Cost of Living in Hawaii 2022 (2023)

Cost of Living in Hawaii 2022 (1)

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Considering a move to Hawaii? It’s beautiful here, but paradise comes at a cost so high, that it can be a deterrent for many folks. Here is everything you need to know about the cost of living in Hawaii.

By Andy Arakaki. Updated Jan 03, 2023 | Living in Hawaii | 10 min. read

  1. Average IncomeJump
  2. Housing CostsJump
  3. UtilitiesJump
  4. TransportationJump
  5. Groceries and Dining OutJump
  6. Taxes and InsuranceJump
  7. EducationJump
  8. Ways to SaveJump

Average Income

In order to "be happy" in Hawaii in 2022, one study reports that you’ll need a whopping salary of over $200,000. (Of course, every report is different and the standards of living vary according to each person and their measures of "happiness.") The Living Wage Calculator from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) says that one adult in Honolulu needs to make $22.69 per hour for a living wage. If that is a couple (both working) with 2 children, each adult needs to make $29.19 per hour.

Cost of Living in Hawaii 2022 (15)

According to Payscale, the average salary in the island's capital, Honolulu, is $69,000, but the state has the second-highest income tax rates in the country, with its top bracket at 11 percent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median U.S. salary, as of the 1st quarter in 2022, is $53,924 ($1,037 weekly). In another analysis by in April 2022, the average salary in Hawaii for an office assistant is $37,500 while the average salary for a physician is $191,184. Most of this data is unadjusted and based on job posts and user verification.

But for many people, even with increasing inflation, Honolulu’s appealing qualities balance out the potentially lower wages and high cost of living.

Housing Costs

Renting in Hawaii is much more expensive than most places on the mainland – and it all depends on location. For example, a studio on Oahu can range from $1,000 to more than $1,600 per month and that’s not including utilities, which can be around $150 per month for one person. A one-bedroom apartment or home can range from about $1,500 to more than $2,000 per month and a two-bedroom apartment or a house will start at $1,800 per month. Looking at a luxurious, new one-bedroom condo? Expect to fork out at least $3,000 a month.

(Video) How Much It Cost To Rent In Hawaii In 2022 - 5 Things You NEED To Know

You can always opt to live outside of Honolulu’s center or even consider the other Hawaiian Islands – the Big Island’s Hilo is nearly 49 to 56 percent lower than Honolulu, plus offers a laidback and relaxing small-town vibe that may be appealing than the hustle and bustle of the city.

If you’re looking to buy, the median sales price of a single-family home on Oahu is $1,049,500 - a new record high, as of December 2022. The median sales price for a condo on Oahu is $502,500. Despite the high prices, increase of interest rates, and lack of inventory, Oahu continues to see demand in home and condo sales.

Cost of Living in Hawaii 2022 (16)

Alternatively, buying a piece of land and building your own home could be more affordable, but that depends on location and your general contractor. You can find the average costs associated with building your own home in Hawaii in this blog post.

Buying Strategy

For those who can't afford a single-family home or condo, look for new affordable housing developments - they provide opportunities to qualified applicants so they can purchase new housing for below-market prices.

Moving and need to buy a home?

Connect with a real estate agent in Hawaii to start your search.


Hawaii’s residents pay the most when it comes to monthly energy bills in the nation. According to Payless Power's report on electricity rates by state, you can expect to pay an average of $342.21 per month for electricity. Electric bills will vary depending on the type of residence you live in, how many people you live with, how often you're at home, and if you use air conditioners (most do).

Cost of Living in Hawaii 2022 (17)

It's also worth mentioning that with the recent rise of oil prices due to the war between Ukraine and Russia, Hawaiian Electric, Hawaii's primary electricity provider for 5 of the Hawaiian islands, anticipates an additional 10% increase in rates for residents on Oahu and a 20% increase for residents on the Big Island of Hawaii and Maui.

Despite the high cost of energy, the sun shines in Hawaii at a rate of 8% more than other states, creating an opportunity for cost effective solar energy. Between 20% and 40% of homes on Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island of Hawaii have rooftop solar. In fact, Hawaii was the first state to set a deadline for generating 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2045.

Can you live without A/C?

Instead of using A/C, apply a cool roof coating to your roof. Room temperatures could decrease by 20°.


Let’s say you do choose to live outside of the busy Honolulu or downtown area – you’ll then need to consider the cost of owning and driving a vehicle. Gas prices as of May 2022 is about $5.45 per gallon in Honolulu. Taking the bus or, in Oahu, TheBus, may be a more affordable method of transportation, at $70.00 a month for unlimited rides, although it may not be an appealing daily commute of choice.

Cost of Living in Hawaii 2022 (18)

If you work in downtown Honolulu or Waikiki, you’ll most likely need to rent a parking spot in the case your company doesn’t provide one. Parking ranges typically from $150 to $300 per month. Those who live in a condo may also need to rent a stall, although it depends on association rules.

If you live in Kapolei or on the Ewa side of Oahu, you might be able to take the Honolulu Rail Transit to work. However, there have been many delays with its construction; read more here.

(Video) Moving to Hawaii: 10 Things You Should Know Before Takeoff

Groceries and Dining Out

Food is delicious in paradise, especially with an abundance of tropical fruits, vegetables and locally grown coffee. But Hawaii is the most expensive place to buy groceries in the nation, especially because products are shipped from the mainland. According to a 2021 annual report by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, Hawaii’s groceries are incredibly steep. The study used a national index of 100 and Hawaii ranked at 193.3, while comparatively Washingon D.C. ranked at 158.1, New York at 148.2 and California at 142.2.

For example, a gallon of whole milk on Oahu can be $9 – the cheapest at Costco or Sam's Club for around $5 a gallon. Broccoli is at $3.79 a pound, bulk carrots at $3.49 a pound. And yes, while buying local is encouraged, the cost of Hawaii grown mangos are at about $6.99 a pound. Four rolls of toilet paper will be about $6.

Eating out will add up quickly. The average cost of breakfast in Hawaii is $9 to $15, lunch at about $10 to $16 and dinner will cost $15 to $30 (or more). There’s a huge price range though, so many people will buy a plate lunch (white rice, mac salad, and meat entrée like loco moco or teriyaki beef) and save it for lunch and dinner, or split the entire plate in half with a friend.

Taxes and Insurance

Income tax rates range from 1.4 percent to 11 percent.

Cost of Living in Hawaii 2022 (19)

Ready for some good news? Honolulu’s residential property tax rate is 0.35 percent, one of the lowest rates in the nation.

For retirees, Hawaii can be fairly appealing as the state exempts Social Security retirement benefits and public pension income from state taxes. It fully taxes income from private pensions and retirement savings accounts.

For employers or entrepreneurs in Hawaii who are looking to pay for their own health insurance, according to a study updated by in May of 2022, you can expect to pay an average of $446 per month or $5,353 annually. Those costs are on the lower end of the spectrum compared to the rest of the nation, but it's also important to note that year-after-year, Hawaii's health care system is one of the best in the nation. Hawaii received top scores for access and affordability, prevention and treatment, and other performance indicators. Typically, health insurance in Hawaii is provided through four main companies: Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc., Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA), UHA Health Insurance, or Hawaii Medical Assurance Association (HMAA).


Hawaii's public school system is the nation's only statewide system governed by one Superintendent and the Hawaii Board of Education. In other words, there's only one public school district for all of Hawaii's islands. Because of this unique governance structure, criticized for its "one size fits all" approach, parents often seek out private schools that fit the individual needs of their children. And that comes at a cost.

Below is a table showing Hawaii's ten largest private schools and their tuition costs:

Cost of Living in Hawaii 2022 (20)

An example of a budget for a family of 4 living in a Single Family Home:

  • Mortgage - $3,200 per month
  • Groceries - $1,000 to $1,200 per month
  • Electricity - $350 per month
  • Transportation - $580 per month
  • Dining out - $500 to $800 per month
  • Property Taxes - $2,350 per year

The numbers above are based on the following conditions:

  • You have 1 Wall AC Unit that you use sparingly.
  • You have 2 gas cars.
  • Shop at Costco, Sam's Club, Foodland, and/or Safeway.
  • You dine out once to twice a week at a reasonably priced restaurant.
  • You live relatively close to where you work.

Ways to Save

  • Shop at Costco or Sam's Club for bulk discounts. If you or your family is in the military, shop at NEX. Smaller items like condiments or produce can be purchased from Foodland, Safeway, Don Quixote, or Times.
  • Costco offers the cheapest gas in Hawaii.
  • Electric vehicles (EVs) have become popular in Hawaii. Incentives are provided for EV owners including HOV Lane use. Most modern EV's can travel around the island without having to charge.
  • Solar Panels - Hawaiian Electric Company offers several programs to customers to save big on electricity.
  • Consider location when choosing the neighborhood you live in. It can make the difference between paying more for A/C.
  • Earn points and receive discounts with local programs. For example, consider applying for a The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard and/or signing up for Foodland's Maika‘i Member program.
  • Facebook marketplace has great deals when it comes to used furniture, electronics, and household accessories.
  • Grow your own fruit, vegetables, and herbs.

So, why the high cost?

The high cost of living in Hawaii has many reasons, but the short answer is the fact that we’re surrounded by water. Nearly everything we consume has to be shipped here or flown. Hawaii is also a desirable place foreign investors to buy property, which continues to drive up housing costs. Another big factor: utility bills such as electricity is sky high, thanks to the warm climate. Like with many things in life, there is certainly a trade-off.

Is it worth it? Here are a few reasons why it is...

  • You have family and friends here.
  • You have a remote job and can work from anywhere.
  • You're retired and like to golf.
  • You love beaches and the outdoors.
  • You want to raise a family in a small community.
  • You have an understanding and respect for Hawaii's culture.
  • You want to invest and live in a home that appreciates over time.
  • You love the weather. And sushi.
  • You get bored easily and need to live somewhere that has a lot to offer.

Cost of Living in Hawaii vs. Other Cities

Compare the cost of living between Honolulu, Hawaii's capital, to other cities across the United States.

Download Table

Data was compiled from Sperling's Best Places or


While the calculations in the download above provide a rough estimate of living in these locations, we can come to a few conclusions:

(Video) Our Cost of Living in Hawaii (2021) | Oahu vs Florida Comparison

  • The cost of food is high in Hawaii compared to other locations.
  • Some places, like California and New York, have higher expenses in the area of transportation. Parking fees are exorbitant in New York if you own a car, but this could be eliminated by using their great public transportation system.
  • In Honolulu, you do not have to pay extra for garbage or recycling services, unlike most places.
  • It is more expensive to live in some locations, like Seattle, Manhattan, San Francisco, and San Diego than in Honolulu; however, all of these locations also have a higher average income.

While the cost of living in Hawaii may be daunting at first, it requires a bit of soul searching and close look at your lifestyle. If you’re used to a certain standard of living, you may need to make a few sacrifices when moving to Hawaii. But, it may not seem like a sacrifice to nix that luxury car or to eat out less, especially if living near the ocean, enjoying a warm climate and healthy island environment are important to you. It’s all about balancing your values and discovering what works for you and your family.

Ready to buy in Hawaii?

Fill out the form below to connect with a local real estate agent.

At this time, we're not able to assist those looking to rent.

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Is it expensive to live in Hawaii 2022? ›

According to a study by, the cost of living in Honolulu, Hawaii is 88% higher than the national average with housing clocking in at 202% higher than the national average.

How much do you need to make to live in Hawaii 2022? ›

In order to "be happy" in Hawaii in 2022, one study reports that you'll need a whopping salary of over $200,000.

What is the average salary needed to live comfortably in Hawaii? ›

Typical Expenses
0 Children3 Children
Required annual income after taxes$39,172$125,550
Annual taxes$8,168$34,847
Required annual income before taxes$47,339$160,396
7 more rows

What's a good salary in Hawaii? ›

Most salaries in Hawaii range between $36,180 (25th percentile) to $67,052 (75th percentile) annually. Of course, salaries will vary depending on yor occupation, experience, and many other factors. Some of the top paying kinds of jobs in Hawaii are Diagnostic Radiologist, Cardiologist, and Urologist.

What does a gallon of milk cost in Hawaii? ›

The state with the most expensive milk is Hawaii, where a gallon of milk costs $4.69. The state with the cheapest milk is Illinois, where a gallon of milk costs only $0.93.
Average Price Of Milk In Every State.
46 more rows
Aug 25, 2022

Can I move to Hawaii without a job? ›

Can I move to Hawaii without a job? Yes, you can. Many newcomers do just that. Even so, you will have to find a job as soon as possible due to the high living expenses.

Can you live in Hawaii on 50K? ›

Life is what you make it, and life in Hawaii can be done at less than $50K per year in personal income, but I wouldn't really recommend it unless you are ready to live very frugally. There are people that can do it on even $30K income per year. I've seen them. They don't eat well, and they don't do anything at night.

Does Hawaii have free healthcare? ›

Hawaii Medicaid Fee-For-Service Program provides free or low cost health coverage to people age 65 and older or people with certain disabilities.

What is the cheapest island to live in Hawaii? ›

What's the most affordable Hawaiian island to live on? The Big Island. With Hawaii's lowest average cost of living (according to MIT's Living Wage project), lowest fair market rents, and lowest typical yearly expenses, the Big Island can be the most economical island in Hawaii.

What is middle class salary Hawaii? ›

Mississippi also had the lowest median family income, at $58,503, while Massachusetts had the highest median family income, at $108,348.
America's Fastest-Growing States.
StateHousehold Income Range for Middle Class
Hawaii$41,532 - $181,202
Idaho$25,989 - $103,435
Illinois$27,109 - $134,640
Indiana$22,915 - $98,771
46 more rows
Dec 24, 2020

Where is the cheapest place to live in Hawaii? ›

Check out these six most affordable places to live in Hawaii!
  • Hana, Maui.
  • Hilo, Island of Hawaii.
  • Kahuku, Oahu.
  • Kapa'a, Kauai.
  • Wailuku, Maui.
  • Waimalu, Oahu.
Feb 1, 2023

What is the highest paying job in Hawaii? ›

Detailed List Of Highest Paying Jobs In Hawaii
RankJob TitleAverage Salary
1Loan Servicing Specialist$329,032
2Vice President Of Application Development$251,752
3Director Of Consumer Marketing$239,829
4Chief Executive Officer And Operator$237,177
88 more rows
Apr 11, 2022

How much is the average house in Hawaii? ›

$826,348. The average Hawaii home value is $826,348, up 9.2% over the past year and goes to pending in around 29 days.

Is it possible to live comfortably in Hawaii? ›

Cost of Living

Some studies suggest a typical household needs an annual income of at least $120,000 to live comfortably in Hawaii. To help you break this down, here are some of the ways that income will be spent: Income taxes: Hawaii has some of the highest state income tax in the nation.

How much does Walmart in Hawaii pay? ›

How much does Walmart in Hawaii pay? Average Walmart hourly pay ranges from approximately $10.00 per hour for Front End Associate to $32.76 per hour for Optician. The average Walmart salary ranges from approximately $18,974 per year for Customer Service Associate / Cashier to $32,000 per year for Department Manager.

How much is gas in Hawaii? ›

Hawaii average gas prices
Current Avg.$4.885$5.126
Yesterday Avg.$4.892$5.113
Week Ago Avg.$4.907$5.160
Month Ago Avg.$5.004$5.239
1 more row

How much is a 2 liter of Coke in Hawaii? ›

This average is based on 8 price points.

What's minimum wage in Hawaii? ›

HONOLULU — The Hawaii State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations (DLIR) today announced that per Act 114, Session Laws of Hawaii (2022), the Hawaii minimum wage will increase to $12.00 per hour beginning on October 1, 2022.

Are cars expensive in Hawaii? ›

According to a 2021 study by the Ulupono Initiative, the cost of owning a vehicle in Hawaii is $8,100 annually, or $675 per month, when factoring in the various costs, including gas, maintenance and insurance.

How realistic is it to move to Hawaii? ›

Moving to Hawaii is expensive but it can be a very rewarding place to live. The weather, outdoors life, and sunsets can be remarkable every single day. However, your taxes, housing, and overall cost of living is almost certain to increase if you're moving from most other parts of the country.

Is there a cheap way to live in Hawaii? ›

Generally, the lowest housing costs are on the Big Island, which is considered the cheapest Hawaiian island to live on. However, the median household income is $52,000.

How much money is rich in Hawaii? ›

The benchmark varies by state to be considered among the top 1% of earners. In Hawaii, you need an income of at least $453,000.

How much is $50,000 after taxes in Hawaii? ›

If you make $50,000 a year living in the region of Hawaii, USA, you will be taxed $11,688. That means that your net pay will be $38,313 per year, or $3,193 per month. Your average tax rate is 23.4% and your marginal tax rate is 28.6%.

What is the biggest health problem in Hawaii? ›

Stats of the State of Hawaii
HI Leading Causes of Death, 2017DeathsRate***
1. Heart Disease2,575129.8
2. Cancer2,456128.6
3. Stroke76437.5
4. Flu/Pneumonia63729.6
6 more rows

Can I use Medicare is Hawaii? ›

Yes, Medicare can cover you if you are Medicare-eligible in Hawaii. You may be eligible for Medicare in Hawaii if you're a U.S. citizen or a permanent legal resident who has lived in the U.S. for more than five years and one or more of the following applies to you: You are 65 or older.

Does Medicare cover you in Hawaii? ›

Medicare, the United States federal medical insurance program, provides coverage for over 290,000 people in Hawaii who qualify for Medicare. You can get Medicare if you're 65 or older or have a qualifying disability.

What is the safest part of Hawaii to live in? ›

Kauai is the safest island in Hawaii, with the lowest violent and property crime rate compared to other islands.

Can anyone move to Hawaii? ›

In 1959, Hawaii officially became the 50th state. As a result, anyone who has the ability to legally live in the United States—including citizens and permanent residents—can move to Hawaii. Legally, it's just like moving to any other state.

How much do I need to retire in Hawaii? ›

You need about $2 million to retire comfortably in Hawaii—here are the 6 other most expensive states. If you're dreaming of spending retirement lounging on one of Hawaii's pristine beaches, make sure you've saved up plenty of money.

Is it worth it to live in Hawaii? ›

High taxes, pricey homes and condos, rush hour traffic and more contribute to the studies. However, Hawaii is also known as being one of the most beautiful, outdoor friendly, diverse and laid-back states to live in, making it desirable for families to stay on the islands and raise their families.

Why is it so expensive to live in Hawaii? ›

But the main point is that Hawaii has more housing regulation than any other state in the nation, and that's limited the supply of housing, which is why we have the highest median home prices in the nation. And until people decide to rise up and change that, housing in Hawaii will probably remain very expensive.

Where do low income people live in Hawaii? ›

The Linapuni Street Census tract in Kalihi had the highest concentration of poverty in the state, with 69 percent of residents living below the poverty line. Meanwhile, 57 percent of residents in the Mayor Wright Housing census tract lived in poverty, the second-highest concentration.

Where is like Hawaii but cheaper? ›

A cheaper alternative to Hawaii is the Caribbean. Many of the islands in the Caribbean are volcanic and have amazing beaches, as well as a more relaxed vibe than Hawaii. Plus, flight tickets to the Caribbean are often much cheaper than tickets to Hawaii.

What jobs are most in demand in Hawaii? ›

Description2008 Jobs2018 Jobs
Radiologic Technologists and Technicians725884
Registered Nurses10,15512,106
Dental Hygienists9701,137
Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education1,6131,877
16 more rows

What is the most common job in Hawaii? ›

Detailed List Of The Most Common Jobs In Urban Honolulu, HI
RankJob TitleCount
1Sales Associate2,482
3Administrative Assistant1,287
87 more rows
May 24, 2022

What does McDonald's pay in Hawaii? ›

How much does McDonald's in Hawaii pay? Average McDonald's hourly pay ranges from approximately $9.15 per hour for Customer Service Associate / Cashier to $12.46 per hour for Cook. The average McDonald's salary ranges from approximately $20,000 per year for Server to $45,435 per year for Restaurant Manager.

Why is Hawaii so expensive 2022? ›

Demand is up.

But now that all travel restrictions have been lifted and people feel comfortable traveling again, demand for hotels have seen a huge surge. According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, in April 2022, room demand was up 58% vs April 2021. So hotels are adjusting their prices accordingly.

Which Hawaiian island is the cheapest to live on? ›

What's the most affordable Hawaiian island to live on? The Big Island. With Hawaii's lowest average cost of living (according to MIT's Living Wage project), lowest fair market rents, and lowest typical yearly expenses, the Big Island can be the most economical island in Hawaii.

Can you live in Hawaii on a budget? ›

Hawaii might not be an inexpensive state – in fact, it's the most expensive state in the country. But it does have quite a few options for affordable cities. And with its gorgeous landscape, friendly locals, and sunny climate, it's hard to say no to the Aloha State.

What month is the cheapest in Hawaii? ›

When is the cheapest time to go to Hawaii? The cheapest month to fly to Honolulu is during February. The cheapest accommodation deals can be found during April.

What is the median price of a home in Hawaii? ›

There are currently 5,231 homes for sale in Hawaii. The median list price in Hawaii is $829,000 and the average price per square foot is $642.

What is nicest part of Hawaii to live in? ›

Here is the full list of best places to live in Hawaii:
  • Maunawili.
  • Honolulu.
  • Kailua.
  • Hilo.
  • Mililani.
  • Waikele.
  • Pearl City.
  • Mililani Mauka.
Mar 18, 2022

What is the cheapest safest place to live in Hawaii? ›

The 5 Cheapest Cities in Hawaii
  1. Pahoa. Located on the eastern side of the Big Island, Pahoa has the highest concentration of historic buildings in all of Hawaii, with some of them dating back to 1900. ...
  2. Kea'au. Kea'au lies a 20-minute drive northwest of Pahoa. ...
  3. Hilo. ...
  4. Kailua Kona. ...
  5. Kapa'a.
Oct 24, 2022

What is Hawaii's minimum wage? ›

Hawaii Minimum Wage for 2022, 2023. Hawaii's state minimum wage rate is $12.00 per hour. This is greater than the Federal Minimum Wage of $7.25. You are entitled to be paid the higher state minimum wage.


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