On 1 January 2017, the population of Bonaire was made up of 19.2 thousand residents. More than 7 thousand were native Bonairians. The other 12 thousand came from all over the world, including 2.8 thousand European Dutch nationals. This follows from population data on the Caribbean Netherlands which have been collected by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).
Almost 40 percent of Bonaire’s residents were born on the island. The other 60 percent are mainly from the former Netherlands Antilles (4 thousand), South and Central America (3.7 thousand) and the European Netherlands (2.8 thousand). Residents from the other former Netherlands Antilles were mostly born on Curaçao (3.5 thousand) a small number on Aruba (0.5 thousand). As medical facilities on Bonaire were limited until the 1990s, pregnant women were often referred to the neighbouring island of Curaçao for medical attention and delivery. This could be an indication of the fact that residents born on Curaçao (18 percent) make up the second largest group on Bonaire.
Rincon is the settlement with the largest share of native Bonairian residents (65 percent). Other places where many residents were born on Bonaire include Mexico (53 percent), Amboina (51 percent) and Noord Saliña (48 percent). Only small numbers of Bonairians live in Lagun Hill, Lima and Sabadeco.
The European Dutch nationals live distributed over the island with concentrations in Lagun Hill, where they make up over 60 percent of the neighbourhood population; Lima (54 percent), Sabadeco (53 percent) and Santa Barbara (52 percent). In absolute numbers, most of the European Dutch nationals (300) live in Nikiboko. However, they only represent 10 percent of its population.
Relatively young European newcomers
Playa Pariba, Playa Pabou, in the centre of Kralendijk, and Nikiboko are the neighbourhoods where many European Dutch newcomers took up residence. Newcomers settled relatively less often in the residential neighbourhood Sabadeco. On average, the newcomers are 32 years old.
People in their forties and fifties mostly flock to Bonaire; the newcomers barely include pensioners. Among those who have recently taken up residence on the island, more than one-third live without a partner, while almost one-third live with a partner and without children. When children do move along, they are usually under the age of 15.
Bonaire, population figures per neighbourhood
As medical facilities on Bonaire were limited until the 1990s, pregnant women were often referred to the neighbouring island of Curaçao for medical attention and delivery. This could be an indication of the fact that residents born on Curaçao (18 percent) make up the second largest group on Bonaire.
The neighbourhood Guatemala is not included in the second chart because of its low population level.