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Central America and Caribbean :: Netherlands Antilles
(part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
page last updated on October 28, 2009
Flag of Netherlands Antilles
(CONTAINS DESCRIPTION)
Location of Netherlands Antilles
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Map of Netherlands Antilles
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of Netherlands Antilles
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Introduction ::Netherlands Antilles
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Once the center of the Caribbean slave trade, the island of Curacao was hard hit 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 oil refineries to service newly discovered Venezuelan oil fields. The island of Saint Martin is shared with France; its southern portion is named Sint Maarten and is part of the Netherlands Antilles; its northern portion, called Saint Martin, is an overseas collectivity of France.
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Geography ::Netherlands Antilles
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Caribbean, two island groups in the Caribbean Sea - composed of five islands, Curacao and Bonaire located off the coast of Venezuela, and Sint Maarten, Saba, and Sint Eustatius lie east of the US Virgin Islands
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Bonaire: 12 12 N, 68 15 W
Curacao: 12 10 N, 69 00 W
Saba: 17 38 N, 63 14 W
Sint Eustatius: 17 30 N, 62 58 W
Sint Maarten: 18 04 N, 63 04 W
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total: 800 sq km
country comparison to the world: 187
land: 800 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten (Dutch part of the island of Saint Martin)
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more than five times the size of Washington, DC
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total: 15 km
border countries: Saint Martin 15 km
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364 km
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territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 12 nm
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tropical; ameliorated by northeast trade winds
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generally hilly, volcanic interiors
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lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mount Scenery 862 m
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phosphates (Curacao only), salt (Bonaire only)
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arable land: 10%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 90% (2005)
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NA
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Sint Maarten, Saba, and Sint Eustatius are subject to hurricanes from July to October; Curacao and Bonaire are south of Caribbean hurricane belt and are rarely threatened
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NA
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the five islands of the Netherlands Antilles are divided geographically into the Leeward Islands (northern) group (Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten) and the Windward Islands (southern) group (Bonaire and Curacao); the island of Saint Martin is the smallest landmass in the world shared by two independent states, the French territory of Saint Martin and the Dutch territory of Sint Maarten
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People ::Netherlands Antilles
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227,049 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 182
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0-14 years: 22.7% (male 26,429/female 25,162)
15-64 years: 67.7% (male 74,183/female 79,434)
65 years and over: 9.6% (male 8,875/female 12,966) (2009 est.)
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total: 33.7 years
male: 31.9 years
female: 35.5 years (2009 est.)
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0.732% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 144
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14.19 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 149
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6.48 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 148
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-0.39 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 105
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urban population: 93% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 1.6% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
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at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.68 male(s)/female
total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
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total: 9.09 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 156
male: 9.76 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 8.39 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
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total population: 76.65 years
country comparison to the world: 65
male: 74.33 years
female: 79.09 years (2009 est.)
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1.97 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 134
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NA
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NA
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NA
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noun: Dutch Antillean(s)
adjective: Dutch Antillean
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mixed black 85%, other 15% (includes Carib Amerindian, white, East Asian)
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Roman Catholic 72%, Pentecostal 4.9%, Protestant 3.5%, Seventh-Day Adventist 3.1%, Methodist 2.9%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.7%, other Christian 4.2%, Jewish 1.3%, other or unspecified 1.2%, none 5.2% (2001 census)
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Papiamento 65.4% (a Spanish-Portuguese-Dutch-English dialect), English 15.9% (widely spoken), Dutch 7.3% (official), Spanish 6.1%, Creole 1.6%, other 1.9%, unspecified 1.8% (2001 census)
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definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.7%
male: 96.7%
female: 96.8% (2003 est.)
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total: 14 years
male: 14 years
female: 15 years (2002)
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NA
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Government ::Netherlands Antilles
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conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Netherlands Antilles
local long form: none
local short form: Nederlandse Antillen
former: Curacao and Dependencies
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an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands; full autonomy in internal affairs granted in 1954; Dutch Government responsible for defense and foreign affairs
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parliamentary
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name: Willemstad (on Curacao)
geographic coordinates: 12 06 N, 68 56 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
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none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
note: each island has its own government
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none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
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Queen's Day (Birthday of Queen-Mother JULIANA and accession to the throne of her oldest daughter BEATRIX), 30 April (1909 and 1980)
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29 December 1954, Statute of the Realm of the Netherlands, as amended
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based on Dutch civil law system with some English common law influence
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18 years of age; universal
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chief of state: Queen BEATRIX of the Netherlands (since 30 April 1980); represented by Governor General Frits GOEDGEDRAG (since 1 July 2002)
head of government: Prime Minister Emily de JONGH-ELHAGE (since 26 March 2006)
cabinet: Council of Ministers elected by the Staten (legislature)
elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch for a six-year term; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party is usually elected prime minister by the Staten; election last held 27 January 2006 (next to be held by 2010)
note: government coalition - PAR, PNP, DP-St. M, UPB, WIPM Saba, DP-St. E
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unicameral States or Staten (22 seats, Curacao 14, Bonaire 3, St. Maarten 3, St. Eustatius 1, Saba 1; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 27 January 2006 (next to be held in 2010)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PAR 5, MAN 3, FOL 2, Forsa Korsou 2, National Alliance 2, PNP 2, UPB 2, DP-St. E 1, DP-St. M 1, PDB 1, WIPM 1
note: the government is a coalition of several parties
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Joint High Court of Justice (judges appointed by the monarch)
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Bonaire: Democratic Party of Bonaire or PDB [Jopi ABRAHAM]; Patriotic Union of Bonaire or UPB [Ramonsito BOOI]
Curacao: Ban Vota [Norbert GEORGE]; C-93 [Stanley BROWN]; Democratic Party of Curacao or DP [Errol HERNANDEZ]; E Mayoria [Aurelio PEDRO]; Forsa Korsou [Nelson NAVARRO]; Liste Ni'un Paso Atras [Nelson PIERRE]; Movemiento Patriotiko Korsou [Reginald LAK]; New Antilles Movement or MAN [Charles COOPER]; Partido Akshon Pa Prosperidat I Seguridat [Sonja BERKEMEYER]; Partido Laboral Krusada Popular or PLKP [Errol COVA]; Party for the Restructured Antilles or PAR [Emily de JONGH-ELHAGE]; People's National Party or PNP [Ersilia DE LANNOOY]; Pidjin [Jasmin PINEDO]; Pueblo Soberano [Herman WIELS]; Workers' Liberation Front or FOL [Anthony GODETT]
Saba: Saba Labor Party [Akilah LEVENSTONE]; Windward Islands People's Movement or WIPM [Ray HASSELL]
Sint Eustatius: Democratic Party of Sint Eustatius or DP-St. E [Julian WOODLEY]; Progressive Labor Party [Clyde VAN PUTTEN]; St. Eustatius Alliance [Ingrid HOUTMAN-WHITFIELD]
Sint Maarten: Democratic Party of Sint Maarten or DP-St. M [Sarah WESCOTT-WILLIAMS]; Freedom Slate of National Democratic Party [Theophilus PRIEST]; National Alliance or NA [William MARLIN]; People's Progressive Alliance or PPA [Gracita ARRINDELL]; St. Maarten People's Party [Johan LEONARD]; United People's Labor Party [Bienvenido RICHARDSON]
note: political parties are indigenous to each island
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Employers Association (VBC); Unions (AVBO)
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Caricom (observer), ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, UNESCO (associate), UNWTO (associate), UPU, WCL, WCO, WMO
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none (represented by the Kingdom of the Netherlands); note - Mr. Jeffrey CORRION, Minister Plenipotentiary for Aruba at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
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chief of mission: Consul General Robert E. SORENSON
consulate(s) general: J. B. Gorsiraweg #1, Willemstad, Curacao
mailing address: P. O. Box 158, Willemstad, Curacao
telephone: [599] (9) 461-3066
FAX: [599] (9) 461-6489
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white, with a horizontal blue stripe in the center superimposed on a vertical red band, also centered; five white, five-pointed stars are arranged in an oval pattern in the center of the blue band; the five stars represent the five main islands of Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten
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Economy ::Netherlands Antilles
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Tourism, petroleum refining, and offshore finance are the mainstays of this small economy, which is closely tied to the outside world. Although GDP has declined or grown slightly in each of the past eight years, the islands enjoy a high per capita income and a well-developed infrastructure compared with other countries in the region. Most of the oil Netherlands Antilles imports for its refineries come from Venezuela. Almost all consumer and capital goods are imported, the US, Italy, and Mexico being the major suppliers. Poor soils and inadequate water supplies hamper the development of agriculture. Budgetary problems hamper reform of the health and pension systems of an aging population. The Netherlands provides financial aid to support the economy.
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$2.8 billion (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 175
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$NA
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1% (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 178
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$16,000 (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 74
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agriculture: 1%
industry: 15%
services: 84% (2000 est.)
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91,470 (2007)
country comparison to the world: 177
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agriculture: 1%
industry: 20%
services: 79% (2005 est.)
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15.5% (2002 est.)
country comparison to the world: 157
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NA%
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lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
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revenues: $757.9 million
expenditures: $949.5 million (2004)
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2.1% (2003 est.)
country comparison to the world: 19
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NA%
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NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 90
9.21% (31 December 2007)
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$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 121
$997.8 million (31 December 2007)
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$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 100
$2.309 billion (31 December 2007)
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$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 108
$2.927 billion (31 December 2007)
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$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 23
$488.6 billion (2003)
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aloes, sorghum, peanuts, vegetables, tropical fruit
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tourism (Curacao, Sint Maarten, and Bonaire), petroleum refining (Curacao), petroleum transshipment facilities (Curacao and Bonaire), light manufacturing (Curacao)
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NA%
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1.22 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 142
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1.013 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 144
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0 kWh (2008 est.)
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0 kWh (2008 est.)
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0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 152
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71,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89
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224,600 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 52
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298,500 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 39
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0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 147
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0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 154
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0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 142
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0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 139
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0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 104
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0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 149
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$3.71 billion (2006)
country comparison to the world: 120
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petroleum products
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US 17.6%, Mexico 13.8%, Panama 11.9%, Haiti 6.9%, Singapore 6.2%, Bahamas, The 5.5%, Italy 4.1%, Honduras 4.1% (2008)
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$15.74 billion (2006)
country comparison to the world: 78
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crude petroleum, food, manufactures
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Venezuela 59.2%, US 19.1%, Brazil 5.9% (2008)
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$2.68 billion (2004)
country comparison to the world: 129
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$NA
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$NA
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Netherlands Antillean guilders (ANG) per US dollar - NA (2007), 1.79 (2006), 1.79 (2005), 1.79 (2004), 1.79 (2003)
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Communications ::Netherlands Antilles
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88,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 147
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200,000 (2004)
country comparison to the world: 171
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general assessment: generally adequate facilities
domestic: extensive interisland microwave radio relay links
international: country code - 599; the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1) and the Americas-2 submarine cable systems provide connectivity to Central America, parts of South America and the Caribbean, and the US; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
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AM 8, FM 19, shortwave 0 (2003)
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3 (there is also a cable service that supplies programs received from various US satellite networks and 4 Venezuelan channels) (2003)
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.an
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71,671 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 77
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Transportation ::Netherlands Antilles
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5 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 179
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total: 5
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2009)
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total: 845
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total: 147
country comparison to the world: 42
by type: barge carrier 2, bulk carrier 2, cargo 72, carrier 19, chemical tanker 2, container 8, liquefied gas 1, passenger 2, petroleum tanker 3, refrigerated cargo 27, roll on/roll off 6, specialized tanker 3
foreign-owned: 123 (Belgium 1, Cuba 1, Cyprus 21, Denmark 2, Germany 43, Hong Kong 2, Netherlands 38, Norway 3, Sweden 1, Turkey 10, US 1) (2008)
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Bopec Terminal, Willemstad
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Military ::Netherlands Antilles
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no regular military forces; National Guard (2008)
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16 years of age for National Guard recruitment; no conscription (2004)
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males age 16-49: 55,365
females age 16-49: 57,060 (2008 est.)
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males age 16-49: 46,461
females age 16-49: 47,325 (2009 est.)
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male: 1,920
female: 1,827 (2009 est.)
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defense is the responsibility of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
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Transnational Issues ::Netherlands Antilles
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none
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transshipment point for South American drugs bound for the US and Europe; money-laundering center
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