[Country map of Aruba]


(part of the Dutch realm)


Location: Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, north of Venezuela

Map references: Central America and the Caribbean

total area: 193 sq km
land area: 193 sq km
comparative area: slightly larger than Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 68.5 km

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm

International disputes: none

Climate: tropical marine; little seasonal temperature variation

Terrain: flat with a few hills; scant vegetation

Natural resources: negligible; white sandy beaches

Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
meadows and pastures: 0%
forest and woodland: 0%
other: 100%

Irrigated land: NA sq km

current issues: NA
natural hazards: lies outside the Caribbean hurricane belt
international agreements: NA


Population: 65,974 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 23% (female 7,377; male 7,726)
15-64 years: 69% (female 24,269; male 21,141)
65 years and over: 8% (female 3,223; male 2,238) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.65% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 14.6 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 6.17 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: -1.91 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 8.3 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 76.56 years
male: 72.89 years
female: 80.42 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.82 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Aruban(s)
adjective: Aruban

Ethnic divisions: mixed European/Caribbean Indian 80%

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

Languages: Dutch (official), Papiamento (a Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, English dialect), English (widely spoken), Spanish

Literacy: NA%

Labor force: NA
by occupation: most employment is in the tourist industry (1995)


conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Aruba

Digraph: AA

Type: part of the Dutch realm; full autonomy in internal affairs obtained in 1986 upon separation from the Netherlands Antilles

Capital: Oranjestad

Administrative divisions: none (self-governing part of the Netherlands)

Independence: none (part of the Dutch realm; in 1990, Aruba requested and received from the Netherlands cancellation of the agreement to automatically give independence to the island in 1996)

National holiday: Flag Day, 18 March

Constitution: 1 January 1986

Legal system: based on Dutch civil law system, with some English common law influence

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen BEATRIX Wilhelmina Armgard (since 30 April 1980), represented by Governor General Olindo KOOLMAN (since 1 January 1992)
head of government: Prime Minister Jan (Henny) H. EMAN (since 29 July 1994)
cabinet: Council of Ministers; appointed with the advice and approval of the legislature

Legislative branch: unicameral
Legislature (Staten): elections last held 29 July 1994 (next to be held by NA July 1998); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (21 total) AVP 10, MEP 9, OLA 2

Judicial branch: Joint High Court of Justice

Political parties and leaders: Electoral Movement Party (MEP), Nelson ODUBER; Aruban People's Party (AVP), Jan (Henny) H. EMAN; National Democratic Action (ADN), Pedro Charro KELLY; New Patriotic Party (PPN), Eddy WERLEMEN; Aruban Patriotic Party (PPA), Benny NISBET; Aruban Democratic Party (PDA), Leo BERLINSKI; Democratic Action '86 (AD '86), Arturo ODUBER; Organization for Aruban Liberty (OLA), Glenbert CROES
note: governing coalition includes the MEP, PPA, and ADN

Member of: ECLAC (associate), INTERPOL, IOC, UNESCO (associate), WCL, WTO (associate)

Diplomatic representation in US: none (self-governing part of the Netherlands)

US diplomatic representation: none (self-governing part of the Netherlands)

Flag: 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


Overview: Tourism is the mainstay of the Aruban economy, although offshore banking and oil refining and storage are also important. The rapid growth of the tourism sector over the last decade has resulted in a substantial expansion of other activities. Construction has boomed, with hotel capacity five times the 1985 level. Additionally, the reopening of the country's oil refinery in 1993, a major source of employment and foreign exchange earnings, has further spurred growth. Aruba's small labor force and less than 1% unemployment rate have led to a large number of unfilled job vacancies despite sharp rises in wage rates in recent years.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $1.1 billion (1993 est.)

National product real growth rate: 5% (1993 est.)

National product per capita: $17,000 (1993 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 7% (1994 est.)

Unemployment rate: 0.6% (1992)

revenues: $145 million
expenditures: $185 million, including capital expenditures of $42 million (1988)

Exports: $1.3 billion (including oil re-exports) (f.o.b., 1993 est.)
commodities: mostly refined petroleum products
partners: US 64%, EC

Imports: $1.6 billion (f.o.b., 1993 est.)
commodities: food, consumer goods, manufactures, petroleum products, crude oil for refining and re-export
partners: US 8%, EC

External debt: $81 million (1987)

Industrial production: growth rate NA%

capacity: 90,000 kW
production: 330 million kWh
consumption per capita: 4,761 kWh (1993)

Industries: tourism, transshipment facilities, oil refining

Agriculture: poor quality soils and low rainfall limit agricultural activity to the cultivation of aloes, some livestock, and fishing

Illicit drugs: drug money laundering center and transit point for narcotics bound for the US and Europe

Economic aid:
recipient: Western (non-US) countries ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1980-89), $220 million

Currency: 1 Aruban florin (Af.) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Aruban florins (Af.) per US$1 - 1.7900 (fixed rate since 1986)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 0 km

total: NA
paved: NA
unpaved: NA

Ports: Barcadera, Oranjestad, Sint Nicolaas

Merchant marine: none

total: 2
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 1
note: government-owned airport east of Oranjestad accepts transatlantic flights


Telephone system: 72,168 telephones; 1,100 telephones/1,000 persons; more than adequate
local: NA
intercity: extensive interisland microwave radio relay links
international: 1 submarine cable to Sint Maarten

broadcast stations: AM 4, FM 4, shortwave 0
radios: NA

broadcast stations: 1
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Note: defense is the responsibility of the Netherlands