Census says: Maui population growing, aging, working longer

Maui County’s population increased 17 percent from 2006 to 2016 with Hispanic and Latino people representing the fastest growing race, according to 2016 U.S. Census Bureau surveys released recently.

Residents are working more weeks out of the year and are older on average, the surveys showed. More than half of working-age residents go to their jobs 50 to 52 weeks a year. The median age of workers has increased nine years since 2006, going from 43 years old to 52.

And in another interesting tidbit, 13 households still had dial-up internet. Eighty percent of residents had smartphones.

The Census Bureau published its “2016 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates” in September followed by its supplemental estimates on Oct. 19. Data were collected between Jan. 1, 2016, and Dec. 31, 2016.

The estimates are best used for general rather than precision analysis of large populations, according to the Census Bureau’s website. The Census Bureau publishes both surveys annually, as well as five-year estimates. The five-year surveys are more precise, and the next one will be released in 2021.

The surveys revealed detailed information about the makeup and habits of residents in Maui County.

The county’s population grew from 141,300 in 2006 to 165,379 last year, a 17 percent increase, according to the yearly survey.

Although the county’s population has grown, little housing has been built to accommodate the growth. More than 80 percent of existing homes were built prior to 2000, with 41 percent of homes built between 1980 and 1999. Only about 4 percent of the housing inventory has been built since 2010.

Caucasians accounted for about half of the total 53,612 occupied housing units in the county. Asians are second at 26 percent.

Residents occupying homes have grown older since 2006. Residents 55 to 64 years old represented 24 percent last year, up 5 percentage points, while residents 65 to 74 years old were 18 percent, up 9 percentage points.

Nearly 22,000 residents were renters and 65 percent of them paid at least 20 percent of their income on rent. Nearly a quarter of them paid 50 percent or more of their income on rent.

The median gross rent is $1,254. The median household income is $72,257.

Looking closer at the composition of those households, Caucasians remained the largest race over the decade, accounting for 37 percent of the population in 2016. Asians were second at 31 percent. Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander and Hispanic or Latino categories both were 11 percent.

The number of Hispanics has grown steadily. In 2016, the number of Hispanic babies represented 22 percent of births, tying the racial group for second largest with Asian babies. In 2010, Hispanic babies represented 5 percent of births.

Meanwhile, the county’s total workforce of 16- to 64-year-olds numbered 105,000 last year and 64 percent of them work 50 to 52 weeks a year. That was an increase from 57 percent in 2006 and was higher than the national average of 58 percent who work nearly the whole year.

Foreign-born workers grew 10 percentage points over the decade to 27 percent last year. Native-born workers declined by the same margin to 73 percent.

Median annual earnings per worker have risen 11 percent over the same period, going from $30,875 to $34,328 last year.

The median age of residents has increased from 37 to 41 years old between 2006 and 2016.

Women ages 18 to 24 continued an educational trend in 2016, extending their lead over men in college enrollment, notching the largest gap between the sexes in at least a decade. Thirty-five percent of women in that age group attended college — nearly 20 percentage points higher than males in the same age group.

The overall population of 18-to-24-year-olds attending college has grown as well, from 19 to 25 percent over between 2006 and 2016.

Science and engineering remained the most sought out first major of residents 25 to 39 years old at 32 percent. Business was 23 percent and arts, humanities and others was 22 percent.

Education was the least popular major, accounting for just 9 percent of that age group, despite a teacher shortage in Hawaii. For residents 65 years and over, though, teaching was one of the more popular occupations at 20 percent.

The surveys also revealed some interesting information about the habits of residents:

• There were only 13 households out of 54,000 using dial-up internet in 2016; that was down from 232 households the previous year.

• More than 90 percent of households had one or more computing devices, while 8 percent had no computer. About 80 percent of residents had a desktop or laptop computer and a little over 60 percent had a tablet or other portable wireless computer.

• Residents overwhelmingly drove to work alone with 62,747 getting there by car, truck or van — more than five times as many as those who carpooled. Only 2,056 workers used public transportation, though infrastructure for the system is relatively new and usage exploded from 159 in 2006.

• Nearly 9,000 residents, or 5 percent of the county, lacked health insurance. The 25-to-34-year-old age group was the largest without health insurance at 10 percent. Hispanics were the largest race without health insurance at 15 percent, followed by Caucasians at 9 percent.

* Chris Sugidono can be reached at csugidono@mauinews.com.

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