Hawaii is recognized for its breathtaking natural landscapes, rich cultural diversity, and enjoyable weather. Nevertheless, not all areas in Hawaii offer an equally appealing living experience. Some cities grapple with elevated crime rates, limited affordability, and a diminished quality of life.
As per a recent assessment conducted by 24/7 Wall St, Makaha, a coastal community situated on the island of O’ahu, is identified as the least desirable city to reside in Hawaii.
Makaha’s Poverty and Affordability Problems
Makaha is considered the least desirable city to reside in Hawaii primarily due to its elevated poverty rate. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Makaha’s poverty rate stands at 31.0%, surpassing the statewide rate of 9.4% by more than threefold.
This translates to nearly one-third of its 9,710 residents living below the poverty line, set at $25,926 for a family of four in Hawaii. Makaha also grapples with a notable unemployment rate of 11.1%, significantly higher than the state average of 3.4%.
Another negative aspect of living in Makaha is its limited affordability, with the cost of living exceeding the national average by 50%, primarily driven by steep housing expenses.
The median home value in Makaha is $386,900, surpassing the national median of $217,500. However, the median household income in Makaha is only $47,470, falling short of the national median of $60,336. Consequently, many residents face challenges in affording their homes and meeting basic needs.
Makaha’s Crime and Education Issues
Makaha performs poorly in terms of both crime and education. The violent crime rate in Makaha is 507 per 100,000 people, surpassing the state average of 309 and the national average of 382.
Additionally, Makaha has a property crime rate of 3,715 per 100,000 people, which is higher than both the state average of 2,776 and the national average of 2,362. Residents in Makaha face a 1 in 27 chance of falling victim to either violent or property crime.
The education system in Makaha is also below par. Makaha Elementary School, the town’s elementary school, received a low 2/10 rating on Greatschools, a website that assesses schools based on factors such as test scores, student progress, and equity.
Makaha Elementary School demonstrates low proficiency rates in both math and reading, with only 13% of students meeting state standards in math and 19% in reading. Furthermore, the school has a high student-teacher ratio of 18:1, in contrast to the state average of 15:1.
Makaha’s Potential for Improvement
Despite facing numerous challenges, Makaha is not a lost cause. The city possesses positive attributes that could be utilized for enhancement. One notable feature is its picturesque beachfront, offering opportunities for surfing, fishing, and snorkeling.
Additionally, Makaha boasts a rich cultural heritage, once serving as a royal retreat for Hawaiian chiefs and hosting ancient temples and petroglyphs.
By showcasing these natural and historical attractions and addressing infrastructure and public safety, Makaha could attract more tourists and investors.
The community in Makaha is actively working towards improvement. The Makaha Learning Center, a nonprofit organization, provides educational and vocational programs for both adults and youth, covering areas such as GED preparation, computer literacy, and job readiness.
Furthermore, the center offers cultural and recreational activities like hula dancing, ukulele lessons, and gardening.
Another positive force is the Makaha Community Association, which initiates events and projects to enhance and preserve the environment, such as beach cleanups, tree plantings, and recycling drives.
These community initiatives contribute to the overall well-being of Makaha’s residents and demonstrate a commitment to positive change.
Makaha has been ranked as the least favorable city to reside in Hawaii, as per a recent assessment by 24/7 Wall St. The area grapples with significant challenges such as elevated poverty rates, limited affordability, heightened crime levels, and subpar educational opportunities.
Nevertheless, Makaha holds promise for positive transformation. Its picturesque surroundings, vibrant cultural heritage, and various community initiatives suggest potential for improvement.
By tackling its social and economic issues head-on and simultaneously safeguarding and augmenting its natural and historical features, Makaha could evolve into a more desirable place to live.