Around 43 percent of Makawao residents spend more than half of their income on rent.
That's according to statistics collected by the 2005-09 American Community Survey and compiled in the 2011 Maui County Data Book.
A high number of Kihei, Kahului and Lahaina residents are in the same boat, with 21, 19 and 18 percent spending at least half their income on rent, respectively.
Patrick Lassiter and Lisa Sasha Mullins of Nashville exchange vows before the Rev. Eve Hogan at Po’olenalena Beach in Makena earlier this year. While more than 9,000 couples a year came to Maui for their weddings during the economy’s peak, that number declined to 5,950 by last year.
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo
"I'm not surprised," said Realtor Jim Worley, whose firm Pali Kai Realtors manages around 230 long-term rental properties.
"We see people really hurting to get the rent money. They're struggling," he said. "I'm seeing a lot more of that than I've ever seen before."
Other signs of the times documented in the data book include:
* Fewer people driving cars. The number of passenger vehicles registered in the county declined from 125,169 in 2005 to 118,945 in 2010.
* More people on motorcycles. Registrations for motorcycles and motor scooters increased from 3,188 to 3,803 over the same period.
* Owners giving up their pets. Some 1,009 dogs were turned in by their owners to the Maui Humane Society in 2008-09, up from 851 the previous year.
* Fewer destination weddings. More than 9,000 couples came to get married on Maui in 2004, but that declined to a low of 5,715 by 2009, before leveling off at 5,950 last year.
* Less cabbage. Maui farmers are growing less cabbage: 3.3 million pounds in 2008, down from 4.8 million pounds in 2004. But the famous Maui onion is growing strong - farmers grew 1.1 million pounds of the tangy treat in 2008, around the same volume as four years earlier.
* More flowers. Floriculture is on the rise, with sales of cut flowers, live orchids, lei flowers and other plants up from $9.5 million in 2004 to $13.9 million in 2008.
* Military service. In 2000, only 88 Maui County adults reported serving in the armed forces. Two wars later, that number had increased to 566 by 2008, before declining to 389 last year.
* Drought. Kahului Airport received 26 inches of rainfall in 2004 but just 9 inches last year. The wettest place on Maui, Puu Kukui, recorded 379 inches of rain in 2004 but only 225 inches last year.
* Waiting tables. Around 2,820 people work as a waiter or waitress, making it the most common occupation in Maui County.
The 2011 Maui County Data Book is scheduled to be released later this month.
* Ilima Loomis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.