Netherlands Antilles Travel Information

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Bonaire Marine Park
St Eustatius National Parks

Facts About the Netherlands Antilles

Background: Once the center of the Caribbean slave trade, the island of Curacao was hard hit by the abolition of slavery in 1863. Its prosperity (and that of neighboring Aruba) was restored in the early 20th century with the construction of oil refineries to service the newly discovered Venezuelan oil fields. The island of Sint Maarten is shared with France; its northern portion is named Saint Martin and is part of Guadeloupe.
Dependency status: part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; full autonomy in internal affairs granted in 1954
Government type: parliamentary
Capital: Willemstad
Currency: 1 Netherlands Antillean guilder, gulden, or florin (NAf.) = 100 cents

Geography of the Netherlands Antilles

Location: Caribbean, two island groups in the Caribbean Sea - one includes Curacao and Bonaire north of Venezuela and the other is east of the Virgin Islands
Geographic coordinates: 12 15 N, 68 45 W
total: 960 sq km
land: 960 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten (Dutch part of the island of Saint Martin)
Land boundaries:
total: 10.2 km
border countries: Guadeloupe (Saint Martin) 10.2 km
Coastline: 364 km
Maritime claims:
exclusive fishing zone: 12 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
Climate: tropical; ameliorated by northeast trade winds
Terrain: generally hilly, volcanic interiors
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mount Scenery 862 m
Natural resources: phosphates (Curacao only), salt (Bonaire only)
Land use:
arable land: 10%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 0%
forests and woodland: 0%
other: 90% (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: Curacao and Bonaire are south of Caribbean hurricane belt and are rarely threatened; Sint Maarten, Saba, and Sint Eustatius are subject to hurricanes from July to October
Geography - note: the five islands of the Netherlands Antilles are divided geographically into the Leeward Islands (northern) group (Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten) and the Windward Islands (southern) group (Bonaire and Curacao).

People of the Netherlands Antilles

Population: 219,958 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years:  25.21%
15-64 years:  66.99% 
65 years and over:  7.8% 
Population growth rate: 0.97% 
Birth rate: 16.55 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 6.41 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: -0.42 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 11.4 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  74.94 years
male:  72.76 years
female:  77.22 years 
Total fertility rate: 2.07 children born/woman 
noun: Netherlands Antillean(s)
adjective: Netherlands Antillean
Ethnic groups: mixed black 85%, Carib Amerindian, white, East Asian
Religions: Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Seventh-Day Adventist
Languages: Dutch (official), Papiamento (a Spanish-Portuguese-Dutch-English dialect) predominates, English widely spoken, Spanish
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98%
male: 98%
female: 99% (1981 est.)

SOURCE: The World Factbook

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Netherlands Antilles > Map Economy