Hawaii. A State?

This year Hawaii celebrates fifty years of statehood.

This year, Public Policy Polling found that six percent of Americans do not consider Hawaii to be part of the United States.  And four percent are not sure.

Ten percent of Americans are not sure of Hawaii’s status as a state.

I have seen several of Leno’s Jaywalking segments demonstrating that there are plenty of people who are unaware of what most of us consider to be common knowledge, but ten percent?  Surely the sample size was too small or some other factor skewed the results.  I just have a hard time with ten percent.


Because Hawaii and Alaska are the easy states.   When learning about the states back in grade school, Hawaii and Alaska were the easiest to remember.  There they were set apart from the other forty eight states, each in its own little box, looking nothing like each other.  After learning your own state  wasn’t Hawaii and Alaska next?

I understand that there are people who cannot name the fifty states.  Most of my life I could not do it myself.  Today I can.  But I made a point of correcting the deficiency.  (Don’t ask me about capitals!)   I do not see it as a problem that there are Americans (probably lots of them) who cannot name the fifty states.

But that ten percent cannot correctly identify that Hawaii is part of America when asked?   Yikes!

2 thoughts on “Hawaii. A State?”

  1. That does seem a bit off. Even besides the fact that Hawaii had a special, set apart place on most flat maps, doesn’t everyone at some point want to vacation in Hawaii? Does the thought of having to get a passport run through that 10%’s mind?

    And besides, a lot of sitcom families vacation in Hawaii. “Full House” comes to mind. It’s like the requisite Disney World/Land vacation episodes that it seems like every sitcom owned by Disney has. Hawaii and the Disney theme parks should be familiar to just about every television viewer!

  2. It occurs to me that I am being naive. It could well be the case that the ten percent has doubts about Hawaii’s place in the Union due to the Birther controversy. If one accepts as true what one hears and one hears that Obama is not a natural born citizen…

    Add in a small amount of confusion, and voila!

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