Resident Population

7,369 (2000-2020)


260 sq. miles

Highest elevation

4,961 feet

Highest point


County Seat

Moloka’i is the fifth largest island in the State of Hawai’i, measuring 38 miles long and 10 miles wide. Of that land area, 97% is zoned as Agricultural or Conservation. The County of Maui includes most, but not all, of the island; Kalawao County, a unique state-managed hospital community, encompasses the Kalaupapa Peninsula on the northern side of the island.

Rural and largely undeveloped, Moloka‘i boasts such notable natural wonders as the highest sea cliffs in the world – towering 3,000 feet above sea level – and the longest continuous fringing reef of the United States and its holdings. Its principal town is Kaunakakai, and a state-owned commuter airport (MKK) offers interisland service. 

According to U.S. Census Bureau data, Moloka‘i’s population in 2020 was 7,369, of which 44% reported themselves as Native Hawaiian or part-Hawaiian – a portion significantly higher than that of its sister islands. 

Historically, pineapple and other agricultural operations were once the dominant contributors to Molokai’s economy, prior to the decline and closures of plantations across the state. Today, agriculture remains an important part of the local economy – seed and diversified crops are grown there – and in recent years, progress has been made to diversify the economy. Significant sources of jobs include the public sector, education, health services, and transportation and utilities. Additionally, the island has a substantial though unmeasured subsistence economy, including such traditional activities as bartering, hunting and gathering.

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Maui County Economy

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.

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