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Where the Money Lives

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Where is affluence concentrated in Hawai‘i? That’s a question Pacific Business News is looking at in the latest version of its “Paycheck Report.” We get details from PBN Editor in Chief A. Kam Napier.

PBN and its parent company – American City Business Journals – have been using census data to analyze incomes, spending and wealth through the year.  In this final installment – we focused on affluence, perhaps the broadest measure of all.  It includes not only income but home values and other sources of net worth.

You may not be surprised that the most affluent zip code is 96821 – stretching from ‘?ina Hina to Niu Valley.  But zip codes aren’t the only, or even best way to identify communities.  There also census designated places, or “CDPS”.  These identify smaller, organic areas you’d refer to by name.

Hawai‘i’s most affluent CDP is Maunawili, a neighborhood of just about 2,000 people behind mount Olomana in Kailua.  The median household income there is $131,000 – and it has the state’s most educated populace – 64% hold a bachelor’s degree, 34% hold advanced degrees.

However, Maunawili doesn’t even crack the list of the top 20 most affluent communities ACBJ looked at nationally.  20th place went to Norris Canyon, California – with ta median income of about $240,000.  The most affluent community is Chevy Chase, Maryland – with a median household income of more than $250,000.

We also took a look at wealthy inequality throughout the state.  Zip code 96722 – that is N?‘?lehu, on the Big Island – is the most unequal in the state.  On O‘ahu, its 96817, or Nu‘uanu. 

A. Kam Napier is the editor-in-chief of Pacific Business News.
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