Hawaii is the 50th and most recent state in the United States. Hawaii is the only American state in Oceania and the only one outside of North America. It consists entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia and occupies most of an archipelago in the central Pacific.
The state covers almost the entire volcanic Hawaiian archipelago. It includes hundreds of islands spread over 2400 km. At the south-eastern end of the archipelago are the eight main islands: Ni’ihau, Kaua’i, O’ahu, Moloka’i, Lāna’i, Kaho’olawe, Maui and the island of Hawai’i. The latter is the largest island in the group.
The diverse nature of Hawaii, the warm tropical climate, the abundance of public beaches, the oceanic environment and active volcanoes make it a popular destination for tourists, surfers, biologists and volcanologists. The culture of Hawaii is strongly influenced by North American and East Asian cultures, in addition to native Hawaiian culture. Hawaii has more than one million permanent residents, along with many visitors and US military personnel. The capital is Honolulu on the island of O’ahu.
Hawaii is the 8th smallest and the 11th least populated, but the 13th most populous of the 50 US states. It is the only state with an Asian plural. The state’s oceanic coastline is about 1,200 kilometres long, the fourth longest in the US after the coastlines of Alaska, Florida and California.
For Western Europeans, the trip to Hawaii includes about the longest flight they can make.