How has the population evolved over the past decade?
On 1 January 2022, the population of the Caribbean Netherlands stood at 27.7 thousand. This is 5.4 thousand more than ten years previously, at the start of 2012. Over the past decade, only Bonaire has seen population growth; the number of inhabitants has actually decreased on St. Eustatius and Saba.
Bonaire had 22,573 residents as at 1 January 2022, which is almost 6 thousand (36 percent) more than one decade previously. This was mainly because more people settled on Bonaire than departed (the migration balance was 4.9 thousand) and, to a lesser extent, because of natural growth (the balance between births and deaths was 1.1 thousand). The population increased the most in 2013: by just over 1 thousand, representing the strongest growth. There was also relatively strong growth in 2012 and between 2019 and 2021, with around 800 additional residents per year. Fluctuations in population growth can be attributed almost entirely to migration; natural growth remained more or less uniform, with a birth surplus of around 100 per year.
Decline on St Eustatius
At the start of 2022, St Eustatius had 3,242 inhabitants, which is 470 people (12 percent) less than at the start of 2012. The strongest decline was seen in 2015, when the population decreased by almost 700. This coincided with the clean-up of the PIVA (population administration), when entries of non-residents in St Eustatius were removed from the records. For example, many US citizens were considered as not actual residents. Population records were also cleaned up in 2014 and 2018, but less than in 2015.
Slight decline on Saba
On 1 January 2022, Saba had 1,911 registered inhabitants. This was 58 (3 percent) less than at the start of 2012, i.e. ten years previously. The strongest decline took place in 2018, when negative population growth (–240) was recorded. This coincided with an administrative clean-up as well: there were increased checks on the deregistration of students after they had completed their studies, in collaboration with the local university. The same development took place in 2013, but to a lesser extent.
More data on the populations of Bonaire, Saba and St Eustatius