Honolulu is the capital of the state of Hawaii and also the county seat of Honolulu County. Honolulu is classified as a modern city by international standards, with its skyline containing many skyscrapers, including the tallest building in the state, the 429-foot-tall first Hawaiian Center. Honolulu is also the financial and economic center of the state and includes the headquarters of many large Hawaiian companies.
According to archaeologists, human settlement on the Honolulu site can be traced back to the 11 century, when ancient Polynesians migrated from neighboring islands. At the end of the 18th century, King Kamehameha managed to unite the Hawaiian Islands after the victory at the Battle of Nu’uanu, and in 1804 he established his seat of government in Waikiki, and later in Honolulu in 1809. The royal court was later moved from Honolulu to Kailua-Kona in 1812. Kamehameha III established Honolulu as the capital of his kingdom in 1845, after removing the Royal Court from Lahaina. It was during the reign of Kamehameha III and that of his successors that the city was modernized. The city went through several devastating incidents in the 20th century, including The Great Honolulu Chinatown Fire of 1900, which destroyed 38 acres of the city, as well as the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, officially entering the United States into World War II.
The entire city of Honolulu covers an area of 68.4 square miles, 60.5 square miles of which is land, and 7.9 square miles of water. Honolulu is the westernmost major city in the United States, as it is located at 157 degrees west longitude. The city is located on the coastline of the island and borders the Pacific Ocean. The closest location to the mainland of Honolulu is at a distance of 2,045 nautical miles, making the city the most remote major city in the world.
Downtown Honolulu is home to the seat of the Government of Hawaii and is the commercial and economic center of the city. Waikiki is the tourist center of Honolulu and is located between the Pacific Ocean and the Ala Wai Canal. Waikiki is home to many major hotels in the city and hosts millions of tourists annually. Kahala and Waialae districts are home to Honolulu’s upper-class residents, which is reflected in the districts’expensive homes. Other administrative regions include Ala Moana, Maona, Makiki, Palolo, Kaimuki, Moanalua and Salt Lake.
Honolulu’s total population is estimated at over 351,000, making it the most populous city in Hawaii. About 50.7% of the population is female, while 49.3% of the city’s population is male. Data from the 2010 U.S. census determined that the Honolulu urban area has the fourth-highest population density in the country, with a population density of 5,791 persons per square mile. Honolulu is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the United States. People of Asian descent make up 54.8% of Honolulu’s population, while Caucasians make up 17.9%. Only 8.4% of Honolulu residents identify as Native Hawaiian.
Honolulu is home to all major airports in the state of Hawaii, including Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, the island’s largest airport and the main gateway to Hawaii. All international flights to and from Hawaii pass through the airport. The airport has six runways, four of which are asphalt, while the other two are watercourses. Transportation within the city is provided by a network of roads, which also connect to other parts of Hawaii.