The Centraal Bureau voor Statistiek, CBS, reports that on 1 January 2013, the Caribbean Netherlands was home to more than 23 thousand people. Since 1 January 2010, the population has grown by 2.4 thousand. Immigrants almost entirely account for the population growth.
Most substantial population growth on Bonaire
On 1 January 2013, more than 23 thousand people were living in the Caribbean Netherlands, i.e. 17.4 thousand on Bonaire, 3.9 thousand on St Eustatius and 2 thousand on Saba. The population of the Caribbean Netherlands has grown by 2.4 thousand relative to 1 January 2010. With 1.9 thousand, the largest population growth in absolute terms was recorded on Bonaire. The populations on St Eustatius and Saba grew by approximately 300 and 200 respectively. Proportionally, Saba had the most substantial population growth.
With 2.2 thousand and 2.3 thousand respectively, immigration to the Caribbean Netherlands was considerably higher in 2011 and 2012 than in 2010 (1.8 thousand). More than one quarter of immigrants come from the Netherlands and another quarter come from the United States and Canada. More than 60 percent of immigrants from South and Central America are Peruvian and Colombian nationals and people from the Dominican Republic.
Saba is popular among people from the United States and Canada. One of the reasons is the presence of the Saba University School of Medicine on the island. The university has a partner relationship with various American and Canadian hospitals and attracts many North American students. Bonaire is relatively popular among Dutch natives.
Netherlands popular among emigrants
The Netherlands is a popular destination for emigrants from the Caribbean Netherlands. The other islands in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom are also popular destinations. Half of emigrants on Bonaire leave the island to settle in the Netherlands. Emigrants leaving for an unknown destination are almost invariably medical students returning to their native countries.