The Cost Of Living In Hawaii In 2021

Have you ever thought of moving to Hawaii? a state with so much beauty and rich culture. Thinking about the perfect weather there? or the vast ocean in Hawaii? Well, it is very possible to move there if your mind is already fixed but remember, the cost of living in Hawaii is very expensive and good things come with a cost. Moving to Hawaii reminds me of a Nigerian Pidgin Proverb “Soup wey sweet, na money kill am” Translating it to English, it would be “The soup will only be sweeter if there was enough money.” The actual meaning of this proverb is “When you have lots of money, you’ll get more value.’

While Hawaii may be heaven on earth, the cost of living there is could discourage lots of people whose dream is to one day move there and start afresh live. In fact, Expatistan ranked Honolulu 7th most expensive city in the United States, 8th in North America, and the 21st in the world as far as 2021 is concerned.

Do you wish to move to Hawaii but you have no solid information about the cost of living in Hawaii? then congratulations on visiting and reading this article because it will elaborate on all you need to know about the Cost of Living in Hawaii. Most of the information here is firsthand from the residents of Hawaii.

Before I preceded further, I would like you to check out this article if you stay in California and would like to move to Texas. 

What your salary should be like in Hawaii

According to USA TODAY, and other popular sources, In other to live a comfortable life in Hawaii you need to earn an annual salary of $122,000 in the year 2021. Though living there depends on your taste, you may want a very high taste or average taste but whichever way, the cost of living in Hawaii is very expensive. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) published that, in Honolulu, 1 adult without any child needs at least a salary of $20.61 per hour to survive there while an adult with 2 children needs $48.79 per hour to survive there. It furtherly explained that a couple with 2 children needs at least $26.45 each per hour for them to live comfortably there. Expensive right? But that is not all.

Payscale gave out the average salary of those living in the island’s capital, Honolulu to be $66,000 but the big issue is the tax. The tax rate there is relatively high in fact, the tax is one of the highest in the United States with about 11 percent tax rate. also carried out their investigation concerning the average salary in Hawaii and it was discovered that Customer Service Representative collects as low as $33,965 annually compared to Travel Nurse who bags home $96,620 annually.

Living Expenses In Hawaii

It is cardinal to inform you that the cost of living in Hawaii differs according to your taste and location in Hawaii for instance renting a house in Hawaii is far more expensive than renting one on the mainland. A studio apartment on Oahu will cost you at least $1,000 to $1,600 monthly. These high prices do not include other amenities which may also cost you another $150 to $200, respectively. If you have in mind going for a one-room apartment, make sure you have at least $1,500 to $2,500 set aside for the house rent payment monthly. But if you are going for a two-bedroom apartment, set aside $1,800 and above for the house rent payment monthly.

All these are very expensive but it is what it is. Are you discouraged from moving to Hawaii? please don’t. There are other islands in Hawaii you could move to which are relatively cheaper than Honolulu. For instance, the Big Island’s Hilo is over 50 percent cheaper than Honolulu in cost of living, and to add more spices, the calmness and environment are more appealing comparing the hustling city of Honolulu. There, you don’t have to work more than you should to survive.

Are you a family man who needs to buy a single-family home? As of December 2020, the medium price for a single-family home is placed at $870,000. For a condo on Oahu, the median sale price is $455,000. The most fascinating thing about buying a condo on Oahu is that, even though the price is placed so high, condo sales are still a striving business, and surprisingly, the growth of homes is massive there.

If you don’t want to buy an already built house there due to the high cost, you could opt for another alternative by buying a piece of land and build your house from scratch. This way, the cost will be cheaper than buying an already built house but you should also note that it all boils down to the location, plot(s), and your house contractor.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has affirmed that those residing in Hawaii pay the highest when it comes to energy bills in the United States. The average monthly energy bill paid in Hawaii is placed at $170 which is no doubt about $40 to $50 more than the average energy bill in the United States which is about $118.

Even though the cost of energy in Hawaii, the sunshine rate is 8 percent when comparing it to other states and this has created an opportunity for cost-effective solar energy.

Transportation in Hawaii

Transportation in Honolulu is a little bit manageable when comparing it to owning a car there. If you live in Honolulu and you have plans of getting a car there, have in mind that the price of a gallon of gas is $3.16 as of January 2021 but taking a bus is much more affordable. A bus ticket is placed at $2.75. However, if you stay outside the bustling city of Honolulu, you can consider getting yourself a car as the price of car management would be relatively lower when compared to that Honolulu.

If you own a car and your work is located in downtown Honolulu, there is a high probability that you rent a parking space there if your company doesn’t provide any free one. A parking spot in downtown Honolulu ranges from $100 to $200. If you are based in a condo, you would also need to rent a stall that is around the same price.

Those who are based ‘Ewa side of Oahu or Kapolei, then you don’t have much issue because there is an available train at Honolulu Rail Transit you could use to work.

Buying of Groceries and Dining Out

If you stay in Hawaii, then you may have a problem with groceries because those in Hawaii do not grow food themselves so there is a high probability that food will be sold at a high rate there. This does not go well with Hawaii and in fact, Hawaii is known to be the most expensive State to buy groceries. Food in Hawaii is very expensive because food products have to be shipped to Hawaii from the mainland.

The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center reported that the sales of groceries In Hawaii are very expensive. Below are the findings from the studies of States whose groceries are the most expensive in the United States:

  • Hawaii was ranked 196.3
  • California was ranked 138.5
  • Washington was ranked 111.3, while
  • Oregon was ranked 134.6.

In Oahu, a gallon of milk is sold at $8.99. At Costco, the cheapest gallon of milk is sold at $5.50,  Broccoli sells a pound of milk at 3.79, and the bulk of carrots is sold at $3.49 for a pound. It will suppress you to know that four rolls of toilet paper are sold at $6.

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Are you thinking of eating in fast food or a restaurant? be ready to spend more. The prices of food differ according to the time frame. For example, a breakfast would cost you at least $8 to $13, lunch will cost you $9 to $15 while supper will cost you $15 to $40 or even more. Because the prices range tends to increase according to price, hence residents use the opportunity to purchase foods like rice, stew, salad, and beef in the morning saving it for lunch and supper.

Cost of Living in Hawaii


We have been reading some heartbreaking information about the Cost of Living in Hawaii now let’s also touch on the good aspect of the State. Do you know that the average property tax rate in Hawaii is 0.35 percent making it one of the lowers property rates in the United States? The income tax rate ranges from 1% to 11%.

The Commonwealth Fund reveals that, residents of Hawaii who take part in the employer-sponsored health coverage plans at privileged to pay one of the Lowes cost in the country.

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In Hawaii, there are two (2) major companies that offer insurance and they are either Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA) or the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc.

As of 2017, the employee costs for single coverage in Hawaii were $675 making it the lowest throughout the country which of course doesn’t measure half of the national average which is $1,415.

Another good news coming from Hawaii is the health system. Since the year 1990, Hawaii seems to have the healthiest people in the United States. The smoking rate in Hawaii Is on the minimal making it almost impossible to pollute the air. In the area of primary care, they have abundant of physicians there.

Budget of a family of 4 living in a Single Family Home

  • Mortage goes for $2,900 monthly
  • Groceries go for $900 to $1,000 monthly
  • Dining out goes for $500 monthly
  • Transportation goes for $390 monthly
  • Electricity goes for $200 monthly
  • Property Taxes goes for $2,400 monthly

Why the high cost of living in Hawaii?

There are many reasons why Hawaii has a very high cost of living which I could explain all day but in this article, I’d just hit the nail on the head. One of the major reseason while there is a high cost of living in Hawaii is because, Hawaii is a state surrounded by water hence, all their foods, products, and anything consumable is either being flown or shipped down there.

Also, Hawai is a place where the men that be (rich men) wish to buy properties and by so doing, the cost of living there tends to be very high, why? 

  • because there is no way they are buying a house worth almost a million and renting it at a cheaper price.
  • since the rich are also based there, products are likely going to increase in price

All You Should Know About Living In Hawaii

As earlier stated, the cost of living in Hawaii is very high and not for those who are underpaid. If you have the intention of moving and living in Honolulu, make sure you have seen a well-paying job already, a true job to enable you to live a comfortable life there.

According to different researches, Hawaii is one of the most expensive states to live in and it requires a fat salary to keep you going. But what has an advantage must also have a disadvantage just like for instance, in terms of property tax, Hawaii has one of the lowest rates in the United States of America.

Below is the rundown of thing you should know about Hawaii before you make you journey there:

  • Property Tax percentage in Hawaii: Property tax in Hawaii is relatively very low and in fact, it has one of the lowest property tax percentages in the United States. So you see, not all things are very costly there.
  • Cost of food in Hawaii: The cost of food in Hawaii is very expensive compared to other places. Though there is a reason attached to this. The reason for the high cost of food is because Hawaii is surrounded by water and all goods which include the food they consume are been shipped or flown down to Hawaii hence, the high cost of food.
  • Transportation between California, New York, and Hawaii: In terms of transportation, New York and California are very much expensive compared to Hawaii. In New York, parking fee is annoyingly expensive and could even make you contemplating selling your car but, this issue could be solved if you make use of public transport.
  • Garbage recycling services in Honolulu, Hawaii: Unlike other states where you have to pay extra for Garbage recycling services, you don’t need to pay an extra fee for Garbage recycling services in Honolulu, Hawaii.
  • Are other locations costlier than Honolulu? Yes, of course, some locations are way more costlier than Honolulu, locations like San Francisco, Manhattan, and San Diego.

Cost of Living in Hawaii vs. other States

Below is the cost of living comparisons between Hawaii and other states

Living cost in Hawaii vs. California


Living cost in Hawaii vs. New York City


Living cost in Hawaii vs. Colorado

Cost of Living in Hawaii

Living cost in Hawaii vs. Washington

Cost of Living in Hawaii

Living cost in Hawaii vs. Alaska


Is it expensive to live in Hawaii

Yes, it is very expensive to live In Hawaii, and in fact, according to research findings, Hawaii is one of the most expensive states to live in United States. Though there are many factors that have largely contributed to its expensive nature, and one of such factors boils down to the fact that, Hawaii is largely surrounded by water making most products shipped or flown to Hawaii. Hawaii is a place for those with deep pockets.

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