Maui Business

Report: Hawai‘i Economy to Grow at 1.7% Annually Through 2045

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Maui tourism, a leading sector of the state economy. Maui Now file photo.

A new report released today by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism shows that Hawaiʻi’s economy will grow at 1.7% per year between 2016 and 2045.

The “Population and Economic Projections for the State of Hawaiʻi to 2045” report is measured by real gross domestic product.

It also shows that civilian jobs will grow at 0.8% annual rate; population will grow at 0.5% annual rate; and visitor arrivals by air planes will grow at 1.1% annual rate during the same period.

This is the ninth in a series of long-range projections dating back to the first report published by DBEDT in 1978.

The 2045 Series uses the detailed population characteristics from the 2010 Decennial Census, 2016 vintage intercensal population estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau, 2016 estimates of economic variables, and input-output tables based on the 2012 Economic Census as baseline data for the projection.   DBEDT’s last long-range projection was released in March 2012 for projections up to 2040.

“The report provides the best estimates from our economists, which are based on trends and our understanding of the economic future,” said DBEDT Director Luis P. Salaveria.  “These projections will help the state and counties with infrastructure and economic planning, while businesses can use the projections in developing their growth strategies.”

DBEDT’s Chief State Economist Dr. Eugene Tian explains: “The world changes rapidly with new technology and regulations, so it is difficult to project the economic indicators precisely into the future.  We conduct this long range forecast every five to six years.  We also conduct short-term economic forecasts every quarter of the year. In our DBEDT 2040 projection series, which was released in 2012, we projected our resident population would be 1,418,250 in 2015, the actual estimate for the same year by the U.S. Census Bureau was 1,425,157, a difference of 6,907 people or a 0.5% forecasting error for that year.”

Report Highlights:

  • Resident population will grow at 0.7% per year between 2016 and 2025, then the growth rate will drop to 0.5% per year between 2025 and 2035, and will further drop to 0.3 percent between 2035 and 2045.
  • By 2045, Hawaiʻi will have a total resident population of 1,648,600, 15.4% higher than the 2016 population level of 1,428,557.
  • Neighbor island counties will experience faster growth in resident population than Honolulu County and, as a result, Honolulu will have 65.1% of the state total resident population by 2045, down from the 69.5% in 2016.
  • The elderly population (65+ years) will grow at an annual rate of 1.7% between 2016 and 2045, and the population at age 85+ will grow at an annual rate of 3.6% during the same period.
  • By 2045, the elderly population (65+ years) will account for 23.8% of Hawaiʻi’s total resident population as compared with 17.1% in 2016.
  • Visitor arrivals are projected to increase at an annual rate of 1.1% during the 2016-2045 period with daily visitor census at 302,500 by 2045, 38.6% higher than the 2016 level of 218,272.
  • Hawaiʻi’s economy, as measured by real gross domestic product (GDP), is expected to grow at 1.7% per year between 2016 and 2045, a rate lower than the previous 30 years at 1.9% between 1986 to 2016.
  • Statewide real personal income (inflation adjusted) will grow at 2% annual rate between 2016 and 2045, higher than the 1.8% experienced during the past 30 years between 1986 and 2016.
  • Statewide total civilian jobs will grow at an annual rate of 0.8% between 2016 and 2045, lower than the 1.5% experienced during the 30 years prior 2016.
  • The growth in self-employed jobs will be at 1.3% per year, higher than that of wage and salary jobs at 0.6% per year between 2016 and 2045.

Sectors with higher job growth rate include Health Services (1.3% annual growth rate), Educational Services (1.3% annual growth), Business Services (1.2 annual growth), Professional Services (1.1% annual growth), and Eating and Drinking Places (1% annual growth) between 2016 and 2045.

Click here for the full report.


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