The town of Hilo has been the center of business and government for the Island of Hawaii for more than 100 years. Today, the west side of the island, with Kailua-Kona at its core, has grown in economic importance, mostly based on the visitor industry.

Hilo remains the state’s second largest town with a population of about 41,000.
Honolulu, the largest, is vastly bigger, at nearly 372,000 residents.

Hilo is the seat of County government with a Mayor and nine-member County Council. Council does hold regular meetings on the west side of the island, too. The County police and fire departments are headquartered in Hilo.

Hawaii Island is one of the state’s four counties. The others are Maui County (Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe), Kauai County (Kauai and Niihau) and The County of Honolulu (all of Oahu and the Northwest Hawaiian Islands.)

Hawaii is the 50th of the United States. It was admitted to statehood in 1959, after being a territory since 1898. State government is comprised of the Governor-led administration, a two-house (bicameral) Legislature, and a Judiciary. The state Senate has 25 members and the state House has 51.

Government Internet Resources

County Department Directory

Hawaii County Government

Hawaii Government Directory and Guide

Hawaii Island Databook

Hawaii Island Film Office

Hawaii Island Harbors

Hawaii State Government

Starting a Business in Hawaii

U.S. Government