Is Hawaii safer than California?

Hawaii and California are alike in several ways. Both states are costly to live in and boast of beautiful environments. But when it comes to how safe they are, there are differences. So, is Hawaii safer than California?

Yes, Hawaii is safer than California. Violent crimes here are much lower than in California, which has one of the highest murder rates in the country. Other differences between the two states include population and geography. But there are similarities like the cost of living, beaches, and tourism.

Either of the two states offers high quality of life for residents. But when it comes to economic opportunities, almost nowhere in the country beats California. Here, we discuss whether Hawaii is safer than California and the comparisons between the two.

Hawaii v California Crime Metrics

Hawaii is one of the safest states in the US, with a safety score of 60.29. This is based on personal and residential safety, workplace safety, emergency preparedness, road safety, and financial safety. It trumps California, which has a score of 49.26. in 2018, it was the 13th safest state in the US, with a violent crime rate of 248.6 per 100,000 people. It had the 10th lowest murder in America and the 10th lowest imprisonment rate. In terms of financial safety, its 8.8% poverty rate made it the second-lowest among all the states, and only 2.4% of its labor force was unemployed in that year. In that same year, the national violent crime rate was   380.6 per 100,000 people.

On the other hand, California is the 14th most dangerous state. Here, the violent crime rate is 447.4 per 100,000 people, far above the national average. It had the highest murder rate that year, with 1,739 murders committed within the state. Its 12.8% poverty rate was also enough to make it the 25th highest. In terms of violent crimes in 2018, it was the highest among all the states. This isn’t surprising given that it’s home to 12% of the entire US population and was responsible for 14% of its violent crimes. However, the rate of imprisonment in the state is low, with only 424 per 100,000 adults, enough to make it the 19th lowest and well below the national average of 568 per 100,000 adults.

While violent crimes aren’t that common in Hawaii, property crimes are more prevalent and responsible for most crimes here. Here, the property crime rate is 24.1 per 1,000 people, more than the national average of 19.6. When it comes to property crimes, the most common here is larceny-theft, and it’s responsible for 71% of the property crimes in the state. Burglaries are less common here, with only 14% of the property crimes attributed to burglaries. But motor vehicle theft is an issue, making up 16% of such crimes in the state.

Other Differences Between Hawaii and California

There are other differences between the two states, such as:

1.  Population

In terms of population, California is far bigger than Hawaii. The state is the most populous in the US, with more than 40 million people. Hawaii, on the other hand, only has around 1.4 million people. In some ways, this influences the difference in crime rates between both states.

2.  Geography

California and Hawaii have a geographical similarity of bordering the ocean. But that’s where it ends. California is much bigger, with a landmass of 423,970 kilometers square compared to Hawaii, with 28,311-kilometer square. Beyond that, Hawaii is essentially a couple of islands that don’t bother any other state and has no land connection to the US. On the other hand, California is bordered by Nevada and Arizona to the east, Oregon to the North, and Baja California in Mexico to the south.

Similarities between Hawaii and California

Despite the differences between the two states, there are lots of similarities. This includes:

1.  High Cost of Living

If you think California is costly, wait till you get to Hawaii. This is the most expensive state in the US due to the high cost. While the cost may differ from location, the overall cost of living here exceeds California’s. For instance, the typical home value in Hawaii is $863,632, while that of California is yet to reach $800,000. Renting in Hawaii will also cost you more than you’ll spend in California. But the cost of rent in Honolulu is still lower than what you’ll find in Los Angeles. Other basic expenses necessary for living, such as groceries, utilities, and healthcare, are costlier in Hawaii than in California. But the cost of transportation in California is higher.

2.  Tourist Centers

California hosts millions of people who visit every year for tourist activities. It could be to check out the beautiful beaches this state has in abundance or the diverse ecology due to having the most extensive park system in the US. The paparazzi here is another reason to visit too. After all, it’s home to Hollywood, Coachella, and the fun stuff. In 2021, total visits to California were 213.8 million, with tourism spending $97.4 billion. This shows just how massive tourism is for the state. Although it’s smaller, tourism also plays a big role in Hawaii’s economy.

The state is home to beaches, volcanoes, and diverse and rare ecosystems, making it a delight for many people visiting. In May 2021, the average number of visitors who come here daily was 190,491. This shows how important its tourism economy is. The state received over 10 million tourists in 2019 who spent $17.75 billion on the islands. Thus, while it might not have California’s size and influence, they attract many tourists proportionate to their sizes.

3.  Beaches and Proximity to the Pacific Ocean

Both states bother the pacific oceans, although in different ways. Hawaii is noncontiguous, with no direct land connecting to the mainland United States. Bordering the Pacific Ocean means that both states have plenty of beaches and are great spots for surfing and other water activities.

In Conclusion

Hawaii is much safer than California. This is just one of the many differences between the two states. But there are a lot of similarities between the two states.