Hawaii Island Economy

Hawaii Island’s economic base is built on small business; nearly 100% of its businesses are small and 80 percent of our workforce is employed by small business. Tourism is an important industry, employing 17% of our residents. Diversified agriculture, especially coffee, macadamia nuts and flowers, are important here.

Snow Capped Mauna Kea (c) D Taniguchi 2008

Also important is our astronomy industry. Mauna Kea, the tallest mountain the Pacific (and tallest in the world if you measure from the ocean’s bottom) is the site of some of the best space gazing in the world and hosts the world’s largest astronomical observatory with 13 telescopes representing 11 countries.