Tuesday, July 23, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Monday, October 21, 2013
Survey: Hawaii 24th in Opportunity Index
By News Release @ 5:44 PM :: 5305 Views :: Family, Hawaii Statistics

About the Opportunity Index

From Opportunity Nation October 21, 2013

At the core of America is a shared belief that no matter how humble your origins, with hard work and perseverance, you can improve your prospects in life and give your children a shot at a secure and productive future.

For generations, Americans lived this dream. Millions were able to lift themselves out of poverty and climb the ladder of social mobility and economic security.

But today, our American Dream is at risk. Too often it’s your zip code that predetermines your destiny.

Commonly used measures of a community’s success include business oriented rankings and unemployment rates. But these do not provide residents, community leaders, or elected officials the complete picture they need to understand the barriers to opportunity where they live and take action to improve outcomes for more Americans.

  • Do jobs pay family-sustaining wages?
  • Are students graduating from high school on time?
  • Do I have access to healthy food?
  • Is my community safe?

The Opportunity Index focuses on the conditions present in different communities and is designed to connect economic, academic, civic and other factors together to help identify concrete solutions to lagging conditions for opportunity and economic mobility.  From preschool enrollment to income inequality, from volunteerism to access to healthy food, expanding opportunity depends on the intersection of multiple factors.  Developed by Measure of America and Opportunity Nation, the Index gives policymakers and community leaders a powerful tool to advance opportunity-related issues and work, advocate for positive change and track progress over time.

The Index measures 16 indicators, and scores all 50 states plus Washington DC on a scale of 0-100 each year.  In addition, more than 3,000 counties are graded A-F, giving policymakers and leaders a useful tool to identify areas for improvement and to gauge progress over time.

We can’t pick our ethnicity, the family we are born into, or our IQ. But if you work hard and play by the rules, your zip code shouldn’t determine the amount of opportunity available to you. In a free society, some inequality is unavoidable. But inequality without the chance for mobility is economically inefficient and unjust.  Explore your state and county’s scores, compare to previous years and get involved with the 275 Opportunity Nation coalition organizations working to expand opportunity across the country.

Learn More:


Nat'l Avg.
Unemployment Rate (%) 4.4% 7.1%
Mean Household Income ($) $59,931 $48,958
Poverty (% of population below poverty line) 12% 15.9%
80/20 Ratio (Ratio of household income at the 80th percentile to that of the 20th percentile) 4.16 4.94
Banking Institutions (commercial banks, savings institutions, and credit unions per 10,000 residents) 3.48 3.96
Households Spending Less than 30% of Household Income on Housing Costs (%) 53.9% 62.2%
High-Speed Internet (% of households) 70% 67.8%
Preschool (% ages 3 and 4 in school) 55.1% 47.8%
On-Time High School Graduation (% of freshmen who graduate in four years) 75.4% 78.2%
Associate Degree or Higher (% of adults 25 and older) 39.1% 36.3%
Community Health & Civic Life NATIONAL AVG.
Group Membership (% of adults 18 and over involved in social, civic, sports, and religious groups) 30.3% 35.6%
Youth Not in School and Not Working (% ages 16-24) 12.7% 14.6%
Volunteerism (% of adults ages 18 and older) 23% 26.5%
Violent Crime (per 100,000 population) 287.2 386.3
Primary Care Providers (per 100,000 population) 137.8 117.9
Grocery Stores and Produce Vendors (per 10,000 population) 2.3 2.2
Population 1,378,129 311,587,816

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute


Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together


Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii


Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii


National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii


Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns


West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii