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Cost of living driving Native Hawaiians out of their homes

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Hawaii’s high cost of living is driving Native Hawaiians from their homes with many moving to the mainland United States.

According to Hawaii News Now, the median price of a home in Honolulu is over $1 million. Hawaiian residents spend over 40 percent of their income on rent. Many Native Hawaiians are now moving to Las Vegas, Nevada, where the cost of living is cheaper.

It is a trend that has persisted for nearly a decade. According to The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, census data found that from 2010 to 2020 the population growth of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders on the mainland grew 31.6%, an increase of 127,930 people. The percentage of growth was nearly double the growth seen in Hawaii.

Hawaii News Now reports that a recent survey found there were  370,000 Native Hawaiians living on the mainland and 310,000 Native Hawaiians living in Hawaii.

“Native Hawaiians’ connection to their ancestral homelands in Hawaii is a matter of cultural and spiritual significance, and our separation from Hawaii due to economic factors is a form of emotional and cultural trauma that deeply affects all members of our Hawaiian lahui (nation ),” Carmen Hulu Lindsey, chairwoman of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees, told The Honolulu Star-Advertiser in 2021. “Our identity as a people is defined by our relationship and connection to this aina, by our moolelo (history ) tied to this aina and to our ancestors who lived here for generations before us … .”

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