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Hawaiian Economy

The total gross output for the state in 1999 was USD $41 billion, placing Hawaii 40th compared to the other states. Per capita income for Hawaii residents was USD $28,221.

Historically, Hawaii is known for having a high amount of state taxes per capita. In 2002 and 2003, it had the highest amount of state taxes per capita, with $2,757 and $2,838 in state taxes per capita respectively. This can partly be explained by the fact that some services such as education, health care, and social services, are rendered at the state level, as opposed to the local level as in many states. Also, hundreds of thousands of tourists contribute to the figure by paying Hawaii's general excise and hotel room taxes. However, many business leaders in the state still consider Hawaii's tax burden to be too high.

Historically, the history of modern Hawaii can be traced through a succession of dominating industries: sandalwood, whaling, sugarcane, pineapple, military, tourism and education. Tourism is currently the state's largest industry while efforts are being made toward the diversification of the economy. Industrial exports include food processing and apparel. However, because of the considerable shipping distance to markets on the West Coast United States or Japan, they play a small role in the island economy. The main agricultural exports are nursery stock and flowers, coffee, macadamia nuts, pineapple, livestock, and sugar cane. Agricultural sales for 2002 (according to the Hawai‘i Agricultural Statistics Service) were USD $370.9 million from diversified agriculture, USD $100.6 million from pineapple, and USD $64.3 million from sugarcane.