Dutch Caribbean

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For the integral territories of the constituent country of the Netherlands, see Caribbean special municipalities of the 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) 315,339
GDP (Nominal) US$ 8.911 billion[1]
GDP per Capita (Nominal) US$ 29,240[1]
Density 305/km2 (790/sq mi)
Languages Dutch, English, Papiamento
Government 3 constituent countries
3 special municipalities
Willemstad, the capital of Curaçao and the largest city in the Dutch Caribbean.

The term Dutch Caribbean refers to all of the islands of the Kingdom of the Netherlands that are located in the Caribbean, regardless of their legal status in Dutch law, and to the inhabitants of those islands.[2][3] All the islands in the Dutch Caribbean were, at some point in history, part of the Netherlands Antilles and its predecessor the colony of Curaçao and its dependencies. The former Dutch colony of Suriname, although it was relatively close by, was not considered to be part of Dutch Caribbean[citation needed] as it was on the continent of South America.

History[edit]

The island of Aruba gained autonomy in 1986. Following the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles in 2010, the islands of Curaçao and Sint Maarten also became automomous within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The remaining islands became integrated into the Netherlands proper. Currently, there are two main divisions in the Dutch Caribbean:

  • those islands that have the status of being constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
  • those islands that have the status of being special municipalities of the Netherlands alone, as distinct from the Kingdom in its entirety.

Constituent countries[edit]

There are three Caribbean islands that are countries (Dutch: landen) within the Kingdom of the Netherlands: Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten. The latter country is approximately one half of the island of Saint Martin; the remaining northern half of the island - the Collectivity of Saint Martin - is an overseas territory of France.

Special municipalities[edit]

There are three Caribbean islands that are special municipalities of the Netherlands alone: Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba. The Netherlands is the fourth constituent country in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Collectively, these special municipalities of the Netherlands are also known as the "BES islands" or Caribisch Nederland. There are also several smaller islands, like Klein Curaçao and Klein Bonaire, that belong to one of the island countries or special municipalities.

Grouping of islands[edit]

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

See also[edit]

References[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.