- Hilo, Hawaii
official_name = Hilo, Hawai'i
settlement_type = CDP
image_caption = Aerial view of Hilo bay and city.
mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location in Hawaii County and the state of
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Hawaii
unit_pref = Imperial
area_total_km2 = 151.4
area_land_km2 = 140.6
area_water_km2 = 10.7
area_total_sq_mi = 58.4
area_land_sq_mi = 54.3
area_water_sq_mi = 4.1
population_as_of = 2000
population_total = 40759
population_density_km2 = 289.9
population_density_sq_mi = 750.8
timezone = Hawaii-Aleutian
utc_offset = -10
latd = 19
latm = 42
lats = 20
latNS = N
longd = 155
longm = 5
longs = 9
longEW = W
elevation_m = 18
elevation_ft = 59
postal_code = 96720-96721
area_code = 808
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 15-14650
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0359187
footnotes = Hilo (pronEng|ˈhiːlo) is a coastal town in the State of Hawaiokinai. It is the largest settlement on the island of Hawaiokinai, and the second largest settlement in the state. The population was 40,759 at the 2000 census.
Hilo is the
county seatof Hawaiokinai County, Hawaiokinai, and is situated in the South Hilo District. The town overlooks Hilo Bay, and is near two shield volcanoes, Mauna Loa, considered active, and Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano upon which some of the best ground-based astronomical observatories are placed.
Hilo is home to the University of Hawaiokinai at Hilo, as well as the
Merrie Monarch Festival, a week-long celebration of ancient and modern hula, which takes place annually after Easter. It is also home to the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corporation, one of the world's leading producers of macadamia nuts. It is served by Hilo International Airport.
Hilo is located at coor dms|19|42|20|N|155|5|9|W|city (19.705520, -155.085918)GR|1, the southernmost city in the United States.Fact|date=May 2008
Hilo is classified by the
United States Census Bureauas a census-designated place(CDP). According to the census, the census-designated place has a total area of 151.4 square kilometers (58.4 mi²), 140.6 square kilometers (54.3 mi²) of which is land and 10.7 square kilometers (4.2 mi²) of which (7.10%) is water.
Hilo's location on the eastern side of the island of Hawaiokinai (
windwardrelative to the trade winds) makes it the wettest city in the United States and one of the wettest cities in the world. An average of 127.77 inches (3245 mm) of rain falls on Hilo (airport) annually (between 1949 and 2007). [ [http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?hi1492 HILO WSO AP 87, HAWAII - Climate Summary ] ] At some other weather stations in Hilo the annual rainfall is above 200 inches. [ [http://www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl/climate/phto_clim.php Hilo, Hawai`i first order observing station information ] ]
Its location on the shore of the funnel-shaped Hilo Bay also makes it vulnerable to
As of the United States
censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 40,759 people, 14,577 households, and 10,101 families residing in the census-designated place. The population densitywas 750.8 people per square mile (289.9/km²). There were 16,026 housing units at an average density of 295.2/sq mi (114.0/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 17.12% White, 0.45% African American, 0.34% Native American, 38.30% Asian, 13.12% Pacific Islander, 0.94% from other races, and 29.74% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.78% of the population.
There were 14,577 households out of which 30.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.5% were married couples living together, 15.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.7% were non-families. 24.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.19.
In the CDP the population was spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 24.4% from 25 to 44, 23.9% from 45 to 64, and 16.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 95.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.9 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $39,139, and the median income for a family was $48,150. Males had a median income of $36,049 and the median was $27,626 for females. The
per capita incomefor the CDP was $18,220. About 11.1% of families and 17.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.5% of those under age 18 and 6.7% of those age 65 or over.
Although archaeological evidence is scant, people certainly inhabited the areas along Hilo Bay, Wailuku and
Wailoa Rivers before the Western world made contact. Missionaries came to Hilo in the early to middle 1800s, founding several churches, notably Haili Church.
Hilo expanded as
sugar plantations in the surrounding area made sure that they didn't move and drew in many workers from Asia, and the city became a trading center.
A breakwater across Hilo Bay was begun in the 1900s and completed in 1929. On
April 1, 1946, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake near the Aleutian Islandscreated a fourteen-meter high tsunamithat hit Hilo hours later, killing 160 people. In response an early warning system, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, was established to track these killer waves and provide warning.
May 23, 1960, another tsunami, caused by a 9.5 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Chilethe previous day, claimed 61 lives allegedly due to people's failure to heed warning sirens. Low-lying bayfront areas of the city on Waiākea peninsula and along Hilo Bay, previously populated, were rededicated as parks and memorials.
Hilo expanded inland beginning in the 1960s. The downtown found a new role in the 1980s as the city's cultural center with several galleries and museums being opened; the Palace Theatre was reopened in 1998 as an arthouse cinema.
Closure of the sugar plantations (including those in Hāmākua) during the 1990s led to a downturn in the local economy, coinciding with a general statewide slump. Hilo in recent years has seen commercial and population growth as the neighboring district of Puna became the fastest-growing region in the state.
Government and politics
Hilo is not an incorporated city, and does not have a municipal government. The entire island, which is slightly smaller than the state of
Connecticut, is under the jurisdiction of Hawaiokinai County, of which Hilo is the county seat.
Hilo is home to county, state, and federal offices.
Hilo and its outlying areas are traditionally more Democratic-leaning than West Hawaiokinai, which adds to tension between the two major municipal areas. It has also presented more opposition to development than other large communities elsewhere in the state.Fact|date=February 2007
Hilo has a large tourism sector, as is prevalent across the whole island. Hilo, as the second largest city in the state of Hawaiokinai, is home to shopping centers, movie theaters, hotels, restaurants, and a developed downtown area.
Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corporationmakes its home here as well and is a major tourist attraction on its own right with its self-guided tour of the processing plant (viewed from the outside on a second-floor walkway due to safety and sanitation concerns) and large gift shop with homemade macadamia nut ice cream for sale and free samples of every flavor variation sold by the company.
Notable natives and residents
Points of interest
Hilo Tropical Gardens
* Liliokinauokalani Park and Gardens
Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corporation
Nani Mau Gardens
Pacific Tsunami Museum
Pana'ewa Rainforest Zoo
* University of Hawaiokinai at Hilo Botanical Gardens
* okinaImiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaiokinai
La Serena, Chile
* [http://www.downtownhilo.com/Home/tabid/36/Default.aspx Hilo Downtown Improvement Association]
* [http://www.tsunami.org/ Pacific Tsunami Museum]
* [http://www.imiloahawaii.org/ `Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai`i]
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