Census records include valuable genealogical information such as names of family members, residence, year, and sometimes birthdate, birthplace, and occupation.
Find Census Records for Hawaiʻi here:
Ancestry Library (Kapiʻolani CC Database; If off-campus, must use your UH user name and password to access).
1900-1940 Census Data
Family Search Census Records
U.S. & selected International Census data
Heritage Quest Online
Database via Hawaiʻi State Public Library System
Includes U.S. Census data
Select Heritage Quest from the list that appears,
and login with HSPLS library card number.
Hawaiʻi Census Research Guide
from UH Mānoa Library
Detailed information on Hawaiʻi Census records (1830s+)
U.S. Federal Censuses from 1900-1930 include a date of immigrations for immigrants. Use that date to help you find your ancestor's arrival record in the Immigration Collection.
Pinpoint your ancestor’s location from the census on a map, and then look for churches, cemeteries, and other places where your ancestor may have left records.
If you’re having a difficult time locating your ancestor, try searching using only given names and other details like birth year, residence, family members, place of birth, etc.
Occasionally, census takers only recorded initials in place of the given name. Using only a first initial will bring up these records.
Census takers didn’t always have the best penmanship, so if you’re having a hard time locating your ancestor, write out the name and try replacing some of the letters with letters that look similar.
The First Hawaiʻi Censuses
Sometime around A.D. 1500, Umi, king of the Big Island, supposedly conducted a census of his realm. Collecting all his people on a plain near Hualalai, he instructed each person to deposit a stone on a pile representing his district.
The first population census in historical times was undertaken in Wainiha Valley, Kauaʻi, near the beginning of the nineteenth century. A careful census of the valley counted more than 2,000 people, sixty-five of whom were described as menehune. Menehune were the legendary race of small people who worked at night building fish ponds, roads, and temples.
The first full-scale censuses, covering all the Islands, were made under missionary auspices in 1831 and 1832 and in 1835 and 1836. The first of these counts reported a total population of 130,313; the second found only 108,579.
The earliest census conducted by the Hawaiian government to achieve reasonably complete coverage was undertaken in January 1850, when enumerators found only 84,165 persons living in the Kingdom. Depopulation continued until 1876, when the total reached 53,900.
Since 1900, the U.S. Bureau of the Census has made decennial counts. The population numbered 154,001 in 1900, 422,770 in 1940, 964,691 in 1980 and 1,108,229 in 1990.
Source: Schmitt, Robert C. and Ronck, Ronn. Firsts and Almost Firsts in Hawaiʻi. Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi Press, 1995.
Use the UHM Library Guide to Hawaiʻi Censuses to find more information on the Hawaiʻi Census from 1830-current.