Curacao Population: 146,836


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Originally settled by Arawak Indians, Curacao was seized by the Dutch in 1634 along with the neighboring island of Bonaire. Once the center of the Caribbean slave trade, Curacao was hard hit economically 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 the Isla Refineria to service the newly discovered Venezuelan oil fields. In 1954, Curacao and several other Dutch Caribbean possessions were reorganized as the Netherlands Antilles, part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In referenda in 2005 and 2009, the citizens of Curacao voted to become a self-governing country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The change in status became effective in October 2010 with the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles.

Curacao is a part of the Windward Islands (southern) group
Location: Caribbean, an island in the Caribbean Sea - 55 km off the coast of Venezuela
Geographic coordinates: 12 10 N, 69 00 W
Area: total: 444 sq km
land: 444 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Size comparison: more than twice the size of Washington, DC
Land Boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 364 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm exclusive fishing zone: 12 nm
Climate: tropical marine climate, ameliorated by northeast trade winds, results in mild temperatures; semiarid with average rainfall of 600 mm/year
Terrain: generally low, hilly terrain
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mt. Christoffel, 372m
Natural resources: calcium phosphates, aloes, sorghum, peanuts, vegetables, tropical fruit
Land use: arable land: 10%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 90% (2011)
Irrigated land: NA
Natural hazards: Curacao is south of the Caribbean hurricane belt and is rarely threatened
Current Environment Issues: NA
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Nationality: noun: Curacaoan
adjective: Curacaoan; Dutch
Ethnic groups: Afro-Caribbean majority; Dutch, French, Latin American, East Asian, South Asian, Jewish minorities
Languages: Papiamentu (a Spanish-Portuguese-Dutch-English dialect) 81.2%, Dutch (official) 8%, Spanish 4%, English 2.9%, other 3.9% (2001 census)
Religions: Roman Catholic 80.1%, Protestant 11.2% (Pentecostal 3.5%, Seventh-Day Adventist 2.2%, other Protestant 5.5%), none 4.6%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.7%, Jewish 0.8%, other 1.3%, not reported 0.3% (2001 census)
Population: 146,836 (July 2013 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 20.6% (male 15,342/female 14,645)
15-24 years: 15.4% (male 11,599/female 10,790)
25-54 years: 38.5% (male 26,869/female 29,348)
55-64 years: 12.6% (male 8,059/female 10,259)
65 years and over: 13% (male 7,833/female 11,090) (2013 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 50.1 %
youth dependency ratio: 29 %
elderly dependency ratio: 21 %
potential support ratio: 4.8 (2013)
Median age: total: 36.2 years
male: 32.7 years
female: 39.9 years (2013 est.)
Population growth rate: NA
Birth rate: NA
Death rate: 8 deaths/1,000 population (2009)
Net migration rate: 1.27 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.15 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.79 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female
total population: 0.92 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total: NA males: 72.4 years females: 80.1 years (2009)
Total fertility rate: 2.09 children born/woman (2013 est.)
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Country name: Dutch long form: Land Curacao Dutch short form: Curacao Papiamentu long form: Pais Korsou Papiamentu short form: Korsou
former: Netherlands Antilles; Curacao and Dependencies
Government type: parliamentary
Capital: name: Willemstad
geographic coordinates: 12 06 N, 68 55 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
Independence: none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
National holiday: Queen's Day (Birthday of Queen-Mother JULIANA and accession to the throne of her oldest daughter BEATRIX), 30 April (1909 and 1980)
Constitution: Staatsregeling adopted by island council 5 September 2010; entered into force 10 October 2010; revised Kingdom Charter pending
Legal system: based on Dutch civil law system with some English common law influence
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: King WILLEM-ALEXANDER of the Netherlands (since 30 April 2013); represented by Acting Governor Adele van der PLUIJM-VREDE (since 24 October 2012)

head of government: Prime Minister Ivar ASJES (since 7 June 2013)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor (For more information visit the World Leaders website )

elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party is usually elected prime minister by the parliament; next election is scheduled for 2016
Legislative branch: unicameral Estates of Curacao (21 seats; members elected by popular vote for four year terms)

elections: last held 19 October 2012 (next to be held in 2016)

election results: percent of vote by party - PS 22.6%, MFK 21.2%, PAR 19.7%, PAIS 17.7%, MAN 9.5%, PNP 5.9%, other 3.4%; seats by party - PS 5, MFK 5, PAR 4, PAIS 4, MAN 2, PNP 1
Judicial branch: highest court(s):
Political parties and leaders: Frente Obrero Liberashon (Workers' Liberation Front) or FOL [Anthony GODETT] Movementu Futuro Korsou or MFK [Gerrit SCHOTTE] Movishon Antia Nobo or MAN [Eunice EISDEN] Partido Antia Restruktura or PAR [Emily DE JONGH-ELHAGE] Partido pa Adelanto I Inovashon Soshal or PAIS [Alex ROSARIA] Partido Nashonal di Pueblo or PNP [Humphrey DAVELAAR] Pueblo Soberano or PS [Helmin WIELS]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
National anthem: name: Himmo di Korsou (Anthem of Curacao)
lyrics/music: Guillermo ROSARIO, Mae HENRIQUEZ, Enrique MULLER, Betty DORAN/Frater Candidus NOWENS, Errol "El Toro" COLINA

note: adapted 1978; the lyrics, originally written in 1899, were rewritten in 1978 to make them less colonial in nature
Diplomatic representation in the US: none (represented by the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Consul General Valerie BELON
consulate(s) general: J. B. Gorsiraweg #1, Willemstad, Curacao
mailing address: P. O. Box 158, Willemstad, Curacao
telephone: [599] (9) 4613066
FAX: [599] (9) 4616489
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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 grew slightly during the past decade, the island enjoys a high per capita income and a well-developed infrastructure compared with other countries in the region. Curacao has an excellent natural harbor that can accommodate large oil tankers. Venezuelan state oil company PdVSA leases the single refinery on the island from the government; most of the oil for the refinery is imported from Venezuela; most of the refined products are exported to the US. Almost all consumer and capital goods are imported, with the US, Brazil, Italy, and Mexico being the major suppliers. The government is attempting to diversify its industry and trade and has signed an Association Agreement with the EU to expand business there. Poor soils and inadequate water supplies hamper the development of agriculture. Budgetary problems complicate reform of the health and education systems. Pension system reforms are pending. A new basic health package was implemented in 2013.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $2.838 billion (2008 est.) $2.606 billion (2007 est.) $2.452 billion (2006 est.)

note: data are in 2008 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $5.08 billion (2008 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 0% (2012 est.) 3.5% (2008) 2.2% (2007)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $15,000 (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products: aloe, sorghum, peanuts, vegetables, tropical fruit
Industries: tourism, petroleum refining, petroleum transshipment facilities, light manufacturing
Industrial production growth rate: NA%
Labor force: 62,040 (2011)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 1.2%
industry: 16.9%
services: 81.8% (2008 est.)
Unemployment rate: 9.8% (2011 est.) 10.3% (2008 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 10.8% of GDP (2011 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.3% (2011 est.) 1.3% (2010 est.)
Exports: $1.5 billion (2011 est.) $1.4 billion (2010 est.)
Exports - commodities: petroleum products
Imports: $2.5 billion (2011 est.) $2.648 billion (2009 est.)
Imports - commodities: crude petroleum, food, manufactures
Exchange rates: Netherlands Antillean guilders (ANG) per US dollar - 1.79 (2011) 1.79 (2011 est.) 1.79 (2010 est.) 1.79 (2009) 1.79 (2008) note: the Netherland Antillean guilder was replaced by the newly created Caribbean guilder in 2013
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Electricity - production: 1.167 billion kWh (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 143
Electricity - consumption: 968 million kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2009 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2009 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 531 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 72,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 211,100 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 291,700 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2009 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2009 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2009 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2009 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
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Telephone system:

international: country code - 599
Broadcast media: government-run Telecuracao operates a TV station and a radio station; several privately-owned radio stations
Internet country code: .cw
Internet hosts: NA
Internet users: NA
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Roadways: total 550 km
country comparison to the world: 192
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Willemstad
oil/gas terminal(s): Bullen Baai (Curacao Terminal) bulk cargo port(s): Fuik Bay (phosphate rock)
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Defense is the responsibility of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Military branches: no regular military forces; the Dutch Government controls foreign and defense policy (2012)
Military service age and obligation: no conscription (2010)
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 Transnational Issues
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