More births in Caribbean Netherlands in year 2020

In 2020, 818 new inhabitants were added to the population of the Carib­bean Netherlands.

This was mainly due to foreign migration. Both im­migration and emigration declined due to travel restric­tions related to the COV­ID-19 crisis. The numbers of both births and deaths were up in previous years.

The direct effect of COV­ID-19 on mortality was minor: last year, Bonaire registered three confirmed COVID-19 deaths, while no COVID-19 deaths were recorded in St. Eustatius and Saba. This is evident from new popula­tion figures on the Caribbean Netherlands released by Sta­tistics Netherlands CBS.

Bonaire’s population grew by 830 inhabitants last year.

There was hardly any popu­lation growth in St. Eusta­tius, while Saba recorded a population decline. The most notable rise was seen in the number of births in Bonaire and St. Eustatius. The rea­son for this increase has not been investigated. However, a number of socio-economic support measures have been implemented over the past two years which were aimed at reducing the cost of child­care.

Bonaire’s population in­creased by 830 to 21,700 in­habitants last year. This is comparable to 2019, but it is high compared to the growth over the past five years. There were 228 births on the island in 2020 against an av­erage of 192 over the years 2015-2019 inclusive. Women in the age group 25-29 years in particular had more chil­dren.

Mortality was relatively high with 111 deaths; this is more than in the previous year and exceeds the average over the period 2015-2019 inclusive. Mortality was up among people in their 60s and 70s in particular. Bonaire regis­tered three confirmed COV­ID-19 deaths in 2020. Twelve confirmed COVID-19 deaths have been recorded up until mid-April 2021.

Immigration into Bonaire was higher in 2020 than in previous years. It was higher out of the European Neth­erlands and Curacao, while there were fewer immigrants from the Dominican Republic and Peru. Emigration declined, to Curacao and Aruba in particular, and to a lesser extent to the European Netherlands.

In St. Eustatius, the popula­tion rose by three to a total of 3,142 inhabitants. The num­ber of births was high relative to previous years: 50 in 2020, against 30 in 2019 and an average of 32 in the period 2016-2019. The birth rate in St Eustatius increased most notably among inhabitants in their 30s. Net migration was negative. Compared to previous years, immigration nearly halved. The drop in immigration was seen among multiple origin countries, particularly the Dominican Republic.

In Saba, the population fell by 15 to a total of 1,918 in­habitants last year. Natural growth was negative; there were fewer births and slightly more deaths. The island saw a significant drop in immi­gration. The main reason for this is that Saba Univer­sity School of Medicine only offered online tuition; on balance, significantly lower numbers of students there­fore arrived in Saba from the United States and Canada compared to previous years. Emigration declined as well.

The Daily Herald.

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