List of counties in Hawaii

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Counties of Hawaii
Location State of Hawaii
Number 5
Populations 88 (Kalawao) – 953,207 (Honolulu)
Areas 5.2 square miles (13 km2) (Kalawao) – 4,028 square miles (10,430 km2) (Hawaii)
Government County government
Subdivisions Communities

The five counties of Hawaii on the Hawaiian Islands enjoy somewhat greater status than many counties on the United States mainland. Counties in Hawaii are the only legally constituted government bodies below that of the state. No formal level of government (such as city governments) exists below that of the county in Hawaii. (Even Honolulu is governed as the City and County of Honolulu, a county that covers the entire island of Oahu.)

Unlike the other 49 states, Hawaii does not delegate educational responsibility to local school boards; public education is carried out by the Hawaii State Department of Education.[1] Hawaiian counties collect property taxes and user fees in order to support road maintenance, community activities, parks (including life guards at beach parks), garbage collection, police (the state police force, called the Hawaii Department of Public Safety, is limited in scope), ambulance, and fire suppression services.[2]

All the counties were created in 1905 from unorganized territory, seven years after the Territory of Hawaii was created.[2][3] The county of Kalawao was historically exclusively used as a leper colony, and does not have many of the elected officials the other counties do.[4]

County information

The Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) code, which is used by the United States government to uniquely identify counties, is provided with each entry. The FIPS code for each county links to census data for that county.

FIPS code[5] County seat[6] Established[6] Etymology Island(s)
Population[7] Area[7] Map
Hawaii County 001 Hilo 1905 Island of Hawaiʻi, with which the county is coterminous; said to be named for Hawaiiloa, a legendary Polynesian navigator. Hawaiʻi 185,079 4,028 sq mi
(10,432 km2)
State map highlighting Hawaii County
City and County of Honolulu 003 Honolulu 1905 "Sheltered bay" or "place of shelter" in Hawaiian language,[8] Named after Honolulu, the capital and largest city of the state. Oʻahu and the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (except Midway Atoll.) 953,207 597 sq mi
(1,546 km2)
State map highlighting City and County of Honolulu
Kalawao County 005 1905 The village of Kalawao on Molokaʻi The Kalaupapa Peninsula on Molokaʻi 88 5.2 sq mi
(13 km2)
State map highlighting Kalawao County
Kauaʻi County 007 Lihue 1905 Kauaʻi, the largest of the islands in the county; name possibly derived from Kauaʻi, the eldest son of Hawaiʻiloa. Kauaʻi, Niʻihau, Lehua, and Kaʻula 67,091 622 sq mi
(1,611 km2)
State map highlighting Kauaʻi County
Maui County 009 Wailuku 1905 Maui, the largest of the islands in the county; named for Māui, a demigod from native mythology. Maui, Kahoʻolawe, Lānaʻi, Molokai (except the Kalaupapa Peninsula), and Molokini 154,834 1,120 sq mi
(2,901 km2)
State map highlighting Maui County


  1. ^ Hawaii State Department of Education. "Hawai'i DOE, About". Retrieved 2007-04-26. 
  2. ^ a b "Hawaii State: Facts & Figures – Des Osman Realty". Retrieved 2007-04-26. 
  3. ^ Office of the County Clerk. "Foreword" (PDF). 2000 County Charter of the County of Hawaii. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 3, 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-26.  External link in |work= (help)
  4. ^ "Hawaii's 4 (or 5) Counties". September 1, 1999. Retrieved 2007-07-23. 
  5. ^ "EPA County FIPS Code Listing". EPA. Archived from the original on September 22, 2004. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  6. ^ a b "Find A County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2013-05-11.  (Find a county)
  7. ^ a b "Hawaii QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau". State & County QuickFacts. Archived from the original on May 3, 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-18. 
  8. ^ "Honolulu Homes Guide". 2005. Archived from the original on August 9, 2007. Retrieved July 23, 2007. 
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