On 1 January 2016 the population of the Caribbean Netherlands totalled 24,548 inhabitants, slightly fewer than one year ago when 24,593 people were living on the islands. In the past year, the population on St Eustatius diminished, especially after invalid entries were removed from the population register. The population on Bonaire and Saba increased, according to Statistics Netherlands (CBS).
Saba’s population grew by nearly 140 to 1,947 residents, due to a positive net migration balance. A relatively large proportion of Saba’s residents were born in the United States and Canada, because North American students complete part of their medical study on Saba. The majority of Saba’s residents born in the former Netherlands Antilles and Aruba were born on Saba or St Maarten. A few percent were born in the European part of the Netherlands. On Saba, 60 percent are Dutch nationals and nearly 20 percent have the North American nationality.
Between 1 January 2015 and 1 January 2016, the population on Bonaire grew by approximately 500 to 19,408 residents, mainly because more people settled on Bonaire than left the island. Nearly 60 percent of Bonaire’s residents were born on the former Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. Most of them are natives of Bonaire, but Curacao also frequently occurs as country of birth. Fourteen percent of residents were born in the European part of the Netherlands. Eighty percent of Bonaire’s residents are Dutch nationals.
The population of St Eustatius contracted by nearly 700 to 3,193 over the past year. This is mainly due to a clean-up of the population register on the island. In addition, approximately 600 persons were identified as emigrants. The majority of them are middle-aged male emigrants, primarily natives from North America (47 percent) or Central America (39 percent). These people were still registered as residents of St Eustatius in 2015, but further investigation showed that they were no longer living on the island.
Nearly 60 percent of residents were born on the former Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. On 1 January 2016 more than half of residents born on the former Netherlands Antilles and Aruba came from St Eustatius. Part were born on St Maarten. St Eustatius has relatively many residents born in South and Central America. It often concerns people who come to the island to find employment. A shift has taken place relative to one year earlier: St Eustatius has more residents born on the former Netherlands Antilles and Aruba and fewer residents born in South and Central America, the United States and Canada. This has to do with the clean-up operation mentioned above.
Press release CBS