Nui Nā `Ano Like `Ole
(Great Diversity)

  Hawai`i has been home to Polynesians for more than 1,500 years. The first to arrive were from the Marquesas between 500 and 600 A.D.

500 years later, a second migration occurred from Tahiti and the Society Islands.

In the 600 years between 1100 A.D. and first contact with European explorers in 1778, the Hawaiian population grew to more than 400,000, with some estimates approaching 700,000. Hawaiian society was marked by rigid caste systems, ruled by small kingdoms throughout the islands until, in 1810, Kamehameha I conquered his rivals and became the first King of all of Hawai`i.

Along with contact with the outside world, came disease and, over the next hundred years, the Native Hawaiian population was decimated.

In 1893, the population of Hawai`i was approximately 90,000 with 45% being Native or part Hawaiian, 17% Chinese, 16% Anglo-Saxon (only 2% being Americans), 14% Japanese, and 8% born in Hawai`i of Polynesian or "other" parents.

In 2006, with a population of 1, 285,498, approximately 40% were Asian, 28% were white, 9% were Native Hawaiian or Polynesian, 7% Hispanics, 2% black, and a small number of American Indians and Alaska Natives. 19% were persons of two or more races.

This blending of races leads to alternative sets of percentages that make it difficult to get a clear picture of the multicultural diversity that makes Hawai`i unique in the United States, and throughout the world. For example: people of Asian ancestry, alone or in combination with other races, reach 55.6%, the white population, alone of in combination with other races, was at 42.6%, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders, alone or in combination with other races, represent 21.4% ... oops, we're already well over 100% without the Hispanic, black and other populations.

The result is a wonderful combination of Eastern, Western and Pacific Island cultures that cross and blend, with today's "Hawaiian" often adopting the best of all of them.

That does not mean that the purity of these cultures is lost, however. Racial, family, and community identities are honored, perpetuated, and practiced intact for all the residents of Hawai`i to see, learn from and share.

  Immigration Timeline Hawaii Demographics  
       1778 English Captain Cook The most recent racial composition of Hawaii was:  
       1778-1820 Europeans and American Missionaries    
       1832 Spanish and Mexican      Asian: 37.64%  
       1852 Chinese      Two or more races: 24.29%  
       1868 Japanese      White: 24.15%  
       1878 Portuguese      Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 10.4%  
       1881 Germans      Black or African American: 1.88%  
       1903 Koreans      Other race: 1.39%  
       1900 Puerto Ricans      Native American: 0.25%  
       1906 Filipinos    
       1919 Samoans After 200 years, Native Hawaiians Make A Comeback  
  For more information:    
       An Essay on Hawai`i's People

     Early European Contact

     Hawaiian Roots: Imigration

     Hawaiian Population 2023    

Hawaiian Timeline

On Being Hawaiian Enough
The Chinese in Hawai`i

The Pokiki: Portuguese Traditions

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