The Netherlands Antilles also referred to informally as the Dutch Antilles, was an autonomous Caribbean country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Although the country has now been dissolved, all of its constituent islands remain part of the kingdom under a different legal status and the term is still used to refer to these Dutch Caribbean islands.
The Netherlands Antilles consisted of two island groups. The ABC Islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao are located just off the Venezuelan coast about a thousand miles west of the Lesser Antilles. The SSS islands of Sint Maarten (actually a territory covering a bit less than half an island), Saba, and Sint Eustatius are in the Leeward Islands southeast of the Virgin Islands near the northern end of the Lesser Antilles. The Dutch colonized these islands in the 17th century and united them in the new constituent state of the Netherlands Antilles in 1954.
Aruba became a separate state within the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1986. The Kingdom of the Netherlands dissolved the Netherlands Antilles on 10 October 2010, reconstituting Curaçao and Sint Maarten as new constituent countries and Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius as special municipalities within the Netherlands.