Status: Part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Governor: Fredis Refunjol (2004)

Prime Minister: Mike Eman (2009)

Current government officials

Total area: 75 sq mi (193 sq km)

Population (July 2013 est.): 109,153 (growth rate: 1.39%); birth rate: 12.72/1000; infant mortality rate: 12.12/1000; life expectancy: 76.14; density per sq mi: 1,470

Capital and largest city (2010 est.): Oranjestad, 29,998

Monetary unit: Aruban guilder/florin

Languages: Dutch (official), Papiamento, English, Spanish

Ethnicity/race: mixed European/Caribbean Indian 80%

Religions: Roman Catholic 82%, Protestant 8%, Hindu, Muslim, Confucian, Jewish

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: 0.6% (2012 est.). Unemployment: 6.9% (2005). Arable land: 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: $2.745 billion (including oil reexports) (2012 est.): live animals and animal products, art and collectibles, machinery and electrical equipment, transport equipment. Imports: $3.299 billion (2012 est.): machinery and electrical equipment, crude oil for refining and reexport, chemicals; foodstuffs. Major trading partners: Venezuela, Netherlands Antilles, Colombia, U.S. (2012).

Major sources and definitions

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.

See also Encyclopedia: Aruba
U.S. State Dept. Country Notes: Aruba
Central Bureau of Statistics .

Netherlands Autonomous Countries

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