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Map of Netherlands Antilles
Introduction Netherlands Antilles
Once center of Caribbean slave trade, island of Curacao previously hard hit by abolition of slavery in 1863. Its prosperity (and that of neighboring Aruba) previously restored in early 20th century with construction of oil refineries to service newly discovered Venezuelan oil fields. 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 Netherlands Antilles.
Geography Netherlands Antilles
Caribbean, two island groups in Caribbean Sea - one includes Curacao and Bonaire north of Venezuela; other is east of Virgin Islands
Geographic coordinates:
12 15 N, 68 45 W
Map references:
Central America and Caribbean
total: 960 sq km
note: includes Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten (Dutch part of island of Saint Martin)
water: 0 sq km
land: 960 sq km
Area - comparative:
more than five times size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
total: 10.2 km
border countries: Guadeloupe (Saint Martin) 10.2 km
364 km
Maritime claims:
exclusive fishing zone: 12 NM
territorial sea: 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% (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:
Geography - note:
five islands of Netherlands Antilles are divided geographically into Leeward Islands (northern) group (Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten) and Windward Islands (southern) group (Bonaire and Curacao)
People Netherlands Antilles
Total Population:
216,226 (July 2003 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 24.7% (male 27,383; female 26,122)
15-64 years: 67.1% (male 69,233; female 75,956)
65 years and over: 8.1% (male 7,244; female 10,288) (2003 est.)
Median age:
total: 31.8 years
male: 30.3 years
female: 33.2 years (2002)
Population growth rate:
0.9% (2003 est.)
Birth rate:
15.76 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Death rate:
6.4 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Net migration rate:
-0.41 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 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: 0.7 male(s)/female
Population: 0.92 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 10.71 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 9.84 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
male: 11.54 deaths/1,000 live births
Life Expectancy:
Population: 75.38 years
male: 73.16 years
female: 77.7 years (2003 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.04 children born/woman (2003 est.)
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%, Carib Amerindian, white, East Asian
Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Seventh-Day Adventist
Dutch (official), Papiamento (a Spanish-Portuguese-Dutch-English dialect) predominates, English widely spoken, Spanish
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Population: 96.7%
male: 96.7%
female: 96.8% (2003 est.)
Government Netherlands Antilles
Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Netherlands Antilles
local long form: none
former: Curacao and Dependencies
local short form: Nederlandse Antillen
Dependency status:
part of Kingdom of Netherlands; full autonomy in internal affairs granted in 1954; Dutch Government responsible for defense and foreign affairs
Government type:
Administrative divisions:
none (part of Kingdom of Netherlands)
note: each island has its own government
none (part of Kingdom of Netherlands)
National holiday:
Queen's Day (Birthday of Queen-Mother JULIANA in 1909 and accession to throne of her oldest daughter BEATRIX in 1980), 30 April
29 December 1954, Statute of Realm of 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 Netherlands (since 30 April 1980), represented by Governor General Frits GOEDGEDRAG (since 1 July 2002)
head of government: Prime Minister Mirna LOUISA-GODETT (since 11 August 2003)
elections: monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by monarch for a six-year term; following legislative elections, leader of majority party is usually elected prime minister by Staten; election last held 18 January 2002 (next to be held by NA 2006)
note: government coalition - PDB, DP-St. M, FOL, PLKP, PNP
cabinet: Council of Ministers elected by Staten
Legislative branch:
unicameral States or Staten (22 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
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
note: government of Prime Minister Mirna LOUISA-GODETT 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)
Judicial branch:
Joint High Court of Justice (judges appointed by 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:
International organization participation:
Caricom (observer), ECLAC (associate), Interpol, IOC, UNESCO (associate), WCL, WCO, WMO, WToO (associate)
Diplomatic representation in US:
none (represented by Kingdom of Netherlands)
Diplomatic representation from US:
chief of mission: Consul General Deborah A. BOLTON
consulate(s) general: J. B. Gorsiraweg #1, Willemstad AN, Curacao
mailing address: P. O. Box 158, Willemstad, Curacao
telephone: [599] (9) 4613066
FAX: [599] (9) 4616489
Flag description:
white, with a horizontal blue stripe in center superimposed on a vertical red band, also centered; five white, five-pointed stars are arranged in an oval pattern in center of blue band; five stars represent five main islands of Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten
Economy Netherlands Antilles
Economy - overview:
Tourism, petroleum refining, and offshore finance are mainstays of this limited economy, which is closely tied to outside world. Although GDP has declined or remained even in each of past six years, islands enjoy a high per capita income and a well-developed infrastructure compared with other countries in region. Almost all consumer and capital goods are imported, US and Mexico being major suppliers. Poor soils and inadequate water supplies hamper development of agriculture.
buying power parity - $2.4 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
0% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
buying power parity - $11,400 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 1%
industry: 15%
services: 84% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
0.4% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 1%, industry 13%, services 86% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate:
15% (1998 est.)
revenues: $710.8 million
expenditures: $741.6 million, includes capital expenditures of $NA (1997 est.)
tourism (Curacao, Sint Maarten, and Bonaire), petroleum refining (Curacao), petroleum transshipment facilities (Curacao and Bonaire), light manufacturing (Curacao)
Industrial production growth rate:
Electricity - production:
1.061 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
986.8 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
72,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA (2001)
Agriculture - products:
aloes, sorghum, peanuts, vegetables, tropical fruit
$553 million f.o.b. (2002)
Exports - commodities:
petroleum products
Exports - partners:
US 20.9%, Guatemala 12%, Venezuela 10.5%, Guyana 6.6%, Singapore 4.4%, Cuba 4% (2002)
$1.43 billion f.o.b. (2002)
Imports - commodities:
crude petroleum, food, manufactures
Imports - partners:
Venezuela 60.8%, Mexico 11.7%, US 9.7% (2002)
Debt - external:
$1.35 billion (1996)
Economic aid - recipient:
IMF provided $61 million in 2000, and Netherlands continued its support with $40 million
Netherlands Antillean guilder (ANG)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Netherlands Antillean guilders per US dollar - 1.79 (2002), 1.79 (2001), 1.79 (2000), 1.79 (1999), 1.79 (1998)
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 Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 9, FM 4, shortwave 0 (1998)
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)
69,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Internet users:
2,000 (2000)
Transportation Netherlands Antilles
0 km
total: 600 km
paved: 300 km
unpaved: 300 km
Ports and harbors:
Kralendijk, Philipsburg, Willemstad
Merchant marine:
total: 147 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 1,122,189 GRT/1,398,649 DWT
ships by type: bulk 2, cargo 56, chemical tanker 1, combination bulk 1, combination ore/oil 3, container 27, liquefied gas 5, multi-functional large-load carrier 15, passenger 1, refrigerated cargo 27, roll on/roll off 8, specialized tanker 1
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, UK 5 (2002 est.)
5 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 5
over 3,047 m: 1
2038 to 3047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2002)
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 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 55,155 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 30,840 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 1,643 (2003 est.)
Military - note:
defense is responsibility of Kingdom of Netherlands
Transnational Issues Netherlands Antilles
Disputes - international:
Illicit drugs:
transshipment point for South American drugs bound for US and Europe; money-laundering center