Hawaii (U.S. state)

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This article is about Hawaii (U.S. state). For other uses of the term Hawaii, please see Hawaii (disambiguation).

Hawaii is an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean that is a state of the United States of America. Hawaii was an independent Polynesian kingdom until its monarchy was overthrown in 1893. The territory was annexed by the U.S. in 1898, and in 1959, it became the last (50th) state to join the U.S. The state capital is Honolulu, on the island of Oahu.


Map of main Hawaiian islands.
  • Hawaii: The Big Island. The largest island in the achipelago.
  • Kaho'olawe: The smallest of the 8 main islands in the archipelago. Uninhabited.
  • Kauai: The Garden Island.
  • Lanai: The Pineapple Island.
  • Maui: The Valley Island.
  • Molokai: The Friendly Island.
  • Niihau: The Forbidden Island. Privately owned.
  • Oahu: The Gathering Place. The seat of state government with the capital city Honolulu.


English and Hawaiian (a Polynesian language) are both official in Hawaii. Reflecting high immigration in preceding centuries, several other languages continue to be spoken, including Japanese, Filipino and various Chinese varieties. Many of these immigrant languages were brought from East and South-East Asia and the needs for speakers of diverse language backgrounds to communicate led to the development of Pidgin Hawaiian, a fairly rudimentary pidgin language drawing much of its vocabulary from Hawaiian, but with many languages contributing to its formation. In the 1890s and afterwards, the increased spread of English favored the use of an English-based pidgin instead, which, once nativized as the first language of children, developed into a creole which today is misleadingly called Hawaiian 'Pidgin'.

State facts and trivia

State flower of Hawaii - Yellow Hibiscus

State bird: Nene (Hawaiian goose)

State tree: Kukui (Candlenut)

See also

U.S. States and Territories