Hawaii is one of the most diverse and culturally rich states in America. While only about 10% of Hawaii’s population identifies as Native Hawaiian today, the Native Hawaiian community has played a vital role in shaping the islands’ unique culture and history over centuries.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Only about 10% of Hawaii’s current population of around 1.4 million identifies as Native Hawaiian.

In this approximately 3000 word article, we will take an in-depth look at the demographics of Native Hawaiians in the state of Hawaii today. We’ll examine census data to understand what percentage of Hawaii is Native Hawaiian. We’ll also provide historical context about the Native Hawaiian population over time. Additionally, we’ll explore some of the reasons behind the decline in Native Hawaiians as a percentage of Hawaii’s total population.

Overview of Native Hawaiian Population in Hawaii

Hawaii is known for its rich cultural heritage, with the Native Hawaiian population playing a significant role in shaping the islands’ history and traditions. Understanding the demographics of the Native Hawaiian population is crucial in order to appreciate their contributions and address any disparities they may face.

Current Native Hawaiian Population

The current Native Hawaiian population in Hawaii is estimated to be around X percent of the total population. This number fluctuates over time due to various factors such as birth rates, migration patterns, and intermarriage. The state government, along with organizations dedicated to preserving Native Hawaiian culture, actively works to support the well-being and advancement of this community.

It’s important to recognize that the Native Hawaiian population is not a homogenous group, but rather a diverse community with individuals from different backgrounds and experiences. Some Native Hawaiians live on ancestral lands, while others have migrated to urban areas for employment and educational opportunities.

For more information on the current Native Hawaiian population, you can visit the official website of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs at www.oha.org.

Historical Native Hawaiian Population

The Native Hawaiian population has experienced significant changes over the centuries. Prior to the arrival of Western explorers and settlers, the islands were populated solely by Native Hawaiians. However, colonization, disease, and other factors have had a profound impact on the Native Hawaiian population.

During the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Native Hawaiian population experienced a decline due to diseases introduced by foreigners and socio-economic changes brought about by the colonization of the islands. However, in recent years, efforts have been made to revitalize Native Hawaiian culture and language, resulting in a resurgence of pride and interest in Native Hawaiian heritage.

It is important to recognize and honor the historical experiences of the Native Hawaiian population, as their resilience and perseverance have played a crucial role in shaping Hawaii’s identity today.

To learn more about the historical Native Hawaiian population, you can refer to resources such as the Bishop Museum’s Hawaiian History website at www.bishopmuseum.org.

Exploring the Decline in Proportion of Native Hawaiians

Hawaii is a diverse and multicultural state, with a rich history and unique indigenous population. However, over the years, the proportion of Native Hawaiians in the state has seen a significant decline. Let’s explore some of the factors that have contributed to this decline.

Effects of Western Contact and Disease

When Western explorers first arrived in Hawaii, they brought with them diseases to which the Native Hawaiians had no immunity. This resulted in devastating epidemics that decimated the indigenous population. Smallpox, measles, and other diseases spread rapidly, leading to a significant decline in the number of Native Hawaiians. This catastrophic loss of life had a lasting impact on the cultural fabric of the islands.

The devastating effects of disease were not the only consequence of Western contact. The arrival of European and American settlers brought significant changes to the Hawaiian way of life. The introduction of new diseases, along with the establishment of foreign systems of governance and economic practices, disrupted traditional Hawaiian society.

Cultural Oppression and Discrimination

As Hawaii became a territory of the United States and later a state, Native Hawaiians faced cultural oppression and discrimination. The suppression of Hawaiian language and traditional practices in schools and the marginalization of Native Hawaiian cultural beliefs contributed to a decline in the proportion of Native Hawaiians.

Additionally, the dispossession of Native Hawaiian lands and the loss of economic opportunities further marginalized the indigenous population. These injustices have had long-lasting effects on the Native Hawaiian community and have contributed to the decline in their proportion within the state.

Intermarriage and Assimilation

Another significant factor in the decline of the proportion of Native Hawaiians is intermarriage and assimilation. As Hawaii became a melting pot of different cultures, intermarriage between Native Hawaiians and individuals from other ethnic backgrounds became more common. This has resulted in a dilution of the Native Hawaiian population.

While intermarriage and assimilation are natural processes in any multicultural society, they have contributed to the decline of the distinct Native Hawaiian identity. As generations pass and cultural practices are not passed down, the proportion of Native Hawaiians continues to decrease.

It is important to recognize and address these historical and ongoing challenges faced by Native Hawaiians. Efforts are being made to preserve and revitalize Native Hawaiian culture, language, and traditions. Organizations like the Office of Hawaiian Affairs are working towards promoting the well-being of Native Hawaiians and ensuring their cultural heritage is protected.

For more information on the history and culture of Native Hawaiians, visit the Office of Hawaiian Affairs website.

Preserving Native Hawaiian Culture and Traditions

Hawaii is a place rich in cultural diversity, and one of the indigenous groups that have played a significant role in shaping the identity of the islands is the Native Hawaiians. Preserving their culture and traditions is not only important for the Native Hawaiian community but also for the broader Hawaiian society as a whole. Efforts to preserve and revitalize Native Hawaiian culture have been ongoing for many years.

Cultural Revitalization Efforts

Organizations and individuals have been actively engaged in cultural revitalization efforts to ensure that Native Hawaiian traditions, language, and practices are not lost over time. Programs and initiatives have been established to teach the younger generation about their heritage, including hula dancing, language classes, and storytelling sessions. By passing down these traditions, Native Hawaiians can maintain a strong connection to their roots and ensure that their cultural practices continue to thrive.

Activism and Political Representation

Native Hawaiian activism has played a crucial role in advocating for the preservation and recognition of their culture. Activists have fought for political representation, land rights, and the protection of sacred sites. Through their efforts, Native Hawaiians have been able to gain a stronger voice in shaping policies that impact their community and have made significant strides in preserving their cultural heritage.

Importance for Hawaii’s Identity

The preservation of Native Hawaiian culture and traditions is vital for Hawaii’s identity as a whole. Native Hawaiians are an integral part of the state’s history and contribute to the overall cultural fabric of Hawaii. Their customs, language, and practices are unique and help distinguish Hawaii from other places in the world. By preserving and valuing Native Hawaiian culture, Hawaii can maintain its authenticity and attract visitors who are interested in experiencing the rich cultural heritage of the islands.

For more information on Native Hawaiian culture and preservation efforts, you can visit the website of the Hawaii Culture Foundation.

What Percentage of Hawaii is Native Hawaiian Today?

Understanding the demographic makeup of Hawaii is essential to appreciating the cultural diversity of the state. One key aspect of this diversity is the Native Hawaiian population. To grasp the current representation of Native Hawaiians, we can turn to census data and explore the demographic breakdown by island.

Review of Census Data

The most recent census data reveals that Native Hawaiians make up approximately X% of the total population of Hawaii. This percentage reflects the number of people who identify as Native Hawaiian alone or in combination with other ethnicities. It is important to note that this figure may not capture the entire Native Hawaiian population as some individuals may not identify themselves as such on the census.

However, it is worth mentioning that the Native Hawaiian population has experienced significant growth in recent years. This can be attributed to a resurgence in cultural awareness and efforts to promote the preservation of Native Hawaiian traditions and language. These initiatives have helped Native Hawaiians feel a stronger connection to their heritage and encouraged them to identify proudly as Native Hawaiian.

Demographic Breakdown by Island

The distribution of the Native Hawaiian population across the different islands of Hawaii varies. According to the latest available data, the highest concentration of Native Hawaiians can be found on the island of Molokai, where they make up approximately X% of the total population. Other islands with notable Native Hawaiian populations include Hawaii Island (X%), Maui (X%), and Oahu (X%). However, it is important to note that these percentages are approximate and subject to change as the population continues to evolve.

Furthermore, it is worth highlighting that Native Hawaiians are not the only ethnic group contributing to the rich tapestry of Hawaii’s multicultural society. The state is also home to significant populations of Asian, Pacific Islander, and Caucasian individuals, among others. The diverse blend of cultures and backgrounds is what makes Hawaii such a unique and vibrant place to live and visit.

If you are interested in learning more about the Native Hawaiian population or the cultural heritage of Hawaii, I recommend visiting the official website of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs at www.oha.org. This website provides valuable information and resources related to Native Hawaiian history, culture, and community initiatives.

The Future for Native Hawaiians

Native Hawaiians are an indigenous group that holds a special place in the rich cultural fabric of Hawaii. As the state’s original inhabitants, their history, traditions, and language are deeply rooted in the islands. However, the future for Native Hawaiians is a topic of concern for many, as their population has been diminishing over the years. In this article, we will explore the population projections for Native Hawaiians and discuss ways to strengthen their community.

Population Projections

The Native Hawaiian population in Hawaii has been declining in recent decades. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2020, Native Hawaiians made up approximately 21% of the total population of Hawaii. However, projections indicate that their percentage will continue to decrease in the coming years. By 2050, it is estimated that Native Hawaiians will represent only 15% of the state’s population.

This decline can be attributed to various factors, including intermarriage, outmigration, and a lower birth rate compared to other ethnic groups. As Native Hawaiians continue to face these challenges, it is essential to address the issues impacting their community and work towards a more inclusive and supportive future.

Strengthening the Community

To ensure a brighter future for Native Hawaiians, efforts are being made to strengthen their community and preserve their cultural heritage. Various organizations, such as the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, are actively working towards this goal by providing educational and economic opportunities for Native Hawaiians.

One initiative that has gained significant attention is the promotion of Hawaiian language and cultural education in schools. By integrating these teachings into the curriculum, the younger generation can reconnect with their roots and develop a stronger sense of identity and pride in their heritage.

Furthermore, efforts are being made to support Native Hawaiian-owned businesses and promote economic self-sufficiency within the community. By offering resources, mentorship programs, and access to capital, these initiatives aim to empower Native Hawaiians and create opportunities for economic growth and prosperity.

In addition to these efforts, it is crucial for society as a whole to recognize and respect the unique rights and needs of Native Hawaiians. By fostering a sense of understanding, empathy, and inclusivity, we can create an environment where Native Hawaiians can thrive and preserve their cultural legacy for generations to come.

The future for Native Hawaiians may present challenges, but with collaborative efforts and a commitment to their well-being, we can create a future that honors and celebrates their rich cultural heritage. Together, we can ensure that Native Hawaiians continue to play a vital role in shaping the identity of Hawaii and contribute to its diverse and vibrant community.


In conclusion, while Native Hawaiians make up a relatively small percentage – around 10% – of Hawaii’s total population today, their impact on Hawaii’s history and culture cannot be overstated. Preserving Native Hawaiian traditions and providing opportunities for the community to thrive will be crucial for maintaining Hawaii’s unique identity.

The Native Hawaiian population has declined over time due to various historical factors, but recent cultural revitalization efforts provide hope for strengthening Native Hawaiian representation in the future. Though they are a minority, Native Hawaiians will continue to enrich Hawaii as the indigenous people of the Hawaiian islands.

Sharing is caring!

Similar Posts