Netherlands Antilles

Netherlands Antilles

Basic Data

Official Country Name: Netherlands Antilles
Region (Map name): Caribbean
Population: 210,134
Language(s): Dutch, Papiamento,English, Spanish
Literacy rate: 98%

The Netherlands Antilles consists of five islands in two separate Caribbean island chains. Bonaire and Curaçao are part of the Windward Islands, which are north of Venezuela, while Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten belong to the Leeward Islands to the east of the Virgin Islands. The country belongs to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, but received full autonomy in internal affairs in 1954. The Dutch Monarch serves as the head of state through a local Governor General, and a Prime Minister manages the government, heading a unicameral, 22-seat Staten. Dutch is the official language of the islands, but most speak Spanish, English or Papiamento, a dialect that combines Spanish, Portuguese, English and Dutch. The collective population is approximately 213,000, and the literacy rate is 98 percent. The economy of all five islands depends largely on tourism, petroleum refining, and offshore finance.

The country enjoys freedom of the press and speech as guaranteed under Dutch law. There are numerous daily newspapers published throughout the Netherland Antilles. Eight of them originate from Willemstad, the capital of Curaçao. Amigoe and Algameen Dagblad print in Dutch; Amigoe is available online. Extra, La Prensa, Nobo, Bala, Vigilante, and Ultima Noticia publish in the Papiamento language. Also printed on Curaçao is the Dutch-language newspaper De Curaçaosche Courant, which appears weekly. On Bonaire, the weekly English-language Bonnaire Reporter is an independent publication focusing on news as it relates to the island's residents and visitors. It is distributed free on the island and publishes online. On the Leeward islands, Sint-Maarten, Sint-Eustatius, and Saba, there are two English language newspapers, the St. Maarten Guardian and The Daily Herald, both printed on Sint-Maarten. The Daily Herald is available online.

There are 13 radio stations, nine AM and four FM, and 217,000 radios, There are three television stations broadcasting to 69,000 televisions. There are six Internet service providers.


Amigoe, (2002). Home Page. Available from .

Benn's Media, 1999, Vol. 3, 147th Edition, p. 272.

Bonaire Reporter. (n.d.). Home Page. Available from .

The Daily Herald, (2002.) Home Page. Available from .

"Dutch Language Newspaper: Netherlands Antilles," KrantNet. (2002). Available from .

"Netherlands Antilles," CIA World Fact Book (2001). Available from .

"Netherlands Antilles: Papiamento/English." Available from .

Jenny B. Davis

Also read article about Netherlands Antilles from Wikipedia

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