Sint Maarten Poverty RateSint Maarten is a country located in the Caribbean that shares a portion of the island it is located on with the French part of the island, known as Saint Martin. Although the island is a beautiful and popular destination spot for tourists, poverty is a problem for the citizens of Sint Maarten.

Poverty has created very dangerous problems for the small country, including issues such as crime, illiteracy and teenage pregnancy. Poverty is defined as “the total absence of opportunities, accompanied by lack of education, physical and mental ailments, social instability and unhappiness”. The Sint Maarten poverty rate has not quite reached a state of crisis, but there have been definite warning signs for the country.

The Sint Maarten poverty rate is an issue that has been present for the past few years. The Board of United Sint Maarten Party has said that “The increased crime rate wherein people are scared to carry out their daily routine, and are in constant fear of becoming victims of crime even in their very home, is evidence enough that the poverty exists on St. Maarten. Another example is when you visit certain communities and you find up to 6 persons living in a one-bedroom apartment with just the bare essentials to get by, that is poverty.”

According to Trinidad & Tobago MCO, the unemployment rate in Sint Maarten is 11 percent, the illiteracy rate is 4.1 percent, residents without a secondary school education is at 42.9 percent and 22 percent of households have no income.

Fortunately, the Sint Maarten poverty rate can be reduced. The country has been recovering from the recession of 2008-2009, and a positive economic growth is envisaged in the coming years. The economy is very open in Sint Maarten, meaning that developments in the external environment—mainly the U.S. economy— will directly affect the small island country’s economy in return. According to the Economic Outlook of Sint Maarten, the economy has a relatively good starting position for further expansion, and is also said to be able to absorb financial as well as economic setbacks better than other Caribbean countries. These factors will contribute to improving the Sint Maarten poverty rate.

Sara Venusti

Photo: Flickr