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KAUAI PROFILE

The oldest of Hawaii's major islands
Kauai is known as "the Garden Isle"
The Eden of Hawaii

 

 

 

  Kauai Vacation Travel Guide & Map

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Na Pali Coast, Kauai


BIOLOGY   Kauai has a wide variety of plant, marine and animal life. Many species are rare and endangered including the Nene Goose (the official state bird) and Hawaii's only freshwater fish, the oopu. Vegetation zones include: coastal, dryland forest, mixed open forest, rain forest.


CLIMATE    Like most of the Hawaiian Islands, Kauai has only two seasons: "summer" between May and October and "winter" between October and April. Depending upon locale:

  • Average temperature ranges from 71.3 (°F) to 79.1 (°F) at Lihue airport.
  • Average annual rainfall ranges from 35 inches at Poipu Beach to 444 inches at the summit of Waialeale (one of the wettest spots in the United States).


CULTURAL HISTORY
    Kauai is a multi-cultural society with major immigration from:

  • Polynesia - 700 A.D.
  • United States - 1820
  • China - 1852
  • Japan - 1868
  • Portugal - 1878
  • Puerto Rico - 1900
  • Korea - 1903
  • Philippines - 1906

ECONOMY
    
Healthy In 2006! Key indicators are positive for continuing growth in the second half of this decade. 1 However, Hawaii's cost of living is among the highest in the nation and its 2004 per capita personal income below average. In fact, sources indicate a cost of living ranging from 30% above the national average to over 60% depending upon family size and circumstances - see the Price of Paradise!
  • 2005 Visitor Arrivals to the State totaled 7.4 million (a record) 2
  • 2005 Gross State Product was $54 billion 2

Major contributions to the State of Hawaii's economy include:
  • Visitor Expenditures: $11.8 billion (2005) - an all-time high* 2
  • Federal Defense Spending: $4.8 billion (2003) 3
  • Construction (Private Building Permits): $3.5 billion (2005) 4
* Visitor Expenditure figures are deceptive, since a certain percentage of tourism dollars do not remain in the Islands, but are returned to overseas investors.

With the demise of its sugar and pineapple industries in the 1990's, Hawaii is working to diversify its economy with a focus on industries such as science and technology, health and wellness tourism, diversified agriculture, ocean research and development, and film and television production. A Study currently being conducted by the State is looking at the extent to which the benefits from tourism can be maintained, while sustaining the quality of our social, economic and environmental assets.



EDUCATION    Kauai :
  • K-12 students in public schools (2004):  9,927 (excluding Special & Charter Schools) 5
  • Number of Public schools (2005):    19 6
  • Number of Private schools (2005):   7 7
In 2004, there were 1,117 students enrolled at the Kauai Community College, part of the University of Hawaii system.8


GEOGRAPHY    Kauai County includes the islands of Kauai, Niihau, and uninhabited Lehua and Kaula. The Island of Kauai has an area of approximately 552.3 square miles with 90 miles of coastline.

Kauai is:
  • located in Polynesia
  • near the center of the Pacific Ocean
  • just below the Tropic of Cancer
  • one of the most remote spots on Earth
  • 2,500 miles west of California

GEOLOGY    Exotic Kauai (the oldest of Hawaii's major islands) was formed 5 million years ago from a single shield volcano that has become deeply eroded with time and volcanic action - producing both the Grand Canyon of the Pacific (Waimea) and the stunning sea cliffs along the Na Pali coast.


GOVERNMENT   On Kauai, as throughout the State, there are no separate municipal governments. The County of Kauai is responsible for local government on Kauai and has a mayor elected for up to two four-year terms and a seven member council with two-year terms. Kauai's county seat is located in Lihue. 


HEALTH     Practices (2004): 137 doctors, 36 dentists, 474 nurses and 47 pharmacists.
9


OFFICIAL COLOR AND FLOWER    The official color is purple and the official flower is the mokihana.


POPULATION    Kauai:
  • had a resident population of 61,929 in 2004 10
  • is the least populous of the major islands
In 2003, Kauai's ethnic groups roughly broke down as follows:11

    Unmixed (except Hawaiian): 36,821: (61.4%)
        wbulit.gif - 50 Bytes  Caucasian - 19,133 (31.9%)
        wbulit.gif - 50 Bytes  Japanese - 7,028 (11.7%)
        wbulit.gif - 50 Bytes  Filipino - 9,915 (16.5%)
        wbulit.gif - 50 Bytes  Chinese - 452 (0.8%)
        wbulit.gif - 50 Bytes  Black - No data (sample size too small)
        wbulit.gif - 50 Bytes  Korean - No data (sample size too small)
        wbulit.gif - 50 Bytes  Samoan/Tongan - 146 (0.2%)
    Mixed (except Hawaiian) - 9,596 (16.0%)
    Hawaiian/Part Hawaiian - 13,532 (22.6%)


TOURISM    Kauai had approximately 1.1 million visitors in 2005.
12 The island is fully recovered from the ravages of 1992's hurricane Iniki.

Data Sources

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