The island lies in the northern Leeward Islands portion of the West Indies, southeast of the Virgin Islands. Sint Eustatius is immediately to the northwest of Saint Kitts, and to the southeast of Saba. The regional capital is Oranjestad.
The island has an area of 21 square kilometres (8.1 sq mi). In the 2001 census, the population was recorded as 3,543 inhabitants, with a population density of 169 inhabitants per square kilometre. The official language is Dutch but English is the "language of everyday life" on the island and education is solely in English.[ A local English-based creole is also spoken informally. Travellers to the island by air arrive through F.D. Roosevelt Airport.
The name of the island, “Sint Eustatius”, is the Dutch name for Saint Eustace (also spelled Eustachius or Eustathius), a legendary Christian martyr, known in Spanish as San Eustaquio and in Portuguese as Santo Eustáquio or Santo Eustácio.
In the 18th century, "Statia" was the most important Dutch island in the Caribbean and was a center of great wealth from trading. At this time it was known as the "Golden Rock" because of its immense wealth. A very large number of warehouses lined the road that runs along Oranje Bay; most (but not all) of these warehouses are now ruined and many of the ruins are partially underwater.
A French occupation in 1795 was the beginning of the end of great prosperity for Sint Eustatius.
According to the Sint Eustatius government website, "Statia's economy is stable and well placed to grow in the near future. With practically no unemployment and a skilled workforce, we have a infrastructure in place to ensure sustained growth." In reference to this statement, one should understand that the government itself is the largest employer on the island, and the oil terminal owned by "NuStar" is the largest private employer on the islan