(part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)

Introduction ::Curacao

    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.

Geography ::Curacao

People and Society ::Curacao

    noun: Curacaoan
    adjective: Curacaoan; Dutch
    Afro-Caribbean majority; Dutch, French, Latin American, East Asian, South Asian, Jewish minorities
    Papiamentu (a Spanish-Portuguese-Dutch-English dialect) 81.2%, Dutch (official) 8%, Spanish 4%, English 2.9%, other 3.9% (2001 census)
    Roman Catholic 80.1%, Protestant 11.2% (Pentecostal 3.5%, Seventh-Day Adventist 2.2%, other Protestant 5.5%), none 4.6%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.7%, Jewish 0.8%, other 1.3%, not reported 0.3% (2001 census)
    146,836 (July 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 188
    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.)
    total dependency ratio: 50.1 %
    youth dependency ratio: 29 %
    elderly dependency ratio: 21 %
    potential support ratio: 4.8 (2013)
    total: 36.2 years
    male: 32.7 years
    female: 39.9 years (2013 est.)
    NA
    NA
    8 deaths/1,000 population (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 98
    1.27 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    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.)
    total: NA
    males: 72.4 years
    females: 80.1 years (2009)
    2.09 children born/woman (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    NA
    NA
    NA

Government ::Curacao

    Dutch long form: Land Curacao
    Dutch short form: Curacao
    Papiamentu long form: Pais Korsou
    Papiamentu short form: Korsou
    former: Netherlands Antilles; Curacao and Dependencies
    constituent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands; full autonomy in internal affairs granted in 2010; Dutch Government responsible for defense and foreign affairs
    parliamentary
    name: Willemstad
    geographic coordinates: 12 06 N, 68 55 W
    time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
    none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
    Queen's Day (Birthday of Queen-Mother JULIANA and accession to the throne of her oldest daughter BEATRIX), 30 April (1909 and 1980)
    Staatsregeling adopted by island council 5 September 2010; entered into force 10 October 2010; revised Kingdom Charter pending
    based on Dutch civil law system with some English common law influence
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: King WILLEM-ALEXANDER of the Netherlands (since 30 April 2013); represented by Acting Governor Adele van der PLUIJM-VREDE (since 24 October 2012)
    head of government: Prime Minister Ivar ASJES (since 7 June 2013)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    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
    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
    highest court(s):
    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]
    none (represented by the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
    chief of mission: Consul General Valerie BELON
    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
    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
    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 ::Curacao

    Tourism, petroleum refining, and offshore finance 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 leases the single refinery on the island from the government; 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. Poor soils and inadequate water supplies hamper the development of agriculture. Budgetary problems complicate reform of the health and education systems. Pension system reforms are pending. A new basic health package was implemented in 2013.
    $2.838 billion (2008 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 183
    $2.606 billion (2007 est.)
    $2.452 billion (2006 est.)
    note: data are in 2008 US dollars
    $5.08 billion (2008 est.)
    0% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 183
    3.5% (2008)
    2.2% (2007)
    $15,000 (2004 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 91
    agriculture: 0.7%
    industry: 15.5%
    services: 83.8% (2012 est.)
    aloe, sorghum, peanuts, vegetables, tropical fruit
    tourism, petroleum refining, petroleum transshipment facilities, light manufacturing
    NA%
    62,040 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 186
    agriculture: 1.2%
    industry: 16.9%
    services: 81.8% (2008 est.)
    9.8% (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    10.3% (2008 est.)
    10.8% of GDP (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 207
    -0.9% of GDP (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    2.3% (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 54
    1.3% (2010 est.)
    $1.5 billion (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    $1.4 billion (2010 est.)
    petroleum products
    $2.5 billion (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 156
    $2.648 billion (2009 est.)
    crude petroleum, food, manufactures
    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

Energy ::Curacao

Communications ::Curacao

Transportation ::Curacao

    total: 550 km
    country comparison to the world: 192
    major seaport(s): Willemstad
    oil/gas terminal(s): Bullen Baai (Curacao Terminal)
    bulk cargo port(s): Fuik Bay (phosphate rock)

Military ::Curacao