Hawaii ( /həˈwaɪ.iː/ (help·info) or /həˈwaɪʔiː/ in English; Hawaiian: Mokuʻāina o Hawaiʻi) is the newest of the 50 U.S. states(August 21, 1959), and is the only state made up entirely of islands. It occupies most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of Australia. Hawaii's natural beauty, warm tropical climate, inviting waters and waves, and active volcanoes make it a popular destination for tourists, surfers, biologists, and volcanologists alike. Due to its mid-Pacific location, Hawaii has many North American and Asian influences along with a vibrant native culture. Hawaii has over a million permanent residents along with many visitors and U.S. military personnel. Its capital isHonolulu on the island of Oʻahu.
The state encompasses nearly the entire volcanic Hawaiian Island chain, which comprises hundreds of islands spread over 1,500 miles (2,400 km). At the southeastern end of the archipelago, the eight "main islands" are (from the northwest to southeast)Niʻihau, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Maui, and Hawaiʻi. The last is by far the largest and is often called "The Big Island" to avoid confusion with the state as a whole. The archipelago is physiographically and ethnologically part of the Polynesiansubregion of Oceania.In standard American English, Hawaii is generally pronounced /həˈwaɪ.iː/. In the Hawaiian language, it is generally pronounced [həˈwɐiʔi] or [həˈvɐiʔi]. Hawaii has produced one U.S. President, Barack Obama.