The island of Molokai has a population of about 7,400 people. The median age of 34 is younger than the Statewide average. More than one-third of the population consists of children ages 19 and younger, but the proportion of those ages 20-34 is one of the lowest Statewide. The ethnic makeup of this island differs from the rest of the State in that there are lower percentages of Caucasians and Asians and higher percentages of Hawaiians and bi- and multi-racial residents. Sixty percent identify themselves as Hawaiian or Part-Hawaiian.
The people of Molokai face a number of economic, social, and educational challenges. Unemployment in Molokai is almost double the Statewide average, and the per capita income is among the lowest in the State. Molokai has the highest percentage of young children living in poverty (48.4%). Families participate in the Food Stamp and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) programs at nearly triple the average for the State. This community has the second-highest percentages Statewide of children in special education programs and adults with disabilities. The percentages of 3rd graders with low SAT reading scores, and “idle teens” (not in school and not working) are among the highest in the State.
The data for other indicators of child and family well-being in Molokai are more positive. Residential stability and the home ownership percentages are higher than the Statewide averages. Most teachers report that the schools are safe, and most parents report being involved in their children’s schools. The percent of grandparents regularly involved in caring for their grandchildren is the third-highest Statewide. The percentage of public school seniors who graduate is slightly higher than the State and County averages. Although only 57% of high school seniors aspire to attend college, the percentage who gain acceptance is among the highest in the State.