How Big is Oahu?

hawaiistparksAbout Hawai'i, OahuLeave a Comment

Oahu is the 20th largest island in the United States boasting a population of 983, 000 people. Oahu has two nicknames: The Heart of Hawaii and The Gathering Place.  Geographical facts about the island of Oahu:

  • Oahu is the third-largest island at 596.7 square miles
  • Oahu has two volcanoes, Waianae and Koʻolau
  • Mount Kaala is the tallest mountain on the island of Oahu
  • There are five regions: the North Shore, the windward coast, the leeward coast, central Oahu, and Honolulu/Waikiki


Tourism drives Oahu’s economy.  People who travel to Oahu, spent over 7 billion dollars as of 2017. The average traveler spends around $190/days and stays a week. Typically they’re travelling with another person (average travel party size just over two), stay in a hotel (68%), and are there for vacation (79%). While most tourists are Americans (68%), there’s also a signifcant number from Japan (20%).

Historically, agriculture was a big part of Oahu’s economy, but the industry has been in decline.

Manufacturing is a significant part of the economy.  This ranges from brewing, food processing, and textiles.  Popular processed foods include pineapple, sugar, chips, and dairy.

Due to its location in the Pacific Ocean, shipping is another asset to the economy of Oahu.  Fishing vessels, shipping containers, and cruise ships help supplement the local economy.


Oahu was once a monarchy in the 18th century, ruled by King Kamehameha.  

Tourism started to grow soon thereafter.  The Moana Hotel was the first hotel to open and is one of the oldest hotels that is still running presently. The Moana Hotel is located on Waikiki’s beach. Also, in 1926 The Aloha Tower was opened to the public and now it’s considered to be a historic landmark.

During the 19th century, Hawaii became a United States territory, and then the 50th state on August 21, 1959 (with Honolulu as the capital).