The Hawaiian Islands lie in the centre of Pacific Ocean. These islands are located on several spots in the middle of the ocean. Another island in the Pacific Ocean is Oahu. The latter is closely located to the Hawaiian Islands with a census tract number of 78.07. The census tract map of Oahu Island in terms of per capita income is shown in the figure below:
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I chose Oahu Island for this analysis because it is my home place. It is also imperative to note that the southern segment of the island is occupied by this island. On the other hand, Aiea borders Oahu Island to the east. There are two parallel roads that form boundaries to this tract.
To begin with, the H-1 freeway creates a boundary to this tract on the northern side while the Moanalua Road forms the southern boundary to this tract. As I was walking along, I noted that the pearl Ridge shopping centre is also closely bordered with the Moanalua Road towards the south.
One surprising aspect about this tract is that it is centrally located in the well developed island and it is also somehow difficult to identify the exact boundaries. However, with the use of maps provided by the United States Census Bureau, I was able to obtain all the relevant demographic data of this tract. Nonetheless, I noted that there was a lot of ease to reach sections of the island bearing in mind that the tract is conveniently located quite some distance from the freeway.
I took approximately 15 minutes to reach the location of this tract within the downtown area through the eastern side of Kaneohe, Waipahu as well as Waikiki. If someone wants to reach Ko olina or the northern shore area, it only takes about 30 to 35 minutes. The areas are situated on the western region of the island.
From my observation throughout the analysis, I noted that this tract is highly ordered with proper town planning that may impress any visitor. For instance, there were four major malls in the island strategically located and easily reachable from any location of the Oahu Island.
Moreover, about one mile away, there is a healthcare centre known as Straub Clinic & Hospital that caters for healthcare needs of the immediate population. Besides, there are myriads of schools, gas stations, car repair shops as well as restaurants located with this tract.
All these features are just a clear indication on how communities living within tract and other neighboring settlements are capable of obtaining the much needed services within their proximity.
As noted earlier, I would not have been able to analyze as well as comprehend the inherent features of this tract were it not for the invaluable data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. As a matter of fact, my main task was to confirm the validity of data provided by this tract and explain deviations just in case I noted any.
To begin with, the 78.07 census tract number is beyond just a mere stretching road or street map. It can be deduced that detailed economic and demographic components are represented in this map. In particular, the boundaries of these components are clearly stipulated explaining the composition and content of each part. Hence, the data provided by the US Census Bureau has made it possible for me to analyze as well as understand the economic and demographic characteristics of people who live close to my home place.
This tract is well populated with about 10, 000 people. Out of this total number, males are slightly higher in number comprising of 52.9% of the total population while females make up about 47.1% of the total count of people in the tract. If these figures are anything to go by, then I suppose it depicts the actual situation in my neighborhood whereby most households have more male members than females.
For example, I have two brothers and one sister while in the neighboring house; there are 3 males and 2 females including the parents. In any case, as I was walking in one of the streets, I noted that the number of males whom I meet on the roads would slightly outnumber that of women. This was the same case even in the public service vehicles as well as the number of passengers in public service vehicles that I tallied all along.
In addition, another interesting fact about this census tract is that the age bracket between 25 to 44 years has the largest number of people within the entire population. In the data I obtained from the US census Bureau, those who are between 25 and5 34 years comprise of about 23 % of the total population while those who are within the age range of 33 and 44 make up to 20.5% of the total population.
In total, the 23% of the total population in Oahu tract accounted to 2, 309 people as per the 2004 data. I have noted this trend ever since I became a resident of Oahu Island. Although the US census Bureau statistics do not offer vivid information on this age bracket disparity, I can attest to the fact those who are between 25 and 44 years are mostly working class in their youthful and productive years.
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The fact that Oahu Island is a booming urban with myriads of vibrant economic activities implies that there is much need for youthful professionals who can drive the economy of this area. The latter definitely explains the reason why majority of the population is made up of those who are young in terms of age.
However, recent statistics show that the Oahu population has significantly grown over the past few years bearing in mind that the latest figure of the total population is being quoted at 953,207 people. In addition, most of the population that amounts to about 75 % of the total count is known to dwell on the ‘urban’ side of the island.
Indeed, this explains the reason why the city portion of the island is highly congested with people and economic activities. For example, it is quite hectic to penetrate through heavy traffic jams during the rush hours in the mornings and evenings when most people either leave or start their working hours. Besides, resources have also been strained with the growing number of people some of whom have decided to shift to the city side of the island for the purpose of working.
The real estate business in Oahu also seems to be quite well largely due to the booming population. As one walks through the streets and bordering roads both to the north and south, it is clearly evident that this tract is currently witnessing major boom in the real estate industry as more commercial and residential buildings are being constructed each passing day.
Indeed, the prices are steady and it is not easy to afford some commercial building in this place in terms of rental costs. In any case, the US Census Bureau statistics indicate that homes that are ready for sale have limited inventory. The table below shows the rate of population growth in Oahu since the year 2000.
Source: US census Bureau
Before the last census was carried out, the Oahu population had recorded quite a mixed number of different races with their varying percentages. These were as follows:
Blacks – 11,021, Caucasian – 178,050, Chinese – 45,410, Filipino – 119,237, Hawaiian – 169,964, Japanese – 159,767, Korean – 9,000, Mixed (not including Hawaiian) – 165,051
Samoan/Tongan – 16,206, Unmixed (excluding Hawaiian): 538,692 (source: US Census Bureau, 2010)
From the list above, it is evident that the Caucasians are the majority race in this tract. They are then followed by the mixed categories of races who account for about 19% of the total Oahu population. I can indeed attest to the fact that the Caucasians are the majority race in this place even as one takes a walk through the streets and shopping malls. They own quite a huge chunk of business establishments here.
As I was strolling past the upper side of the city, I happened to come across quite a number of places of worship in this tract. For instance, some of the dominant places of worship and religions in this area include the Assemblies of God, Baptist, Buddhist, Catholic, Lutheran as well as Methodist believers.
This made me to believe as well as assume that this area is made up of several races that are attached to myriads of religious beliefs. In addition, this could be an indication that most occupants of Oahu are mostly foreigners who came along with their unique ways of worship.
In other words, this place is not dominated by one or a few religions as one would assume. It depicts the diversity of the region. In order to confirm my assumption, I once visited a Catholic cathedral in the area and I was surprised to notice a wide range of various races who attended the service.
Although my family church has been Assemblies of God since childhood, this has not changed the scenario at all since most of the races are represented here with the exception of religions such as Buddhism that do not uphold to Christian faith. It is only the Buddhist congregation that appears to be separated and at big difference with the rest of the Christian based churches.
Needless to say, religion is an integral parameter in Oahu since communities here seem to be closely attached and united by their respective religions. At some point, I almost concluded that while religion might be perceived as a unifying factor in most cases, it appears to play a divisive role in Oahu.
My next area of analysis will be education, employment and income disparities. It is worth noting that education has been given top priority in this tract. The entire island appears to be well represented in terms of educational infrastructure that is most needed by the various communities. Education falls under the wider field of socio-economic status.
It is definite that figures on socio-economic status of any given society are integral when undertaking demographic analysis. From the last census, over 130,000 students under the K-12 level had been enrolled in public schools. This figure does not include those who are attending both the chartered and special schools.
In addition, the number of schools categorized under public has immensely grown to over 180 since the year 2005. On the other hand, the number of privately sponsored schools is above 100. These figures should be taken as purely provisional because when I compared data obtained from the 2010 census results, a lot has changed and consequently the numbers have also changed.
The entrepreneurial nature of the Oahu residents is also another factor that has rapidly changed the socio-economic standards of this area. When I carried out my own physical observation and tallying of school-going children, I noted that in one single morning, a total of 25 school buses which passed were taking children to public schools while only 9 of the school buses were privately owned.
In addition, although I personally attended a private school all through my elementary level, most of my childhood friends especially those who live in the neighborhood attended public learning centers.
Some of the elementary private schools near our home include Hawaii Baptist academy which is church sponsored, hanalani schools and Assets School. I personally attended Epiphany Elementary school situated just within a 10 minute drive from our house. Some of the renowned public schools include the Iroquois Point Elementary School and Ahuimanu Elementary School.
In order to obtain a very accurate and solid data in my analysis, I decided to focus on the county of Ahuimanu within Oahu. In terms of the data I obtained from the US Census Bureau, about 99.5% which represents 8,768 of the total population were categorized as in-households.
Householders comprised of 2,745 people while the number of spouses were 1,750. Children within this county were 2,688 while those with their own children while still under 18 years were 1,597. Those beyond 65 years were only 31. The latter figure confirms the higher number of young population in this census
Households by type
The total households are 2,745, family households stand at 2,246, those under 18 years with own children were 886, husband-wife family are 1,750, with own children but under 18 years are 688, male householder with no wife present stood at145, those with own children but they are under 18 years are 62.
The total housing units stand at 2,826, occupied housing units are 2,745, vacant housing units are 81, and those for renting are 16, while 3 are not occupied. 17 units are ready for sale; those sold but not occupied are 6. Seasonal, recreational, or occasionally used units are 16, all other vacant houses are 23, homeowner vacancy rate is 0.8 % while rental vacancy rate is 2.8 %.
The total number of occupied housing units is 2,745, owner-occupied housing units are 2,199; the population in owner-occupied housing units stands at 6,889, the average household size of owner-occupied units is 3.13, and the renter-occupied housing units are 546.