Aruba Population: 116,576


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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, semi-autonomous member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Movement toward full independence was halted at Aruba's request in 1990.

    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)
Location: Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, north of Venezuela
Geographic coordinates: 12 30 N, 69 58 W
Area: total: 180 sq km
land: 180 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Size comparison: slightly larger than Washington, DC
Land Boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 68.5 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate: tropical marine; little seasonal temperature variation
Terrain: flat with a few hills; scant vegetation
Natural resources: NEGL; white sandy beaches foster tourism
Land use: agricultural land: 11.1% (2016 est.) arable land: 11.1% (2016 est.)
permanent crops: 0% (2016 est.) permanent pasture: 0% (2016 est.) forest: 2.3% (2016 est.)
other: 86.6% (2016 est.)
Irrigated land: n/a
Natural hazards: hurricanes; lies outside the Caribbean hurricane belt and is rarely threatened
Current Environment Issues: difficulty in properly disposing of waste produced by large numbers of tourists; waste burning that occurs in the landfill causes air pollution and poses an environmental and health risk; ocean environmental damage due to plastic pollution
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Nationality: noun: Aruban(s)
adjective: Aruban; Dutch
Ethnic groups: Aruban 66%, Colombian 9.1%, Dutch 4.3%, Dominican 4.1%, Venezuelan 3.2%, Curacaoan 2.2%, Haitian 1.5%, Peruvian 1.1%, Chinese 1.1%, other 6.2% (2010 est.) note: data represent population by country of birth
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: 116,576 (July 2018 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 17.61% (male 10,304 /female 10,227)
15-24 years: 12.53% (male 7,355 /female 7,253)
25-54 years: 41.29% (male 23,187 /female 24,946)
55-64 years: 14.51% (male 7,910 /female 9,005)
65 years and over: 14.06% (male 6,422 /female 9,967) (2018 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 44.6 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 27 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 17.5 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 5.7 (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 39.5 years
male: 37.8 years
female: 41.2 years (2018 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.24% (2018 est.)
Birth rate: 12.3 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate: 8.5 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate: 8.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 43.4% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 0.67% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population: 30,000 ORANJESTAD (capital) (2018)
Sex ratio: 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: 0.88 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female
total population: 0.9 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 10.4 deaths/1,000 live births male: 13.6 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 7.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 77.1 years male: 74.1 years
female: 80.3 years (2018 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.83 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 98.1% of population
rural: 98.1% of population
total: 98.1% of population

urban: 1.9% of population
rural: 1.9% of population
total: 1.9% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 97.7% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 97.7% of population (2015 est.)
total: 97.7% of population (2015 est.)

urban: 2.3% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 2.3% of population (2015 est.)
total: 2.3% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: n/a
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: n/a
HIV/AIDS - deaths: n/a
Education expenditures: 6.1% of GDP (2016)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 97.5%
male: 97.5%
female: 97.5% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 14 years male: 13 years female: 14 years (2012)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 28.9% male: 29.9% female: 27.5% (2010 est.)
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Country name: 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"
Government type: parliamentary democracy (Legislature); part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Capital: name: Oranjestad
geographic coordinates: 12 31 N, 70 02 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
etymology: translates as "orange town" in Dutch; the city is named after William I (1533-1584), Prince of Orange, the first ruler of the Netherlands
Administrative divisions: 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
Independence: none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
National holiday: National Anthem and Flag Day, 18 March (1976)
Constitution: 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); in 1986, Aruba became a semi-autonomous entity within the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Legal system: civil law system based on the Dutch civil code
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
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)

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: Evelyn WEVER-CROES (MEP) elected prime minister; percent of legislative vote - NA
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)

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%, other 6.1%; seats by party - AVP 9, MEP 9, POR 2, RED 1; composition as of October 2018 - men 14, women 7, percent of women 33.3%
Judicial branch: highest courts: Joint Court of Justice of Aruba, Curacao, Sint Maarten, and of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius 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 for life by the monarch

subordinate courts:  Court in First Instance
Political parties and leaders: 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]
International organization participation: Caricom (observer), FATF, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, ITUC (NGOs), UNESCO (associate), UNWTO (associate), UPU
National symbol(s): Hooiberg (Haystack) Hill;
national colors: blue, yellow, red, white
National anthem: 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)
Diplomatic representation in the US: none (represented by the Kingdom of the Netherlands) note - there is a Minister Plenipotentiary for Aruba, Rendolf "Andy" LEE,  at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Diplomatic representation from the US: the US does not have an embassy in Aruba; the Consul General to Curacao is accredited to Aruba
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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 2017, over 2 million tourists visited Aruba annually, with the large majority (80-85%) 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 hospitality 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.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $4.158 billion (2017 est.) $4.107 billion (2016 est.) $4.112 billion (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $2.7 billion (2009 est.) (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 1.2% (2017 est.) -0.1% (2016 est.) -0.4% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $37,500 (2017 est.) $37,300 (2016 est.) $37,700 (2015 est.)
Gross national saving: 17% of GDP (2017 est.) 17.2% of GDP (2016 est.) 15.5% of GDP (2015 est.) GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 60.3% (2014 est.) government consumption: 25.3% (2015 est.) investment in fixed capital: 22.3% (2014 est.) investment in inventories: 0% (2015 est.) exports of goods and services: 70.5% (2015 est.) imports of goods and services: -76.6% (2015 est.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: 0.4% (2002 est.) industry: 33.3% (2002 est.) services: 66.3% (2002 est.)
Agriculture - products: aloes; livestock; fish
Industries: tourism, petroleum transshipment facilities, banking
Industrial production growth rate: n/a
Labor force: 51,610 (2007 est.) 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
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: n/a
industry: n/a
services: n/a

note: most employment is in wholesale and retail trade, followed by hotels and restaurants
Unemployment rate: 7.7% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line: n/a
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: n/a
highest 10%: n/a
Budget: revenues: 681.6 million (2017 est.)
expenditures: 755.5 million (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 25.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.) Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): -2.7% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt: 86% of GDP (2017 est.) 84.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): -0.5% (2017 est.) -0.9% (2016 est.)
Current account balance: $22 million (2017 est.) $133 million (2016 est.)
Exports: $137.1 million (2017 est.) $283.1 million (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities: live animals and animal products, art and collectibles, machinery and electrical equipment, transport equipment
Exports - partners: US 20.2%, Colombia 17.6%, Venezuela 13%, Netherlands 9.1%, Thailand 8.4%, Panama 4.8% (2017)
Imports: $1.122 billion (2017 est.) $1.142 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and electrical equipment, refined oil for bunkering and reexport, chemicals; foodstuffs
Imports - partners: US 53.7%, Netherlands 13.1% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $921.8 million (31 December 2017 est.) $828 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external: $693.2 million (31 December 2014 est.) $666.4 million (31 December 2013 est.)
Exchange rates: Aruban guilders/florins per US dollar - 1.79 (2017 est.) 1.79 (2016 est.) 1.79 (2015 est.) 1.79 (2014 est.) 1.79 (2013 est.)
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Electricity - production: 939 million kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 873.3 million kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 296,000 kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 87% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 13% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 8,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 7,891 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Natural gas - production: 1 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 1 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 1 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 1 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 1.266 million Mt (2017 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total subscriptions: 141,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 126 (July 2016 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: modern fully automatic telecommunications system; increased competition through privatization has increased mobile-cellular teledensity; three mobile-cellular service providers are now licensed; MNO (mobile network operator) launched island-wide LTE services; MNP (mobile number portability) introduced (2018)

domestic: ongoing changes in regulations and competition improving teledensity; 31 per 100 fixed-line, 126 per 100 mobile-cellular (2018)

international: country code - 297; landing site for the PAN-AM, PCCS, Deep Blue Cable, and Alonso de Ojeda submarine telecommunications cable system that extends from Trinidad and Tobago, Florida, Puerto Ricco, Jamaica, Guyana, Sint Eustatius & Saba, Suriname, Dominican Republic, BVI, USVI, Haiti, Cayman Islands, the Netherlands Antilles,  through Aruba to Panama, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile; extensive interisland microwave radio relay links (2019)
Broadcast media: 2 commercial TV stations; cable TV subscription service provides access to foreign channels; about 19 commercial radio stations broadcast (2017)
Internet country code: .aw
Internet users: total: 106,309
percent of population: 93.5% (July 2016 est.)
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Airports: 1 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2017)
Roadways: total 1,000 km
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Barcadera, Oranjestad oil terminal(s): Sint Nicolaas cruise port(s): Oranjestad
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Defense is the responsibility of the Netherlands; the Aruba security services focus on organized crime and terrorism
Military branches: no regular military forces (2011)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: none
Illicit drugs: transit point for US- and Europe-bound narcotics with some accompanying money-laundering activity; relatively high percentage of population consumes cocaine
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