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City and County of Honolulu


City and County of Honolulu

This article is about the consolidated city-county government entity. For the City of Honolulu, see Honolulu. For other uses, see Honolulu (disambiguation).
City and County of Honolulu
Consolidated city-county
Downtown Honolulu

Motto: Haʻaheo No ʻO Honolulu
(The Pride of Honolulu)[1]
Country United States
State Hawaiʻi
Incorporated April 30, 1907[2]
 • Type Mayor-Council
 • Mayor Kirk Caldwell
 • Council
 • Total 2,126.85 sq mi (5,508.5 km2)
 • Land 599.77 sq mi (1,553.4 km2)
 • Water 1,527.08 sq mi (3,955.1 km2)  71.80%
Population (2010)
 • Total 953,207
 • Density 1,461/sq mi (564/km2)
Time zone Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time (UTC-10)
ZIP Code 96801–96898
Area code(s) 808

Honolulu County (officially known as the City and County of Honolulu, formerly Oahu County) is a consolidated city–county located in the U.S. state of Hawaii. The City and County includes both the city of Honolulu (the state's capital and largest city) and the rest of the island of Oʻahu, as well as several minor outlying islands, including all of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (islands beyond Niihau) except Midway Atoll.[2]

The consolidated city-county was established in the city charter adopted in 1907 and accepted by the Legislature of the Territory of Hawaiʻi.[2] As a municipal corporation and jurisdiction it manages aspects of government traditionally exercised by both municipalities and counties in the rest of the United States.

The population of Honolulu County at the 2010 Census was 953,207, making it the tenth-largest municipality in the United States.[3][4] Because of Hawaii's municipal structure,[5] the United States Census Bureau divides Honolulu County into several census-designated places for statistical purposes.

The current mayor of Honolulu County is Kirk Caldwell, who reclaimed the job from the person who defeated him in a 2010 special election, Peter Carlisle, in 2013. The county motto is Haʻaheo No ʻO Honolulu (Honolulu Pride).[6]


Local government

Originally governed by a Board of Supervisors, the Honolulu County is administered under a mayor-council system of governance overseeing all municipal services: civil defense, emergency medical, fire, parks and recreation, police, sanitation, streets, and water, among others. For 2013, the county has an annual operating budget of US$2.16 billion.[7][8]

The government of Honolulu County is simplified and streamlined and coalesces at three major divisions of municipal power.

  • The mayor of Honolulu is the principal executor of administrative authority. The mayor is elected on a non-partisan basis to a four-year term.
  • The Honolulu City Council is the unicameral legislative body. Its elected members are responsible for drafting and passing laws, as well as proposing budgets for various departments. Unlike other cities in the United States, the council is absolutely independent of the mayor, who does not make any appearances during any of the council sessions. The nine council members each represent one of nine districts, and are elected on a non-partisan basis to staggered four-year terms.
  • The Prosecuting Attorney of Honolulu is independently elected of the other two major divisions of municipal power, and is charged with prosecuting criminal offenses committed within the county.[9] The office is not charged with providing legal counsel to the mayor or City Council; that duty is a responsibility of the Department of Corporation Counsel, under mayoral jurisdiction.[10] The prosecuting attorney is elected on a non-partisan basis to a four-year term.[11]

The Honolulu County is divided into 36 neighborhood boards. The office of neighborhood board member is an advisory position for public policy and civil investment. Members are elected to two-year terms.

County districts

Like most counties in the United States, Honolulu County is divided into smaller administrative districts. There are nine such districts, each of which elects a member of the city-county council. The boundaries of each district are revised every ten years in conjunction with the U.S. Census.

  • DISTRICT I: ʻEwa, ʻEwa Beach, Honouliuli, West Loch, Kapolei, Makakilo, Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale and Nanakai Gardens, KoʻOlina, Nānākuli, Waiʻanae, Mākaha, Keaʻau, Mākua.
  • DISTRICT II: Mililani Mauka, Wahiawā, Whitmore Village, Mokulēʻia, Waialua, Haleʻiwa, Waimea, Pūpūkea, Sunset Beach, Kahuku, Lāʻie, Hauʻula, Punaluʻu, Kahana, Kaʻaʻawa, Kualoa, Waiāhole, Kahaluʻu, ʻĀhuimanu, Heʻeia.
  • DISTRICT III: Waimānalo, Kailua, Kāneʻohe.
  • DISTRICT IV: Hawaiʻi Kai, Kuliʻouʻou, Niu Valley, ʻĀina Haina, Wailupe, Waiʻalae-Iki, Kalani Valley, Kāhala, Wilhelmina Rise, a portion of Kapahulu, a portion of Kaimukī, Diamond Head, Waikīkī, Ala Moana.
  • DISTRICT V: Kapahulu, Kaimukī, Pālolo Valley, St. Louis Heights, Mānoa, Mōʻiliʻili, McCully, Kakaʻako, Ala Moana, Makiki.
  • DISTRICT VI: Makiki, downtown Honolulu, Punchbowl, Liliha, Pauoa Valley, Nuʻuanu, ʻĀlewa Heights, Papakōlea, Kalihi Valley, Kalihi.
  • DISTRICT VII: Kalihi, Kapālama, Pālama, Iwilei, Sand Island, Māpunapuna, Airport, Hickam, Pearl Harbor, Ford Island, Āliamanu, Salt Lake, Foster Village, Stadium, Hālawa Valley Estates.
  • DISTRICT VIII: Fort Shafter, Moanalua, Hālawa, ʻAiea, Pearl City, Seaview, Crestview, Waipiʻo Gentry.
  • DISTRICT IX: Waikele, Waipahu, Village Park, Kunia, Mililani.

Civic center

The civic center is coextensive with what is known as the Capitol District in downtown Honolulu. The official seat of governance for the Honolulu County is located within the district at Honolulu Hale, established in the 1920s as a city hall structure and houses the chambers of the mayor of Honolulu and the Honolulu City Council. In the 1960s and 1970s, Mayor Frank Fasi developed the modern civic center as it is known today. He took controversial and aggressive measures to reclaim property, demolish massive concrete structures in the area, construct underground parking facilities and open a green campus above ground with manicured lawns and specially commissioned sculpted artwork. He also oversaw the construction of new government buildings, to house the departments that fell within mayoral jurisdiction. The most prominent of those new buildings were the Honolulu Municipal Building and Hale Makaʻi, the headquarters of the Honolulu Police Department. Civic centers were also constructed off the Capitol District campus, including the Kapiʻolani Bandstand, Neal S. Blaisdell Center, and the Waikīkī Shell.

Municipal services

The Honolulu County collects various forms of taxes, including a property tax. Revenue from those taxes is used to provide several services for the residents.

Services include:

State representation

The Hawaii Department of Public Safety operates three prisons, including the Halawa Correctional Facility, the Waiawa Correctional Facility, and the Women's Community Correctional Center,[12] on the island of Oahu in the City and County of Honolulu.[13] In addition the Oahu Community Correctional Center, the jail on Oahu Island, is in the County.[14]

Federal representation

The United States Postal Service operates post offices in Honolulu County. The main one is located by the Honolulu International Airport at 3600 Aolele Street.[15] Federal Detention Center, Honolulu, operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, is in the CDP.[16] The Kunia Regional SIGINT Operations Center of the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Wheeler Army Airfield are in Honolulu County.

Metropolitan Statistical Area

The United States Office of Management and Budget has designated Honolulu County as the Urban Honolulu, HI Metropolitan Statistical Area.[17] The United States Census Bureau ranked the Urban Honolulu, HI Metropolitan Statistical Area as the 54th most populous metropolitan statistical area and the 61st most populous primary statistical area of the United States as of July 1, 2012.[18][19]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 2012976,3722.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[20]
2012 Estimate[21]

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 876,156 people, 286,450 households, and 205,671 families residing in Honolulu County. The population increased to 953,207 in the 2010 Census. The population density was 1,461 people per square mile (564/km²). There were 315,988 housing units at an average density of 527/sq mi (203/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 46.04% Asian, 21.28% white, 8.87% Pacific Islander, 2.35% black or African American, 0.25% Native American, 1.28% from other races, and 19.93% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.70% of the population.

There were 286,450 households out of which 31.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.5% were married couples living together, 12.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.2% were non-families. 21.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.95 and the average family size was 3.46.

In the county, the population was spread out with 23.80% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 30.6% from 25 to 44, 22.0% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.7 males.


According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 2,126.85 square miles (5,508.5 km2), of which 599.77 square miles (1,553.4 km2) (or 28.20%) is land and 1,527.08 square miles (3,955.1 km2) (or 71.80%) is water.[22] However, the majority of this area is the Pacific Ocean that surrounds the islands.


Alphabetical Population size
< 40,000
< 20,000
< 10,000
< 5,000
All others are either < 2,000
in population, or recent census
data included in a listed tract.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas


Hawaiian Airlines,[23] Island Air,[24] and Aloha Air Cargo are headquartered in the CDP.[25][26] Prior to its dissolution, Aloha Airlines was headquartered in the CDP.[26][27] Other major companies headquartered in Honolulu CDP include: First Hawaiian Bank, Bank of Hawaii, and the Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO).

Diplomatic missions

Several countries have diplomatic facilities in Honolulu County. The Consulate-General of Japan in Honolulu is located at 1742 Nuuanu Avenue.[28] The Consulate-General of South Korea in Honolulu is located at 2756 Pali Highway.[29] The Consulate-General of the Philippines in Honolulu is located at 2433 Pali Highway.[30] The Consulate-General of the Federated States of Micronesia in Honolulu is located in Suite 908 at 3049 Ualena Street.[31] The Consulate-General of Australia in Honolulu is located in the penthouse of 1000 Bishop Street.[32] The Consulate-General of the Marshall Islands is located in Suite 301 at 1888 Lusitana Street.[33] The Consulate of the Republic of Kiribati is located at 95 Nakolo Place, Room 265.



Located on the western end of Honolulu CDP, Honolulu International Airport (HNL) is the principal aviation gateway to the state of Hawaii. Numerous airlines fly Pacific-wide to and from Honolulu International Airport. Locally-based airlines including Hawaiian Airlines, go! Airlines, and Pacific Wings, fly to destinations within the islands of Hawaii and to major destinations across the Pacific.


Several freeways serve Honolulu County:

  • Interstate H-1, which, coming into the city (Honolulu) from the west, passes Hickam Air Force Base and Honolulu International Airport, runs just north of Downtown and continues eastward through Makiki and Kaimuki, ending at Waialae/Kahala. H-1 connects to Interstate H-2 from Wahiawa and Interstate H-3 from Kaneohe, west of the city proper.
  • Interstate H-201—commonly known as the Moanalua Freeway and formerly numbered Route 78—connects two points along H-1: at Aloha Stadium and Fort Shafter. Close to H-1 and Aloha Stadium, H-2 has an exchange with the western terminus of Interstate H-3 to the windward side of Oahu (Kaneohe). This complex of connecting ramps, some directly between H-1 and H-3, is in Halawa.
  • Interstate H-2 runs from Pearl City, through Waipio and Mililani, to Wahiawa and dissolves into a highway (Wilikina Drive) near the military base, U.S. Army base Schofield Barracks and Army Airfield Wheeler. The interstate is a convenient way to get to the island's North Shore.
  • Interstate H-3 is also known as the John A. Burns Freeway, and runs from the H-1 in Honolulu to the community of Kaneʻohe.

Other major highways that link the Honolulu CDP with other parts of the Island of Oahu are:

  • Pali Highway, Route 61, crosses north over the Koolau range via the Pali Tunnels to connect to Kailua and Kaneohe on the windward side of the Island.
  • Likelike Highway, Route 63, also crosses the Koolau to Kaneohe via the Wilson Tunnels.
  • Kalanianaole Highway, Route 72, runs eastward from Waialae/Kahala to Hawaii Kai and around the east end of the island to Waimanalo Beach.
  • State Route 80 is in the north of the island
  • Kamehameha Highway, Route 83, runs along the northeast edge of Oahu
  • State Route 93 is along the western edge of the island. Route 95 spurs off of 93
  • Kamehameha Highway, State Route 99, runs westward from near Hickam Air Force Base to Aiea and beyond, eventually running through the center of the island and ending in Kaneohe.
  • Routes 801, 803, and 930 are in the north of Oahu

Like most major American cities, Honolulu County experiences heavy traffic congestion during rush hours, especially to and from the western communities of Kapolei, Ewa, Aiea, Pearl City, Waipahu, and Mililani.

Public transportation


Established by former Mayor Frank F. Fasi, Honolulu's public transit system has been twice honored by the American Public Transportation Association bestowing the title of "America's Best Transit System" for 1994–1995 and 2000–2001. Oahu Transit Services' "TheBus" operates 107 routes with a fleet of 541 buses.

In 2004, construction had started on a bus rapid transit (BRT) system using dedicated rights-of-way for buses. The system, proposed by then Mayor Jeremy Harris, was expected to link the Iwilei neighborhood with Waikiki. However, former Mayor Mufi Hannemann largely dismantled the BRT system and deployed its buses along other express bus routes.


Currently, there is no urban rail transit system in Honolulu, although electric street railways were used during the early days of Honolulu's history. The last major attempt was called the Honolulu Area Rail Rapid Transit project, popularly known as HART. Proposed in 1968 by Mayor Neal S. Blaisdell and supported by his successor, Frank Fasi, HART was originally envisioned as a 29-mile (47 km) line from Pearl City to Hawaii Kai. By 1980, however, the project's length was cut to an 8-mile (13 km) segment between the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Honolulu International Airport.

In the wake of proposed budget cuts by President Ronald Reagan, including the elimination of all funding for transit projects by 1985, newly elected Mayor Eileen Anderson cancelled the project in 1981 and returned grants and funding to their sources,[34][35] arguing the project would break her vow of fiscal responsibility.[36][37]

Several attempts had been made since Anderson's cancellation of HART to construct a fixed rail mass transit system. All attempts stalled in Honolulu City Council hearings. In 2004, the city, county and state approved development of an action plan for a system to be built in several phases. The initial line proposed linking Kapolei in West Oahu to the University of Hawaii at Manoa. However, on December 22, 2006 the city council approved a fixed-guideway system meant to accommodate either rail or buses, running from Kapolei in West Oahu to Ala Moana, with spurs into Waikiki and Manoa.

On November 4, 2008, the 50.6% (156,151) of Honolulu County voters, voted to approve a new $4.5 billion rail project that would connect West Oahu with downtown, Waikiki and University of Hawaii. The trains are planned to be approximately 200 feet (61 m) long, electric, steel wheel to steel rail technology and will capable of carrying more than 300 passengers each.[38][39] The rail project is currently projected to cost $5.27B.[40]

After early delays and postphoned dates from not receiving a final approval from then-Governor Linda Lingle to issues involving burial sites, a ground-breaking ceremony to signal the beginning of construction was held on February 22, 2011.[41][42] Despite the go-ahead, there were still other legal hurdles as the argument of burial sites continue to be a major issue that lead to court order in 2012 to have construction temporary halted,[43] while the project itself was once again a political issue in the 2012 Mayoral race with former governor Ben Cayetano entering the race in the hopes of killing the project altogether, while then-Mayor Carlisle and his predecessor Caldwell both wanted the project to continue. This would result in Carlisle coming in third in the August 2012 primary and leading to a run-off between Cayetano and Caldwell in the November 2012 general election, with Caldwell defeating Cayetano with the support of groups and the public who wanted the rail project to continue. In December 2012, a court order allowed the rail project to resume in all but the one of the two phases so more burial sites can be uncovered.[44]


Colleges and universities

Colleges and universities in Honolulu County include: six in the Honolulu CDP (New Hope Christian College

Primary and secondary schools

Hawaii Department of Education operates public schools in Honolulu.

Public libraries

Hawaii State Public Library System operates public libraries. The Hawaii State Library in the Honolulu CDP serves as the main library of the system,[46] while the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, also in the CDP, serves handicapped and blind people.[47] In addition the system operates 22 branch libraries throughout the county.[48]

Cultural institutions

Performing arts

Established in 1900, the Honolulu Symphony is the oldest US symphony orchestra west of the Rocky Mountains. Other classical music ensembles include the Hawaii Opera Theatre. Honolulu is also a center for Hawaiian music. The main music venues include the Neal Blaisdell Center Concert Hall, the Waikiki Shell, and the Hawaii Theatre.

Honolulu also includes several venues for live theater, including the Diamond Head Theatre.

Visual arts

There are various institutions supported by the state and private entities for the advancement of the visual arts. The Honolulu Museum of Art is endowed with the largest collection of Asian and Western art in Hawaii. It also has the largest collection of Islamic art, housed at the Shangri La estate. The academy hosts a film and video program dedicated to arthouse and world cinema in the museum's Doris Duke Theatre, named for the academy's historic patroness Doris Duke.

The Contemporary Museum is the only contemporary art museum in the state. It has two locations: main campus in Makiki and a multi-level gallery in downtown Honolulu at the First Hawaiian Center.

The Hawaii State Art Museum is also located in downtown Honolulu at No. 1 Capitol District Building and boasts a collection of art pieces created by local artists as well as traditional Hawaiian art. The museum is administered by the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts.

Natural museums

Recognized internationally as the premier cultural institution of Hawaii,[49] the Bishop Museum is the largest of Honolulu's museums.[50] It is endowed with the state's largest collection of natural history specimens and the world's largest collection of Hawaiiana and Pacific culture artifacts. The Honolulu Zoo is the main zoological institution in Hawaii while the Waikiki Aquarium is a working marine biology laboratory. The Waikiki Aquarium is partnered with the University of Hawaii and other universities worldwide. Established for appreciation and botany, Honolulu is home to several gardens: Foster Botanical Garden, Liliuokalani Botanical Garden, Walker Estate, among others.


Currently, Honolulu has no professional sports teams. However, Honolulu hosts the NFL's annual Pro Bowl each February in addition to the NCAA football Hawaii Bowl. Games are hosted at Les Murakami and Hans L'Orange Park. Fans of spectator sports in Honolulu generally support the football, volleyball, basketball, and baseball programs of the University of Hawaii at Manoa. High school sporting events, especially football, are especially popular. Venues for spectator sports in Honolulu include:

Honolulu's mild climate lends itself to year-round fitness activities as well. In 2004, Men's Fitness magazine named Honolulu the fittest city in the nation. Honolulu is home to three large road races:

  • The Great Aloha Run is held annually on Presidents' Day.
  • The Honolulu Marathon, held annually on the second Sunday in December, draws more than 20,000 participants each year, about half to two thirds of them from Japan.
  • The Honolulu Triathlon is an Olympic distance triathlon event governed by USA Triathlon. Held annually in May since 2004, there is an absence of a sprint course.


Main article: Media in Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu County is home to numerous forms media including newspapers, magazines, radio and television.

Sister cities

Honolulu County has sister city relationships with the following cities:[51]

See also

Hawaii portal


38. ^

External links

  • Official website

Coordinates: 21°28′N 157°58′W / 21.467°N 157.967°W / 21.467; -157.967

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