Monday, July 4, 2016

6 Reasons Hawaii Might Surprise You

Paddleboarding dad in Hanalei Bay, Hawaii
1. 41% of the state is water, and it's the only state entirely composed of islands. Spread out over almost 1,500 miles, these volcanic islands make up most of the Hawaiian Archipelago (and there are hundreds of them). Only seven of the eight main islands have permanent inhabitants, and it's the southernmost state and the most recent one.

2. Hawaii doesn't participate in Daylight Savings Time, so in the summer, the state is six hours behind New York City.

3. The state, like Vermont, Texas, and California, was an independent nation before it was a US Territory. Unlike those other states, it was a kingdom.

4. In addition to the indigenous Hawaiian elements, the state's culture is largely derived from Asian and American influences. Hawaii is the only state with an Asian plurality (about 39%). It has the lowest percentage of people identifying themselves as white (and not Hispanic) of any state (about 23%). Almost a quarter of the population identify themselves as of two or more races.

5. Mount Wai'ale'ale on the island of Kauai has the second highest average rainfall on the planet -- approximately 460 inches per year.

6. Although far too many of the indigenous population were killed by infections brought by explorers and traders from Europe and Asia (to the point that only about 10% of the current population identifies as Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders), those living in Hawaii have the longest average projected lifespan of any in the United States (82.5 years for women, just over 77 years for men).