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Curacao country facts

Land Curacao Central America and the Caribbean Willemstad 146,836 inhabitants 444 sq km 330.71 inhabitants/sq km Netherlands Antillean guilders (ANG) part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands population evolution



Originally settled by Arawak Indians, Curacao was seized by the Dutch in 1634 along with the neighboring island of Bonaire. Once the center of the Caribbean slave trade, Curacao was hard hit economically 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 the Isla Refineria to service the newly discovered Venezuelan oil fields. In 1954, Curacao and several other Dutch Caribbean possessions were reorganized as the Netherlands Antilles, part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In referenda in 2005 and 2009, the citizens of Curacao voted to become a self-governing country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The change in status became effective in October 2010 with the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles.



Caribbean, an island in the Caribbean Sea - 55 km off the coast of Venezuela

Geographic coordinates

12 10 N, 69 00 W

Area (sq km)

total: 444 sq km
land: 444 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative (sq km)

more than twice the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries (km)

0 km

Coastline (km)

364 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 12 nm


tropical marine climate, ameliorated by northeast trade winds, results in mild temperatures; semiarid with average rainfall of 600 mm/year


generally low, hilly terrain

Elevation extremes (m)

lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mt. Christoffel, 372m

Natural resources

calcium phosphates, aloes, sorghum, peanuts, vegetables, tropical fruit

Land use (%)

arable land: 10%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 90% (2011)

Irrigated land (sq km)


Total renewable water resources (cu km)


Natural hazards

Curacao is south of the Caribbean hurricane belt and is rarely threatened

Environment - current issues


Geography - note

Curacao is a part of the Windward Islands (southern) group

People and Society


noun: Curacaoan
adjective: Curacaoan; Dutch

Ethnic groups (%)

Afro-Caribbean majority; Dutch, French, Latin American, East Asian, South Asian, Jewish minorities

Languages (%)

Papiamentu (a Spanish-Portuguese-Dutch-English dialect) 81.2%, Dutch (official) 8%, Spanish 4%, English 2.9%, other 3.9% (2001 census)

Religions (%)

Roman Catholic 72.8%, Pentecostal 6.6%, Protestant 3.2%, Adventist 3%, Jehovah's Witness 2%, Evangelical 1.9%, other 3.8%, none 6%, unspecified 0.6% (2011 est.)


146,836 (July 2013 est.)   evolution and prospects (1950-2100)

Age structure (%)

0-14 years: 20.6% (male 15,342/female 14,645)
15-24 years: 15.4% (male 11,599/female 10,790)
25-54 years: 38.5% (male 26,869/female 29,348)
55-64 years: 12.6% (male 8,059/female 10,259)
65 years and over: 13% (male 7,833/female 11,090) (2013 est.)

Age structure in Curacao

Median age (years)

total: 36.2 years
male: 32.7 years
female: 39.9 years (2013 est.)

Population growth rate (%)


Birth rate (births/1,000 population)


Death rate (deaths/1,000 population)

8 deaths/1,000 population (2009)

Net migration rate (migrant(s)/1,000 population)

1.27 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008)

Sex ratio (male(s)/female)

at birth: 1.15 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.79 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female
total population: 0.92 male(s)/female (2013 est.)

Life expectancy at birth (years)

total: NA
males: 72.4 years
females: 80.1 years (2009)

Total fertility rate (children born/woman)

2.09 children born/woman (2013 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate (%)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS


HIV/AIDS - deaths



Country name

Dutch long form: Land Curacao
Dutch short form: Curacao
Papiamentu long form: Pais Korsou
Papiamentu short form: Korsou
former: Netherlands Antilles; Curacao and Dependencies

Dependency status

constituent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands; full autonomy in internal affairs granted in 2010; Dutch Government responsible for defense and foreign affairs

Government type



name: Willemstad
geographic coordinates: 12 06 N, 68 55 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)


none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)

National holiday

Queen's Day (Birthday of Queen-Mother JULIANA and accession to the throne of her oldest daughter BEATRIX), 30 April (1909 and 1980)


previous 1947, 1955; latest adopted 5 September 2010, entered into force 10 October 2010 (regulates governance of Curacao but is subordinate to the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands); note - in October 2010, with the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles, Curacao became a constituent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands (2013)

Legal system

based on Dutch civil law system with some English common law influence


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: King WILLEM-ALEXANDER of the Netherlands (since 30 April 2013); represented by Governor Lucille A. GEORGE-WOUT (since 4 November 2013)
head of government: Prime Minister Ivar ASJES (since 7 June 2013)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor
elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party is usually elected prime minister by the parliament; next election is scheduled for 2016

Legislative branch

unicameral Estates of Curacao (21 seats; members elected by popular vote for four year terms)
elections: last held 19 October 2012 (next to be held in 2016)
election results: percent of vote by party - PS 22.6%, MFK 21.2%, PAR 19.7%, PAIS 17.7%, MAN 9.5%, PNP 5.9%, other 3.4%; seats by party - PS 5, MFK 5, PAR 4, PAIS 4, MAN 2, PNP 1

Judicial branch

highest court(s):

Political parties and leaders

Frente Obrero Liberashon (Workers' Liberation Front) or FOL [Anthony GODETT]
Movementu Futuro Korsou or MFK [Gerrit SCHOTTE]
Movishon Antia Nobo or MAN [Eunice EISDEN]
Partido Antia Restruktura or PAR [Emily DE JONGH-ELHAGE]
Partido pa Adelanto I Inovashon Soshal or PAIS [Alex ROSARIA]
Partido Nashonal di Pueblo or PNP [Humphrey DAVELAAR]
Pueblo Soberano or PS [Helmin WIELS]

Diplomatic representation in the US

none (represented by the Kingdom of the Netherlands)

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Consul General James R. Moore (since June 2013); note - also accredited to Aruba and Sint Martin
consulate(s) general: J. B. Gorsiraweg #1, Willemstad, Curacao
mailing address: P. O. Box 158, Willemstad, Curacao
telephone: [599] (9) 4613066
FAX: [599] (9) 4616489

Flag description

on a blue field a horizontal yellow band somewhat below the center divides the flag into proportions of 5:1:2; two five-pointed white stars - the smaller above and to the left of the larger - appear in the canton; the blue of the upper and lower sections symbolizes the sky and sea respectively; yellow represents the sun; the stars symbolize Curacao and its uninhabited smaller sister island of Klein Curacao; the five star points signify the five continents from which Curacao's people derive

National anthem

name: Himmo di Korsou (Anthem of Curacao)
lyrics/music: Guillermo ROSARIO, Mae HENRIQUEZ, Enrique MULLER, Betty DORAN/Frater Candidus NOWENS, Errol "El Toro" COLINA
note: adapted 1978; the lyrics, originally written in 1899, were rewritten in 1978 to make them less colonial in nature


Economy - overview

Tourism, petroleum refining, offshore finance, and trade and transport are the mainstays of this small economy, which is closely tied to the outside world. Although GDP grew slightly during the past decade, the island enjoys a high per capita income and a well-developed infrastructure compared with other countries in the region. Curacao has an excellent natural harbor that can accommodate large oil tankers. Venezuelan state oil company PdVSA, under a contract in effect until 2019, leases the single refinery on the island from the government, employing some 1,500 people; most of the oil for the refinery is imported from Venezuela; most of the refined products are exported to the US. Almost all consumer and capital goods are imported, with the US, Brazil, Italy, and Mexico being the major suppliers. The government is attempting to diversify its industry and trade and has signed an Association Agreement with the EU to expand business there. Most of Curacao’s GDP results from services. Curacao has limited natural resources, poor soils, and inadequate water supplies, and budgetary problems complicate reform of the health and education systems. In 2013 the government implemented changes to the sales tax and reformed the public pension and health care systems, including increasing the sales tax from 5% to as high as 9% on some products, raising the age for public pension withdrawals to 65, and requiring citizens to pay higher premiums.

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$3.128 billion (2012 est.)
$3.02 billion (2011 est.)
$2.96 billion (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$5.6 billion (2012 est.)

GDP - real growth rate (%)

3.6% (2012 est.)
2% (2011 est.)
0.1% (2010 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$15,000 (2004 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin (%)

agriculture: 0.7%
industry: 15.5%
services: 83.8% (2012 est.)

Labor force

73,010 (2013)

Labor force - by occupation (%)

agriculture: 1.2%
industry: 16.9%
services: 81.8% (2008 est.)

Unemployment rate (%)

13% (2013 est.)
9.8% (2011 est.)

Taxes and other revenues (% of GDP)

16.6% of GDP (2012 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) (% of GDP)

-0.4% of GDP (2012 est.)

Public debt (% of GDP)

33.2% of GDP (2012 est.)
40.6% of GDP (2011 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices) (%)

3.2% (2012 est.)
2.3% (2011 est.)

Agriculture - products

aloe, sorghum, peanuts, vegetables, tropical fruit


tourism, petroleum refining, petroleum transshipment, light manufacturing

Industrial production growth rate (%)



$1.607 billion (2011 est.)
$1.44 billion (2010 est.)

Exports - commodities (%)

petroleum products


$1.285 billion (2011 est.)
$1.275 billion (2010 est.)

Imports - commodities (%)

crude petroleum, food, manufactures

Exchange rates

Currency converter
Netherlands Antillean guilders (ANG) per US dollar -
1.79 (2011)
1.79 (2011 est.)
1.79 (2010 est.)
1.79 (2009)
1.79 (2008)
note: the Netherland Antillean guilder was replaced by the newly created Caribbean guilder in 2013


Electricity - production (kWh)

1.785 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption (kWh)

968 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - exports (kWh)

0 kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - imports (kWh)

0 kWh (2009 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves (bbl)

0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production (bbl/day)

531 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption (bbl/day)

72,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports (bbl/day)

211,100 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports (bbl/day)

291,700 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Natural gas - production (cu m)

0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - consumption (cu m)

0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - exports (cu m)

0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - imports (cu m)

0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves (cu m)

0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)


Telephone system

international: country code - 599

Broadcast media

government-run Telecuracao operates a TV station and a radio station; several privately-owned radio stations

Internet country code


Internet hosts


Internet users



Roadways (km)

total: 550 km

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Willemstad
oil/gas terminal(s): Bullen Baai (Curacao Terminal)
bulk cargo port(s): Fuik Bay (phosphate rock)


Military branches

no regular military forces; the Dutch Government controls foreign and defense policy (2012)

Military service age and obligation (years of age)

no conscription (2010)

Military - note

defense is the responsibility of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Largest cities of Curacao

These are the 50 largest cities of Curacao ordered based on their number of inhabitants.

# City Population