Curacao Population: 150,241


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The original Arawak Indian settlers who arrived on the island from South America in about 1000, were largely enslaved by the Spanish early in the 16th century and forcibly relocated to other colonies where labor was needed. Curacao was seized by the Dutch from the Spanish in 1634. 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.

    Curacao is a part of the Windward Islands (southern) group in the Lesser Antilles
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
Coastline: 364 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate: tropical marine climate, ameliorated by northeast trade winds, results in mild temperatures; semiarid with average rainfall of 60 cm/year
Terrain: generally low, hilly terrain
Natural resources: calcium phosphates, aloes, sorghum, peanuts, vegetables, tropical fruit
Land use: agricultural land: 10% (2011 est.) arable land: 10%
permanent crops: 0% permanent pasture: 0% (2011 est.) forest: 0% (2011 est.)
other: 90% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: n/a
Natural hazards: Curacao is south of the Caribbean hurricane belt and is rarely threatened
Current Environment Issues: problems in waste management that threaten environmental sustainability on the island include pollution of marine areas from domestic sewage, inadequate sewage treatment facilities, industrial effluents and agricultural runoff, the mismanagement of toxic substances, and ineffective regulations; the refinery in Sint Anna Bay, at the eastern edge of Willemstad’s large natural harbor, processes heavy crude oil from Venezuela; it has caused significant environmental damage to the surrounding area because of neglect and a lack of strict environmental controls; the release of noxious fumes and potentially hazardous particles causes schools downwind to regularly close
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Nationality: noun: Curacaoan
adjective: Curacaoan; Dutch
Ethnic groups: Curacaoan 75.4%, Dutch 6%, Dominican 3.6%, Colombian 3%, Bonairean, Sint Eustatian, Saban 1.5%, Haitian 1.2%, Surinamese 1.2%, Venezuelan 1.1%, Aruban 1.1%, other 5%, unspecified 0.9% (2011 est.)
Languages: Papiamento (official) (a creole language that is a mixture of Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, English, and, to a lesser extent, French, as well as elements of African languages and the language of the Arawak) 79.9%, Dutch (official) 8.8%, Spanish 5.6%, English (official) 3.1%, other 2.9%, unspecified .3% (2001 census) note: data represent most spoken language in household
Religions: Roman Catholic 72.8%, Pentecostal6.6%, Protestant 3.2%, Adventist 3%, Jehovah's Witness2%, Evangelical 1.9%, other 3.8%, none 6%, unspecified 0.6% (2011 est.)
Population: 150,241 (July 2018 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 19.88% (male 15,250 /female 14,613)
15-24 years: 14.05% (male 10,957 /female 10,158)
25-54 years: 36.66% (male 27,278 /female 27,802)
55-64 years: 13.84% (male 9,018 /female 11,769)
65 years and over: 15.57% (male 9,547 /female 13,849) (2018 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 52.4 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 28.7 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 23.6 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 4.2 (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 36.3 years
male: 33.8 years
female: 39.6 years (2018 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.39% (2018 est.)
Birth rate: 13.7 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate: 8.5 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate: -1.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 89.1% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 0.62% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population: 144000 WILLEMSTAD (capital) (2018)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.77 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
total population: 0.92 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 7.3 deaths/1,000 live births male: 7.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 6.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 78.6 years male: 76.3 years
female: 81.1 years (2018 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.03 children born/woman (2018 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: n/a
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: n/a
HIV/AIDS - deaths: n/a
Education expenditures: 4.9% of GDP (2013)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 18 years male: 18 years female: 19 years (2013)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 29.7% male: n/a female: n/a (2015 est.)
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Country name: conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Curacao
local long form: Land Curacao (Dutch); Pais Korsou (Papiamento)
local short form: Curacao (Dutch); Korsou (Papiamento)
former: Netherlands Antilles; Curacao and Dependencies
etymology: the most plausible name derivation is that the island was designated Isla de la Curacion (Spanish meaning "Island of the Cure" or "Island of Healing") or Ilha da Curacao (Portuguese meaning the same) to reflect the locale's function as a recovery stop for sick crewmen
Government type: parliamentary democracy
Capital: name: Willemstad
geographic coordinates: 12 06 N, 68 55 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time) etymology - named after Prince William II of Orange (1626-1650), who served as stadtholder (Dutch head of state) from 1647 to 1650, shortly after the the Dutch captured Curacao from the Spanish in 1634
Administrative divisions: none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)

note: Curacao is one of four constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; the other three are the Netherlands, Aruba, and Sint Maarten
Independence: none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
National holiday: King's Day (birthday of King WILLEM-ALEXANDER), 27 April (1967); note - King's or Queen's Day are observed on the ruling monarch's birthday; celebrated on 26 April if 27 April is a Sunday
Constitution: 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 semi-autonomous entity within the Kingdom of the Netherlands 
Legal system: based on Dutch civil law
Suffrage: 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 sworn-in by the governor elections/appointments: the monarch is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party usually elected prime minister by the Parliament of Curacao; next election scheduled for 2016
Legislative branch: description: unicameral Parliament of Curacao (21 seats; members directly elected by proportional representation vote to serve 4-year terms)

elections: last held on 28 April 2017 (next to be held in 2021); early elections were held after Prime Minister Hensley KOEIMAN resigned on 12 February 2017, when the coalition government lost its majority

election results: percent of vote by party - PAR 23.3%, MAN 20.4%, MFK 19.9%, KdnT 9.4%, PIN 5.3%, PS 5.1%, MP 4.9%, other 11.7%; seats by party - PAR 6, MAN 5, MFK 5, KdnT 2, PIN 1, PS 1, MP 1; composition - men 15, women 6, percent of women 28.6%
Judicial branch: highest courts: Joint Court of Justice of Aruba, Curacao, Sint Maarten, and of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba or "Joint Court of Justice" (sits as a 3-judge panel); final appeals heard by the Supreme Court, in The Hague, Netherlands judge selection and term of office: Joint Court judges appointed by the monarch for life

subordinate courts: first instance courts, appeals court; specialized courts
Political parties and leaders: Korsou di Nos Tur or KdnT [Amparo dos SANTOS] Mayors for Liberec Region (Starostove pro Liberecky Kraj) or SLK [Martin PUTA] Movementu Futuro Korsou or MFK [Gerrit SCHOTTE] Movementu Progresivo or MP [Marylin MOSES] Movishon Antia Nobo or MAN [Hensley KOEIMAN] Partido Antia Restruktura or PAR [Eugene RHUGGENAATH] Partido Inovashon Nashonal or PIN [Suzanne CAMELIA-ROMER] Partido pa Adelanto I Inovashon Soshal or PAIS [Alex ROSARIA] Partido Nashonal di Pueblo or PNP [Humphrey DAVELAAR] Pueblo Soberano or PS Un Korsou Hustu [Omayra LEEFLANG]
International organization participation: Caricom (observer), FATF, ILO, ITU, UNESCO (associate), UPU
National symbol(s): laraha (citrus tree);
national colors: blue, yellow, white
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
Diplomatic representation in the US: none (represented by the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Consul General Margaret HAWTHORNE (since April 2016); note - also accredited to Aruba and Sint Maarten
mailing address: P. O. Box 158, Willemstad, Curacao
telephone: [599] (9) 4613066
FAX: [599] (9) 4616489
consulate(s) general: J. B. Gorsiraweg #1, Willemstad, Curacao
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Most of Curacao's GDP results from services. Tourism, petroleum refining and bunkering, offshore finance, and transportation and communications are the mainstays of this small island economy, which is closely tied to the outside world. Curacao has limited natural resources, poor soil, and inadequate water supplies, and budgetary problems complicate reform of the health and education systems. Although GDP grew only slightly during the past decade, Curacao enjoys a high per capita income and a well-developed infrastructure compared to other countries in the region. Curacao has an excellent natural harbor that can accommodate large oil tankers, and the port of Willemstad hosts a free trade zone and a dry dock. Venezuelan state-owned oil company PdVSA, under a contract in effect until 2019, leases the single refinery on the island from the government, directly employing some 1,000 people. Most of the oil for the refinery is imported from Venezuela and most of the refined products are exported to the US and Asia. Almost all consumer and capital goods are imported, with the US, the Netherlands, and Venezuela being the major suppliers. The government is attempting to diversify its industry and trade. Curacao is an Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) of the European Union. Nationals of Curacao are citizens of the European Union, even though it is not a member. Based on its OCT status, products that originate in Curacao have preferential access to the EU and are exempt from import duties. Curacao is a beneficiary of the Caribbean Basin Initiative and, as a result, products originating in Curacao can be imported tax free into the US if at least 35% has been added to the value of these products in Curacao. The island has state-of-the-art information and communication technology connectivity with the rest of the world, including a Tier IV datacenter. With several direct satellite and submarine optic fiber cables, Curacao has one of the best Internet speeds and reliability in the Western Hemisphere.
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 end use: household consumption: 66.9% (2016 est.) government consumption: 33.6% (2016 est.) investment in fixed capital: 19.4% (2016 est.) investment in inventories: 0% (2016 est.) exports of goods and services: 17.5% (2016 est.) imports of goods and services: -37.5% (2016 est.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: 0.7% (2012 est.) industry: 15.5% (2012 est.) services: 83.8% (2012 est.)
Agriculture - products: aloe, sorghum, peanuts, vegetables, tropical fruit
Industries: tourism, petroleum refining, petroleum transshipment, light manufacturing, financial and business services
Industrial production growth rate: n/a
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: 16.6% (of GDP) (2012 est.) Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): -0.4% (of GDP) (2012 est.)
Public debt: 33.2% of GDP (2012 est.) 40.6% of GDP (2011 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.6% (2013 est.) 2.8% (2012 est.)
Current account balance: -$400 million (2011 est.) -$600 million (2010 est.)
Exports: $839.7 million (2017 est.) $1.44 billion (2010 est.)
Exports - commodities: petroleum products
Imports: $540.3 billion (2018 est.) $453.8 billion (2017 est.)
Imports - commodities: crude petroleum, food, manufactures
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $0 (31 December 2017 est.)
Exchange rates: Netherlands Antillean guilders (ANG) per US dollar - 1.79 (2017 est.) 1.79 (2016 est.) 1.79 (2015 est.) 1.79 (2014 est.) 1.79 (2013 est.)
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Electricity - production: 1.785 billion kWh (2012 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 968 million kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2009 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2009 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 191,300 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 189,800 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 70,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 167,500 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 45,800 bbl/day (2015 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.)
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Telephone system:

international: country code - +599
Broadcast media: government-run TeleCuracao operates a TV station and a radio station; 2 other privately owned TV stations and several privately owned radio stations (2019)
Internet country code: .cw
Internet users: total: 138,750
percent of population: 93.9% (July 2016 est.)
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Airports: 1 (2017)
Airports (paved runways): over 3,047 m: 1 (2017)
Roadways: total 550 km
Merchant marine: total 82

by type: general cargo 11, oil tanker 1, other 70 (2018)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Willemstad oil terminal(s): Bullen Baai (Curacao Terminal) bulk cargo port(s): Fuik Bay (phosphate rock)
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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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 Transnational Issues
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