Photo description: Bouwvakkers zijn bezig met een houtconstructie.

How did the economies of the Caribbean Netherlands perform in 2021?

In 2021, the economy of Bonaire grew by 11.7 percent. This is mostly a rebound effect after the strong economic decline in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The economies of St Eustatius and Saba grew by 21.1 and 3.0 percent, respectively.

Volume of gross domestic product, Bonaire (year-on-year % change)
Year GDP volume
2013 2.4
2014 1.6
2015 3.4
2016 2.2
2017 -1.3
2018 3.9
2019 6.3
2020 -8.4
2021 11.7

The number of inbound tourists by air on Bonaire increased from 66.0 thousand in 2020 to 111.3 thousand in 2021 as travel restrictions due to COVID were further lifted in 2021. As a result, the value added of hotels and restaurants and of culture, sports and recreation (namely casinos and diving schools) increased by 47.1 and 28.1 percent, respectively.

There was also high demand for business services. This was partly due to increased demand for car rental by tourists, but strong growth was also recorded by employment agencies, notaries and accountants. In total, the value added of business services increased by 17.7 percent.

The construction sector continued its strong growth of the past few years. The value added of construction companies increased by 10.2 percent in 2021.

Volume of value added by sector, Bonaire, 2021 (year-on-year % change)
Sector Volume of value added
Accommodation and food services 47.1
Culture, sports and recreation 28.1
Trade 19.0
Business services 17.7
Manufacturing 15.6
Construction 10.2
Energy and water companies 9.8
Transportation, information and communication 5.5
Health care 5.5
Financial services 4.8
Public administration 4.1
Real estate activities 3.3
Education 2.0
Agriculture, mining and quarrying -21.3

Strong recovery of the economy of St Eustatius

The increase of 21.1 percent on St Eustatius was mainly related to a few large companies on the island. Their production is mainly export-oriented. Demand for the products and services of these companies decreased in 2020 and remained at that lower level in 2021 due to regional developments in the oil sector. Nevertheless, the value added increased as these companies succeeded in lowering operating costs in 2021.

Volume of gross domestic product, St Eustatius and Saba (year-on-year % change)
Year St Eustatius Saba
2013 0.8 5.5
2014 -6.8 -0.2
2015 3.2 1.2
2016 -1.0 -0.5
2017 6.6 -1.4
2018 -11.8 -2.5
2019 -8.6 -5.3
2020 -25.9 -6.3
2021 21.1 3.0

Modest recovery Saba due to more inbound tourism

The number of inbound tourists by air increased from 2.7 thousand in 2020 to 4.0 thousand in 2021 as Saba welcomed tourists from low-risk countries as of 1 May 2021. This resulted in higher demand for restaurant, hotel and taxi services and for electricity on the island. These positive contributions to the 3.0 percent GDP growth were dampened by a decline in the value added of public administration and education.

More on gross domestic product


This web publication was developed by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) in cooperation with Textcetera The Hague.
If you have a question or comment about this publication, please contact us.

Disclaimer and copyright


On this website, CBS uses functional cookies on this website to allow proper functioning of the site. These cookies do not contain personal user data and have minimal or no consequences for your privacy. In addition, CBS uses analytical cookies to track visitor statistics, including the number of page views, which topics users are searching, and how visitors reach our website. The purpose is to gain insight into the functioning of the website in order to improve your user experience. We minimise traceability of visitors to our website as much as possible by anonymising the final octet (group of eight bits) of each IP address. These data are not shared with other parties. CBS does not use tracking cookies. Tracking cookies are cookies that track visitors during their browsing of other websites.

The functional and analytical cookies have minimal or no consequences for your privacy. In accordance with current regulations, these cookies may be placed without prior consent.

More information (in Dutch only):

Explanation of symbols

Empty cell figure not applicable
. figure is unknown, insufficiently reliable or confidential
* provisional figure
** revised provisional figure
(between two numbers) inclusive
0 (0.0) less than half of unit concerned
2016–2017 2016 to 2017 inclusive
2016/2017 average for the years 2016 up to and including 2017
2016/’17 crop year, financial year, school year etc., beginning in 2016 and ending in 2017
2004/’05–2016/’17 crop year etc. 2004/’05 up to and including 2016/’17

Due to rounding, some totals may not correspond to the sum of the separate figures.

About CBS

Statistics Netherlands (CBS)

As a society we want information based on reliable figures so we know what is going on around us. CBS’ statutory task is to compile relevant and independent figures on a wide range of topics that are important to society and thus support public debate, policy development and decision-making. Whichever the issue or topic, we respond to the need for transparent and accessible information. All outcomes are made publicly available.

Through time, CBS has grown into an innovative knowledge institution, with continuous adoption of new technologies and developments in order to safeguard the quality of its data and its independent position.

CBS in the Caribbean Netherlands

CBS opened an office on Bonaire in 2010. The Bonaire office is responsible for all statistics referring to the three islands of the Caribbean Netherlands: Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba. Topics include prices, population, labour, income, the economy, tourism and trade.

Publications can be found in the dossier Caribbean Netherlands.


StatLine is the database of CBS. It offers a wealth of figures about the economy and society in the Netherlands and Caribbean Netherlands, freely available as tables, graphs or maps.

If you have any questions, or cannot find what you are looking for, please contact us:

Statistics Netherlands

Bulevar Gobernador N. Debrot 67, unit 9 | Kralendijk, Bonaire

Telephone number +599 717 8676


Please find us on Facebook and on Instagram


Should you have any questions or need more information, please contact us.