Politics

The Four Constituent Countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

The Kingdom of the Netherlands is made up of four constituent countries: the Netherlands, Aruba, Curacao, and Sint Maarten.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands encompasses four constituent countries. These are: the Netherlands, Aruba, Curacao, and Sint Maarten. All except the Netherlands are Caribbean island nations. The Netherlands includes territory in Western Europe, as well as three Caribbean islands that are special municipalities: Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius. The Netherlands accounts for 98% of the kingdom's total area. The other three constituent countries rely on the Netherlands for defense and foreign policy. However, they also have their own parliaments and heads of government. The citizens of the constituent countries of the kingdom have Dutch citizenship and carry Dutch passports.

1. Netherlands

The Netherlands includes the main constituent country, located in Western Europe, as well as the three Caribbean island territories of Saba, Bonaire, and Sint Eustatius.

The European portion of the Netherlands is also referred to as Holland, and had an estimated population of 17,164,800 in 2017. Amsterdam is the capital city, and the country is bordered by Belgium and Germany, and has coastline along the North Sea. Europe’s largest port, the Port of Rotterdam, is located in the Netherlands.

Special Municipalities of the Netherlands

Bonaire

Located in the Caribbean Sea, Bonaire is an island in the Leeward Antilles, about 80 km off Venezuela’s coast. As of 2015, the 294 square km large island had a population of 18,905. The capital of Bonaire is Kralendijk. The island's arid climate and location outside the hurricane belt makes it an attractive tourist destination. Scuba diving is a popular tourist activity on the island.

Sint Eustatius

Also known as Statia, Sint Eustatius is a Caribbean island located in the northern part of the Leeward Islands, and is situated northwest of Saint Kitts. The regional capital of Sint Eustatius is Oranjestad. Sint Eustatius occupies an area of 21 square km and has a population of 3,543. Dutch is the island's official language.

Saba

Saba is a Caribbean island and the smallest special municipality of The Netherlands. The island covers an area of 13 square km and has a population of 1,991 people. Saba contains an active volcano, Mount Scenery, which is located at an altitude of 2,910 ft above sea level.

2. Aruba

The island nation of Aruba is a constituent country located in the Caribbean Sea, about 29 km off Venezuela’s northern coast. Aruba has a total area of 178.91 square km and had an estimated population of 104,822 in 2016. The country is divided into 8 regions, and Oranjestad is the capital city. Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao are together referred to as the "ABC islands."

3. Curaçao

Curacao is an island in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean Sea, and is one of the constituent countries of the Netherlands. The island is located about 65 km from Venezuela’s northern coast. Curacao covers an area of 444 square km and has a population of 160,000. The capital of Curacao is Willemstad.

4. Sint Maarten

The Dutch constituent country of Sint Maarten is located in the Caribbean Sea. The country makes up about 40% of the island of Saint Martin, which is also shared with French Collectivity of St. Martin. The Dutch portion is located in the southern part of the island, while the French territory occupies the remainder. The capital of Sint Martin is Philipsburg. The island nation covers an area of 37 square km and had a population of 33,609 in 2011.

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