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Hawaii residents have been moving away from the islands in droves in recent years; in fiscal 2017, more than 13,000 people departed — the highest negative net migration ever.
 
Why are so many people leaving the Aloha State? 
 
We think it’s mostly because of Hawaii’s limited opportunities, brought on by high taxes, excessive regulations, unaffordable housing, exorbitant consumer prices and other factors that make up its back-breaking high cost of living. However, rather than assume on their behalf, we decided to create an online forum called “Why we left Hawaii,” where former residents can explain in their own words why they left paradise.
 
If you are among those who felt they had to leave the islands, and haven’t yet shared your mo’olelo with us, please feel free to do so. Our hope is that these stories will educate our lawmakers as to what is needed to make sure that you and your loved ones, and others like you, can someday come home.

Their Stories

For more information about the series, contact Joe Kent, executive vice president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, at jkent@grassrootinstitute.org.