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The 20 Worst Places to Live in Hawaii

Airport, Honolulu, HI

Hawaii is a beautiful state that is formed through a collection of tropical islands, popular as a vacation travel destination. For many portions of the state, the tourism industry has created several good jobs and opportunities for businesses to thrive.

The volcanic geography that was once a tourist attraction still has a magical appeal, but the dangers of living in the area have made several once-thriving communities more akin to a wasteland.

There are still great places to live in Hawaii where the economic, housing, and quality of living prospects are good, but there are also some areas where the crime rates are high and the quality of life is low. If you're thinking about moving to Hawaii, here are 20 of the worst places to live you might want to avoid.

Wahiawa, HI

20. Wahiawa, HI

According to Only In Your State, Hawaii has recently seen a decrease in the reported crime rates, but they're still too high for comfort. The greatest danger for residents as well as visitors comes after dark.

Here are five of the most dangerous places to be in Hawaii after dark starting with Wahiawa. Wahiawa has earned a soiled reputation by both locals and those who have had the misfortune of coming across the town in their travels.

The city is located on the Isle of Oahu and it is frequently referred to as the "armpit" of the island. There is a high incidence of drug use in the city and the crime rate is 22 percent higher than the combined numbers of the other cities in the state of Hawaii. Wahiawa is ranked as the tenth highest place in terms of its crime rate.

Kapaa, HI

19. Kapaa, HI

According to Only in Your State's database, Kapaa is one of the most dangerous places to be in the state of Hawaii. Although the city features a beautiful landscape with a garden isle aesthetic, the outer beauty soon fades when you know the stark truth about the city's inhabitants.

Some wonderful people are living in Kapaa, but they must contend with the fact that their odds of becoming the victim of a crime are 1 in 28. If you live there long enough, you're likely to either be robbed, assaulted, or have some other crime committed against you.

Kahului, HI

18. Kahului, HI

Kahului is situated in a lush valley on the Island of Maui with green rolling hills all around. From a distance, it looks like a small piece of heaven. It is a busy city that has a population of 100,000 residents.

Although the crime rate has gone down dramatically in the rest of the state of Hawaii, the word hasn't reached Kahului yet. Not much has changed and the crime rates are still high, making it a place that isn't safe after the sun sets in the evening. An incredible 12.18 crimes occur each day on average in the city.

Makaha, HI

17. Makaha, HI

Makaha is a city that is located on the leeward Island of Oahu. The rocky beaches formed of centuries of volcanic eruptions create some of the most beautiful landscapes in the state. It's a lovely place to visit if you're certain that you have safe accommodations. Makaha however, is not a good place to set down roots and raise a family. According to the census designation, the city has the highest crime rate per capita in the state of Hawaii.

Napili-Honokawai, HI

16. Napili-Honokawai, HI

The small community of Napili-Honokowai may look peaceful and serene. It's situated in the northern portion of Maui. Although the population is only 6,000, crime is rampant. Ten percent of the population live in economic conditions that are below the poverty level. Crime is common in the community, making it an unsafe place to live.

Ocean Pointe, HI

15. Ocean Pointe, HI

If you're a woman looking for a good job opportunity then Ocean Pointe is a city you should avoid. Zippia provides us with the next five worst cities in Hawaii if you are a woman. Their criteria are based on the treatment of women, their earning potential, and job opportunities.

Women are treated differently than men in the workforce in Ocean Pointe. A woman will work the same job as a man and earn just $.60 for every dollar that a male earns. There is just 22.8 percent of women in management in this area. 4.7 percent are uninsured and 4.7 percent also live in poverty. There are better opportunities for females in other areas of the state.

Maili, HI

14. Maili, HI

Maili is no better than Ocean Pointe. While a woman earns an estimated $0.61 to every dollar that a man earns, the poverty rates are a mind-boggling 49 percent for women in the city. Although the statistics show that women make up 49 percent of management, which is some better, the number of uninsured women is 6.3 percent. It's categorized as the fourth worst city for women to earn a living in the state.

Kula, HI

13. Kula, HI

Women in Kula earn an average of $0.63 for every dollar earned by a male doing the same job in Kula. 5.2 percent of single women are uninsured, but this isn't the worst of it. An incredible 11 percent of women in the city are below the poverty level and the total percentage of women in management in the workforce is just 38.6 percent.

Waianae, HI

12. Waianae, HI

Waianae is a lovely community, but the appearances are not all that they seem. Women raising families who need to work have better options in the state. Although a woman makes an average salary of $0.75 on every dollar a man makes, which is roughly twenty-five percent less, the numbers go downhill from there.

Only 37.4 percent of the workforce in management are women. The poverty rate for women in Waianae is 30.6 percent and 5.7 percent of women in the city are uninsured. It's the second worse city in the state for women who work for a living.

Wailea, HI

11. Wailea, HI

If you are a woman considering a move to Hawaii, you need to know that Wailea is one of the worst cities in the state for women. The statistics prove this assertion. The figures show that women make $0.67 to every dollar that a male earns for the same job. The poverty rate for women is at 15 percent and the number uninsured is 6.6 percent. The entire management class workforce in Wailea is made up of just 31.7 percent women.

Lahaina, HI

10. Lahaina, HI

Lahaina is a city of 13,103 residents who call the area home. The crime rate has moved up in its position on the worst places to live in the state from number 13. The unemployment rate is 6.2 percent and the median home value is well over $631,000.

According to Roadsnacks, the economy makes it difficult for the average wage earner to survive in the area. While the crime rate is high, it's not the worst, but the city does have one of the state's lowest household incomes, combined with a high unemployment rate.

Hawaiian Paradise Park, HI

9. Hawaiian Paradise Park, HI

Roadsnacks reveals that Hawaiian Paradise Park has the worst median home value in the state of Hawaii. The small community of 11,479 residents features beautiful landscapes and beautiful beaches, but it's not a city. It's an incorporated area with low home values and low-income levels compared to other cities in the state. The poverty rate and unemployment rates are high and the population has doubled in the last decade and a half.

Nanakuli, HI

8. Nanakuli, HI

Road Snacks rate Nanakuli as one of the worst cities to live in the state because the median home value is the third-worst in the state, and the unemployment rate is a whopping 13.3 percent.

This small community of 11,472 residents has crime rates that are more like a larger metropolitan area. The income levels are also very low. Although homes are the third cheapest in the state, you have a 1 in 34 chance of becoming the victim of a robbery. The statistics for rape and other attacks are high with a 1 in 400 chance. It's not the best place in the state to settle.

Pahoa, HI

7. Pahoa, HI

According to USA Estate Online, Pahoa is a small community that is situated on the Big Island's eastern tip. Just 731 residents are living there. Although it's a small community with beautiful surroundings, it's not a safe place for women or anyone else for that matter.

This city has the highest number of sex offenders living there than any other place in the state. Property crime rates are 90 percent higher than the national average and violent crime rates are also high at 4544 per 100K persons.

The analysts at USA Estate names the next three worst cities in Hawaii in their list of places you may not want to settle.

Ewa Beach, HI

6. Ewa Beach, HI

Ewa Beach is a city that has earned a bad reputation for its criminal activity and drug use. There is a high incidence of car break-ins, mobbings, and kidnappings in this area. Although it's a lovely place to visit from an aesthetic perspective, the thought of being kidnapped from a public area isn't very appealing.

Hilo, HI

5. Hilo, HI

Hilo is a large city with a population of 45,579 residents. Although it's brimming with fun amenities and recreational opportunities, the crime rate is also 70 percent above the national average.

The city is one of the big island's most dangerous places to live. Property crimes are 84 percent higher than the national average. When the sun comes down, the criminals crawl and it's not recommended that to walk alone after dark. You have a 1 in 23 chance of becoming the victim of a crime when visiting or living in Hilo.

Waimea, HI

4. Waimea, HI

Waimea is a city that is located on the Big Island in the northern end. The population is just 10,770 residents. According to statistics provided by the FBI, the total reported crime is 3562 per 100K locals.

You have a 1 out of 28 chance of becoming the victim of a crime if you're visiting or living in Waimea. For a small town, the figures are disturbing. It's reported to be worse after the sun goes down.

Waipahu, HI

3. Waipahu, HI

Waipahu is located on the island of Oahu. It is a moderately large city with a population of 41,590. It is one of the most poverty-stricken areas in the state with many neighborhoods in a run-down condition.

Methamphetamine use is out of control among residents of the city according to the National Drug Intelligence Center. Your risk of becoming a crime victim is one in 27 in Waipahu, making it one of the most dangerous cities in the state. The city also has a below-average livability score.

Kalihi-Palama, HI

2. Kalihi-Palama, HI

Area Vibes brings us to the two worst places to live in Hawaii in 2020. These are neighborhoods in the city of Honolulu starting with Kalihi-Palma. Kalihi-Palama is having a problem with an increasing crime rate.

In the past year, it has gone up by three percent. It's a neighborhood within the larger metropolitan area of Honolulu. The crime rates are 84 percent higher than the national average and your chances of becoming the victim of a crime when living or visiting this city are 1 in 22. This is just too high for comfort.

Airport, Honolulu, HI

1. Airport, Honolulu, HI

Airport is a community within the city of Honolulu that is ranked as the worst city in Hawaii to live in. A single figure has cemented its fate for inclusion in this list.

The crime rates for Airport are higher than the national average by a sickening 107 percent. You stand a one in 20 chance of becoming a crime victim in this area. It is the most dangerous city in Hawaii and the crime rate has increased by three percent over the past year.

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Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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