(part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
page last updated on October 28, 2009
Flag of Aruba
Location of Aruba
 
Map of Aruba
Introduction ::Aruba
Discovered and claimed for Spain in 1499, Aruba was acquired by the Dutch in 1636. The island's economy has been dominated by three main industries. A 19th century gold rush was followed by prosperity brought on by the opening in 1924 of an oil refinery. The last decades of the 20th century saw a boom in the tourism industry. Aruba seceded from the Netherlands Antilles in 1986 and became a separate, autonomous member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Movement toward full independence was halted at Aruba's request in 1990.
Geography ::Aruba
Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, north of Venezuela
12 30 N, 69 58 W
total: 180 sq km
country comparison to the world: 217
land: 180 sq km
water: 0 sq km
slightly larger than Washington, DC
0 km
68.5 km
territorial sea: 12 nm
tropical marine; little seasonal temperature variation
flat with a few hills; scant vegetation
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mount Jamanota 188 m
NEGL; white sandy beaches
arable land: 10.53%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 89.47% (2005)
0.01 sq km (1998 est.)
hurricanes; lies outside the Caribbean hurricane belt and is rarely threatened
NA
a flat, riverless island renowned for its white sand beaches; its tropical climate is moderated by constant trade winds from the Atlantic Ocean; the temperature is almost constant at about 27 degrees Celsius (81 degrees Fahrenheit)
People ::Aruba
103,065
country comparison to the world: 193
note: estimate based on a revision of the base population, fertility, and mortality numbers, as well as a revision of 1985-99 migration estimates from outmigration to inmigration, which is assumed to continue into the future; the new results are consistent with the 2000 census (July 2009 est.)
0-14 years: 19.1% (male 9,921/female 9,758)
15-64 years: 70.3% (male 34,676/female 37,752)
65 years and over: 10.6% (male 4,351/female 6,607) (2009 est.)
total: 37.8 years
male: 36 years
female: 39.5 years (2009 est.)
1.478% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 94
12.79 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 158
7.71 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117
9.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 8
urban population: 47% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 0.1% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female
total population: 0.9 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
total: 13.79 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 132
male: 18.28 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 9.22 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
total population: 75.28 years
country comparison to the world: 82
male: 72.25 years
female: 78.38 years (2009 est.)
1.85 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 149
NA
NA
NA
noun: Aruban(s)
adjective: Aruban; Dutch
mixed white/Caribbean Amerindian 80%, other 20%
Roman Catholic 80.8%, Evangelist 4.1%, Protestant 2.5%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.5%, Methodist 1.2%, Jewish 0.2%, other 5.1%, none or unspecified 4.6%
Papiamento (a Spanish-Portuguese-Dutch-English dialect) 66.3%, Spanish 12.6%, English (widely spoken) 7.7%, Dutch (official) 5.8%, other 2.2%, unspecified or unknown 5.3% (2000 census)
definition: NA
total population: 97.3%
male: 97.5%
female: 97.1% (2000 census)
total: 14 years
male: 13 years
female: 14 years (2006)
4.8% of GDP (2005)
country comparison to the world: 79
Government ::Aruba
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Aruba
member country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; full autonomy in internal affairs obtained in 1986 upon separation from the Netherlands Antilles; Dutch Government responsible for defense and foreign affairs
parliamentary democracy
name: Oranjestad
geographic coordinates: 12 31 N, 70 02 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
Flag Day, 18 March (1976)
1 January 1986
based on Dutch civil law system, with some English common law influence
18 years of age; universal
chief of state: Queen BEATRIX of the Netherlands (since 30 April 1980); represented by Governor General Fredis REFUNJOL (since 11 May 2004)
head of government: Prime Minister Nelson O. ODUBER (since 30 October 2001)
cabinet: Council of Ministers elected by the Staten
elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed for a six-year term by the monarch; prime minister and deputy prime minister elected by the Staten for four-year terms; election last held in 2005 (next to be held by 2009)
election results: Nelson O. ODUBER elected prime minister; percent of legislative vote - NA
unicameral Legislature or Staten (21 seats; members elected by direct popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 25 September 2009 (next to be held in 2013)
election results: percent of vote by party - AVP 48%, MEP 35.9%, PDR 5.7%; seats by party - AVP 12, MEP 8, PDR 1
Common Court of Justice of Aruba (judges are appointed by the monarch)
Aliansa/Aruban Social Movement or MSA [Robert WEVER]; Aruban Liberal Organization or OLA [Glenbert CROES]; Aruban Patriotic Movement or MPA [Monica ARENDS-KOCK]; Aruban Patriotic Party or PPA [Benny NISBET]; Aruban People's Party or AVP [Mike EMAN]; People's Electoral Movement Party or MEP [Nelson O. ODUBER]; Real Democracy or PDR [Andin BIKKER]; RED [Rudy LAMPE]; Workers Political Platform or PTT [Gregorio WOLFF]
other: environmental groups
Caricom (observer), ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, ITUC, UNESCO (associate), UNWTO (associate), UPU, WCL, WFTU, WMO
none (represented by the Kingdom of the Netherlands); note - Mr. Henry BAARH, Minister Plenipotentiary for Aruba at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
the US does not have an embassy in Aruba; the Consul General to Netherlands Antilles is accredited to Aruba
blue, with two narrow, horizontal, yellow stripes across the lower portion and a red, four-pointed star outlined in white in the upper hoist-side corner; the star represents Aruba and its red soil and white beaches, its four points the four major languages (Papiamento, Dutch, Spanish, English) as well as the four points of a compass, to indicate that its inhabitants come from all over the world; the blue symbolizes Caribbean waters and skies; the stripes represent the island's two main "industries": the flow of tourists to the sun-drenched beaches and the flow of minerals from the earth
Economy ::Aruba
Tourism is the mainstay of the small open Aruban economy with offshore banking and oil refining and storage also important. The rapid growth of the tourism sector over the last decade has resulted in a substantial expansion of other activities. Over 1.5 million tourists per year visit Aruba with 75% of those from the US. Construction continues to boom with hotel capacity five times the 1985 level. In addition, the country's oil refinery reopened in 1993 providing a major source of employment, foreign exchange earnings, and growth. Tourist arrivals have rebounded strongly following a dip after the 11 September 2001 attacks. The island experiences only a brief low season. Hotel occupancy in 2004 averaged 80% compared to 68% throughout the rest of the Caribbean. The government has made cutting the budget and trade deficits a high priority.
$2.258 billion (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 181
$2.205 billion (2004 est.)
$2.258 billion (2005 est.)
2.4% (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 147
$21,800 (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 57
agriculture: 0.4%
industry: 33.3%
services: 66.3% (2002 est.)
41,500 (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 188
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
note: most employment is in wholesale and retail trade and repair, followed by hotels and restaurants; oil refining
6.9% (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 87
NA%
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
revenues: $507.9 million
expenditures: $577.9 million (2005 est.)
46.3% of GDP (2005)
country comparison to the world: 42
3.4% (2005)
country comparison to the world: 40
5% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 91
5% (31 December 2007)
NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 74
11.01% (31 December 2007)
$780.4 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 129
$640.9 million (31 December 2007)
$890.3 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 125
$792.9 million (31 December 2007)
$1.321 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 120
$1.348 billion (31 December 2007)
aloes; livestock; fish
tourism, transshipment facilities, oil refining
NA%
850 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 148
790.5 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 149
0 kWh (2008 est.)
0 kWh (2008 est.)
2,351 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 102
8,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 154
231,100 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 49
236,400 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 42
0 bbl
country comparison to the world: 99
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 93
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112
0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 44
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68
0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 104
$124 million (2006); note - includes oil reexports
country comparison to the world: 189
live animals and animal products, art and collectibles, machinery and electrical equipment, transport equipment
US 69.4%, Brazil 8.7%, France 6.4%, UK 4.5% (2008)
$1.054 billion (2006)
country comparison to the world: 170
machinery and electrical equipment, crude oil for refining and reexport, chemicals; foodstuffs
US 57%, Netherlands 7.6%, Brazil 3.8% (2008)
$478.6 million (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 165
Aruban guilders/florins (AWG) per US dollar - NA (2007), 1.79 (2006), 1.79 (2005), 1.79 (2004), 1.79 (2003)
Communications ::Aruba
38,500 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 170
127,100 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 179
general assessment: modern fully automatic telecommunications system
domestic: increased competition through privatization; 3 wireless service providers are now licensed
international: country code - 297; landing site for the PAN-AM submarine telecommunications cable system that extends from the US Virgin Islands through Aruba to Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, and the west coast of South America; extensive interisland microwave radio relay links (2007)
AM 2, FM 16, shortwave 0 (2004)
1 (1997)
.aw
25,051 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 95
24,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 184
Transportation ::Aruba
1 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 211
total: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2009)
Barcadera, Oranjestad, Sint Nicolaas
Military ::Aruba
no regular military forces; the Netherlands maintains a detachment of marines, a frigate, and an amphibious combat detachment in the neighboring Netherlands Antilles (2009)
males age 16-49: 24,585
females age 16-49: 25,742 (2008 est.)
males age 16-49: 20,287
females age 16-49: 21,232 (2009 est.)
male: 722
female: 711 (2009 est.)
defense is the responsibility of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Transnational Issues ::Aruba
none
transit point for US- and Europe-bound narcotics with some accompanying money-laundering activity; relatively high percentage of population consumes cocaine