How Many Islands are in Hawaii?

How many islands are in Hawaii

Welcome to Hawaii, the paradise of the Pacific, a true wonder of nature.

But how many islands are there in Hawaii?

The short answer is that Hawaii comprises 137 islands in total. This count includes eight main islands – Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Niihau, and Kahoolawe – as well as numerous smaller islets, atolls, and reefs spread over 1,500 miles in the North Pacific Ocean.

The Main Hawaiian Islands

The main Hawaiian Islands consist of eight major landmasses, each with its unique allure.

Here is a table that shows each of the eight island in a way that makes it easy to see the key features and their differences:

IslandNicknameKey Features
HawaiiThe Big IslandLargest Hawaiian island, home to Kilauea and Mauna Kea
MauiThe Valley IsleFamous for Haleakala and the Road to Hana
OahuThe Gathering PlaceMost populated, home to Honolulu and Waikiki
KauaiThe Garden IsleKnown for Waimea Canyon and lush landscapes
MolokaiThe Friendly IsleFeatures the world’s highest sea cliffs
LanaiThe Pineapple IsleKnown for luxury resorts and tranquility
NiihauThe Forbidden IsleA private island maintaining traditional Hawaiian lifestyle
KahoolaweThe Target IsleUninhabited, currently undergoing reforestation

Oahu, the Gathering Place

Oahu Hawaii

Oahu, known for its famous Waikiki beach and the historical Pearl Harbor, is the third largest of the Hawaiian islands but holds the largest population. Honolulu, the vibrant capital of the State of Hawaii, is situated on this island.

The Big Island: The Island of Hawaii

Kilauea Hawaii

The Big Island, officially known as the Island of Hawaii, is the largest island in the Hawaiian chain. Double the size of all the other Hawaiian Islands combined, it’s home to the world’s most active volcano, Kilauea, and the majestic Mauna Kea.

Maui, the Valley Isle

Maui Hawaii

Maui is the second largest island and is famous for its stunning beaches, the cliff-diving spot at Black Rock, and Haleakala, the world’s largest dormant volcano.

Kauai, the Garden Isle

Kauai Hawaii

Kauai, the “Garden Island”, is loved for its lush greenery and the breathtaking Waimea Canyon. The beautiful town of Hanalei on the north shore is a must-visit location.

Molokai, the Friendly Isle

Molokai is where you’ll find the highest sea cliffs in the world along the island’s north coast, giving it an untouched charm that’s hard to resist.

Lanai, the Pineapple Isle

Lanai, once the world’s largest pineapple plantation, is now a haven for luxury and tranquility.

Niihau, the Forbidden Isle

Niihau is a private island where time seems to have stood still, as traditional Hawaiian lifestyle continues to be practiced.

Kahoolawe, the Target Isle

Finally, we have Kahoolawe. The smallest of the eight main islands, it was used as a bombing range by the US Navy and is now undergoing reforestation efforts.

Lesser Known Islands in Hawaii

Beyond the eight islands, there are many smaller islets in Hawaii.

The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands include the Midway Atoll and others, most of which are part of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.

The Geology and Formation of Hawaiian Islands

The Hawaiian Islands owe their existence to volcanic activity, with Mauna Loa on the Big Island being the largest active volcano on Earth.

Hawaiian Islands: Local Culture and Traditions

Despite being a part of the United States, the Hawaiian Islands have a unique culture steeped in ancient Polynesian traditions and the spirit of Aloha.


To answer the question, there are 137 islands in Hawaii, including eight main islands and many smaller islets and atolls.

Each island offers unique experiences, and a visit to the Hawaiian Islands can help you find the perfect island to visit based on your interests.

Fun Facts About the Hawaiian Islands

Did you know that the Island of Hawaii is the largest island in the United States?

Or that each year, the humpback whales migrate from Alaska to Hawaii for the winter?

There’s always more to discover when you’re exploring the Hawaiian Islands!


What are the eight main islands of Hawaii?

The eight main islands of Hawaii are Hawaii (also known as the Big Island), Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Niihau, and Kahoolawe.

Which is the largest island in Hawaii?

The largest island in Hawaii is the Island of Hawaii, also known as the Big Island. It’s double the size of all the other Hawaiian Islands combined.

Are all the Hawaiian islands inhabited?

Not all 137 islands are inhabited. The eight main islands are populated, with the exception of Kahoolawe, which is uninhabited. Most of the smaller islets, atolls, and reefs are also uninhabited.

Which is the most populated island in Hawaii?

Oahu is the most populated island in Hawaii. It’s home to Honolulu, the state capital, and the famous beach area of Waikiki.

What is the most active volcano in Hawaii?

The most active volcano in Hawaii is Kilauea, located on the Big Island. It has been erupting continuously since 1983.

How big is Hawaii?

The state of Hawaii’s landmass is 28 311 km².
The population is 1,416 million.

Why is the forbidden island in Hawaii forbidden?

In 1952 there was a polio epidemic and Niihau was commonly referred to as “Forbidden Island”, due to the fact that you needed a doctor’s note to be able to visit. This was an action to stop polio from spreading.

What is the major source of income for Hawaii?

The biggest source of income for the state of Hawaii is tourism and it’s been like that since the end of the 20th century. Tourism then pushed down agriculture as the top source of income in Hawaii.