More spending power for Statia’s low-income groups in 2018

© Mega D Youth Foundation


It was recently determined that the Income Tax source data used for this publication were incomplete. As a result, the income for some households has not been properly determined. Statistics Netherlands is working on a revision of the results.

Initial estimates indicate that deviations have arisen since 2016 and have increased by 2020 to an underestimation of the income of the entire population in the order of 3 to 13 percent, depending on the chosen statistic. New results will be published in June for 2021 and 2022, after which the previous years will also be revised based on the current data.
St Eustatius once again recorded a rise in consumer purchasing power in 2018. The median increase was 2 percent relative to 2017. Statia’s low-income households benefited in particular, due to an additional increase in statutory minimum wages and social benefits in 2018. Residents of Bonaire and Saba lost purchasing power instead relative to 2017. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this based on newly released figures.

Purchasing power on St Eustatius has risen year after year since 2012. Improved purchasing power means that incomes are rising more than average price levels and consumers can afford to buy more goods and services. A median increase of 2 percent means that half of the population see their spending power rise by at least 2 percent while the other half see it change by less than 2 percent. 44 percent of Statia’s population saw a decrease. On Bonaire and Saba, the population lost purchasing power for the first time since 2012; the median decrease amounted to 1.1 and 0.3 percent respectively.

Purchasing power development, 2012 - 2018*
Koopkracht ontwikkeling (reeks vanaf 2011)Bonaire (year-on-year % change)St Eustatius (year-on-year % change)Saba (year-on-year % change)
* provisional figures

Highest gain among lowest income groups on Statia

At 3.4 percent, the sharpest median increase in purchasing power was recorded on St Eustatius in the lowest income quartile (25th percentile). Contrary to St Eustatius, spending power on Bonaire declined for all income groups. The lowest income quartile recorded the strongest decline in purchasing power, namely 2.6 percent. Even for the working population, it did not improve: they lost 0.5 percent of their spending power. On Saba, it improved only for households in the two upper income quartiles. Workers benefited from a median increase of 1 percent.

Median purchasing power development by income quartile, 2018*
 Bonaire (year-on-year % change)St Eustatius (year-on-year % change)Saba (year-on-year % change)
Quartile 1 (low income)-2.63.4-2.6
Quartile 2-1.12.0-1.8
Quartile 3-
Quartile 4 (high income)-
* provisional figures

All household types benefited on Statia

On St Eustatius, the median purchasing power rose for all types of households. At 3.5 percent, the sharpest increase was seen among single-parent families, while couples with and couples without children gained 2.6 and 2.2 percent respectively. On Bonaire and Saba, (mainly) households with children benefited. For single-person households and households of couples without children, the median purchasing power dropped by 2 percent.

Median purchasing power development by household composition, 2018*
 Bonaire (year-on-year % change)St Eustatius (year-on-year % change)Saba (year-on-year % change)
Single-person household-2.80.9-2.1
Single-parent family1.03.51.6
Couple without children-2.82.2-2.4
Couple with children1.12.60.8
Multi-person household, other-
* provisional figures

More spending power for all ages on St Eustatius

On St Eustatius, purchasing power improved across all the age groups. Residents aged 60 and over saw their spending power improve by 3 percent, partly due to additional increases in statutory pension benefits (AOV). Benefits were not raised on Saba and were increased only slightly on Bonaire. Relatively high consumer price inflation on these islands caused a decline in purchasing power of 2.8 and 2.6 percent respectively.

Median purchasing power development by age of main breadwinner, 2018*
 Bonaire (year-on-year % change)St Eustatius (year-on-year % change)Saba (year-on-year % change)
Under 40 yrs1.40.93.1
40 to 59 yrs-
60 yrs and over-2.83.0-2.6
* provisional figures


A Papiamentu translation of this news release can be obtained from Statistics Netherlands’ office on Bonaire by sending a request via email to: