Details and statistics Bonaire | Blog

March 21st, 2019 | reading time: 3 minutes

How is Bonaire doing? Details on the blooming island of Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean

Arjan Klein Kromhof

Graduated and K-RMT Certified broker and appraiser in Real Estate

Sunbelt Realty Bonaire


The year 2018 is long gone and we are well underway in a year that will bring us further prosperity in regards to our Real Estate market, tourism and entrepreneurship. Of course we always love to look forward and grasp at the future but in this blog I want to take you back in time a little bit and look at the numbers to see what this blooming island of Bonaire is based on. Because as the world famous soccer player Johan Cruijff would say: “often something needs to happen, before something happens” (“Vaak moet er iets gebeuren voordat er iets gebeurt”). I will do so using the interesting edition the Central Statistical Office (in Dutch Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek and hereafter CBS) has published recently titled ‘Trends in the Caribbean Netherlands 2018’. This edition comes in handy for local entrepreneurs, students and curious readers.

Let’s start at the base. The number of inhabitants on Bonaire is growing, since 2010 with over 25% and therefore the total number inhabitants on Bonaire per January 1st 2018 was 19.500 and it is safe to say that per January 1st 2019 the total has passed the point of 20.000 registered inhabitants on island. This number is also confirmed by our ‘Gezaghebber’ (Lieutenant Governor of Bonaire) in a recent interview with Most of this growth is due to the external migration from the Netherlands in Europe, so the CBS states.

Of all these islanders 90% claim to be ‘happy’ and rate themselves 8.1 out of 10 on the contentment scale. That is a score the Bonairian citizens can be proud of! We also feel safe, approximately 80% of the people living on Bonaire states that the never feel unsafe. That is a good thing because this is what we project to the outside world and our guests on island; the tourists!

In 2017 over 128.000 tourist put their feet on the ground after flying in via Flamingo International Airport. This number is excluding the cruise ship passengers. This cruise ship tourism is the most rapidly growing division of tourism on island. In 2017 the number of cruise ship passengers sky rocketed with 88% to a total of 407.000 ship guests. Curious about the 189 cruise ships that will visit Bonaire in 2019? Click here for the planning.

This amount of tourists visiting the island creates a lot of job opportunities and the total job market is estimated in 2016 on approximately 9.300 jobs and has grown organically in the years after this we assume. Most job opportunities are in wholesale, retail, government, recreation with accommodation and the hospitality industry. It is expected that the job opportunities in the construction industry of Bonaire has grown even more rapidly since then.

To facilitate and provide the employers on island with trained staff for now and in the future, behind the scenes they work hard to keep developing the education system.  The current system is providing a solid base for scholars and several high school (middelbare school) trajectories are possible such as VMBO, HAVO or VWO. Secondary vocational education is possible on Bonaire, with multiple courses to choose from. The percentage of school going youth in 2017 in the age category 15-24 is set on approximately 56% and approximately 33% of this youth is already working on this age.

Most students that choose to continue with an University or University of applied sciences route do so off island in the Netherlands, the U.S.A., Curaçao and even the island of Saint-Martin. The Curaçao university is the only one having an university location on Bonaire.

From education it is a small step to awareness. As a proud sponsor of a sea turtle nest via the organization Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire (STCB) we have helped with the success of a hatched Hawksbill turltenest that produced 156 Hawksbill turtles in October 2018. Of course this is only 1 nest, and Bonaire provides hatching grounds to many more! In 2018 the STCB has counted 107 hatched nests on Bonaire and Klein Bonaire. Per nest, 100 to 180 eggs are possible. A true Turtle paradise!

Together we are responsible keeping this paradise in good shape and we are relieved to read that initiatives protecting the flora and fauna of Bonaire are floating up to the service. Starting on January 1st 2020, there will be a ban on the usage of plastic and styrofoam food containers, bags and straws. A big sigh of relieve of our Caribbean Sea and island nature.

Curious about further details on blooming Bonaire? Check out the website of CBS Bonaire.

Please contact us in case you have any real estate related questions or requests. You can stop by at our office at the Kaya Grandi 41, call us at +5997176560 or send us an e-mail using