Residents St Eustatius enjoy highest incomes in Caribbean Netherlands

Statistics Netherlands reported today that households on St Eustatius have the highest disposable incomes of the three islands collectively known as the Caribbean Netherlands, but St Eustatius also has the widest gap between low and high-income households.

On Bonaire, the median disposable household income was 21.1 thousand dollars, on Saba 20 thousand dollars and on St Eustatius 23.3 thousand dollars. Incomes ranged from 6 thousand dollars for the lowest income brackets on all islands to approximately 60 thousand dollars for the highest income groups on St Eustatius. On Bonaire and Saba, the median disposable household income of the 25 percent richest households was 52 thousand and 48 thousand dollars respectively.

Average disposable income by income category, 2011

Saba has smallest share of households with primary incomes

The majority of households generate income from labour, business activities and personal capital (primary income). On Bonaire and St Eustatius, the share of households living mainly on primary incomes was 89 percent, versus 83 percent on Saba. Households mainly relying on social benefits on Bonaire and St Eustatius had more than 6 thousand dollars, on Saba nearly 7 thousand dollars.

40 to 60-year-old residents of St Eustatius have highest incomes

In general, somebody’s income level is related to their age. Young people at the start of their professional career earn relatively low wages. When they grow older, their position on the labour market improves as they accumulate work experience and gain access to better-paying jobs. When they reach retirement age at 60, their incomes drop back to a lower level.
This pattern is also noticeable in the Caribbean Netherlands. On all three islands, households with a main breadwinner in the age category 40-59 accounted for the highest incomes. On St Eustatius, the median income of this type of household was 28 thousand dollars, on Saba 24 thousand dollars and on Bonaire 25 thousand dollars. With a median income of 21 thousand dollars, the most well-to-do people under the age of 40 are also found on St Eustatius. Incomes of over-60s, on the other hand, were significantly lower on St Eustatius (14 thousand dollars) than on Bonaire (approximately 20 thousand dollars) and Saba (18 thousand dollars).

Statistics Netherlands published figures about incomes in the Caribbean Netherlands for the first time on 25 February 2015. This article presents an update.