Discover the 5 Most Educated Places in Hawaii

Written by Patrick MacFarland
Published: February 29, 2024
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Ancient Greeks knew that education was important. They established universities to ensure that men were educated in science, government, mathematics, and other important subjects. As time has progressed, we have seen the importance of education in furthering global advancements. English teachers need to be educated to teach our youth to read and write. Coders and statisticians need to know about their mathematics so they can be successful in their careers. In the United States, currently, 35% of people 25 or older have bachelor’s degrees. Those numbers decrease when it comes to those with master’s degrees. Only 13% of those aged 25 and over have graduate degrees. Furthermore, only 2% of the population have doctorate degrees.

When it comes to Hawaii, what are the statistics there? Let’s take a look at the five most educated places in Hawaii. We will look at the information from the five Hawaiian counties.

5. Kalawao County

Kalawao Sun

The County of Kalawao has a population of 82 people and has no county seat.

©Carson Coe/iStock via Getty Images

For more than 100 years, Kalawao County used to be a leper colony. It is no longer, and only 82 people are living in the county. These 82 people are those who have stayed on the island after the government announced that it would no longer be a leper colony. There is still a ban on living on that island, however. Only visitors through tours can go to the island and relatives of those who live there. Thus, the county comes in at number five on the list. Only 17 people have bachelor’s degrees or higher, 7 people have master’s degrees, and none have doctorate degrees.

4. Hawaii County

The county seat of Hawaii County is Hilo, and the county has a population of 206,315 people.


Dubbed the “Big Island”, Hawaii is the largest island in the state. Hilo is one of the cities on the island. But even though it is the biggest island, it is not the most populated. There are a total of 43,000 people with bachelor’s degrees or higher. Furthermore, there are nearly 10,000 people with master’s degrees or higher and lastly, there are only 2,000 people with doctorate degrees. There are three upper education institutions: the University of Hawaii at Hilo, the University of Nations, and Hawaii Community College.

3. Kauai County

The county seat of Kauai County is Lihue, and the county has a population of 73,810 people.

©Shane Myers Photography/

With 15,000 people who have bachelor’s degrees or higher, Kauai comes in at number four.  The difference between the percentage and the actual number has to do with the population in Kauai County. There are 3,000 people with master’s degrees or higher and lastly, there are only 622 people with doctorate degrees. When it comes to educational institutions in Kauai County, Kauai Community College is located there. It is the only higher education institution in the county. In terms of K to 12 public schools, the Hawaii Department of Education handles all matters in Kauai County.

2. Maui County

The county seat of Maui County is Wailuku, and the county has a population of 164,351 people.


Maui is known as the ultimate surf spot in Hawaii. People love visiting Maui and lying on the beach and frolicking in the water. But Maui is also one of the most educated counties in Hawaii. Besides being the second most populous county, Maui comes in third with people with bachelor’s degrees at 35,000 people. The cipher lowers to nearly 8,000 for those with master’s degrees and only 1,000 for those with doctorate degrees. The University of Hawaii Maui College is located in Maui. Moreover, Maui County Public Schools are run by the Hawaii Department of Education.

1. Honolulu County

The county seat of Honolulu County is Honolulu, and the county has a population of 995,638 people.


The most populous county in Hawaii is Honolulu County. Honolulu, the state’s capital, is located here. It is also the county that has the most people with bachelor’s degrees or higher. A whopping 256,000 people have bachelor’s degrees. That cipher lowers to 62,000 when you add in people with master’s degrees or above. Of course, the number of people with doctorate degrees is the lowest with 11,000.

Furthermore, Honolulu has an abundance of higher education institutions. The University of Hawaii system is operated in Honolulu County. The University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu Community College, and Kapiolani Community College are all in the city of Honolulu. There are also other universities and community colleges throughout the county including the University of Hawaii in West Oahu, located in Kapolei.

Summary of the 5 Most Educated Places in Hawaii

RankCounty% of People With Bachelors or Above
5Kalawao County20.7%
4Hawaii County21.3%
3Kauai County21.5%
2Maui County21.5%
1Honolulu County25.6%

The photo featured at the top of this post is © agaliza/iStock via Getty Images

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About the Author

Patrick Macfarland is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering travel, geography, and history. Patrick has been writing for more than 10 years. In the past, he has been a teacher and a political candidate. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from SDSU and a Master's Degree in European Union Studies from CIFE. From San Diego, California, Patrick loves to travel and try new recipes to cook.

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