In the spring of 2011 the fifth Population and Housing Census was conducted in Curacao (Census 2011). Wthin the Census 2011 one of the themes on which information was collected is health. The purpose of this publication is to describe the results of the six health subjects. It is also analysed to what extent the studies subjects are related to demographic and socioeconomic characteristics.

Perception of health

A vast majority of the population (87.0%) experiences their health as good to very good. In addition, 9.5 percent assesses their health as fair and 2.0 percent as poor to very poor. Men assess their health just a little beter than women (2.6 percentage points difference). As people age, they are less positive about their health. The number of people that values their health as (very) good rises with the increase in the level of education. The (self)employed population has a more positive view on their health than the population that is unemployed (4.2 percentage points difference). In 2001, 84.2 percent of the population assessed their health as (very) good. This has increased to 88.3 percent in 2011.

Smoking habits

Within the total population of 16 years and older, 13.8 percent smokes and 8.5 percent smokes on a daily basis. Significantly more men that women smoke (12.7 percentage points difference), which can be seen for all age categories. Most smokers are aged 45 to 64 years. Of the people born on Curacao 13.4 percent smokes. Compared to other countries of origin, relatively many people born in the Netherlands do smoke (24.1%). With the increase of the level of education, the number of smokers among men tend to decrease while the number of women smokers increases slightly. People who are unemployed smoke more often than those who are employed (5.4 percentage points difference). Non-smokers perceive their health more often as (very) good compared to smokers. In comparison with 2001, the number of smokers in 2011 decreased from 18.2 percent to 13.9 percent.

Restrictions due to disabilities

In 2011, 3.6 percent of the population indicated to have one or more restrictions due to disabilities. Restrictions regarding mobility are reported most frequently (2.1%), followed by personal care (1.2%) and problems with memory and/or concentration (1.1%). The number of people with one or more

disabilities increases from the age of 65 to 14.5 percent (men 12.4%; women 16.0%). Of this age group 10.0 percent experiences mobility problems. Particularly people with a very low education level report disabilities (11.4%); this decreases to 1.2% for people with a high level of education. The difference between people who have a job and people who are unemployed is small (0.9 percentage points difference). People with restrictions due to disabilities assess their health significantly less good compared to those without disabilities.

Long-term Diseases and disorders

Of the total population, 27.4% indicates to have one or more long-term diseases and/or disorders. The most reported diseases and disorders are high blood pressure (14.1%), diabetes (6.4%), COPD/asthma (4.6%) and heart disease (3.5%). More women than men indicate to have a disease or disorder (6.2 percentage points difference). With increase in age, more people have a disease or disorder. The rate of people having a disease or disorder increases from 9.9 percent for people age 0-14 years to 62.1 percent for those of 65 years and older. When the education level is lower, more people report to have one or more diseases or disorders (very lowly educated 47.8%; highly educated 26.5%). People who are economically inactive indicate more often to have a disease or disorder compared to those working or looking for a job. People with a disease or disorder assess their health less often as (very) good compared to people without a disease or disorder. 

Visit to general practitioner and/or medical specialist

Within the total population of Curacao, 14.9 percent indicated that they have been once or more to the general practitioner and/or medical specialist in the previous two months. More women than men have visited a physician (4.2 percentage points difference). The number of people visiting a physician increase as people get older from 8.7 percent for 0-14 year olds to 25.5 percent for those 65 years and older. As the level of education increases, the number of people visiting a physician tend to decrease from 22.1 percent of very low educated people to 13.8 percent for highly educated people. There is little difference between people who are working and people who are looking for work. People who have been to a physician in the previous two months assess their health more often as fair or (very) bad compared to those who have not visited a physician.

Type of health care insurance

In total, 94.4 percent of the population of Curacao is covered by a health care insurance, while 2.6 percent is not insured. Almost half of the population (45.6%) is insured through SVB, 15.8 percent has a PP card, 11.7 percent is insured through BZV/SZV and 11.0 percent has a private health care insurance. More women than men have got a PP card (3.9 percentage points difference). Apart from the PP card, there is not much difference in the type of insurance regarding gender. Over half of the people up to the age of 44 are insured through SVB. People aged 65 and older more often have a PP card or are insured through FZOG. The level of education shows large differences. People that are very relative more highly educated people are privately insured. Of the people who are looking for a job, 7.6 percent is not covered by a health care insurance. This is this is 2.3 percent for the people who are employed.  

Gezondheid en Beperkingen Census 2011