Dutch Caribbean

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For the integral territories of the constituent country of the Netherlands, see Caribbean Netherlands.
Dutch Caribbean
Flag of the Netherlands.svg
Dutch Caribbean location map.svg
Location of the Dutch Caribbean islands
Area 999 km2 (386 sq mi)
Population (2010) 304,759
GDP (Nominal) $8.911 billion USD[1]
GDP per Capita (Nominal) $29,240 USD[1]
Density 305/km2 (790/sq mi)
Languages Dutch, English, Papiamento
Government 3 constituent countries
3 special municipalities

The term Dutch Caribbean refers to the island territories of the Kingdom of the Netherlands that are located in the Caribbean and their inhabitants.[2] It is also a term sometimes used to refer to the Caribbean Netherlands,[3] which consists of some of the Dutch Caribbean islands but not all.

Three of the six main islands under Dutch sovereignty are constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands: Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten (which actually comprises only the southern half of the island of Saint Martin). The three remaining islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba are special municipalities of the Netherlands, which is the fourth constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (and mainly located in Europe). These are collectively known as the Caribbean Netherlands or the "BES islands". There are also several smaller islands, like Klein Curaçao and Klein Bonaire, that belong to one of the island countries or special municipalities.

All the islands in the Dutch Caribbean were formerly part of the Netherlands Antilles. Aruba gained autonomy decades earlier than the other island countries, seceding as a separate country in 1986. Curaçao and Sint Maarten followed upon the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles in 2010, while Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba chose instead to integrate into the Netherlands.


There are several acronyms that indicate groups of islands of the Dutch Caribbean:

Dutch Caribbean islands
(within the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
Name Area
(1 Jan 2010)
Pop. density
(inh. per km²)
Countries  Aruba 193 107,138 555 [i]
 Curaçao 444 142,180 320 [ii]
 Sint Maarten 34 37,429 1,101 [ii]
Special municipalities
(part of the Netherlands)
 Bonaire 294 13,389 46 [ii]
 Sint Eustatius 21 2,886 137 [ii]
 Saba 13 1,737 134 [ii]
Total: 999 304,759 305  

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b COUNTRY COMPARISON GDP, Central Intelligence Agency.
  2. ^ "Visa for the Dutch Caribbean". Netherlands Embassy in the United Kingdom. Retrieved 7 May 2013. 
  3. ^ "Rijksdienst Carbische Nederland (Rijksdienst Dutch Caribbean)". Government of the Netherlands. Retrieved 26 July 2012. 

External links[edit]