(pronounced [kura'são]) is an island in the southern
part of the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Venezuela. The
isle is the largest and most populous of the three so-called
ABC islands (for Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao) and belongs
to the Netherlands Antilles, a self-governing part of the
Kingdom of the Netherlands. Curaçao's capital is Willemstad.
Curaçao has a land area of 444 square
kilometres (171 mi²). At the 2001 Netherlands Antilles
census, the population was 130,627 inhabitants, which means
a population density of 294 inhabitants per square kilometre.
In 2004 the population was estimated at 133,644 inhabitants.
of its history, the island now has a diverse ethnic background.
Contemporary Curaçao seems the poster-child for multiculturalism.
Inhabitants of Curaçao have diverse and often multiple
origins. There is a Afro-Caribbean majority, which includes
multi-racial peoples who are identified as such. There are
also sizeable minorities of Dutch, East Asian, Portuguese
and Lebanese. In addition, there are also many recent immigrants
from neighbouring countries, most notably the Dominican Republic,
Haiti, the Anglophone Caribbean and Colombia.