The 10 Best Places To Live In Hawaii For 2024

The best places to live in Hawaii for 2024 are Mililani Mauka, Ahuimanu, and East Honolulu. Find out where your city or town ranks.

What do 1.4 million Hawaii residents know that we don’t? Besides surfing and hula dancing, Hawaiians know precisely where the best places to live in Hawaii are located.

Luckily, we uncovered their secrets and identified the top ten best places to live in Hawaii for 2024.

How’d we do this? We used Saturday Night Science to compare the 49 Hawaii places with 5,000 or more residents. We considered home prices, household income, education, and safety, among other quality-of-life factors.

Hawaii’s best places are home to Kona Coffee, macadamia nuts, and Hawaiian Airlines.

Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Table | Map | Methodology | Summary

So, where is the best place to live in Hawaii for 2024? The best place to live in Hawaii is Mililani Mauka, according to the most recent FBI and Census data.

To see Hawaii’s other best places to live, look below. And if you are still looking for your favorite there, head to the bottom for a complete ranking of places in Hawaii.

For more reading, check out:

The 10 Best Places To Live In Hawaii For 2024

Best Places To Live In Hawaii Map

Mililani Mauka, HI

Source: Public domain
Stat Mililani Mauka Hawaii
Population 21,546 1,450,589
Rank Last Year 1
Median Home Value $925,717 $830,193
Median Income $132,043 $94,814
Unemployment Rate 2.0% 5.1%
Crime Per Capita 0.0319 0.0259

More on Mililani Mauka: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Aloha and welcome to Mililani Mauka, the best place to live in Hawaii for the second year running. Located smack dab in the center of O’ahu, Mililani Mauka doesn’t need to rely on beaches to get the best out of island living. It’s the only community in Hawaii to ever be named an All-American City. Folks here know the importance of fresh food; you can take a tour of Mari’s Gardens, Hawaii’s largest aquaponic and hydroponic farm, or pick up all the best locally-grown produce at the Mililani Farmer’s Market.

GreatSchools gave schools in the area an average score of 8.5/10, so you know that students get all the resources they need here. A ridiculously low poverty rate of 2.7% ranks as the 3rd lowest in the state and the median household income of $132,043/year ranks as the 3rd highest in Hawaii. Housing is kind of pricey, but that’s pretty much a given in Hawaii. Homes sell for around $925,717 and a typical rental will set you back around $2,447/month.

Ahuimanu, HI

Source: Wikipedia User | GFDL
Stat Ahuimanu Hawaii
Population 9,177 1,450,589
Rank Last Year 4
Median Home Value $915,947 $830,193
Median Income $124,018 $94,814
Unemployment Rate 1.9% 5.1%
Crime Per Capita 0.0319 0.0259

More on Ahuimanu: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Just north of Kaneohe, you’ll find the 2nd best place to call home in Hawaii, Ahuimanu. High above Kaneohe Bay, you can visit Friendship Garden, a quiet corner of paradise. That’s just the sort of thing you’d expect to find in the nicest place in Hawaii. Being the sort of place where neighbors have your back earned Ahuimanu that title.

Ahuimanu’s poverty rate of 3.9% ranks as the 7th lowest in the state, and residents earn the 9th highest median household income at $124,018/year. The high school dropout rate in Ahuimanu is the 5th lowest in Hawaii, so you know that the importance of education is instilled in the CDP’s youth. While homes are quite pricey, you can find a place to rent in Ahuimanu for $1,968/month, 35% cheaper than the average rent in Hawaii.

East Honolulu, HI

Source: Public domain
Stat East Honolulu Hawaii
Population 49,491 1,450,589
Rank Last Year 3
Median Home Value $1,212,724 $830,193
Median Income $151,224 $94,814
Unemployment Rate 3.8% 5.1%
Crime Per Capita 0.0319 0.0259

More on East Honolulu: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

A census-designated place located in eastern (duh) Honolulu, East Honolulu is a place jam-packed with entertainment. Everyone who comes here hikes Diamond Head State Monument, a dormant volcano crater with epic coastal views. There’s Hanauma Bay for the snorkelers and Pearl Harbor National Memorial for anyone who wants to learn more about the history of the event.

Word to the wise: East Honolulu is far from cheap. The cost of living here is twice as high as the national index, and housing is four times as high. Rent here is among the highest in the state at $3,130/month, and the median home price is the 6th highest in Hawaii at $1,212,724. Luckily, East Honolulu is also one of Hawaii’s richest cities, with a median household income of $151,224, the highest in the state. Those big paychecks are the result of big brains; over 65% of residents have a college degree, and 25% have a master’s degree or higher. Poverty and unemployment rates hover at around 3%, so everyone gets a piece of the pie here. As a bonus, 98.2% of residents have health insurance, the 6th highest rate in Hawaii.

Waikele, HI

Source: Wikipedia User Pmattes | CC BY-SA 3.0
Stat Waikele Hawaii
Population 7,551 1,450,589
Rank Last Year 7
Median Home Value $735,211 $830,193
Median Income $115,858 $94,814
Unemployment Rate 0.5% 5.1%
Crime Per Capita 0.0319 0.0259

More on Waikele: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Waikele, a census-designated place in Waipahu, comes in as the 4th best place to live in Hawaii for 2024. This region of O’ahu has a rich history of sugar plantations, which you can learn more about at Hawaii Plantation Village. If that sounds boring, just leave whoever you’re with and walk down the street to Waikele Premium Outlets, the only outlet center in the state and a shopaholics paradise.

Folks in Waikele are not to be trifled with when it comes time for a pub quiz; about half of the adult population has a college degree, and 15% of residents have a master’s degree, PhD, or professional degree to boot. Waikele’s poverty rate of 3.7% ranks as the 6th lowest in Hawaii and the unemployment rate here hovers around a measly 2%. Perhaps the best part of Waikele, though, is that it’s affordable (by Hawaii standards, at least). While the cost of living is way higher than the national average, it’s slightly cheaper than the statewide average. In any case, you won’t find cheaper homes anywhere on this list then Waikele’s $735,211.

Ocean Pointe, HI

Source: Wikipedia User Ekrem Canli | CC BY-SA 4.0
Stat Ocean Pointe Hawaii
Population 16,173 1,450,589
Rank Last Year 8
Median Home Value $868,619 $830,193
Median Income $136,540 $94,814
Unemployment Rate 2.9% 5.1%
Crime Per Capita 0.0319 0.0259

More on Ocean Pointe: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

A neighbor of Ewa Gentry, Ocean Pointe comes in as the 5th best place to live in Hawaii. With a median age of 31, Ocean Pointe is the youngest place on our list. The young-uns must be doing something right, because Ocean Pointe is Hawaii’s fastest-growing city, with the population exploding by 130% in the past decade. People are attracted by the safe environment, top-quality schools, and great employment opportunities. Poverty and unemployment hover around 4% and a typical household brings home around $136,540/year.

If that all sounds great, but you can’t live without working on your golf swing, fear not; there’s a great golf course in Ocean Pointe. If golf causes you more stress than it alleviates, you’ll probably prefer spending time in the turquoise water at Oneula Beach Park.

Aiea, HI

Source: Wikipedia User Avriette at English Wikipedia | GFDL
Stat Aiea Hawaii
Population 9,571 1,450,589
Rank Last Year 2
Median Home Value $840,829 $830,193
Median Income $130,507 $94,814
Unemployment Rate 4.6% 5.1%
Crime Per Capita 0.0319 0.0259

More on Aiea: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Located on O’ahu’s south shore 15 minutes northwest of Honolulu, Aiea is the 6th best place to live in Hawaii. Besides being a favorite of consonant-haters, Aiea also has a lot to offer anyone who loves to shop or hike. Pearlridge Center is the second-largest shopping center in the state, and the Aiea Loop Trail supplies magnificent views of the sea and the Wai’anae Range.

Like East Honolulu, you’ll want a nest egg or a lucrative job lined up before moving to Aiea, seeing as it’s one of the most expensive places in Hawaii. The median rent of $2,697/month is super steep, and the median home price of $840,829 is the 27th highest in the state. Aiea is also the oldest spot on this list, with a median age of 41, so most residents probably do have some substantial savings. If you don’t, no worries, because the median household income in Aiea is the 4th highest in Hawaii at $130,507/year.

Kaneohe, HI

Source: Wikipedia User Jörg Hempel | CC BY-SA 3.0 de
Stat Kaneohe Hawaii
Population 35,493 1,450,589
Rank Last Year 5
Median Home Value $1,031,688 $830,193
Median Income $120,451 $94,814
Unemployment Rate 4.5% 5.1%
Crime Per Capita 0.0319 0.0259

More on Kaneohe: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Yet another O’ahu island locale, Kaneohe comes in as the 7th best place to live in the Aloha State. An idyllic little slice of island living at its finest, Kaneohe packs plenty of action into a peaceful setting. Byodo-In Temple is a positively gorgeous and serene place at the foot of the Ko’olau Mountains. The Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens has tropical plants from around the world, but if you want to see purely natural beauty, spend some time at He’eia State Park. From there, you can pay a visit to Oahu’s only barrier reef at Kaneohe Bay.

Homes in Kaneohe are the 10th priciest in the state at $1,031,688. Besides housing, though, the cost of living in Kaneohe is on par with the rest of Hawaii. Plus, locals enjoy the 12th highest median household income in Hawaii at $120,451/year.

Stat West Loch Estate Hawaii
Population 6,469 1,450,589
Rank Last Year 6
Median Home Value $876,218 $830,193
Median Income $119,250 $94,814
Unemployment Rate 1.8% 5.1%
Crime Per Capita 0.0319 0.0259

More on West Loch Estate: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

West Loch Estate is a CDP about 25 minutes northwest of Honolulu. If you’re looking to get out into nature, head over to Kapapapuhi Point Park. And if you have an itch to hit the links, there’s a gorgeous golf course in town.

West Loch Estate has an incredibly low poverty rate of 5.7%, which ranks as the 16th best in Hawaii. 99.3% of residents have health insurance, the 2nd highest rate statewide. Homes are fairly cheap (again, by Hawaii standards) at $876,218. West Loch Estate is also the 5th most densely populated place in Hawaii, so you’ll never be far from the action. Safe streets and good schools are the finishing touches that make West Loch Estate a wonderful place to call home.

Waipio, HI

Source: Wikipedia User Paul Hirst (Phirst) | CC BY-SA 2.5
Stat Waipio Hawaii
Population 11,138 1,450,589
Rank Last Year 10
Median Home Value $705,468 $830,193
Median Income $99,815 $94,814
Unemployment Rate 2.6% 5.1%
Crime Per Capita 0.0319 0.0259

More on Waipio: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Waipio is another town located on the south-central part of Oahu island. And it’s an absolute great place to live as it ranks 9th best in Hawaii.

The views from Waipi’o Valley Lookout are absolutely amazing. In addition to the views, the valley also provides excellent hikes and day trips to take the kids to. You can also take the kids to Kaluahine Falls for a day or simply to the Waipi’o Neighborhood Park.

LIke many of its neighbors on this list, Waipio earns its spot on this list because of a high demand for houses. The population has grown over the past decade and it reflects in home prices. Waipahu High School gets great reviews from parents and review sites alike. So Waipio has something for everyone.

Makawao, HI

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY-SA 3.0
Stat Makawao Hawaii
Population 7,704 1,450,589
Rank Last Year 12
Median Home Value $1,027,207 $830,193
Median Income $109,385 $94,814
Unemployment Rate 3.0% 5.1%
Crime Per Capita 0.0319 0.0259

More on Makawao: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Makawao, found on the rural northwest slope of Haleakal in Maui County, ranks as the 10th best place to live in Hawaii. The census-designated place encompasses a total area of 3.5 square miles and is known for its agriculture and ranch land heritage, being part of Upcountry Maui. A home in Makawao has a $1,027,207 price tag.

The town’s residents have a diverse racial composition and enjoy a higher than average 109,385 median income. The nearby natural reserves, like the Makawao Forest Reserve, give families fun things to do on the weekends.

Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Hawaii

Best Places To Live In Hawaii Size Requirement

Before we even started to collect data on the best places to live in Hawaii, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit cities with populations over 100,000 against places with a population of 18?

We firmly decided no, that just isn’t fair.

So, to create our ranking, we broke the best places to live into three tiers:

  • Cities — Populations over 5,000
  • Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 5,000
  • Small Towns — Populations below 1,000

This filter left 49 cities, 62 towns, and 23 small towns.

We then decided no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best cities to live in Hawaii have more of everything, and therefore, you need over 5,000 people to truly be ‘the best.’

Methodology: How We Calculated The Best Cities To Live In Hawaii

Now that we had our set of the best possible cities, it was time to rank them using Saturday Night Science.

We ranked each place in Hawaii across a number of criteria from one to 49, with one being the best.

We then took the average rank across all criteria, crowning the city posting the lowest overall score, the “Best Place To Live In Hawaii.”

The criteria we looked to determine the best places were:

  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Population Density (Higher is better)
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Commute Time
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data, FBI Crime Data, and Zillow. We updated this article for 2024. This report is our tenth time ranking Hawaii’s best places to live.

If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Hawaii. Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Mililani Mauka at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Summary: The Best Places In Hawaii

If you’re looking at areas in Hawaii with the best economic situations, where there’s lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

The best places to live in Hawaii are Mililani Mauka, Ahuimanu, East Honolulu, Waikele, Ocean Pointe, Aiea, Kaneohe, West Loch Estate, Waipio, and Makawao.

Mililani Mauka made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for the best place to live in Hawaii for 2024.

If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Hawaii according to the data:

  1. Nanakuli (Pop. 12,370)
  2. Waianae (Pop. 13,749)
  3. Makaha (Pop. 10,042)

For more Hawaii reading, check out:

Best Places To Live In Hawaii Table

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value Median Income Rent Crime Per Capita
1 Mililani Mauka 21,546 2.0% $925,717 $132,043 $2,447 0.0319
2 Ahuimanu 9,177 1.9% $915,947 $124,018 $1,968 0.0319
3 East Honolulu 49,491 3.8% $1,212,724 $151,224 $3,130 0.0319
4 Waikele 7,551 0.5% $735,211 $115,858 $2,468 0.0319
5 Ocean Pointe 16,173 2.9% $868,619 $136,540 $3,383 0.0319
6 Aiea 9,571 4.6% $840,829 $130,507 $2,697 0.0319
7 Kaneohe 35,493 4.5% $1,031,688 $120,451 $2,039 0.0319
8 West Loch Estate 6,469 1.8% $876,218 $119,250 $2,736 0.0319
9 Waipio 11,138 2.6% $705,468 $99,815 $2,117 0.0319
10 Makawao 7,704 3.0% $1,027,207 $109,385 $1,806 0.0319
11 Halawa 14,411 3.3% $1,052,178 $100,321 $1,528 0.0319
12 Hickam Housing 9,502 9.9% $0 $111,139 $3,501 0.0319
13 Pukalani 7,930 3.3% $973,588 $119,426 $1,723 0.0319
14 Royal Kunia 13,919 6.4% $871,767 $128,791 $2,572 0.0319
15 Wailuku 16,590 3.5% $872,690 $93,908 $1,586 0.0319
16 Napili-Honokowai 6,779 7.1% $821,834 $101,939 $2,115 0.0319
17 Wailua Homesteads 7,189 3.9% $906,612 $113,306 $1,745 0.0319
18 Schofield Barracks 18,133 8.9% $0 $69,755 $3,073 0.0319
19 Ewa Gentry 27,198 3.5% $776,134 $125,300 $2,383 0.0319
20 Laie 5,411 9.0% $1,277,549 $108,965 $2,425 0.0319
21 Kahaluu 5,065 5.6% $1,229,332 $123,365 $2,161 0.0319
22 Ewa Beach 15,167 4.2% $852,428 $114,207 $2,310 0.0319
23 Lihue 8,649 1.1% $815,376 $73,641 $1,819 0.0319
24 Wailea 6,517 5.8% $1,406,269 $89,088 $2,263 0.0319
25 Makakilo 21,055 5.6% $820,097 $115,435 $2,071 0.0319
26 Kapaa 10,846 1.9% $881,980 $87,895 $1,829 0.0319
27 Waimanalo 5,743 4.2% $974,481 $127,143 $1,657 0.0319
28 Waipio Acres 5,393 2.5% $605,059 $91,703 $1,776 0.0319
29 Waihee-Waiehu 11,029 3.1% $737,382 $124,601 $1,922 0.0319
30 Kihei 22,247 6.5% $1,082,813 $89,892 $1,899 0.0319
31 Kula 6,578 4.0% $1,294,723 $93,452 $1,920 0.0319
32 Kapolei 22,701 5.6% $863,723 $121,768 $2,269 0.0319
33 Waimalu 13,932 7.4% $600,174 $85,710 $1,854 0.0319
34 Kahaluu-Keauhou 7,001 4.9% $824,874 $87,472 $1,888 0.0319
35 Kahului 27,233 4.7% $947,061 $94,712 $1,469 0.0319
36 Urban Honolulu 348,547 5.1% $775,104 $82,772 $1,734 0.0319
37 Iroquois Point 5,921 9.0% $0 $100,794 $3,249 0.0319
38 Ewa Villages 6,550 1.3% $826,827 $82,903 $1,183 0.0319
39 Lahaina 12,906 5.7% $1,085,380 $83,443 $1,828 0.0319
40 Waipahu 39,873 4.8% $861,933 $87,961 $1,518 0.0319
41 Hawaiian Paradise Park 13,041 1.7% $464,269 $81,236 $1,087 0.0319
42 Wahiawa 17,400 3.6% $804,544 $81,433 $1,411 0.0319
43 Hilo 47,627 6.8% $489,606 $75,589 $1,228 0.0319
44 Pupukea 5,130 6.2% $1,290,120 $99,180 $2,094 0.0319
45 Haiku-Pauwela 9,245 6.6% $990,304 $94,495 $2,533 0.0319
46 Maili 12,114 12.7% $662,699 $105,625 $2,108 0.0319
47 Nanakuli 12,370 11.1% $491,841 $77,453 $1,621 0.0319
48 Waianae 13,749 9.7% $590,487 $77,435 $1,304 0.0319
49 Makaha 10,042 9.7% $436,915 $57,235 $1,739 0.0319

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.