The Caribbean countries are sovereign states and dependent territories within the Caribbean region of North America. This region is comprised of the Caribbean Sea and the surrounding coasts that border the sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. The area is approximately 1,063,000 square miles, only 92,541 square miles of which is land area.
There are around 700 islands in the Caribbean region, many of them uninhabited. There are 30 different political divisions in the Caribbean, including independent countries and dependent territories. The Caribbean is home to around 43 million people. Geographically, Caribbean countries lie to the east of Central America, north of South America, and to the southeast of both the North American mainland and the Gulf of Mexico.
List of Caribbean Countries By Population
Cuba - 11,238,317
- Cuba declared independence from Spain on October 10, 1868, but had to wait for independence until December 10, 1898, when Spain handed over the country to the US.
- On May 20, 1902, Cuba declared independence from the US.
- Fidel Castro thereafter led the Cuban Revolution from July 26, 1953 to January 1, 1959, after which he assumed the country’s leadership.
Dominican Republic - 10,911,819
- The Dominican Republic borders the Republic of Haiti on the island of Hispaniola.
- This country is the second-largest country by area in the Caribbean region after Cuba.
- The country occupies an area of 18,705 square miles with an approximate population of 10,911,819 people.
- Over the last 20 years, the country has enjoyed one of the fastest growing economies in the Americas.
Haiti - 9,980,243
- The official languages of the Republic of Haiti are Haitian Creole and French.
- Haiti has a unitary semi-presidential government and a bicameral parliament that consists of the Senate (upper house) and Chamber of Deputies (Lower House).
- Haiti is a founding member of the UN, Association of Caribbean States, the International Francophonie Organization, and the Organization of American States (OAS).
Puerto Rico - 3,548,397
- Puerto Rico is not a country, but a territory of the United States.
- Puerto Rico means "Rich Port" in Spanish.
- The island of Puerto Rico is located on the northeastern side of the Caribbean Sea.
Jamaica - 2,723,246
- The third largest island in the Caribbean by land area.
- 3/4 of the population of Jamaica live in the population of Kingston.
Trinidad and Tobago - 1,349,667
- Gained sovereignty from Britain in 1962.
- As an island nation, Trinidad and Tobago does not share land borders with any other country.
Guadeloupe - 403,314
- Guadeloupe is an overseas territory of France.
- Consists of the islands of Basse-Terre and Grand-Terre.
- French is the official language, and Creole is the most commonly spoken language.
Martinique - 388,364
- Most of the early inhabitants of Martinique were killed by the eruption of the volcano, Mount Pelée.
- In 1902, the volcano erupted once again, and killed all residents of the capital city at the time, Saint-Pierre.
- It is today a territory of France.
The Bahamas - 369,670
- The Bahamas has been a self-governing country since 1973.
- Today tourism is a major attraction in the Bahamas. It is one of the most popular places in the world for cruise ships.
Barbados - 277,821
- Tourism is a major part of the economy of Barbados, with almost one million visiting the tiny island every year.
- Barbados has been an independent country since 1966.
- English is the official language of Barbados.
Saint Lucia - 166,526
- Saint Lucia is notably the only country in the world to be named after a woman.
- Famous for its lush green mountains, tourism in Saint Lucia is increasing every year.
Curaçao - 154,843
- Curaçao is one of the constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
- The island is found only around 40 kilometers north of South America (Venezuela).
Aruba - 109,517
- Like Curaçao, Aruba is also a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
- Dutch and Papiamento are the two official languages in Aruba.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - 109,434
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is made up of about 32 islands and cays.
- The country's biggest island, Saint Vincent, is volcanic in origin.
United States Virgin Islands - 106,405
- The USVI are a territory of the United States.
- Citizens of the USVI have US citizenship but cannot vote in national elections.
Grenada - 103,328
- The largest city in Grenada is St. George's.
- The island of Grenada has volcanic origin.
Antigua and Barbuda - 85,567
- The islands of Antigua and Barbuda are popular amongst tourists, mostly because of the island's famous low humidity.
- The island of Antigua is the more populated island of the two islands, with Barbuda being sparsely populated.
Dominica - 71,293
- Dominica is renowned for its natural state, which consists of thick jungle and striking mountains.
- Although tourism is a growing industry on the island, which many cruise ships docking, agriculture remains the most important part of Dominica's economy.
- The official language of Dominica is English.
Cayman Islands - 58,238
- The Cayman Islands, a British territory, are world famous for their snorkeling.
- The islands consist of Grand Cayman and the Lesser Caymans.
Saint Kitts and Nevis - 46,204
- Saint Kitts and Nevis is one of the smallest countries in the world and the smallest country in North America.
- Both the islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis are volcanic in origin.
Sint Maarten - 37,224 and Saint Martin - 36,000
- Sint Maarten is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
- It takes up 40% of the island that it shares with Saint Martin.
- Saint Martin is an overseas territory of France.
Turks and Caicos - 31,618
- Turks and Caicos are a British Overseas Territory, consisting of Turks Island and Caicos Island.
- Turks and Caicos is known for having some of the best beaches in the world.
British Virgin Islands - 31,000
- As their name would such, the BVI are an overseas territory of the United Kingdom.
- The British Virgin Islands consist of over 50 islands, but the most popular of these islands are Tortola, Anegada, Jost van Dyke, and Virgin Gorda.
Bonaire - 18,905
- One of the "ABCs" of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (along with Aruba and Curaçao).
- The tiny island of Bonaire is known as a very popular windsurfing destination.
Anguilla - 14,000
- Anguilla is a British Overseas Territory.
- It is known for being a small and quiet island with beautiful beaches.
Saint Barthélemy - 10,000
- Saint Barthélemy is more commonly known as Saint Barts.
- Today, Saint Barts is well-known as a famous luxury travel destination of the rich and famous.
Montserrat - 5,000
- Montserrat is a small, green island that is an overseas territory of the UK.
- It is famous for having hosted the AIR recording studios.
- In 1995, a volcano in the Soufrière Hills rendered half of Montserrat uninhabitable.
Sint Eustatius - 3,193 and Saba - 1,991
- Sint Eustatius is one of the Netherlands Antilles.
- It is considered to be a public body of the Netherlands.
- Like Sint Eustatius, Saba is also part of the Netherlands Antilles.
- It is the least populated country or territory in the Caribbean.
Demographics of the Caribbean Region
There are several ethnic groups within the Caribbean regions. The majority include the Afro-Caribbean, European, Indo-Caribbean, Latino, Chinese, Jewish, Arab, and Javanese among others. The religions of the region include Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Rastafarianism, Chinese Folk Religion, Native American Religion, Yoruba, Traditional African Religion, and Afro-American religion among many others. Major languages are Spanish, English, French, Dutch, English Creoles, Caribbean Hindustani, and French Creoles. Havana, Port-au-Prince, Kingston, and San Juan are among the largest cities in the region.
List of Caribbean Countries
|2||Antigua and Barbuda||85,567|
|3||Aruba (the Netherlands)||109,517|
|7||British Virgin Islands (UK)||31,000|
|8||Cayman Islands (UK)||58,238|
|10||Curaçao (the Netherlands)||154,843|
|19||Puerto Rico (US)||3,548,397|
|21||Saint Barthélemy (France)||10,000|
|22||Saint Kitts and Nevis||46,204|
|24||Saint Martin (France)||36,000|
|25||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||109,434|
|27||Sint Maarten (Kingdom of the Netherlands)||37,224|
|28||Trinidad and Tobago||1,349,667|
|29||Turks and Caicos Islands (UK)||31,618|
|30||United States Virgin Islands (US)||106,405|
About the Author
Mark is a student at Maseno University and community commentator in Kenya. Mark also has interests in geography, African history, and international development.
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