentration of wealth, you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Honolulu is the richest city in Hawaii by median household income and home prices.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various factors that contribute to Honolulu’s status as the wealthiest city in Hawaii.

We will look at median household income, home values, poverty rates, education levels, and occupations that pay high salaries.

We will also highlight some of the ultra-luxury neighborhoods that attract Hawaii’s rich and famous.

Median Household Income

Median Household Income

When it comes to determining the richest city in Hawaii, one of the key factors to consider is the median household income.

This statistic provides insight into the average income of households within a particular city or area.

Honolulu Has the Highest Median Income

When analyzing the median household income in Hawaii, it becomes clear that Honolulu is the city with the highest average income. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income in Honolulu is $92,600.

The high median income in Honolulu can be attributed to its thriving tourism industry, strong job market, and numerous high-paying industries such as finance, technology, and healthcare.

Read more: Industry Overview In Hawaii

Neighbor Island Median Incomes

While Honolulu may have the highest median household income in Hawaii, it’s important to note that the neighbor islands also have relatively high incomes.

For example, Maui County has a median household income of $88,249, Kauai County has a median household income of $86,287, and Hawaii County has a median household income of $68,399.

Although these figures are slightly lower than Honolulu’s median income, they still indicate a high standard of living on the neighbor islands.

It’s worth noting that the cost of living in these areas may also be higher compared to other parts of the state. Factors such as housing prices, transportation costs, and general expenses can impact the overall wealth and disposable income of households in these cities.

For more information on median household incomes in Hawaii, you can visit the U.S. Census Bureau’s website at The data provided by the Census Bureau offers a comprehensive overview of income disparities and economic trends across different cities and regions within Hawaii.

Home Values and Real Estate

When it comes to determining the richest city in Hawaii, one important factor to consider is the value of homes and the state of the real estate market. Home values can provide valuable insight into the economic prosperity and wealth of a particular city.

Luxury Home Prices in Honolulu

Honolulu, the capital city of Hawaii, is known for its stunning beaches and vibrant culture, but it is also home to some of the most expensive real estate in the state. Luxury home prices in Honolulu often reach astronomical heights, attracting wealthy individuals and investors from around the world.

In fact, according to a report by the Honolulu Board of Realtors, the median sales price for a luxury home in Honolulu was $2.5 million in 2020.

This reflects the high demand for premium properties in the city and the willingness of affluent buyers to invest in upscale real estate.

These luxury homes often come with breathtaking ocean views, state-of-the-art amenities, and exclusive locations in prestigious neighborhoods such as Kahala, Diamond Head, and Hawaii Loa Ridge.

The allure of living in a luxurious paradise like Honolulu is undoubtedly a major factor in its status as one of the wealthiest cities in Hawaii.

Also read: Is Buying A Condo In Maui A Good Investment?

Poverty Rates and Affluent Neighborhoods

While luxury homes and high property values contribute to a city’s wealth, it’s also important to consider the poverty rates and the presence of affluent neighborhoods. The distribution of wealth within a city can provide a more comprehensive understanding of its overall economic prosperity.

In Honolulu, for example, there are affluent neighborhoods like Hawaii Kai, Manoa, and Aina Haina, where residents enjoy a high standard of living. These areas are characterized by well-maintained homes, excellent schools, and access to amenities such as shopping centers and recreational facilities.

On the other hand, there are also areas in Honolulu with higher poverty rates, such as parts of Kalihi and Waianae. These neighborhoods may have lower home values and limited access to resources, which can have a significant impact on the overall wealth of the city.

It’s important to note that wealth distribution and poverty rates can vary within cities, and it’s crucial to consider these factors alongside home values when determining the richest city in Hawaii.

For more information on Honolulu’s real estate market and home values, you can visit the Honolulu Board of Realtors website.

Education Levels

When it comes to determining the richest city in Hawaii, education levels play a crucial role. Higher education not only opens up more job opportunities but also contributes to the overall economic growth of a city.

Let’s take a closer look at two important factors related to education in determining the richest city in Hawaii.

Percentage with Bachelor’s Degree or Higher

One way to gauge the educational attainment of a city is by looking at the percentage of residents with a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Cities with a higher percentage tend to have a more educated workforce, which often translates into higher-paying jobs and a higher standard of living.

According to the latest data available, the city of Honolulu has the highest percentage of residents with a bachelor’s degree or higher in Hawaii. Approximately 35% of Honolulu’s population holds a bachelor’s degree or higher.

The city’s renowned universities and colleges, such as the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Chaminade University, contribute to this high percentage.

On the other hand, cities like Hilo and Kahului have a lower percentage of residents with a bachelor’s degree or higher, with approximately 20% and 25% respectively.

While these cities may have other factors contributing to their wealth, the educational attainment level is lower compared to Honolulu.

School District Rankings

Another crucial factor in determining the richest city in Hawaii is the quality of its school districts. A strong education system attracts families and businesses, and it reflects the investment a city makes in its future generation.

One way to assess the quality of school districts is by looking at their rankings. The Hawaii Department of Education provides rankings based on various factors, including academic performance, graduation rates, and student-to-teacher ratios.

According to the latest rankings, the school district of Honolulu consistently outperforms other districts in Hawaii. The district’s commitment to excellence in education has resulted in high rankings, attracting families who prioritize education and contribute to the city’s overall prosperity.

It is important to note that while education levels and school district rankings are significant factors in determining the richest city in Hawaii, they are not the sole determinants.

Other factors, such as income levels, cost of living, and overall economic opportunities, also play a vital role.

High-Paying Occupations


When it comes to determining the richest city in Hawaii, one important factor to consider is the presence of high-paying occupations.

These are the jobs that offer salaries well above the average income, allowing residents to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle and contribute significantly to the local economy.

Professionals in Honolulu Earn Top Salaries

Unsurprisingly, Honolulu, the capital city of Hawaii, is home to many high-paying occupations.

The city boasts a diverse economy with a strong focus on industries such as tourism, finance, and technology. Within these sectors, professionals such as doctors, engineers, lawyers, and IT specialists can command top salaries.

For example, doctors in Honolulu earn an average salary of over $300,000 per year, making it one of the highest-paying cities for medical professionals in the United States.

Similarly, engineers working in Honolulu can earn six-figure salaries, thanks to the demand for their expertise in construction and infrastructure development.

Moreover, Honolulu’s thriving finance industry offers lucrative opportunities for professionals in banking, investment, and insurance. These positions often come with generous compensation packages and opportunities for career growth.

Tourism Jobs on Neighbor Islands

While Honolulu may have a wide range of high-paying occupations, it is worth noting that the neighbor islands of Hawaii also offer well-paid jobs, particularly in the tourism industry.

Cities like Lahaina on Maui, Kailua-Kona on the Big Island, and Lihue on Kauai attract a significant number of tourists each year, creating a demand for various hospitality and service-related positions.

Jobs in luxury resorts, hotels, and restaurants can provide substantial incomes, especially for those in management positions or with specialized skills.

For instance, executive chefs and hotel managers in these popular tourist destinations can earn salaries that rival those of professionals in other industries.

Additionally, tour guides and activity coordinators who work in these cities can earn a decent income, especially during peak tourist seasons.

These positions often allow individuals to interact with visitors from around the world while showcasing the natural beauty and cultural heritage of Hawaii.

It is important to note that while some cities may have higher average incomes, the cost of living and other factors should also be taken into consideration when determining the overall wealth of a city.

Nonetheless, the presence of high-paying occupations in both Honolulu and the neighbor islands undoubtedly contributes to Hawaii’s economic prosperity.

Notable Affluent Neighborhoods

When it comes to the wealthiest cities in Hawaii, two neighborhoods stand out: Kahala and Hawaii Kai. These exclusive areas are known for their luxurious homes and stunning oceanfront views.

Located on the eastern edge of Honolulu, Kahala is home to some of the most expensive real estate in the state. The neighborhood boasts a mix of mansions, upscale condominiums, and private estates, attracting high-profile residents such as celebrities and business moguls.

Hawaii Kai, situated on the southeastern coast of Oahu, offers a similar level of luxury. With its waterfront properties, gated communities, and access to marinas, Hawaii Kai is a sought-after destination for those seeking a lavish lifestyle.

Kahala and Hawaii Kai

Kahala and Hawaii Kai are renowned for their exclusivity and opulence. In Kahala, you’ll find magnificent estates with lush gardens, private pools, and breathtaking ocean views.

The neighborhood’s proximity to Kahala Beach and the prestigious Waialae Country Club only adds to its allure. Hawaii Kai, on the other hand, offers a mix of waterfront properties and mountain-view homes.

The area is known for its excellent schools, community parks, and outdoor recreational activities. Residents of both neighborhoods enjoy a high standard of living, with access to upscale shopping centers, fine dining establishments, and world-class amenities.

Luxury Condos in Waikiki

While Kahala and Hawaii Kai are known for their sprawling estates, Waikiki offers a different kind of luxury – upscale condominium living.

This vibrant neighborhood in Honolulu is famous for its stunning beaches, bustling nightlife, and high-end shopping. Many of the luxury condos in Waikiki offer panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and the iconic Diamond Head crater.

Residents enjoy access to amenities such as swimming pools, fitness centers, and concierge services. The convenience of living in the heart of Honolulu, coupled with the allure of beachfront living, makes luxury condos in Waikiki a popular choice for those seeking a lavish lifestyle in the city.

For more information on the affluent neighborhoods of Hawaii, you can visit


In conclusion, Honolulu emerges as the clear winner when analyzing median household income, home values, education levels, high-paying jobs, and concentration of wealth in certain neighborhoods.

While there are certainly pockets of prosperity on the Neighbor Islands like Maui and Kauai, Honolulu has the highest overall standards of living in Hawaii.

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