Caribbean Stats

Netherlands Antilles

Flag Location Map
Introduction - Netherlands Antilles
Once the center of the Caribbean slave trade, the island of Curacao was hard hit by the abolition of slavery in 1863. Its prosperity (and that of neighboring Aruba) was restored in the early 20th century with the construction of oil refineries to service newly discovered Venezuelan oil fields. The island of Saint Martin is shared with France; its southern portion is named Sint Maarten and is part of the Netherlands Antilles; its northern portion, called Saint Martin, is an overseas collectivity of France.
Geography - Netherlands Antilles
Caribbean, two island groups in the Caribbean Sea - composed of five islands, Curacao and Bonaire located off the coast of Venezuela, and Sint Maarten, Saba, and Sint Eustatius lie east of the US Virgin Islands
Geographic coordinates
Bonaire: 12 12 N, 68 15 W
Curacao: 12 10 N, 69 00 W
Saba: 17 38 N, 63 14 W
Sint Eustatius: 17 30 N, 62 58 W
Sint Maarten: 18 04 N, 63 04 W
Map references
Central America and the Caribbean
total: 800 sq km country comparison to the world: 187 land: 800 sq km water: 0 sq km note: includes Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten (Dutch part of the island of Saint Martin)
Area - comparative
more than five times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries
total: 15 km border countries: Saint Martin 15 km
364 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea: 12 nm exclusive fishing zone: 12 nm
tropical; ameliorated by northeast trade winds
generally hilly, volcanic interiors
Elevation extremes
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m highest point: Mount Scenery 862 m
Natural resources
phosphates (Curacao only), salt (Bonaire only)
Land use
arable land: 10% permanent crops: 0% other: 90% (2005)
Irrigated land
Natural hazards
Sint Maarten, Saba, and Sint Eustatius are subject to hurricanes from July to October; Curacao and Bonaire are south of Caribbean hurricane belt and are rarely threatened
Environment - current issues
Geography - note
the five islands of the Netherlands Antilles are divided geographically into the Leeward Islands (northern) group (Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten) and the Windward Islands (southern) group (Bonaire and Curacao); the island of Saint Martin is the smallest landmass in the world shared by two independent states, the French territory of Saint Martin and the Dutch territory of Sint Maarten
People - Netherlands Antilles
227,049 (July 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 182
Age structure
0-14 years: 22.7% (male 26,429/female 25,162) 15-64 years: 67.7% (male 74,183/female 79,434) 65 years and over: 9.6% (male 8,875/female 12,966) (2009 est.)
Median age
total: 33.7 years male: 31.9 years female: 35.5 years (2009 est.)
Population growth rate
0.732% (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 146
Birth rate
14.19 births/1,000 population (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 149
Death rate
6.48 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 148
Net migration rate
-0.39 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 102
urban population: 93% of total population (2008) rate of urbanization: 1.6% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
Sex ratio
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.68 male(s)/female total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
Infant mortality rate
total: 9.09 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 157 male: 9.76 deaths/1,000 live births female: 8.39 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
Life expectancy at birth
total population: 76.65 years country comparison to the world: 65 male: 74.33 years female: 79.09 years (2009 est.)
Total fertility rate
1.97 children born/woman (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 136
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS
HIV/AIDS - deaths
noun: Dutch Antillean(s) adjective: Dutch Antillean
Ethnic groups
mixed black 85%, other 15% (includes Carib Amerindian, white, East Asian)
Roman Catholic 72%, Pentecostal 4.9%, Protestant 3.5%, Seventh-Day Adventist 3.1%, Methodist 2.9%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.7%, other Christian 4.2%, Jewish 1.3%, other or unspecified 1.2%, none 5.2% (2001 census)
Papiamento 65.4% (a Spanish-Portuguese-Dutch-English dialect), English 15.9% (widely spoken), Dutch 7.3% (official), Spanish 6.1%, Creole 1.6%, other 1.9%, unspecified 1.8% (2001 census)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 96.7% male: 96.7% female: 96.8% (2003 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
total: 14 years male: 14 years female: 15 years (2002)
Education expenditures
Government - Netherlands Antilles
Country name
conventional long form: none conventional short form: Netherlands Antilles local long form: none local short form: Nederlandse Antillen former: Curacao and Dependencies
Dependency status
an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands; full autonomy in internal affairs granted in 1954; Dutch Government responsible for defense and foreign affairs
Government type
name: Willemstad (on Curacao) geographic coordinates: 12 06 N, 68 56 W time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions
none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands) note: each island has its own government
none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
National holiday
Queen's Day (Birthday of Queen-Mother JULIANA and accession to the throne of her oldest daughter BEATRIX), 30 April (1909 and 1980)
29 December 1954, Statute of the Realm of the Netherlands, as amended
Legal system
based on Dutch civil law system with some English common law influence
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state: Queen BEATRIX of the Netherlands (since 30 April 1980); represented by Governor General Frits GOEDGEDRAG (since 1 July 2002) head of government: Prime Minister Emily de JONGH-ELHAGE (since 26 March 2006) cabinet: Council of Ministers elected by the Staten (legislature) (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch for a six-year term; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party is usually elected prime minister by the Staten; election last held 27 January 2006 (next to be held by 2010) note: government coalition - PAR, PNP, DP-St. M, UPB, WIPM Saba, DP-St. E
Legislative branch
unicameral States or Staten (22 seats, Curacao 14, Bonaire 3, St. Maarten 3, St. Eustatius 1, Saba 1; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) elections: last held 27 January 2006 (next to be held in 2010) election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PAR 5, MAN 3, FOL 2, Forsa Korsou 2, National Alliance 2, PNP 2, UPB 2, DP-St. E 1, DP-St. M 1, PDB 1, WIPM 1 note: the government is a coalition of several parties
Judicial branch
Joint High Court of Justice (judges appointed by the monarch)
Political parties and leaders
Bonaire: Democratic Party of Bonaire or PDB [Jopi ABRAHAM]; Patriotic Union of Bonaire or UPB [Ramonsito BOOI]
Curacao: Ban Vota [Norbert GEORGE]; C-93 [Stanley BROWN]; Democratic Party of Curacao or DP [Errol HERNANDEZ]; E Mayoria [Aurelio PEDRO]; Forsa Korsou [Nelson NAVARRO]; Liste Ni'un Paso Atras [Nelson PIERRE]; Movemiento Patriotiko Korsou [Reginald LAK]; New Antilles Movement or MAN [Charles COOPER]; Partido Akshon Pa Prosperidat I Seguridat [Sonja BERKEMEYER]; Partido Laboral Krusada Popular or PLKP [Errol COVA]; Party for the Restructured Antilles or PAR [Emily de JONGH-ELHAGE]; People's National Party or PNP [Ersilia DE LANNOOY]; Pidjin [Jasmin PINEDO]; Pueblo Soberano [Herman WIELS]; Workers' Liberation Front or FOL [Anthony GODETT]
Saba: Saba Labor Party [Akilah LEVENSTONE]; Windward Islands People's Movement or WIPM [Ray HASSELL]
Sint Eustatius: Democratic Party of Sint Eustatius or DP-St. E [Julian WOODLEY]; Progressive Labor Party [Clyde VAN PUTTEN]; St. Eustatius Alliance [Ingrid HOUTMAN-WHITFIELD]
Sint Maarten: Democratic Party of Sint Maarten or DP-St. M [Sarah WESCOTT-WILLIAMS]; Freedom Slate of National Democratic Party [Theophilus PRIEST]; National Alliance or NA [William MARLIN]; People's Progressive Alliance or PPA [Gracita ARRINDELL]; St. Maarten People's Party [Johan LEONARD]; United People's Labor Party [Bienvenido RICHARDSON]
note: political parties are indigenous to each island
Political pressure groups and leaders
Employers Association (VBC); Unions (AVBO)
International organization participation
Caricom (observer), FATF, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, UNESCO (associate), UNWTO (associate), UPU, WCO, WMO
Diplomatic representation in the US
none (represented by the Kingdom of the Netherlands); note - Mr. Jeffrey CORRION, Minister Plenipotentiary for Aruba at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission: Consul General Timothy J. DUNN consulate(s) general: J. B. Gorsiraweg #1, Willemstad, Curacao mailing address: P. O. Box 158, Willemstad, Curacao telephone: [599] (9) 461-3066 FAX: [599] (9) 461-6489
Flag description
white, with a horizontal blue stripe in the center superimposed on a vertical red band, also centered; five white, five-pointed stars are arranged in an oval pattern in the center of the blue band; the colors reflect those of the Netherlands; the five stars represent the five main islands of Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten
Economy - Netherlands Antilles
Economy - overview
Tourism, petroleum refining, and offshore finance are the mainstays of this small economy, which is closely tied to the outside world. Although GDP has declined or grown slightly in each of the past eight years, the islands enjoy a high per capita income and a well-developed infrastructure compared with other countries in the region. The Venezuelan state oil company owns the single refinery on the island; most of the oil for the refinery is imported from Venezuela. Almost all consumer and capital goods are imported, the US, Italy, and Mexico being the major suppliers. Poor soils and inadequate water supplies hamper the development of agriculture. Budgetary problems hamper reform of the health and pension systems of an aging population. The Netherlands provides financial aid to support the economy.
GDP (purchasing power parity)
$2.8 billion (2004 est.) country comparison to the world: 174
GDP (official exchange rate)
GDP - real growth rate
1% (2004 est.) country comparison to the world: 91
GDP - per capita (PPP)
$16,000 (2004 est.) country comparison to the world: 72
GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 1% industry: 15% services: 84% (2000 est.)
Labor force
91,470 (2007) country comparison to the world: 183
Labor force - by occupation
agriculture: 1% industry: 20% services: 79% (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate
15.5% (2002 est.) country comparison to the world: 155
Population below poverty line
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: NA% highest 10%: NA%
revenues: $757.9 million expenditures: $949.5 million (2004)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
2.1% (2003 est.) est.) country comparison to the world: 68
Central bank discount rate
NA% (31 December 2008)
Commercial bank prime lending rate
8.33% (31 December 2008) country comparison to the world: 91 9.21% (31 December 2007)
Stock of money
$NA (31 December 2008) $997.8 million (31 December 2007)
Stock of quasi money
$NA (31 December 2008) $2.309 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of domestic credit
$NA (31 December 2008) $2.927 billion (31 December 2007)
Market value of publicly traded shares
$NA (31 December 2008) country comparison to the world: 23 $488.6 billion (2003)
Agriculture - products
aloes, sorghum, peanuts, vegetables, tropical fruit
tourism (Curacao, Sint Maarten, and Bonaire), petroleum refining (Curacao), petroleum transshipment facilities (Curacao and Bonaire), light manufacturing (Curacao)
Industrial production growth rate
Electricity - production
1.22 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 142
Electricity - consumption
1.013 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 144
Electricity - exports
0 kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - imports
0 kWh (2008 est.)
Oil - production
0 bbl/day (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 153
Oil - consumption
71,000 bbl/day (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 89
Oil - exports
224,600 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 52
Oil - imports
298,500 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 38
Oil - proved reserves
0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 147
Natural gas - production
0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 155
Natural gas - consumption
0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 156
Natural gas - exports
0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 140
Natural gas - imports
0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 102
Natural gas - proved reserves
0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 148
$3.71 billion (2006) country comparison to the world: 113
Exports - commodities
petroleum products
Exports - partners
US 18.8%, Guatemala 10.4%, Dominican Republic 9.2%, Haiti 7.3%, Singapore 6.6%, Bahamas, The 5.8%, Italy 4.4%, Honduras 4.4%, Mexico 4% (2008)
$15.74 billion (2006) country comparison to the world: 74
Imports - commodities
crude petroleum, food, manufactures
Imports - partners
Venezuela 59.6%, US 19.3%, Brazil 4.7% (2008)
Debt - external
$2.68 billion (2004) country comparison to the world: 126
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad
Exchange rates
Netherlands Antillean guilders (ANG) per US dollar - NA (2007), 1.79 (2006), 1.79 (2005), 1.79 (2004), 1.79 (2003)
Communications - Netherlands Antilles
Telephones - main lines in use
88,000 (2008) country comparison to the world: 147
Telephones - mobile cellular
200,000 (2004) country comparison to the world: 171
Telephone system
general assessment: generally adequate facilities domestic: extensive interisland microwave radio relay links international: country code - 599; the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1) and the Americas-2 submarine cable systems provide connectivity to Central America, parts of South America and the Caribbean, and the US; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations
AM 8, FM 19, shortwave 0 (2003)
Television broadcast stations
3 (there is also a cable service that supplies programs received from various US satellite networks and 4 Venezuelan channels) (2003)
Internet country code
Internet hosts
71,671 (2009) country comparison to the world: 77
Transportation - Netherlands Antilles
5 (2009) country comparison to the world: 179
Airports - with paved runways
total: 5 over 3,047 m: 1 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 914 to 1,523 m: 1 under 914 m: 1 (2009)
total: 845
Merchant marine
total: 147 country comparison to the world: 42 by type: barge carrier 2, bulk carrier 2, cargo 72, carrier 19, chemical tanker 2, container 8, liquefied gas 1, passenger 2, petroleum tanker 3, refrigerated cargo 27, roll on/roll off 6, specialized tanker 3 foreign-owned: 123 (Belgium 1, Cuba 1, Cyprus 21, Denmark 2, Germany 43, Hong Kong 2, Netherlands 38, Norway 3, Sweden 1, Turkey 10, US 1) (2008)
Ports and terminals
Bopec Terminal, Willemstad
Military - Netherlands Antilles
Military branches
no regular military forces; National Guard (2008)
Military service age and obligation
16 years of age for National Guard recruitment; no conscription (2004)
Manpower available for military service
males age 16-49: 55,365 females age 16-49: 57,060 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service
males age 16-49: 46,461 females age 16-49: 47,325 (2009 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually
male: 1,920 female: 1,827 (2009 est.)
Military - note
defense is the responsibility of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Transnational Issues - Netherlands Antilles
Disputes - international
Illicit drugs
transshipment point for South American drugs bound for the US and Europe; money-laundering center