Central America and Caribbean :: 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
    Central America and the Caribbean
    total: 180 sq km
    land: 180 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 218
    slightly larger than Washington, DC
    0 km
    68.5 km
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    tropical marine; little seasonal temperature variation
    flat with a few hills; scant vegetation
    mean elevation: NA
    elevation extremes: lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
    highest point: Ceru Jamanota 188 m
    NEGL; white sandy beaches foster tourism
    agricultural land: 11.1%
    arable land 11.1%; permanent crops 0%; permanent pasture 0%
    forest: 2.3%
    other: 86.6% (2011 est.)
    NA
    most residents live in or around Oranjestad and San Nicolaas; most settlements tend to be located on the less mountainous western side of the island
    hurricanes; lies outside the Caribbean hurricane belt and is rarely threatened
    difficulty in properly disposing of waste produced by large numbers of tourists
    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 and Society :: ARUBA

  • 115,120 (July 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 189
    noun: Aruban(s)
    adjective: Aruban; Dutch
    Dutch 82.1%, Colombian 6.6%, Venezuelan 2.2%, Dominican 2.2%, Haitian 1.2%, other 5.5%, unspecified 0.1% (2010 est.)
    Papiamento (official) (a creole language that is a mixture of Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, English, and, to a lesser extent, French, as well as elements of African languages and the language of the Arawak) 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.)
    Roman Catholic 75.3%, Protestant 4.9% (includes Methodist 0.9%, Adventist 0.9%, Anglican 0.4%, other Protestant 2.7%), Jehovah's Witness 1.7%, other 12%, none 5.5%, unspecified 0.5% (2010 est.)
    0-14 years: 17.64% (male 10,189/female 10,115)
    15-24 years: 12.78% (male 7,405/female 7,307)
    25-54 years: 41.72% (male 23,117/female 24,906)
    55-64 years: 14.28% (male 7,664/female 8,773)
    65 years and over: 13.59% (male 6,132/female 9,512) (2017 est.)
    total dependency ratio: 44.6
    youth dependency ratio: 27
    elderly dependency ratio: 17.5
    potential support ratio: 5.7 (2015 est.)
    total: 39.1 years
    male: 37.3 years
    female: 40.9 years (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    1.3% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 84
    12.4 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    8.4 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    8.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    most residents live in or around Oranjestad and San Nicolaas; most settlments tend to be located on the less mountainous western side of the island
    urban population: 41.1% of total population (2017)
    rate of urbanization: -0.1% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    ORANJESTAD (capital) 29,000 (2014)
    at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.87 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.9 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
    total: 11 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 14.5 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 7.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    total population: 76.8 years
    male: 73.7 years
    female: 79.9 years (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 80
    1.83 children born/woman (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 146
    improved:
    urban: 98.1% of population
    rural: 98.1% of population
    total: 98.1% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 1.9% of population
    rural: 1.9% of population
    total: 1.9% of population (2015 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 97.7% of population
    rural: 97.7% of population
    total: 97.7% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 2.3% of population
    rural: 2.3% of population
    total: 2.3% of population (2015 est.)
    NA
    NA
    NA
    note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016)
    6.1% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 97.5%
    male: 97.5%
    female: 97.5% (2015 est.)
    total: 14 years
    male: 13 years
    female: 14 years (2012)
    total: 28.9%
    male: 29.9%
    female: 27.5% (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 43
  • Government :: ARUBA

  • conventional long form: none
    conventional short form: Aruba
    etymology: the origin of the island's name is unclear; according to tradition, the name comes from the Spanish phrase "oro huba" (there was gold), but in fact no gold was ever found on the island; another possibility is the native word "oruba," which means "well-situated"
    constituent 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 (Legislature); part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
    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)
    note: Aruba is one of four constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; the other three are the Netherlands, Curacao, and Sint Maarten
    none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
    National Anthem and Flag Day, 18 March (1976)
    previous 1947, 1955; latest drafted and approved August 1985, enacted 1 January 1986 (regulates governance of Aruba but is subordinate to the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands); note - in October 2010, following dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles, Aruba became a constituent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands (2016)
    civil law system based on the Dutch civil code
    see the Netherlands
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: King WILLEM-ALEXANDER of the Netherlands (since 30 April 2013); represented by Governor General Alfonso BOEKHOUDT (since 1 January 2017)
    head of government: Prime Minister Michiel "Mike" Godfried EMAN (since 30 October 2009)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers elected by the Legislature (Staten)
    elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch for a 6-year term; prime minister and deputy prime minister indirectly elected by the Staten for 4-year term; election last held on 27 September 2013 (next to be held by September 2017)
    election results: Michiel "Mike" Godfried EMAN (AVP) elected prime minister; percent of legislative vote - NA
    description: unicameral Legislature or Staten (21 seats; members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)
    elections: last held on 22 September 2017 (next to be held in September 2021)
    election results: percent of vote by party AVP 39.8%, MEP 37.6%, POR 9.4%, RED 7.1%; seats by party - AVP 9, MEP 9, POR 2, RED 1
    highest court(s): Joint Court of Justice of Aruba, Curacao, Sint Maarten, and of Bonaire, Sint Eustatitus and Saba or "Joint Court of Justice" (sits as a 3-judge panel); final appeals heard by the Supreme Court, in The Hague, Netherlands
    judge selection and term of office: Joint Court judges appointed by the monarch for life
    subordinate courts: Courts in First Instance
    Aruban People's Party or AVP [Michiel "Mike" EMAN]
    Democratic Electoral Network or RED [L.R. CROES]
    People's Electoral Movement Party or MEP [Evelyn WEVER-CROES]
    Pueblo Orguyoso y Respeta or POR [O.E. ODUBER];; Real Democracy or PDR [Andin BIKKER]
    other: environmental groups
    Caricom (observer), FATF, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, ITUC (NGOs), UNESCO (associate), UNWTO (associate), UPU
    none (represented by the Kingdom of the Netherlands); note - there is a 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 Curacao 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
    Hooiberg (Haystack) Hill; national colors: blue, yellow, red, white
    name: "Aruba Deshi Tera" (Aruba Precious Country)
    lyrics/music: Juan Chabaya 'Padu' LAMPE/Rufo Inocencio WEVER
    note: local anthem adopted 1986; as part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, "Het Wilhelmus" is official (see Netherlands)
  • Economy :: ARUBA

  • Tourism, petroleum bunkering, hospitality, and financial and business services are the mainstays of the small open Aruban economy.
    Tourism accounts for a majority of economic activity; as of 2014, over 1.7 million tourists visited Aruba annually, with the large majority of those from the US. The rapid growth of the tourism sector has resulted in a substantial expansion of other activities. Construction continues to boom, especially in the hotel sector.
    Aruba is heavily dependent on imports and is making efforts to expand exports to improve its trade balance. Almost all consumer and capital goods are imported, with the US, the Netherlands, and Panama being the major suppliers.
    In 2016, Citgo Petroleum Corporation, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela SA, and the Government of Aruba signed an agreement to restart Valero Energy Corp.'s former 235,000-b/d refinery . Tourism and related industries have continued to grow, and the Aruban government is working to attract more diverse industries. Aruba's banking sector continues to be a strong sector; unemployment has significantly decreased.
    $2.516 billion (2009 est.)
    $2.258 billion (2005 est.)
    $2.205 billion (2004 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 190
    $2.516 billion (2009 est.)
    2.4% (2005 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    $25,300 (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    household consumption: 60.3%
    government consumption: 26.2%
    investment in fixed capital: 22.3%
    investment in inventories: 0%
    exports of goods and services: 70.2%
    imports of goods and services: -79% (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 0.4%
    industry: 33.3%
    services: 66.3% (2002 est.)
    aloes; livestock; fish
    tourism, petroleum transshipment facilities, banking
    NA%
    51,610
    note: of the 51,610 workers aged 15 and over in the labor force, 32,252 were born in Aruba and 19,353 came from abroad; foreign workers are 38% of the employed population (2007 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 191
    agriculture: NA%
    industry: NA%
    services: NA%
    note: most employment is in wholesale and retail trade, followed by hotels and restaurants
    6.9% (2005 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    NA%
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%
    revenues: $696.5 million
    expenditures: $751.8 million (2016 est.)
    27.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 92
    -2.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 78
    67% of GDP (2013)
    55% of GDP (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 53
    calendar year
    -0.8% (2016 est.)
    0.5% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    1% (31 December 2010)
    3% (31 December 2009)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    9% (31 December 2016 est.)
    8.25% (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    $1.151 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $990.2 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 152
    $2.126 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $1.942 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 154
    $1.768 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    $299.9 million (2016 est.)
    $333.2 million (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 181
    live animals and animal products, art and collectibles, machinery and electrical equipment, transport equipment
    Colombia 23.4%, US 19.8%, Netherlands 16.9%, Venezuela 13.9% (2016)
    $1.294 billion (2016 est.)
    $1.269 billion (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 174
    machinery and electrical equipment, refined oil for bunkering and reexport, chemicals; foodstuffs
    US 55.4%, Netherlands 12.6% (2016)
    $693.2 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $666.4 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 172
    Aruban guilders/florins per US dollar -
    1.79 (2016 est.)
    1.79 (2015 est.)
    1.79 (2014 est.)
    1.79 (2013 est.)
    1.79 (2012 est.)
  • Energy :: ARUBA

  • population without electricity: 11,364
    electrification - total population: 91%
    electrification - urban areas: 100%
    electrification - rural areas: 80% (2012)
    900 million kWh (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    800 million kWh (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    300,000 kW (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 157
    90.6% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 156
    9.4% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 42
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 89
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 91
    0 bbl (1 January 2016 es)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 112
    7,500 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    7,661 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    1 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 97
    1 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    1 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 55
    1 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
    country comparison to the world: 153
    900,000 Mt (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 165
  • Communications :: ARUBA

  • total subscriptions: 35,000
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 31 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 169
    total: 141,000
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 126 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 185
    general assessment: modern fully automatic telecommunications system
    domestic: increased competition through privatization has increased mobile-cellular teledensity to over 125 per 100 persons; three mobile-cellular 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 (2016)
    2 commercial TV stations; cable TV subscription service provides access to foreign channels; about 19 commercial radio stations broadcast (2014)
    .aw
    total: 106,309
    percent of population: 93.5% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 172
  • Transportation :: ARUBA

  • number of registered air carriers: 3
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 19
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 2,120,578
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 0 mt-km (2015)
    P4 (2016)
    1 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 210
    total: 1
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2017)
    major seaport(s): Barcadera, Oranjestad
    oil terminal(s): Sint Nicolaas
    cruise port(s): Oranjestad
  • Military and Security :: ARUBA

  • no regular military forces (2011)
    defense is the responsibility of the Netherlands; the Aruba security services focus on organized crime and terrorism
  • 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