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Migration as Dissent in Democracy: Navigating Curaçao's Changing Landscape

Migration as Dissent in Democracy: Navigating Curaçao's Changing Landscape


February 1, 2024


A recent surge in emigration from Curaçao has ignited discussions online, where individuals share insights and apprehensions about the growing phenomenon. This dialogue explores the implications for demographics, education, and the socio-economic fabric of the island.

The discourse points towards a discernible pattern―families, especially those with children, are opting to leave Curaçao. Interestingly, the reverse scenario, where families immigrate to the island, appears less prevalent. This prompts inquiries into the factors steering these decisions.

A poignant observation emerges as one participant describes it as “the future leaves,” alluding to the departure of young families and its potential impact on the island’s trajectory. This correlation extends to projections indicating the possible closure of around 30 schools in the coming years. Moreover, concerns about the declining birth rate pose a crucial question: how will society grapple with this demographic shift?

Expressions of concern permeate the discussion, with one participant fearing that Curaçao may end up with an extremized population―either extremely wealthy or extremely impoverished, leaving a shrinking middle ground. There is an earnest acknowledgment that addressing this issue is pivotal for the island’s long-term sustainability.

Worries surface regarding individuals emigrating without adequate preparation for a brighter future. This concern is underscored by firsthand observations of the participant’s work abroad. Another response highlights the perception of a potentially bleak future on the island.

The conversation brings attention to the diversity of perspectives within the community. While some are prepared to leave, others strongly wish to stay, emphasizing the intricate web of individual choices and perspectives regarding life on the island.

The “Happy Few”: A distinct trend emerges as a participant notes a growing group―colloquially referred to as the “happy few”―those with the means or opportunities to leave. This prompts questions about the potential concentration of wealth and resources among this privileged population segment.

Conclusion: In the face of shifting migration patterns, Curaçao grapples with a dynamic and evolving socio-economic landscape. The dialogue highlights the imperative for a comprehensive understanding of the factors propelling emigration, the consequences for the island’s demographics, and the urgency of addressing these challenges for a sustainable and equitable future.









Netto migratie






Men to Neth emigration






Women to Neth emigration






Totaal to Neth emigration






Totaal emigratio






Immigratie from Neth






Immigratie for elsewhere






Totaal immigration






Figuur 1: Migration in Curacao 2019 - 2023 (Klein negatief migratiesaldo, 2023)



Klein negatief migratiesaldo. (2023, januari 31). Antilliaans Dagblad, p. 2.




Miguel Goede

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