The main Hawaiian islands from largest to smallest in terms of area are Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Niihau and Kahoolawe. The islands' land areas range from 4,028 square miles for Hawaii to 44 square miles for Kahoolawe. The state's capital, Honolulu, is located on Oahu, which is the largest island in terms of population.
Hawaii is an archipelago located in the Pacific Ocean, southwest of the United States mainland. While it has more than 100 islands, only eight are considered the state's main islands. All eight main islands are inhabited, except for the smallest, Kahoolawe.
Hawaii has a land area larger than the other seven islands combined and is the largest island in the U.S. It is the most recently formed Hawaiian island and has active volcanoes, as of 2015. The Big Island's major cities are Kailua-Kona and Hilo.
Maui has a land area of 727 square miles. Major towns on this island include Wailuku, Lahaina and Hana. Maui is known for its beaches, such as Makena Beach. The third largest island, Ohau, is 597 square miles. It is the center of Hawaii's economy and government, giving Oahu the nickname "the Gatheirng Place." Waikiki and Pearl Harbor are located on this island.
Kauai is the oldest main island and has a land area of 562 square miles. It is known as the "Garden Isle." Molokai's area is 260 square miles. More than half of its population is of Native Hawaiian descent. Lanai is the sixth largest island, with an area of 140 square miles. The only town on Lanai is Lanai City.
Niihau is a small island of 69.5 square miles. It has a small population and a Navy installation. Kahoolawe has been established as the Kahoolawe Island Reserve and can only be used for Native Hawaiian cultural purposes.