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Netherlands Antilles
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Flag of Netherlands Antilles
Netherlands Antilles

Country Profile

Capital City: Willemstad (on Curašao)

Other Cities: Kralendijk (Bonaire), Oranjestad (Sint Eustatius)

Local Time: UTC -4h

Location: Caribbean, two island groups in the Caribbean Sea.
Area: 960 sq. km. (597 sq. mi.)
Terrain: Generally hilly, volcanic interiors.
Border countries: Guadeloupe

Climate: Tropical; ameliorated by northeast trade winds.


Type: Parliamentary
Autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands; full autonomy in internal and partly in foreign affairs.
note: each island has its own government.

Nationality: Dutch Antillean(s)
Population: 220 000
GNI per capita PPP (year): $ 23 770 Ethnic Groups: Mixed black 85%, Carib Amerindian, white, East Asian. Religions: Christianity, Jewish. Languages: Dutch (official) 7% , Papiamento 65%, English widely spoken 16%, Spanish 6%. Literacy: 96%


Currency: Netherlands Antillean guilder (ANG)

Natural resources: Phosphates (on Curacao), Salt (on Bonaire)

Agriculture products: Aloes, sorghum, peanuts, vegetables, tropical fruit.

Industries: Tourism (Curacao, Sint Maarten, and Bonaire), petroleum refining (Curacao), petroleum transshipment facilities (Curacao and Bonaire), light manufacturing (Curacao)

Exports partners:
USA 27.3%, Venezuela 13.5%, The Bahamas, 7%, Singapore 4.5%, Honduras 4.5%, Netherlands 4.3%, Guatemala 4.1% (2004)

Imports partners: Venezuela 53.5%, USA 23.2%, Netherlands 5.2% (2004)

Internet Links

Official Sites of Netherlands Antilles

Centrale Overheid van de Nederlandse Antillen

Overheid van het Eilandgebied Curašao

St. Eustatius Government

Gouverneur St. Maarten


Diplomatic Missions
Dutch Missions Abroad

Central Bureau of Statistics Netherlands Antilles

Map of the Netherlands Antilles

Map of Central America and the Caribbean


Netherlands Antilles

Background:  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 the newly discovered
Venezuelan oil fields. The island of Saint Martin is shared with France;
its northern portion is named Saint-Martin and is part of Guadeloupe,
and its southern portion is named Sint Maarten and is part of the
Netherlands Antilles.

Geography Netherlands Antilles

Location:  Caribbean, two island groups in the Caribbean Sea - one
includes Curacao and Bonaire north of Venezuela; the other is east of
the Virgin Islands

Geographic coordinates:  12 15 N, 68 45 W

Map references:  Central America and the Caribbean

Area:  total: 960 sq km note: includes Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, Sint
Eustatius, and Sint Maarten (Dutch part of the island of Saint Martin)
water: Area - comparative:  more than five times the size of Washington,

Land boundaries:  total: 10.2 km border countries: Guadeloupe (Saint
Martin) 10.2 km

Coastline:  364 km

Maritime claims:  exclusive fishing zone: 12 NM territorial sea: 12 NM

Climate:  tropical; ameliorated by northeast trade winds

Terrain:  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% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:  NA sq km

Natural hazards:  Curacao and Bonaire are south of Caribbean hurricane
belt and are rarely threatened; Sint Maarten, Saba, and Sint Eustatius
are subject to hurricanes from July to October

Environment - current issues:  NA

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)

People Netherlands Antilles

Population:  214,258 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 25% (male 27,351; female 26,135) 15-64 years:
67.1% (male 68,431; female 75,312) 65 years and over: 7.9% (male 7,049;
female 9,980) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  0.93% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  16.16 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  6.4 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  -0.42 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.05
male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female 65 years and over:
0.71 male(s)/female total population: 0.92 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  11.06 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   77.46 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  2.06 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  NA%

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  NA

Nationality:  noun: Dutch Antillean(s) adjective: Dutch Antillean

Ethnic groups:  mixed black 85%, Carib Amerindian, white, East Asian

Religions:  Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Seventh-Day Adventist

Languages:  Dutch (official), Papiamento (a
Spanish-Portuguese-Dutch-English dialect) predominates, English widely
spoken, Spanish

Literacy:  definition: age 15 and over can read and write total
population: 98% male: 98% female: 99% (1981 est.)

Government Netherlands Antilles

Country name:  conventional long form: none conventional short form:
Netherlands Antilles
 Curacao and Dependencies local short form:
Dependency status:  part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; full autonomy
in internal affairs granted in 1954; Dutch Government responsible for
defense and foreign affairs

Government type:  parliamentary

Capital:  Willemstad

Administrative divisions:  none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
note: each island has its own government

Independence:  none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)

National holiday:  Queen's Day (Birthday of Queen-Mother JULIANA in 1909
and accession to the throne of her oldest daughter BEATRIX in 1980),
30 April

Constitution:  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

Suffrage:  18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:  chief of state: Queen BEATRIX of the Netherlands (since
30 April 1980), represented by Governor General Jaime SALEH (since NA
October 1989) head of government: Prime Minister Miguel POURIER (since 8
November 1999); Deputy Prime Minister Susanne CAMELIA-ROMER (since NA)
cabinet:  - PDB, DP-St. M, FOL, PLKP, PNP 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 18
January 2002 (next to be held by NA 2006) note: Miguel POURIER became
prime minister following the resignation of Susanne CAMELIA-ROMER

Legislative branch:  unicameral States or Staten (22 seats; members are
elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) note: the government
of Prime Minister Miguel POURIER is a coalition of several parties;
current seats by party - PAR 4, PNP 3, FOL 2, MAN 2, UPB 2, DP-St. M
2, PDB 1, SEA 1, WIPM 1, other 4 elections: last held 18 January 2002
(next to be held NA 2006) election results: percent of vote by party -
NA%; seats by party - FOL 5, PAR 4, PNP 3, PLKP 2, DP-St.M 2, UPB 2,
DP 1, MAN 1, PDB 1, WIPM 1

Judicial branch:  Joint High Court of Justice (judges appointed by
the monarch)

Political parties and leaders:  Antillean Restructuring Party or PAR
[Miguel POURIER]; C 93 [Stanley BROWN]; Democratic Party of Bonaire or PDB
[Jopi ABRAHAM]; Democratic Party of Curacao or DP [Errol HERNANDEZ];
Democratic Party of Sint Eustatius or DP-St. E [Julian WOODLEY];
Democratic Party of Sint Maarten or DP-St. M [Sarah WESCOTT-WILLIAMS];
Foundation Energetic Management Anti-Narcotics or FAME [Eric LODEWIJKS];
Labor Party People's Crusade or PLKP [Errol COVA]; National People's
Party or PNP [Susanne F. C. CAMELIA-ROMER]; New Antilles Movement or MAN
[Kenneth GIJSBERTHA]; Patriotic Union of Bonaire or UPB [Ramon BOOI];
Patriotic Movement of Sint Maarten or SPA [Vance JAMES, Jr.]; People's
Party or PAPU [Richard Hodi]; Pro Curacao Party or PPK [Winston LOURENS];
Saba Democratic Labor Movement [Steve HASSELL]; Saba Unity Party [Carmen
SIMMONDS]; St. Eustatius Alliance or SEA [Kenneth VAN PUTTEN]; Serious
Alternative People's Party or Sapp [Julian ROLLOCKS]; Social Action Cause
or KAS [Benny DEMEI]; Windward Islands People's Movement or WIPM [Will
JOHNSTON]; Workers' Liberation Front or FOL [Anthony GODETT, Rignald LAK,
Editha WRIGHT] note: political parties are indigenous to each island

Political pressure groups and leaders:  NA

International organization participation:  Caricom (observer), CCC,
ECLAC (associate), Interpol, IOC, UNESCO (associate), UPU, WCL, WMO,
WToO (associate)

Diplomatic representation in the US:  none (represented by the Kingdom
of the Netherlands)

Diplomatic representation from the US:  chief of mission: Consul General
Deborah A. BOLTON consulate(s)
 J. B. Gorsiraweg #1, Willemstad AN, Curacao mailing address:  [599]
 (9) 4616489

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 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 in each of the past five
years, the islands enjoy a high per capita income and a well-developed
infrastructure compared with other countries in the region. Almost all
consumer and capital goods are imported, the US and Mexico being the
major suppliers.  Poor soils and inadequate water supplies hamper the
development of agriculture.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $2.4 billion (2000 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  -3.5% (2000 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $11,400 (2000 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 1% industry: 15% services: 84%
(1996 est.)

Population below poverty line:  NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  5.8% (2000 est.)

Labor force:  89,000

Labor force - by occupation:  agriculture 1%, industry 13%, services 86%
(1994 est.)

Unemployment rate:  15% (1998 est.)

Budget:  revenues: $710.8 million expenditures: $741.6 million, including
capital expenditures of $NA (1997 est.)

Industries:  tourism (Curacao, Sint Maarten, and Bonaire), petroleum
refining (Curacao), petroleum transshipment facilities (Curacao and
Bonaire), light manufacturing (Curacao)

Industrial production growth rate:  NA%

Electricity - production:  1.175 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 100% hydro: 0% other: 0%
(2000) nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption:  1.093 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  0 kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  0 kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products:  aloes, sorghum, peanuts, vegetables, tropical

Exports:  $276 million (f.o.b., 2000)

Exports - commodities:  petroleum products

Exports - partners:  US 35.9%, Guatemala 9.4%, Venezuela 8.7%, France
5.4%, Singapore 2.8% (2000)

Imports:  $1.5 billion (f.o.b., 2000)

Imports - commodities:  crude petroleum, food, manufactures

Imports - partners:  US 25.8%, Mexico 20.7%, Gabon 6.6%, Italy 5.8%,
Netherlands 5.5% (2000)

Debt - external:  $1.35 billion (1996)

Economic aid - recipient:  IMF provided $61 million in 2000, and the
Netherlands continued its support with $40 million

Currency:  Netherlands Antillean guilder (ANG)

Currency code:  ANG

Exchange rates:  Netherlands Antillean guilders per US dollar - 1.790
(fixed rate since 1989)

Fiscal year:  calendar year

Communications Netherlands Antilles

Telephones - main lines in use:  76,000 (1995)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  13,977 (1996)

Telephone system:  general assessment: generally adequate facilities
domestic: extensive interisland microwave radio relay links international:
submarine cables - 2; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic

Radio broadcast stations:  AM 9, FM 4, shortwave 0 (1998)

Radios:  217,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations:  3 (there is also a cable service which
supplies programs received from various US satellite networks and two
Venezuelan channels) (1997)

Televisions:  69,000 (1997)

Internet country code:  .an

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  6

Internet users:  2,000 (2000)

Transportation Netherlands Antilles

Railways:  0 km (2002)

Highways:  total: 600 km paved: 300 km unpaved: 300 km (1992)

Waterways:  none

Ports and harbors:  Kralendijk, Philipsburg, Willemstad

Merchant marine:  total: 123 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,056,362
GRT/1,341,735 DWT ships by type: bulk 2, cargo 39, chemical tanker 2,
combination ore/oil 4, container 24, liquefied gas 5, multi-functional
large-load carrier 15, passenger 1, refrigerated cargo 24, roll on/roll
off 7 note: includes foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of
convenience: Belgium 3, Denmark 2, Germany 43, Monaco 8, Netherlands 52,
New Zealand 1, Norway 3, Peru 1, Spain 1, Sweden 3, United Kingdom 5
(2002 est.)

Airports:  5 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 5 over 3,047 m: 1 1,524 to 2,437 m:
2 914 to 1,523 m: 1 under 914 m: 1 (2001)

Military Netherlands Antilles

Military branches:  no regular indigenous military forces; Royal
Netherlands Navy, Marine Corps, Royal Netherlands Air Force, National
Guard, Police Force

Military manpower - military age:  20 years of age (2002 est.)

Military manpower - availability:  males age 15-49: 54,752 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:  males age 15-49: 30,642
(2002 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:  males: 1,610
(2002 est.)

Military - note:  defense is the responsibility of the Kingdom of the

Transnational Issues Netherlands Antilles

Disputes - international:  none

Illicit drugs:  money-laundering center; transshipment point for South
American drugs bound for the US and Europe

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


Bonaire Reporter

Daily Herald
La Prensa

Arts & Culture
Biblioteka P˙bliko K˛rsou

Business & Economy
Department of Economic & Labour Affairs for the island of Bonaire

Curašao Hospitality and Tourism Association

The Yellowpages Bonaire

Curacao Ports Authority

Princess Juliana International Airport
Destination Netherlands Antilles - Travel and Tour Guides
The Netherlands Antilles On-Line



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