Rankings 2014

hawaii

Education:

26th

Economy:

46th

Safety:

23rd

Environment:

35th

Health:

1st

Infrastructure:

49th

Government:

32nd

Results Champion?: NO

Hawaii is the healthiest place in the US. It receives high scores in the areas of obesity, smoking, and the rate of uninsured. Additionally, Gallup-Heathways rated Hawaii one of the most happy states and highest for quality of life for several years running. The state is also 10 for unemployment rate, 4th best rate of income inequality and 6th best in adult poverty. The state also has one of the lowest rates of violent crimes in the US.

In terms of positives as well as negative outcomes, Hawaii resembles a New England state far more than a western state. its economy lacks innovation and dynamic growth as shown by its rankings in economic diversity, new firms creation, and venture capital investment. The state’s high cost of living negatively affects its median household income, which is 49th in the nation. Despite low levels of carbon dioxide emissions, air and water quality are poor. This however can be explained largely by the persistent volcanic activity in the state, which would skew Hawaii’s position in these measures. Poor infrastructure and problems with funding pension system are also a concern.

Recommendations
With an Infrastructure at 49th in the US, this should be a priority. Since Hawaii has low federal dependency, seeking federal dollars for these improvements is a way to improve infrastructure dollars without affecting other outcomes scores. Economy should also be an area of focus. High cost of living on the island chain may be unavoidable, but policies that encourage venture capital and new entrepreneurs to the state could create innovation in Hawaii’s economy.