Caribbean Netherlands: more births in 2020

© Hollandse Hoogte
Last year, 818 new inhabitants were added to the population of the Caribbean Netherlands. This was mainly due to foreign migration. Both immigration and emigration declined due to travel restrictions related to the coronavirus crisis. The number of both births and deaths was up on previous years. The direct effect of coronavirus on mortality was minor: last year, Bonaire registered 3 confirmed COVID-19 deaths, while no COVID-19 deaths were recorded on St Eustatius and Saba. This is evident from new population figures on the Caribbean Netherlands, released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

Bonaire’s population grew by 830 inhabitants last year. There was hardly any population growth on St Eustatius, while Saba recorded a population decline. The most notable rise was seen in the number of births on Bonaire and St Eustatius. The reason for this increase has not been investigated. However, a number of socio-economic support measures have been implemented over the past two years which were aimed at reducing the cost of childcare.

Live births, Caribbean Netherlands
jaarLive births

More young women giving birth on Bonaire

Bonaire’s population increased by 830 to 21.7 thousand inhabitants last year. This is comparable to 2019, but it is high compared to the growth over the past five years. In 2020, there were 228 births on the island against an average of 192 over the years 2015–2019 inclusive. Women in the age group 25 to 29 years in particular had more children.

Mortality was relatively high with 111 deaths; this is more than in the previous year and also exceeds the average over the period 2015–2019 inclusive. Mortality was up among people in their sixties and seventies in particular. In 2020, Bonaire registered 3 confirmed COVID-19 deaths. Up until mid-April 2021 inclusive, 12 confirmed COVID-19 deaths have been recorded.

In 2020, immigration into Bonaire was higher than in previous years. It was higher out of the European Netherlands and Curaçao while there were fewer immigrants from the Dominican Republic and Peru. Emigration declined, to Curaçao and Aruba in particular, and to a lesser extent to the European Netherlands.

Population dynamics, Bonaire
 2015-2019 average20192020
Live births192203228
Emigration 1)1045758699
1) Incl. administrative corrections.

St Eustatius: immigration halved in 2020

On St Eustatius, the population rose by 3 to a total of 3,142 inhabitants. The number of births was high relative to previous years: 50 in 2020, against 30 in 2019 and an average of 32 in the period 2016–2019. The birth rate on St Eustatius increased most notably among inhabitants in their thirties.

Net migration was negative. Compared to previous years, immigration nearly halved. The drop in immigration was seen among multiple origin countries, particularly the Dominican Republic.

Population dynamics, St Eustatius
 2016-2019 average20192020
Live births313050
Emigration 1)213213146
1) Incl. administrative corrections.

Saba: fewer international students

On Saba, the population fell by 15 to a total of 1,918 inhabitants last year. Natural growth was negative; there were fewer births and slightly more deaths. The island saw a significant drop in immigration. The main reason for this is that the Saba University School of Medicine only offered online tuition; on balance, significantly lower numbers of students therefore arrived on Saba from the United States and Canada compared to previous years. Emigration declined as well.

Population dynamics, Saba
 2015-2019 average20192020
Live births161111
Emigration 1)269243154
1) Incl. administrative corrections.