Cost of Living in Hilo Hawaii

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Some Facts About Hilo

 Living in Hilo Hawaii town Cost of Living in Hilo Hawaii

Hilo is a very old and small town in East Hawaii with an average rainfall of 100 inches a year. Its tropical climate gives it an abundance of green growth, which contributes to making it arguably one of the beautiful locations in the world. In summer, rain comes mainly in the evening, and the weather is great during the day.

 

The ambiance in Hilo gives one the feeling of a laid back and rural way of living. It houses the University of Hawaii at Hilo and a corporation that is known to be  one of the world’s leading producers of macadamia nuts. Hilo’s population based on data recorded in 2010, was  about 43,000 or a little over 10%  that of Honolulu, the state capital, at about 391,000.

 

Cost of Living Index

 

Based on the survey made by Sperling’s Best Places, Hilo has an overall cost of living index of 137, meaning it’s 37% more expensive than the USA average. This can be attributed to the high cost of food and utilities. As in the whole of Hawaii the Big Island, most of Hilo’s resources come from mainland USA. Shipping and related costs are major factors that add to the cost of these basic items.

 

The complete breakdown of the cost of living index of Hilo based on Sperling’s compiled data is as follows:

 

  • Food                          154
  • Utilities                      156
  • Miscellaneous             117
  • Overall                       137

 

The average for Miscellaneous, which are items outside of Food and Utilities, is comparatively rather low at 117 (only 17% higher than the USA average for cities). This has contributed to lowering the overall index of Hilo to 137.

 

Another source, Area Vibes, gives a more detailed breakdown of the cost of living index in Hilo vis a vis that in Hawaii, as follows:

 

Index        

           Hilo       Hawaii
     
  • Overall

143

167

  • Goods & Services

120

120

  • Groceries

153

153

  • Health Care

122

122

  • Housing

166

247

  • Transportation

126

126

  • Utilities

169

169

 

 

 

 

The overall index for Hilo based on the above table is 143 or 6 percentage points higher than that of Sperling’s, and is 24 percentage points higher than the overall for Hawaii. In terms of percentage, the overall index of Hilo is 14.3% lower than that of Hawaii.

 

The source gives the same values for all items except Housing, indicating that the overall cost of living difference is only due to lower cost of housing in Hilo vis a vis Hawaii.

 

The cost of housing index of Hilo is 81 percentage points lower than that of Hawaii. This means that the cost of housing in Hilo is 32.8% lower than that of Hawaii. Said in another way, the cost of housing in Hilo is about a third of that of Hawaii. This is understandable since the demand for housing in a rural area like Hilo is much lower than that of an urban area like Honolulu.

Living in Kona Hawaii shop Cost of Living in Hilo HawaiiCost of Foodstuff 

 

Area Vibes also gives the prices of gas in Hilo as $3.98 or 9.1% higher than the national average; coffee $7.22 or 33.4% higher; and pizza $12.00 or 25.5%.

 

Prices of other foodstuff in Hilo are lower than those in Hawaii overall, although this is not reflected in the cost of living index comparison shown in the table above. Hilo is a rural area compared to Honolulu, an urban area to which the cost of living index for Hawaii was based on in the survey. Being a rural area, Hilo has a lot of local food—fish, beef, eggs, fruits, and vegetables—whose prices are lower vis a vis those in Honolulu.

 

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