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Aruba

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Background:
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.



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

Geographic coordinates:
12 30 N, 69 58 W

Map references:
Central America and the Caribbean

Area:
total: 180 sq km
country comparison to the world: 217
land: 180 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative:
slightly larger than Washington, DC

Land boundaries:
0 km

Coastline:
68.5 km

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate:
Current Weather
tropical marine; little seasonal temperature variation

Terrain:
flat with a few hills; scant vegetation

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mount Jamanota 188 m

Natural resources:
NEGL; white sandy beaches

Land use:
arable land: 10.53%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 89.47% (2005)

Irrigated land:
0.01 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards:
hurricanes; lies outside the Caribbean hurricane belt and is rarely threatened

Environment - current issues:
NA

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)



Population:
104,589
country comparison to the world: 192
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 (July 2010 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 18.8% (male 9,897/female 9,756)
15-64 years: 70.3% (male 35,234/female 38,278)
65 years and over: 10.9% (male 4,520/female 6,904) (2010 est.)

Median age:
total: 38 years
male: 36.2 years
female: 39.7 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:
1.457% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 87

Birth rate:
12.77 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 158

Death rate:
7.76 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113

Net migration rate:
9.56 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 7

Urbanization:
urban population: 47% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 0.1% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

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 (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 13.34 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 131
male: 17.65 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 8.94 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 75.51 years
country comparison to the world: 82
male: 72.47 years
female: 78.61 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:
1.85 children born/woman (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 148

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA

Nationality:
noun: Aruban(s)
adjective: Aruban; Dutch

Ethnic groups:
mixed white/Caribbean Amerindian 80%, other 20%

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

Languages:
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)

Literacy:
definition: NA
total population: 97.3%
male: 97.5%
female: 97.1% (2000 census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 14 years
male: 13 years
female: 14 years (2006)

Education expenditures:
4.8% of GDP (2005)
country comparison to the world: 78



Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Aruba

Dependency status:
member 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

Government type:
parliamentary democracy

Capital:
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)

Independence:
none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)

National holiday:
Flag Day, 18 March (1976)

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 of the Netherlands (since 30 April 1980); represented by Governor General Fredis REFUNJOL (since 11 May 2004)
head of government: Prime Minister Michiel Godfried (Mike) EMAN (since 30 October 2009)
cabinet: Council of Ministers elected by the Staten
(For more information visit the World Leaders website )
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 of Aruba (judges are 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, WFTU, WMO

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 Netherlands Antilles 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



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.)
country comparison to the world: 180
$2.205 billion (2004 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$2.258 billion (2005 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
2.4% (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 74

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$21,800 (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 56

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 0.4%
industry: 33.3%
services: 66.3% (2002 est.)

Labor force:
41,500 (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 194

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; oil refining

Unemployment rate:
6.9% (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 63

Population below poverty line:
NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Budget:
revenues: $507.9 million
expenditures: $577.9 million (2005 est.)

Public debt:
46.3% of GDP (2005)
country comparison to the world: 52

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
3.4% (2005)
country comparison to the world: 113

Central bank discount rate:
5% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 90
5% (31 December 2007)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
11.23% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 77
11.01% (31 December 2007)

Stock of money:
$781 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 119
$640.9 million (31 December 2007)

Stock of quasi money:
$890.3 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 122
$792.9 million (31 December 2007)

Stock of domestic credit:
$1.321 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 107
$1.348 billion (31 December 2007)

Agriculture - products:
aloes; livestock; fish

Industries:
tourism, transshipment facilities

Industrial production growth rate:
NA%

Electricity - production:
850 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 148

Electricity - consumption:
790.5 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 149

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:
2,235 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 102

Oil - consumption:
8,000 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 156

Oil - exports:
231,100 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 49

Oil - imports:
236,400 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 40

Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl
country comparison to the world: 100

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 207

Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 209

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 204

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 203

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 203

Exports:
$124 million (2006); note - includes oil reexports
country comparison to the world: 188

Exports - commodities:
live animals and animal products, art and collectibles, machinery and electrical equipment, transport equipment

Exports - partners:
Panama 23.84%, Netherlands Antilles 20.49%, Colombia 17.48%, Venezuela 12.61%, US 9.12%, Netherlands 7.5% (2009)

Imports:
$1.054 billion (2006)
country comparison to the world: 168

Imports - commodities:
machinery and electrical equipment, crude oil for refining and reexport, chemicals; foodstuffs

Imports - partners:
US 49.51%, Netherlands 16.15%, UK 4.94% (2009)

Debt - external:
$478.6 million (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 160

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



Telephones - main lines in use:
38,500 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 170

Telephones - mobile cellular:
127,100 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 179

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)

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 2, FM 16, shortwave 0 (2004)

Television broadcast stations:
1 (1997)

Internet country code:
.aw

Internet hosts:
25,051 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 95

Internet users:
24,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 184



Airports:
1 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 211

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2009)

Ports and terminals:
Barcadera, Oranjestad, Sint Nicolaas



Military branches:
no regular military forces; the Netherlands maintains a detachment of marines, a frigate, and an amphibious combat detachment in the neighboring Netherlands Antilles (2010)

Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 24,779
females age 16-49: 26,090 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 20,398
females age 16-49: 21,371 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 738
female: 715 (2010 est.)

Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of the Kingdom of the Netherlands



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

 

Information from the CIA's "The World Fact Book" 2010

 

 

 

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