Pahoa, Hawaii

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Pahoa, Hawaii
Location in Hawaii County and the state of Hawaii
Location in Hawaii County and the state of Hawaii
Country United States
State Hawaii
Counties Hawaii
 • Total 2.3 sq mi (5.9 km2)
 • Land 2.3 sq mi (5.9 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Population (2010)
 • Total 945
 • Density 410.9/sq mi (160.2/km2)

Pāhoa[1] is a census-designated place (CDP) in Hawai‘i County, Hawai‘i, United States located in the District of Puna. The population was 962 at the 2000 census. The population dropped by 1.8% to 945 at the 2010 census.[2]

Geography and environment[edit]

Pāhoa is located at 19°30′04″N 154°57′11″W / 19.501031°N 154.953037°W / 19.501031; -154.953037Coordinates: 19°30′04″N 154°57′11″W / 19.501031°N 154.953037°W / 19.501031; -154.953037.[3] According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 2.3 square miles (6.0 km2), all of it land.

Soils underlying the Pāhoa area are volcanic in origin, deriving from the still active Kilauea Volcano. (Earth Metrics Inc., 1986) Kilauea is one of the Earth's most active volcanos, with the January, 2006 eruption being the longest rift zone eruption in Kilauea's 200 year recorded history. (Volcanology, 2007) The volcanic soils underlying Pāhoa are considered to have been generated by lava flows within the last 125 to 500 years. For example, the eruption of 1840 is known to have deposited lava flow within 1.5 miles (2.4 km) of Pāhoa. During the 1986 Earth Metrics survey an active lateral vent of Kilauea is located within three miles (5 km) of the village western perimeter. (Earth Metrics, 1986)


As of the census of 2010, there were 945 people in 321 households residing in the CDP. The population density was 410.9 people per square mile (160.2/km²). There were 356 housing units at an average density of 154.8 per square mile (60.3/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 14.92% White, 0.42% African American, 1.48% American Indian & Alaska Native, 43.49% Asian, 12.59% Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander, 0.95% from other races, and 26.14% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.56% of the population.[4]

There were 321 households out of which 24.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them. The average household size was 2.94.[5]

In the Pahoa CDP the population was spread out with 22.3% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 12.0% from 25 to 34, 18.1% from 35 to 49, 23.0% from 50 to 64, and 17.4% who were 65 years of age or older. For every 100 females there were 105.0 males. For every 100 males age 18 over there were 95.2 females.[6]

The median income for a household in the CDP at the 2000 census was $33,333, and the median income for a family in 2000 was $43,571. Males had a median income of $26,103 in 2000 versus $23,571 for females. The per capita income for the CDP in 2000 was $13,850. About 15.7% of families and 18.0% of the population were below the poverty line in 2000, including 28.9% of those under age 18 and 5.2% of those age 65 or over.


In the Hawaiian language, the word 'pāhoa' means dagger or knife.[7] It is unknown when the indigenous Hawaiians settled the area during pre-contact times, but the deep, rich soil and important protected archeological sites in the area suggest a long history of habitation. Legends associated with the Pāhoa area are referenced in Hawaii's ancient oral history, i.e., in the Pele and Hi'iaka Myth. (N.B. Emerson, 1915)

There are two primary schools in the Pāhoa area, Pahoa Elementary School and Keonepoko Elementary School, which is located in the Hawaiian Beaches subdivision. There are two secondary school in Pāhoa, Pahoa High and Intermediate School located on Pāhoa Village Road and the Hawaii Academy of Arts and Sciences.


  1. ^ Mary Kawena Pukui, Samuel Hoyt Elbert and Esther T. Mookini (2004). "lookup of Pāhoa". in Place Names of Hawai'i. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library, University of Hawaii Press. 
  2. ^ US Census Bureau - 2010 Population Finder - Pahoa CDP -
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  4. ^ US Census Bureau - 2010 Population Finder - Pahoa CDP -
  5. ^ US Census Bureau - 2010 Population Finder - Pahoa CDP -
  6. ^ US Census Bureau - 2010 Population Finder - Pahoa CDP -
  7. ^ Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel Hoyt Elbert (2003). "lookup of pāhoa". in Hawaiian Dictionary. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library, University of Hawaii Press. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]