In 2015, the median purchasing power of Bonaire’s local population improved by 3.6 percent. The purchasing power of employed people improved by 4.4 percent, while it rose by 2.5 percent for the unemployed. One-parent households saw the most positive effects. The median increase for people in these households was 6.9 percent.
Since the first measurement in 2012, median purchasing power on Bonaire has increased. The sharpest rise was in 2015, when 50 percent of the population gained at least 3.6 percent. By contrast, 37 percent of the population lost spending power in the same year.
Spending power up for people in work
Employed people saw their purchasing power increase slightly more on an annual basis since 2012 than the population as a whole. In 2015, purchasing power of household members with income from labour or their own business in both 2014 and 2015 improved the most, namely by 4.4 percent. Those on social benefits in both years saw a minor increase of 2.5 percent. Only one-quarter of this group saw their spending power decline.
Largest increase for single-parent households and couples with children
Multi-person households had 4.2 percent more median spending power in 2015. The most significant improvement was seen among households with children: single-parent households and couples with children had 6.9 percent and 4.9 percent more purchasing power respectively. For single-person households, the increase was 2.5 percent.
Sharper rise for young households
Of all age groups, the group of people under the age of 40 benefited most from the increase in purchasing power. These are the people who are still moving up the career ladder. As they gain more work experience and find better paid jobs, their wages increase. In 2015, this age group gained 6.8 percent in purchasing power. Despite this favourable development, spending power declined for 36 percent of people in this age category. For people aged 60 and over whose primary source of income was AOV (the local old age insurance benefit), the purchasing power improvement of 2.4 percent was equal to the development of AOV amounts in real terms.
More purchasing power for all income classes
All income groups saw their purchasing power increase. Purchasing power improved most for people in the higher income groups. In the second highest income group, purchasing power rose most notably by 4.7 percent, while the increase amounted to 4.3 percent among people in the highest income class.
Example: AOV benefit
The local old age insurance benefit (Algemene Ouderdomsverzekering or AOV) on Bonaire in 2015 was raised by 1.5 percent, from 7,501 US dollars in 2014 to 7,618 US dollars in 2015. On the other hand, prices went down by 0.9 percent in 2015. The increase in real terms was therefore 2.4 percent, i.e. (nearly) equal to the median change in purchasing power for people on Bonaire in households with a main breadwinner aged 60 and over, as well as for people in households mainly depending on social benefits in both 2014 and 2015. For these AOV benefit recipients, the actual change in purchasing power was nearly entirely due to the rise in their benefits in real terms.
Dynamic purchasing power development
The development of a person’s purchasing power, calculated as the change in standardised household income, adjusted for price changes.
Dynamic purchasing power may fluctuate for various reasons. For example, income may change due to periodic wage increases, a job promotion, accepting (change) of a job and retirement. Changes in household composition (children leaving home, partners separating etc.) also affect household income. All these changes are taken into account in the dynamic purchasing power development.