Hilo, Hawaii

According to topschoolsintheusa, Hilo is located on the east side of the Big Island of Hawaii. It has a population of 43,263 people according to the 2010 U.S. Census. The city is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the east and Hilo Bay to the north, and is surrounded by lush rainforest and rolling hills. The climate in Hilo is tropical, with an average temperature in the low-to-mid 80s year-round.

Hilo has a rich history that dates back centuries before its incorporation as a city in 1856. It was once home to a large number of ancient Hawaiian settlements, and it was here that King Kamehameha I unified all of Hawaii’s islands into one kingdom in 1795. Today, Hilo is governed by an eight-member City Council and Mayor Harry Kim, who have worked together since 2000 to revitalize downtown Hilo and improve infrastructure throughout the city.

The economy of Hilo is largely driven by tourism, agriculture, education, health care services and retail shopping centers. The University of Hawaii at Hilo provides educational opportunities for students seeking degrees in areas ranging from business administration to natural sciences. The university also offers a wide range of research opportunities for students interested in environmental studies or marine biology due to its close proximity to both Mauna Kea volcano and its own Marine Science Research Center on Coconut Island just off shore from downtown Hilo’s Banyan Drive.

Hilo’s landmarks include Rainbow Falls State Park where visitors can view breathtaking rainbow colored waterfalls; Wailuku River State Park where visitors can take guided kayak tours; Lyman Museum & Mission House which houses collections related to Hawaiian culture; Panaewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens which features native Hawaiian flora & fauna; Imiloa Astronomy Center which showcases interactive exhibits about astronomy & Hawaiian culture; Pacific Tsunami Museum which documents the destructive tsunamis that have struck Hilo over time; and Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory where visitors can learn about macadamia nut farming while sampling delicious treats made with locally grown nuts!

Population: 40,759
Males: 19,950 (48.9%), Females: 20,809 (51.1%)

Hawaii County

Zip codes: 96720.

Median resident age: 38.6 years
Median household income: $39,139
Median house value: $153,800

Races in Hilo:

  • Two or more races (29.7%)
  • Japanese (26.7%)
  • White Non-Hispanic (15.9%)
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (13.1%)
  • Hispanic (8.8%)
  • Filipino (5.8%)
  • Other Asian (3.1%)
  • American Indian (2.6%)
  • Chinese (1.6%)
  • Korean (1.0%)
  • Other race (0.9%)

(Total can be greater than 100% because Hispanics could be counted in other races)

Ancestries: Portuguese (9.0%), German (3.1%), English (3.0%), Irish (2.4%), Italian (1.2%), United States (1.1%).

Elevation: 38 feet

Land area: 54.3 square miles

Hilo, Hawaii


Hilo is a city located on the east side of the Big Island of Hawaii. It is the second largest city in Hawaii and is a major hub for business, tourism, and education. The population of Hilo was estimated at 43,263 in 2019. It is home to many diverse cultures including Native Hawaiian, Filipino, Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, Korean and many more. The median household income in Hilo is $60,945 with an average cost of living index of 127.6 which is higher than the national average. The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Hilo is $1,200 per month with utilities included. The cost of groceries and other necessities are higher than most parts of the United States due to the remote location on an island and the lack of competition from large chain stores. Home prices have also increased dramatically over the past decade as people from all over the world flock to this tropical paradise to live or visit for vacation. Despite these costs, Hilo remains one of Hawaii’s most affordable cities as well as one of its most popular tourist destinations for its beautiful beaches and stunning natural scenery.

For population 25 years and over in Hilo

  • High school or higher: 85.9%
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher: 24.3%
  • Graduate or professional degree: 8.3%
  • Unemployed: 10.3%
  • Mean travel time to work: 17.8 minutes

For population 15 years and over in Hilo CDP

  • Never married: 31.1%
  • Now married: 49.2%
  • Separated: 2.0%
  • Widowed: 7.7%
  • Divorced: 9.9%

7.2% Foreign born (5.0% Asia, 1.1% Oceania).


Hospital/medical center in Hilo:


Other hospitals/medical centers near Hilo:

  • HALE HO’OLA HAMAKUA (about 40 miles; HONOKAA, HI)
  • KAU HOSPITAL (about 44 miles; PAHALA, HI)


Airports certified for carrier operations nearest to Hilo:

  • HILO INTERNATIONAL (about 4 miles; HILO, HI; Abbreviation: ITO)
  • KONA INTL AT KEAHOLE (about 66 miles; KAILUA/KONA, HI; Abbreviation: KOA)
  • KAHULUI (about 123 miles; KAHULUI, HI; Abbreviation: OGG)

Other public-use airports nearest to Hilo:

  • WAIMEA-KOHALA (about 45 miles; KAMUELA, HI; Abbreviation: MUE)
  • UPOLU (about 65 miles; HAWI, HI; Abbreviation: UPP)
  • HANA (about 98 miles; HANA, HI; Abbreviation: HNM)

Colleges and Universities

Colleges/Universities in Hilo:

  • UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII AT HILO (Full-time enrollment: 2,434; Location: 200 W KAWILI ST; Public; Website: www.uhh.hawaii.edu; Offers Master’s degree)
  • HAWAII COMMUNITY COLLEGE (Full-time enrollment: 1,460; Location: 200 W KAWILI ST; Public; Website: www.hawcc.hawaii.edu)
  • UNIVERSITY OF ADVANCED RESEARCH-HAWAII CAMPUS (Location: 65 KUIKAHI ST; Private, for-profit; Offers Master’s degree)

Other colleges/universities with over 2000 students near Hilo:

  • KAPIOLANI COMMUNITY COLLEGE (about 217 miles; HONOLULU, HI; Full-time enrollment: 4,131)
  • UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII AT MANOA (about 220 miles; HONOLULU, HI; Full-time enrollment: 14,113)
  • HAWAII PACIFIC UNIVERSITY (about 222 miles; HONOLULU, HI; Full-time enrollment: 6,186)
  • HONOLULU COMMUNITY COLLEGE (about 222 miles; HONOLULU, HI; Full-time enrollment: 2,787)
  • LEEWARD COMMUNITY COLLEGE (about 232 miles; PEARL CITY, HI; Full-time enrollment: 3,511)
  • BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY-HAWAII CAMPUS (about 238 miles; LAIE, HI; Full-time enrollment: 2,273)
  • UNIVERSITY OF GUAM (about 833 miles; MANGILAO, GU; Full-time enrollment: 2,802)


Public high schools in Hilo:

  • HILO HIGH SCHOOL (Students: 1,511; Location: 556 WAIANUENUE AVENUE; Grades: 09 – 12)
  • WAIAKEA HIGH SCHOOL (Students: 1,292; Location: 155 KAWILI STREET; Grades: 09 – 12)
  • KE ANA LA’AHANA PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL (Students: 97; Location: 1500 KALANIANAOLE HIGHWAY; Grades: 07 – 12)

Private high school in Hilo:

  • ST JOSEPH JR/SR HIGH SCHOOL (Students: 216; Location: 1000 ULULANI STREET; Grades: 7 – 12)

Biggest public primary/middle schools in Hilo:

  • WAIAKEA INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL (Students: 909; Location: 200 WEST PUAINAKO STREET; Grades: 06 – 08)
  • WAIAKEA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (Students: 784; Location: 180 WEST PUAINAKO STREET; Grades: PK – 05)
  • WAIAKEAWAENA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (Students: 736; Location: 2420 KILAUEA AVENUE; Grades: PK – 05)
  • HILO INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL (Students: 681; Location: 587 WAIANUENUE AVENUE; Grades: 07 – 08)
  • HILO UNION ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (Students: 524; Location: 506 WAIANUENUE AVENUE; Grades: PK – 06)
  • KAPIOLANI ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (Students: 477; Location: 966 KILAUEA AVENUE; Grades: PK – 06)
  • DESILVA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (Students: 326; Location: 278 AINAKO AVENUE; Grades: PK – 06)
  • KEAUKAHA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (Students: 262; Location: 240 DESHA AVENUE; Grades: KG – 06)
  • CONNECTIONS PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL (Students: 242; Location: 174 KAMEHAMEHA AVENUE; Grades: KG – 08)
  • KAUMANA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (Students: 235; Location: 1710 KAUMANA DRIVE; Grades: KG – 06)

Private primary/middle schools in Hilo:

  • HAILI CHRISTIAN SCHOOL (Students: 266; Location: 190 WWANI ST; Grades: PK – 8)
  • ST JOSEPH ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (Students: 207; Location: 999 ULULANI ST; Grades: PK – 6)
  • HALE ALOHA NAZARENE SCHOOL (Students: 78; Location: 595 KUPULAU ROAD; Grades: PK – 6)
  • E MAKAALA SCHOOL (Students: 53; Location: 440 W LANIKAULA ST; Grades: PK – 3)
  • MAUNA LOA SCHOOL (Students: 32; Location: 172 KAPIOLANI STREET; Grades: KG – 8)

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