Education well-being refers to two related concepts: (1) a condition in which individuals have access to opportunities for learning that support their personal development and skills; (2) a well-functioning system for providing each successive generation of children, youth, and adults with access to learning and skill-building opportunities.

A society’s system of education is a core mechanism for growing an educated, productive workforce; one that will thrive in an increasingly global, knowledge-based economy. Higher levels of education are associated with improved living conditions, improved health status, and greater satisfaction and happiness. In general, US states earning strong scores on education earn high marks on well-being overall.


Available data on Education well-being in Hawaii include:

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Early childhood education enrollment: Percentage of three and four year old enrolled in early childhood education
Third graders reading at level: Percentage of 3rd graders demonstrating reading of at, near, or above grade-level expectation on the Smarter Balanced Assessment
High school dropout rate: Percentage of first-time 9th graders who dropped out prior to graduating
High school grads to college: Percentage of high school grads who enroll in college after graduation
Adults with bachelor's degree: Percentage of adults (age 25+) who have a bachelor's degree or higher

Two key indicators of education well-being are observable before the completion of elementary school: early education enrollment and grade-level reading at third grade. Rates of preschool enrollment in Hawaii are strong (7.2 percent) compared to the US average (6.0 percent), placing Hawaii fourth nationally, but community rates range from a low of 5.3 percent to a high of 8.5 percent. Similarly, although 70 percent of the state’s third graders read at grade level, we find troubling regional variation in the share achieving this educational milestone; in some communities, only half of third grade students read at grade level. Students who perform at grade level are more likely to graduate on time and continue their education after high school.

Across the state, a growing share of students are completing high school, yet marked differences in community-level graduation rates remain. Additionally, students are more likely to continue on the educational pipeline and increase their preparation for gainful employment if they enroll in college immediately out of high school. In 2016, 56 percent of Hawaii’s high school graduates enrolled in postsecondary institutions the semester following graduation. This figure, however, masks a range of matriculation rates; individual communities score as much as 8 percent higher or 14 percent lower than the statewide average.


Use the interactive infographic below to explore these key Education data points in more detail:

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Hawaii Indicators Dashboard

Our Indicators Dashboard can help you begin exploring specific data for Hawaii across 10 well-being domains. Interested in learning how each indicator varies over time and across Hawaii’s communities? Click below to head to our dashboard: 

Hawaii Data Plotter Tool

What’s the relationship between various well-being data points in Hawaii? And how might this relationship vary from island to island, or region to region? Click below to explore the answers to these and similar questions using our Data Plotter: