WELCOME Curacao Population: 145,834 – 200th Country to VISIT our BLOG!


 Background
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 is a part of the Windward Islands (southern) group
Location: Caribbean, an island in the Caribbean Sea – 55 km off the coast of Venezuela
Geographic coordinates: 12 10 N, 69 00 W
Area: total: 444 sq km land: 444 sq km water: 0 sq km

Size comparison: more than twice the size of Washington, DC

Land Boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 364 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm exclusive fishing zone: 12 nm
Climate: tropical marine climate, ameliorated by northeast trade winds, results in mild temperatures; semi-arid with average rainfall of 600 mm/year
Terrain: generally low, hilly terrain
Elevation extremes: 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%
Irrigated land: NA
Natural hazards: Curacao is south of the Caribbean hurricane belt and is rarely threatened
Current Environment Issues: NA
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 People
Population: 145,834 (January 2010 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 21.1% (male males 15,337/females 14,589) 15-64 years: 66.7% (male males 42,896/females 51,998) 65 years and over: 12.2% (male males 6,972/females 10,388) (2012 est.)
Median age:
Population growth rate: NA
Birth rate: NA
Death rate: 8 deaths/1,000 population (2009)
Net migration rate: 1.27 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.15 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.82 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female total population: 0.85 male(s)/female (2010)
Infant mortality rate:
Life expectancy at birth: total: NA males: 72.4 years females: 80.1 years (2009)
Total fertility rate: 2.09 children born/woman (2009)
HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate: NA
HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS: NA
HIV/AIDS – deaths: NA
Nationality:
Ethnic groups:
Religions: 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)
Languages: Papiamentu (a Spanish-Portuguese-Dutch-English dialect) 81.2%, Dutch (official) 8%, Spanish 4%, English 2.9%, other 3.9% (2001 census)
Literacy:
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 Government
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
Government type: parliamentary
Capital: 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)
Independence: 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)
Constitution: Staatsregeling adopted by island council 5 September 2010; entered into force 10 October 2010; revised Kingdom Charter pending
Legal system: based on Dutch civil law system with some English common law influence
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: Queen BEATRIX of the Netherlands (since 30 April 1980); represented by Acting Governor Adele van der PLUIJM-VREDE (since 24 October 2012) head of government: Interim Prime Minister Stanley BETRIAN (since 29 September 2012); note – caretaker government pending the outcome of elections held on 19 October 2012 cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) 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: Common Court of Justice, Joint High Court of Justice (judges appointed by the monarch)
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]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US: none (represented by the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
Diplomatic representation from the US: 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
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 Economy
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. The Venezuelan state oil company 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 pension systems for an aging population.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $2.838 billion (2008 est.) $2.606 billion (2007 est.) $2.452 billion (2006 est.) note: data are in 2008 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $5.08 billion (2008 est.)
GDP – real growth rate: 3.5% 2008 2.2% 2007
GDP – per capita (PPP): GDP – per capita (PPP): $15,000 (2004 est.)
GDP – composition by sector: agriculture: 0.7% industry: 15.5% services: 83.8% (2010 est.)
Labor force: 63,000 (2008 est.) (2008)
Labor force – by occupation: agriculture: 1.2% industry: 16.9% services: 81.8% (2008 est.)
Unemployment rate: 10.3% (2008 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.3% (2011 est.) 1.3% (2010 est.)
Budget:
Agriculture – products: aloe, sorghum, peanuts, vegetables, tropical fruit
Industries: tourism, petroleum refining, petroleum transshipment facilities, light manufacturing
Industrial production growth rate: NA%
Electricity – production: 1.167 billion kWh (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 145
Electricity – consumption: 968 million kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity – exports: 0 kWh (2009 est.)
Electricity – imports: 0 kWh (2009 est.)
Natural gas – production: 0 cu m (2009 est.)
Natural gas – consumption: 0 cu m (2009 est.)
Natural gas – exports: 0 cu m (2009 est.)
Natural gas – imports: 0 cu m (2009 est.)
Natural gas – proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
Exports: $1.5 billion (2011 est.) $1.4 billion (2010 est.)
Exports – commodities: petroleum products
Imports: $2.5 billion (2011 est.) $2.648 billion (2009 est.)
Imports – commodities: crude petroleum, food, manufactures
Debt – external:
Exchange rates: Netherlands Antillean guilders (ANG) per US dollar – 1.79 (2011 est.) 1.79 (2010 est.) 1.79 (2009) 1.79 (2008) 1.79 (2007)
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 Communications
Telephones in use: NA
Cellular Phones in use: NA
Telephone system: general assessment: NA domestic: NA international: country code – 599
Radio broadcast stations:
Television broadcast stations:
Internet country code: .cw
Internet hosts: NA
Internet users: NA
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 Transportation
Airports: 1 country comparison to the world: 221
Airports (paved runways): total: 1 over 3,047 m: 1 (2010)
Roadways: total: 550 km
Ports and terminals: Bullen Baai, Fuik Bay, Willemstad
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 Military
Defense is the responsibility of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Military branches: no regular military forces; the Dutch government controls foreign and defense policy, (2012)
Military service age and obligation: no conscription (2010)

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