Millions and millions of people visit the Caribbean each year. But, the Caribbean is such a vague term, with each island offering a distinct population, culture, and landscape. Next time you head to the Caribbean, keep these facts in mind...
The Caribbean region is located southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and the North American mainland and measures around 1,000 miles from north to south and over 2,500 miles from east to west. Much of it is ocean and the Caribbean region includes about 700 islands, islets, reefs, and cays in and surrounding the Caribbean Sea. Across the Caribbean region, there is diverse topography including coral reefs, mountains, tropical forests, low-lying plantations, valleys, waterfalls, and volcanoes.
Only about 2% of the Caribbean region is inhabited, and so when most speak of the Caribbean region, they are referring to about 32 countries. Their size ranges from 40,852 square miles for Cuba all the way down to 5 square miles for the island of Saba. Interestingly, Saba has the shortest commercial airline runway in the world at only 1,312 feet long with one side flanked by high hills and with cliffs that drop into the sea at both ends. So not for the faint of heart!
The majority of 42.5million people who live in the Caribbean speak English as much of the region was colonized by the British. In total, there are six main languages used in the Caribbean region and some islands like Puerto Rico, and Haiti have more than one official language.
* English is the official language of Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, Saint Maarten, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands, and the United States Virgin Islands.
* Spanish is the official language of Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico.
* French is the official language of Guadeloupe, Haiti, Martinique, Saint Barthelemy, French Guyana and Saint Martin.
* Haitian Creole is also an official language of Haiti.
* Dutch is the official language of Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, St. Eustatius, Saint Maarten, and Suriname.
* Papiamento, a Portuguese and Spanish-based Creole language is also an official language of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao.
Beyond these six main languages, you’ll also find on many of the Caribbean islands a version of creoles and local patois – broken English being spoken.
The last of the major facts about the Caribbean region is that over 42.5 million people live in 30+ main islands. Many in larger islands like Cuba with 11.4million, Haiti with 10.8million, the Dominican Republic with 10.6million, Jamaica with 2.8million and Trinidad & Tobago with 1.3million people. And at the opposite end is Saint Martin with 31,500, the British Virgin Islands with 30,600, Anguilla with nearly 15,000, Saint Barthelemy with 7,200 and Montserrat with just 5,200 people post-eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano.
Next time you cruise, and visit a Caribbean destination, think about the culture, population, geography of that location. There's so much that goes into making the Caribbean the unique place that it is.
Thank you and Happy Cruising!
Caribbean Breeze Travel
Facts provided by https://www.caribbeanandco.com/facts-about-the-caribbean-region/