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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Thursday, August 23, 2001

Hawai'i third-most desirable place to live

By David Butts
Advertiser Staff Writer

Perhaps it's a sign of the economic times. With visions of high-tech fortunes evaporating, why live among caffeine-charged, workaholic computer nerds when you could be on a beach in Hawai'i?

For whatever reason, Hawai'i jumped from seventh to third place in this year's Harris Poll of where people would most like to live if they moved. Florida topped the list and California was No. 2.

The Aloha State leap-frogged North Carolina, last year's No. 3 and home to the geek-magnet Research Triangle. Hawai'i also surpassed Arizona and Washington state this year.

Why is Hawai'i moving up? David Krane, senior vice president at The Harris Poll in New York, offered this analysis: "There is some appeal to — not a backward way of life — a mellower way of life than the hubbub of some of the big cities."

Hawai'i was once seen as "exotic and out of reach," Krane said. "Maybe that is less so, as more people go there. They think, 'Hey, this is a great place to live.' "

Some Hawai'i officials still were surprised that Hawai'i ranked only No. 3.

"What?" said Stanley Hong, president and chief executive of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii. "We should be No 1. We have the most beautiful state in the union and our quality of life is numero uno."

But, he said, "It's great that more people are recognizing this. By next year we should be No. 1."

The nationwide telephone survey of 1,200 adults was conducted July 20-25 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.

And where would Krane like to live if he were to give up life in frenzied New York, the No. 8 state in the survey?

"Hawai'i is on my list," he said.