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Thursday, January 16, 2020
DBEDT: Family of 4 Needs $80K for a frugal lifestyle--But only $67K on Big Island
By News Release @ 5:17 AM :: 3882 Views :: Hawaii Statistics, Cost of Living

Editor's Note: The Big Island (and Molokai) are cheaper because of the large number of available lots in existing subdivisions.  On Oahu, Maui and Kauai the supply of land is artificially restricted thus shifting the supply-demand equation and driving the cost of land up.  See: How A&B Wins Big From Environmental Litigation



Estimates for Hawaii 2018

Report to Legislature from DBEDT, December, 2019

I. Executive Summary

Hawaii Revised Statutes, 201-3(b) requires that, beginning in 2008, the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) establish and update biennially a self-sufficiency standard incorporating existing methods of calculation, and reflecting costs relating to housing, food, child care, transportation, health care, clothing and household expenses, taxes, children's ages, geography, and the number of household wage earners. The first report was published in January 2009, and subsequent reports were published every year or every two years. These reports can be accessed at "self-sufficiency-income-study". This report presents the estimated Hawaii self-sufficiency standard for 2018.

Consistent with the Family Self-Sufficiency Study (FESS) methodology, this study defines economic self-sufficiency as the amount of money that individuals and families require to meet their basic needs without government and/or other subsidies. Also consistent with FESS, it is assumed that adults are working full-time (40-hour a week), with one or more jobs.

This study establishes Hawaii’s self-sufficient family income standards for 2018 and compares self-sufficient family budgets with poverty thresholds, minimum wage level, median family income, and estimates for 2018 actual incomes for the five family types.

Major highlights of the study are that:

--Among all five family types, Hawaii County had the lowest self-sufficiency income requirements among all counties. For the single-adult category, Honolulu had the highest self-sufficiency income requirements, followed by Maui and Kauai. For the two-adult couple category, Maui had the highest self-sufficiency income requirements, followed by Kauai and Honolulu. For the one-adult with one child and one-adult with two children categories, Honolulu had the highest self-sufficiency income requirements, followed by Maui and Kauai. For the two-adult couples with two children category, Honolulu had the highest self-sufficiency income requirements, followed by Maui and Kauai.

--The 2018 median income for families of single-adult, two-adult couple families without children, and two-adult couple families with two children exceeded self-sufficiency income needs. Median income of one-adult with one child and median income of one-adult with two children were below self-sufficiency income needs.

--Statewide, about 19.1% of two-adult couples with no children and 42.9% of two-adult couples with two children, had incomes below the self-sufficiency standard in 2018. For families of single-adult with no children, single-adult with one child, and single-adult with two children, their percentages below the self-sufficiency level were 45.7%, 78.9%, and 81.8%, respectively in 2018.

Total budget levels by family size are summarized by county in Table A and displayed in Figure A. Appendix B provides comparisons between the results of this update study and past studies, including the 2007 DBEDT results….

read … Full Report

HNN: Report: A family of 4 needs $80,000 a year in Hawaii to pay for a frugal lifestyle


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