Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba – the Caribbean Netherlands – acquired a new status as special municipalities. This means that they are part of the Netherlands itself. On 10 October 2010, the government of the Netherlands took over the task of public administration from the Government of the Netherlands Antilles.
It boasts a relatively high level of social, economic, educational, health and technological development. Immigrants have a choice of five islands to migrate to, depending on where they are coming from and the connections they have at their disposal.
According to the CBS, between 2010 and 2014, in total 3.4 thousand residents of the European part of the Netherlands moved to one of the three islands of the Caribbean Netherlands. The other way around, 2.5 thousand people moved from the Caribbean Netherlands to the European Netherlands.
On balance, more people moved from the European Netherlands to Bonaire, Saba or St Eustatius than vice versa, according to figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).
Between 2010 and 2014, the population of the Caribbean Netherlands increased by almost 3.8 thousand residents. This is largely attributable to positive net migration and was far less the result of natural growth (births).
In the period 2010-2014, a significantly larger group of first-generation Antilleans – born on Aruba, Curaçao or St Maarten – moved to the European Netherlands than the other way around: 16 thousand against 11.5 thousand. These were mainly older teenagers and people in their twenties who came to the Netherlands to study. The exact opposite applied to native Dutch and second-generation Antilleans: slightly more moved from the European Netherlands to Aruba, Curaçao or St Maarten than vice versa.
Between January 2011 and January 2016, the population of Bonaire increased by more than 20 percent to 19.4 thousand residents. This was largely attributable to immigration. In the period between January 2011 and December 2015, 7 thousand immigrants arrived on Bonaire while 4 thousand emigrants left. The largest influx was from the European Netherlands, Curaçao and the United States, according to figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS). The 3 thousand immigrants from the European Netherlands who settled on the island between 2011 and 2015 formed the largest group. In the same period, 1.6 thousand residents of Curaçao, Aruba and St Maarten moved to Bonaire; nearly 80 percent were from Curaçao. Among the group who left the island in the same period, over 2 thousand moved to the European Netherlands and around 1.1 thousand to Curaçao, Aruba or St Maarten.