Aruba

Country Summary

Introduction

Background

Discovered and claimed for Spain in 1499, Aruba was acquired by the Dutch in 1636. Aruba seceded from the Netherlands Antilles in 1986 and became a separate, semi-autonomous member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Movement toward full independence was halted at Aruba's request in 1990.

Geography

Area

total: 180 sq km
land: 180 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Climate

tropical marine; little seasonal temperature variation

Natural resources

NEGL; white sandy beaches foster tourism

People and Society

Population

123,702 (2023 est.)

Ethnic groups

Dutch 78.7%, Colombian 6.6%, Venezuelan 5.5%, Dominican 2.8%, Haitian 1.3%, other 5.1% (2020 est.)

Languages

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.)

Religions

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.)

Population growth rate

1.11% (2023 est.)

Government

Government type

parliamentary democracy; part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Capital

name: Oranjestad

Executive branch

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 Evelyn WEVER-CROES (since 17 November 2017)

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Legislature or Staten (21 seats; members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)

Economy

Economic overview

small, tourism-dependent, territorial-island economy; very high public debt; COVID-19 crippled economic activity; partial recovery underway via tourism, benefitting from its high amount of timeshare residences; considering reopening oil refinery

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$4.141 billion (2021 est.)
$3.534 billion (2020 est.)
$4.341 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$38,900 (2021 est.)
$33,200 (2020 est.)
$40,800 (2019 est.)

Agricultural products

aloes; livestock; fish

Industries

tourism, petroleum transshipment facilities, banking

Exports

$2.201 billion (2021 est.)
$1.444 billion (2020 est.)
$2.562 billion (2019 est.)

Exports - partners

Malaysia 57%, United States 11%, Netherlands 6%, Jordan 6%, Venezuela 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

crude petroleum, cigarettes, whiskies, refined petroleum, scrap iron (2021)

Imports

$1.947 billion (2021 est.)
$1.644 billion (2020 est.)
$2.24 billion (2019 est.)

Imports - partners

United States 48%, Netherlands 16% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, jewelry, cars, vehicle parts, tobacco products (2019)

Exchange rates

Aruban guilders/florins per US dollar -
Exchange rates:
1.79 (2021 est.)
1.79 (2020 est.)
1.79 (2019 est.)
1.79 (2018 est.)
1.79 (2017 est.)


Page last updated: Tuesday, February 20, 2024