Hawaii birthrate decrease affecting economy and population

HONOLULU — A decreased birthrate in Hawaii has larger population and economic implications for the state now and in the future, officials said.

Recent data show the number of babies born in Hawaii has been declining for a decade, which follows a national trend, Hawaii Public Radio reported Monday.

Hawaii’s current birthrate is 10% lower than in 2008.

The economic effects include reports by at least two Oahu hospitals of decreases in work shifts for maternity ward nurses and a reduction in new nurse hiring.

The decrease in the number of babies could also lead to a drop in the amount of Hawaii workers and taxpayers in the future, officials said.

Two of the factors behind the decline are fewer women of child-bearing age and women who can give birth having fewer children than in previous generations, said Eugene Tian, the state of Hawaii’s chief economist.

The lower birthrate has contributed to a decrease in the state’s population. The number of people leaving now outpaces new arrivals, which results in a net decrease in population when combined with a falling birthrate and normal aging, officials said.

Stronger economic conditions and cheaper living options on the U.S. mainland are causing people to leave Hawaii, according to the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization.

The trend may continue for the next 20 years, Tian said.

Policymakers could face a shrinking tax base of workers as older generations retire and demands for health care increase, with fewer healthy people to pay the costs, Tian said.


Information from: KHPR-FM, http://hawaiipublicradio.com

  1. manawai October 1, 2019 8:16 am Reply

    I love how the State says, “Stronger economic conditions and cheaper living options on the U.S. mainland are causing people to leave Hawaii….”

    That’s true, but I would have said that the reason people are leaving, and couples are having less children, is the high cost of living here in Hawaii. It’s so typical that our State and its politicians take ZERO responsibility for Hawaii having one of the highest costs of living of any state in the Union. The issue is not that it’s lower in the mainland, but that it’s so high here. Our politicians won’t even work to exempt Hawaii from the Jones Act which would bring in our food and goods with far less transportation costs thereby making a material decrease in our cost of living. That is something our politicians can do today to help make Hawaii more affordable for Hawaii’s people. Not doing so makes one think that our politicians owe more allegiance to a distant mainland shipyard union and Matson Navigation, and other U.S. corporate shipowners, than they do to their own constituents who got them elected. Yet our less-than-informed voters here keep voting these same politicians into office. Go figure!

  2. harry oyama October 2, 2019 4:57 am Reply

    Corrupt and greedy self interest politicians like mayor Kirk Chadwell’s $10 billion dollar fiasico rail system adding thousands of dollars every year for the next three generations of tax burden, Jones Act, Las Vegas gaming corruption and a host of agendas that keep adding more taxes to Hawaii’s residents are the main reasons why they leave not birth rates.

    Just look at your vehicle registration fees that more than doubled just to pay for Rail, better to purchased a used vehicle from the neighbor island, register it there and ship it to Oahu via Young Brothers before they too raise rates by 35%.

    Its crooks like Chadwell not paying his fair share of property taxes, getting double compensated and no investigation in conflict of interest but if some home owner wants to rent their apartment to tourists, they get investigated and fined. Clearly there are double standard one for the lowly slaves of taxpayers who bear the burden and those lazy corrupt politicians like Hanabusa, selling real estate making $millions while as President of the State Senate for private real estate dealing with her boyfriend developer of Ko olima.

  3. mina October 2, 2019 6:08 am Reply

    Did local people actually think it was going to get cheaper to live in paradise? Do you know how many people with even better paying jobs on the mainland wish they could live in Hawaii, but could never afford to? There is an illusion that just because you were born here means you get to stay here. Sorry. Get on the boat for South Dakota if all you have is a high school diploma.

  4. WestsideResident October 2, 2019 6:49 am Reply

    As I see it…Hawaiians, this is simply justification for more immigration and higher taxes.

    Hmmmmm….sounds familiar doesn’t it?

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