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banner Friday, 7 January, 2000, 17:49 GMT
Hawaii

In 1996 Hawaii gave Bill Clinton his fifth biggest victory.

Key facts
Population: 1,183,723 (ranked 41 among states)
Governor: Benjamin J. Cayetano (D)
Electoral College votes: 4
The state is mostly Democrat, supportive of strong government and social tolerance.

But in every sense it is a state apart from the rest of the USA. Sitting in the Pacific 3,840 kilometres (2,400 miles) off the US coastline, with tropical rainforests, endless beaches, active volcanoes and bustling urban centres, the archipelago stretches for 3,200 kilometres (2,000 miles) and includes 100 distinct ecosystems.

1998 Congress
House of Representatives: 2 Democrats
Senate: 2 Democrats
Only seven of Hawaii's 132 islands are inhabited and its ethnic diversity is as varied as its geography. Since canoeing Polynesians settled there 1,000 years ago Hawaii has attracted immigrants from all directions and this has given it an enormous capacity for ethnic tolerance and cultural integration.

Around 60% of the population were born in the state and one-third are white. Most of these are in the military.

Voting record
1996: Clinton 57%, Dole 32%
1992: Clinton 48%, Bush 37%, Perot 14%
1988: Dukakis 54%, Bush 45%
But it is not all sunny in Hawaii and it has been struggling economically. In the 1990s there were cut-backs in tourism, agriculture and the military which doubled unemployment and led to sluggish growth. Foreign investment also dropped sharply.

Hawaii is finding it increasingly difficult to support its highly centralised government and relies on some of the highest taxes in the USA.

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Links to more States stories are at the foot of the page.


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