Status: Part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Governor: Fredis Refunjol (2004)
Prime Minister: Mike Eman (2009)
Total area: 75 sq mi (193 sq km)
Population (July 2014 est.): 110,663 (growth rate: 1.36%); birth rate: 12.65/1000; infant mortality rate: 11.74/1000; life expectancy: 76.35
Capital and largest city (2011 est.): Oranjestad, 37,000
Monetary unit: Aruban guilder/florin
Languages: Papiamento (a Spanish-Portuguese-Dutch-English dialect) 69.4%, Spanish 13.7%, English (widely spoken) 7.1%, Dutch (official) 6.1%, Chinese 1.5%, other 1.7%, unspecified 0.4% (2010 est.)
Ethnicity/race: Dutch 82.1%, Colombian 6.6%, Venezuelan 2.2%, Dominican 2.2%, Haitian 1.2%, other 5.5%, unspecified 0.1% (2010 est.)
Religions: Roman Catholic 75.3%, Protestant 4.9% (includes Methodist .9%, Adventist .9%, Anglican .4%, other Protestant 2.7%), Jehovah's Witness 1.7%, other 12%, none 5.5%, unspecified 0.5% (2010 est.)
National Holiday: Flag Day, March 18
Literacy rate: 96.8% (2010 est.)
Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2009 est.): $2.516 billion; per capita $25,300. Real growth rate: 2.4%. Inflation: -0.2% (2013 est.). Unemployment: 6.9% (2005). Arable land: 11.11% aloe plantations included (0.01%). Agriculture: aloes; livestock; fish. Labor force: 51,610 (2007 est.); most employment is in wholesale and retail trade and repair, followed by hotels and restaurants; oil refining. Industries: tourism, transshipment facilities, oil refining. Natural resources: negl.; white sandy beaches. Exports: $2.222 billion (including oil reexports) (2013 est.): live animals and animal products, art and collectibles, machinery and electrical equipment, transport equipment. Imports: $3.162 billion (2013 est.): machinery and electrical equipment, crude oil for refining and reexport, chemicals; foodstuffs. Major trading partners: Venezuela, Netherlands Antilles, Colombia, U.S., U.K. (2012).
Aruba, an island slightly larger than Washington, DC, lies 18 mi (28.9 km) off the coast of Venezuela in the southern Caribbean.
The Arawak Indians were the first inhabitants of Aruba. Spain explored the island in 1499, and more than a century later the Netherlands (1636) claimed the island. After a brief rule by the British, the Dutch again took control of the island in 1816, and it officially became part of the Netherlands Antilles in 1845.
On Jan. 1, 1986, Aruba seceded from the federation, but it decided in 1994 to postpone indefinitely the transition to full independence. The Netherlands controls Aruba's defense and foreign affairs, but all internal affairs are handled by an island government directing its own civil service, judiciary, revenue, and currency.
|Netherlands Autonomous Countries|