List of islands of the Netherlands Antilles
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politics and government of
the Netherlands Antilles
The Netherlands Antilles were divided into six administrative divisions, the island territories (eilandgebieden):
- Bonaire, including an islet called Klein Bonaire ("Little Bonaire")
- Curaçao, including an islet called Klein Curaçao ("Little Curaçao")
- Sint Eustatius
- Sint Maarten, the southern half of Saint Martin island (the northern half, Saint-Martin, is an overseas collectivity of France).
The Netherlands Antilles were dissolved as a unified political entity on 10 October 2010, so that remaining five constituent islands each attained a new constitutional status within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius all became special municipalities of the Netherlands. Curaçao and Sint Maarten both became constituent countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The autonomy of the island areas was specified in the Islands Regulation of the Netherlands Antilles.
Population of the Islands
According to the official estimates of the Central Bureau of Statistics of the Netherlands Antilles, the five islands had a combined population of 199,929 as at 1 January 2009. The population of the individual islands was as follows:
(1 Jan 2010)
(inh. per km²)
(part of the Netherlands)
Even though the referenda held in the early 1990s resulted in a position in favour of retaining the Netherlands Antilles, the arrangement continued to be an unhappy one. Between June 2000 and April 2005, each island of the Netherlands Antilles had a new referendum on its future status. The four options that could be voted on were the following:
- closer ties with the Netherlands
- remaining within the Netherlands Antilles
- autonomy as a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands (status aparte)
Of the five islands, Sint Maarten and Curaçao voted for status aparte, Saba and Bonaire voted for closer ties to the Netherlands, and Sint Eustatius voted to stay within the Netherlands Antilles.