One of the world’s top island destinations, Maui was formed by two large volcanoes – Haleakalā and Kahālāwai – connected by an isthmus. It is the largest island in the county, the second largest in the State of Hawai’i, and home to most of Maui Nui’s residents and businesses.
Maui is generally divided into several regions. Central Maui includes the towns of Wailuku – the seat of county government – and Kahului, the primary commercial core of the island and where the main airport and commercial harbor are located. West Maui and South Maui are popular for their resort areas and stunning shorelines. The North Shore is perhaps best known for its spectacular windsurfing spots. East Maui, lush and rural, includes the remote Hawaiian community of Hana. On the slopes of Haleakalā is rural Upcountry Maui, encompassing several inland communities and a variety of agricultural operations including diversified crops and ranching.
The island’s land area measures approximately 729 square miles, of which 94% is zoned by the State Land Use Commission as Agricultural or Conservation. Most of the remaining acreage is zoned urban.
According to the 2020 U.S. Census Bureau, the population of the island of Maui was 154,100, making it the third most populous island in the state, behind Oahu and Hawai’i Island. Like the rest of the state, the island’s population is composed of diverse ethnic groups including White (Caucasian), Asian and Native Hawaiian.
The County of Maui Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (2022) offers an in-depth look at Maui Nui’s economic drivers, challenges, opportunities, priorities, and strategies. Developed with extensive input from hundreds of community members representing a diverse range of communities and sectors, the report outlines an economic roadmap for Maui Nui across multiple economic and geographic clusters.
February 22, 2024