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 Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, north of Venezuela

Geographic Coordinates:

 12 30 N, 69 58 W


 Total: 180 sq km
Land: 180 sq km
Water: 0 sq km

Area - Comparative:

 Slightly larger than Washington, DC

Land Boundaries:

 0 km


 68.5 km (Rank: 174)

Maritime Claims:

 Territorial sea: 12 nm


 Tropical marine; little seasonal temperature variation


 Flat with a few hills; scant vegetation

Elevation Extremes:

 Lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
Highest point: Ceru Jamanota 188 m

Natural Resources:

 NEGL; white sandy beaches

Land Use:

 Arable land: 10.53%
Permanent crops: 0%
Other: 89.47% (2005)

Irrigated Land:

 NA (2008)

Natural Hazards:

 Hurricanes; lies outside the Caribbean hurricane belt and is rarely threatened

Geography - Note:

 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)

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 Noun: Aruban(s)
Adjective: Aruban; Dutch

Ethnic Groups:

 Mixed white/Caribbean Amerindian 80%, other 20%


 Papiamento (a Spanish-Portuguese-Dutch-English dialect) 66.3%, Spanish 12.6%, English (widely spoken) 7.7%, Dutch (official) 5.8%, other 2.2%, unspecified or unknown 5.3% (2000 census)


 Roman Catholic 80.8%, Protestant 7.8% (Evangelist 4.1%, Methodist 1.2%, other Protestant 2.5%), Jehovah's Witnesses 1.5%, Jewish 0.2%, other 5.1%, none or unspecified 4.6%


 106,113 (July 2011 est.)

Note: estimate based on a revision of the base population, fertility, and mortality numbers, as well as a revision of 1985-99 migration estimates from outmigration to inmigration, which is assumed to continue into the future; the new results are consistent with the 2000 census

Age Structure:

 0-14 years: 18.4% (male 9,847/female 9,729)
15-64 years: 70.3% (male 35,809/female 38,816)
65 years and over: 11.2% (male 4,698/female 7,214) (2011 est.)

Median Age:

 Total: 38.2 years
Male: 36.4 years
Female: 40 years (2011 est.)

Population Growth Rate:

 1.436% (2011 est.)

Birth Rate:

 12.78 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Death Rate:

 7.84 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)

Net Migration Rate:

 9.42 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)


 Urban population: 47% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 0.6% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major Cities - Population:

 ORANJESTAD (capital) 33,000 (2009)

Sex Ratio:

 At birth: 1.021 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.9 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate:

 Total: 12.92 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 17.07 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 8.68 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life Expectancy At Birth:

 Total population: 75.72 years
Male: 72.68 years
Female: 78.82 years (2011 est.)

Total Fertility Rate:

 1.84 children born/woman (2011 est.)

Drinking Water Source:

 Urban: 100% of population
Rural: 100% of population
Total: 100% of population (2008)

Education Expenditures:

 5% of GDP (2008)


 Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 97.3%
Male: 97.5%
Female: 97.1% (2000 census)

Average Years of Schooling:

 Total: 13 years
Male: 13 years
Female: 13 years (2009)

Unemployment, Youth Ages 15-24:

 Total: 23.2%
Male: 24.1%
Female: 22.9% (2007)

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Country Name:

 Conventional long form: none
Conventional short form: Aruba

Government Type:

 Parliamentary democracy


 Name: Oranjestad
Geographic coordinates: 12 31 N, 70 02 W
Time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative Divisions:

 None (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)

Dependency Status:

 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


 None (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)

National Holiday:

 Flag Day, 18 March (1976)



Legal System:

 Civil law system based on the Dutch civil code


 18 years of age; universal

Executive Branch:

 Chief of state: Queen BEATRIX of the Netherlands (since 30 April 1980); represented by Governor General Fredis REFUNJOL (since 11 May 2004)

Head of government: Prime Minister Michiel "Mike" Godfried EMAN (since 30 October 2009)

Cabinet: Council of Ministers elected by the Staten

Elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed for a six-year term by the monarch; prime minister and deputy prime minister elected by the Staten for four-year terms; election last held in 2009 (next to be held by 2013)

Election results: Mike EMAN elected prime minister; percent of legislative vote - NA

Legislative Branch:

 Unicameral Legislature or Staten (21 seats; members elected by direct popular vote to serve four-year terms)

Elections: last held on 25 September 2009 (next to be held in 2013)

Election results: percent of vote by party - AVP 48%, MEP 35.9%, PDR 5.7%; seats by party - AVP 12, MEP 8, PDR 1

Judicial Branch:

 Common Court of Justice, Joint High Court of Justice (judges appointed by the monarch)

Political Parties and Leaders:

 Aliansa/Aruban Social Movement or MSA [Robert WEVER]; Aruban Liberal Organization or OLA [Glenbert CROES]; Aruban Patriotic Movement or MPA [Monica ARENDS-KOCK]; Aruban Patriotic Party or PPA [Benny NISBET]; Aruban People's Party or AVP [Mike EMAN]; People's Electoral Movement Party or MEP [Nelson O. ODUBER]; Real Democracy or PDR [Andin BIKKER]; RED [Rudy LAMPE]; Workers Political Platform or PTT [Gregorio WOLFF]

Political Pressure Groups and Leaders:

 Other: environmental groups

International Organization Participation:

 Caricom (observer), FATF, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, ITUC, UNESCO (associate), UNWTO (associate), UPU

Diplomatic Representation in the US:

 None (represented by the Kingdom of the Netherlands); note - Mr. Henry BAARH, Minister Plenipotentiary for Aruba 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

Flag Description:

 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

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)


 (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)

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Economy - Overview:

 Tourism is the mainstay of the small open Aruban economy, together with offshore banking. Oil refining and storage ended in 2009. The rapid growth of the tourism sector over the last decade has resulted in a substantial expansion of other activities. Over 1.5 million tourists per year visit Aruba with 75% of those from the US. Construction continues to boom with hotel capacity five times the 1985 level. Tourist arrivals rebounded strongly following a dip after the 11 September 2001 attacks. The government has made cutting the budget and trade deficits a high priority.

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity):

 $2.258 billion (2005 est.)
$2.205 billion (2004 est.)

GDP (Official Exchange Rate):

 $2.258 billion (2005 est.)

GDP - Real Growth Rate:

 2.4% (2005 est.)

GDP - Per Capita (PPP):

 $21,800 (2004 est.)

GDP - Composition By Sector:

 Agriculture: 0.4%
Industry: 33.3%
Services: 66.3% (2002 est.)

Labor Force:

 41,500 (2004 est.)

Labor Force - By Occupation:

 Agriculture: NA%
Industry: NA%
Services: NA%

Note: most employment is in wholesale and retail trade and repair, followed by hotels and restaurants

Unemployment Rate:

 6.9% (2005 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line:


Household Income / Consumption By Share:

 Lowest 10%: NA%
Highest 10%: NA%

Investment (Gross Fixed):



 Revenues: $650.4 million
Expenditures: $693.6 million (2010 est.)

Taxes and Other Revenues:

 28.8% of GDP (2010 est.)

Budget Surplus / Deficit:

 -1.9% of GDP (2010 est.)

Public Debt:

 46.3% of GDP (2005)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices):

 2.1% (2010 est.)
-2.1% (2009 est.)

Central Bank Discount Rate:

 1% (31 December 2010 est.)
3% (31 December 2009 est.)

Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate:

 10.3% (31 December 2010 est.)
10.7% (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Money:

 $781 million (31 December 2008)
$640.9 million (31 December 2007)

Stock of Quasi Money:

 $890.3 million (31 December 2008)
$792.9 million (31 December 2007)

Stock of Narrow Money:

 $762.8 million (31 December 2009)
$856.1 million (31 December 2008)

Stock of Broad Money:

 $1.753 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
$1.758 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of Domestic Credit:

 $1.412 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
$1.322 billion (31 December 2008)

Agriculture - Products:

 Aloes; livestock; fish


 Tourism, transshipment facilities

Industrial Production Growth Rate:


Electricity - Production:

 910 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Production By Source:

 Fossil fuel: 100%
Hydro: 0%
Nuclear: 0%
Other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - Consumption:

 846.3 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Exports:

 0 kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - Imports:

 0 kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - Production:

 2,477 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Consumption:

 8,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Exports:

 206,400 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Imports:

 234,000 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Proven Reserves:

 0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural Gas - Production:

 1 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Consumption:

 1 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Exports:

 1 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Imports:

 1 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Proven Reserves:

 0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current Account Balance:

 -$75.1 million (2010 est.)
$157 million (2009 est.)


 $1.589 billion (2010 est.)

Note: includes oil reexports

Exports - Commodities:

 Live animals and animal products, art and collectibles, machinery and electrical equipment, transport equipment

Exports - Partners:

 Colombia 27.2%, Panama 22.2%, Netherlands Antilles 15.2%, Venezuela 15.1%, US 5.9%, Netherlands 5.1% (2010)


 $2.063 billion (2010 est.)
$1.919 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - Commodities:

 Machinery and electrical equipment, crude oil for refining and reexport, chemicals; foodstuffs

Imports - Partners:

 US 50.8%, Netherlands 12%, UK 6.3% (2010)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold:

 $725.1 million (31 December 2010 est.)
$701.1 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - External:

 $478.6 million (2005 est.)

Exchange Rates:

 Convert Aruba Florin to Any Currency

Aruban guilders/florins (AWG) per US dollar -
NA (2007)
1.79 (2006)
1.79 (2005)
1.79 (2004)
1.79 (2003)

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Telephones - Main Lines In Use:

 35,000 (2010)

Telephones - Cellular:

 131,800 (2010)

Telephone System:

 General assessment: modern fully automatic telecommunications system

Domestic: increased competition through privatization; 3 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 (2007)

Broadcast Media:

 2 commercial television stations; cable TV subscription service provides access to foreign channels; about 20 commercial radio stations broadcast (2007)

Radio Broadcast Stations:

 AM 2, FM 16, shortwave 0 (2004)

Television Broadcast Stations:

 1 (1997)

Internet Country Code:


Internet Hosts:

 25,080 (2010)

Internet Users:

 24,000 (2009)

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 1 (2010)

Airports - With Paved Runways:

 Total: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2010)

Ports and Terminals:

 Barcadera, Oranjestad, Sint Nicolaas

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Military Branches:

 No regular military forces (2010)

Manpower Available For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 24,891
Females age 16-49: 26,202 (2010 est.)

Manpower Fit For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 20,527
Females age 16-49: 21,493 (2010 est.)

Manpower Reaching Militarily Significant Age Annually:

 Male: 767
Female: 743 (2010 est.)

Military - Note:

 Defense is the responsibility of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

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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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Last Updated: December 2011

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