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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 10:10 a.m., Thursday, April 20, 2006

Census report shows more residents leaving state

By Christie Wilson
Advertiser Neighbor Island Editor

More people continue to move away from Hawai'i than come here from other states, according to data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The report on domestic net migration shows that between 2000 and 2004, the state lost an average of 2,053 residents annually to out-migration to the Mainland. That was a dramatic drop from the out-migration average of 11,820 annually during the 1990s, when Hawai'i experienced an economic slump.

The Census Bureau reported that 8,213 more people left Hawai'i for the Mainland between 2000 and 2004 than moved here.

Most of the out-migration came from O'ahu, with the Neighbor Islands seeing a positive increase in domestic net migration, particularly on the Big Island, where land is usually cheaper. Hawai'i County averaged 1,988 more people moving in per year than moving out from 2000 to 2004, more than twice as high as the annual average in the 1990s.

Maui had an average net in-migration of 746 residents per year, higher than the annual average of 494 experienced in the 1990s.

The report on domestic migration measures the number of people moving between states and does not count foreign migration.

Although Hawai'i continues to lose more residents to the Mainland than the number moving here, the state's population has been experiencing modest growth due to a natural increase from more births than deaths and foreign migration, said statistician Eugene Tian of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

Tian said that between 2000 and 2004, Hawai'i had a natural population increase of 9,200 a year, plus net foreign migration of 5,572 people. During that period, the state's population increased from 1.21 million to 1.26 million.

Florida, Arizona and Nevada, a popular destination for people leaving Hawai'i, attracted the most new residents, according to the Census Bureau. New York, California and Illinois lost the most.

On the Web: Census Bureau, www.census.gov