Location, size, and extent

The State of Hawaii is an island group situated in the northern Pacific Ocean, about 2,400 mi (3,900 km) WSW of San Francisco. The smallest of the five Pacific states, Hawaii ranks 47th in size among the 50 states.

The 132 Hawaiian Islands have a total area of 6,470 sq mi (16,758 sq km), including 6,425 sq mi (16,641 sq km) of land and only 45 sq mi (117 sq km) of inland water. The island chain extends over 1,576 mi (2,536 km) N-S and 1,425 mi (2,293 km) E-W. The largest island, Hawaii (known locally as the "Big Island") extends 76 mi (122 km) E-W and 93 mi (150 km) N-S; Oahu, the most populous island, extends 44 mi (71 km) E-W and 30 mi (48 km) N-S.

The eight largest islands of the Hawaiian group are Hawaii (4,035 sq mi—10,451 sq km), Maui (734 sq mi—1,901 sq km), Oahu (617 sq mi—1,598 sq km), Kauai (558 sq mi—1,445 sq km), Molokai (264 sq mi—684 sq km), Lanai (141 sq mi—365 sq km), Niihau (73 sq mi—189 sq km), and Kahoolawe (45 sq mi—117 sq km). The general coastline of the island chain is 750 mi (1,207 km); the tidal shoreline totals 1,052 mi (1,693 km). The state's geographic center is off Maui, at 20°15'n, 156°20'w.