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HONOLULU

 

Honolulu, City, Capital of Hawaii and seat of Honolulu County, located on the island of Oahu. Honolulu is the largest city in Hawaii and the major port and economic center of the state.

Honolulu and Honolulu County have the same boundaries and government, and together they are officially known as the City and County of Honolulu. The City and County of Honolulu has jurisdiction over the entire island of Oahu and several small outlying islands, the most remote of which is Kure Atoll, 2,200 km (1,370 mi) west of the city. Although it technically encompasses all of Oahu, the city of Honolulu is generally considered to be limited to the urban area on the island's southeastern coast. This area extends east to west from Makapuu Point to Pearl Harbor and south to north from the Pacific Ocean to the Koolau Mountains.
The name  Honolulu  comes from the Hawaiian language and means “sheltered harbor.”
The city has a subtropical climate, with an average daily temperature range of 19° to 27°C (66° to 80°F) in January and 23° to 31°C (74° to 88°F) in July. Honolulu averages 560 mm (22 in) of rain per year.

In 2000 Honolulu's urban population was 371,657, compared to the 1990 census figure of 365,272. The population of the metropolitan area was 876,156 in 2000, up from 836,231 in 1990.

Ethnically and culturally, Honolulu is different from many United States cities. According to the 2000 census, people of Asian ancestry constitute 55.9 percent of Honolulu's population, Caucasians 19.7 percent, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders 6.8 percent, African Americans 1.6 percent, Native Americans 0.2, and people of mixed heritage or not reporting race 15.8 percent. Hispanics, who may be of any race, are 4.4 percent of the population. The largest nonwhite ethnic groups are Japanese, Hawaiian or part-Hawaiian, Filipino, and Chinese.

World War II (1939-1945), the Korean War (1950-1953), and the Vietnam War (1959-1975) resulted in new population growth in Honolulu as the area gained in importance to the U.S. military and bases were built or expanded. In the late 1990s military personnel and their dependents constituted approximately 10 percent of Honolulu's population.

Christianity ranks as the dominant religion in Honolulu, accounting for about 35 percent of the total population. Half of the Christians are Roman Catholics. About 7 percent of Honolulu's population practices some form of Buddhism.

English is the dominant language in the city, spoken in the majority of households. Other commonly used languages are Japanese, Tagalog, Ilocano, and Chinese. For many years, the major language spoken in the area was Hawaiian, and during the late 1800s more than 90 percent of the population could speak, read, and write in Hawaiian. In 1896 the Hawaiian government reorganized the public school system and gave power over it to the Board of Education. The board instituted an English-only educational policy. At the time, the policy was seen as a way of strengthening economic and political ties with the United States mainland. It was also a means of acculturating and socializing indigenous Hawaiians and other ethnic groups. As a consequence of this policy, the use of the Hawaiian language declined drastically. In the second half of the 20th century, however, there was a renaissance in the Hawaiian language, and in the 1970s Hawaiian was recognized as one of the state's two official languages. This led to the introduction of Hawaiian language courses in primary and secondary schools as well as on university campuses and in community education programs, both within Honolulu and throughout the state.