Two out of three persons ages fifteen and older in the Caribbean Netherlands drank alcoholic beverages last year. Heavy and excessive drinkers are most abundant in St. Eustatius, according to a survey carried out by Central Bureau for Statistics (CBS) as reported by The Daily Herald.
The survey showed that half of women and 25 per cent of men on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba had not drunk alcoholic beverages in the past year. One man in eight drinks excessively, compared to one woman in 30, CBS stated.
Sixty per cent of women in Statia reported that they had not had an alcoholic drink in the past year. That is more than on Bonaire, where half of the women had not had a drink. Relatively fewer women on Saba had not drunk alcohol: 36 per cent. The number of men in the Caribbean Netherlands who do not drink alcohol is much smaller than the number of women. Furthermore, relatively many more men than women can be classified as heavy or excessive drinkers.
On Bonaire, 19 per cent of men are heavy drinkers and 10 per cent excessive drinkers. Six per cent of women on Bonaire are to be considered heavy or excessive drinkers. On Statia, 24 per cent of men are considered heavy drinkers and 16 per cent excessive drinkers. On Saba, these figures are 15 and 14 per cent respectively.
A heavy drinker is defined as someone who drinks six or more alcoholic beverages a day on at least one day a week. Excessive drinkers drink more than 21 glasses per week for men, or more than 14 drinks a week for women. Twenty per cent of the population in the European Netherlands did not drink alcohol in 2012, according to CBS. This percentage is almost twice as high in the Caribbean Netherlands: 39 per cent.
There are larger differences between men and women on the islands. The percentage of heavy drinkers in the Caribbean Netherlands is comparable to that in the European Netherlands. The proportion of female heavy drinkers is four percentage points less than in the European Netherlands (11 per cent), but much larger among men (19 per cent versus 15 per cent). The picture is similar for excessive drinkers, CBS said.