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  • [Country flag of Aruba]

    Aruba

    [Country map of Aruba]

    (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)

    Geography

    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: 193 sq km
    land: 193 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: 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: negligible; white sandy beaches

    Land use:
    arable land: 11%
    permanent crops: NA%
    permanent pastures: NA%
    forests and woodland: NA%
    other: 89% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: NA sq km

    Natural hazards: lies outside the Caribbean hurricane belt

    Environment - current issues: NA

    Environment - international agreements:
    party to: NA
    signed, but not ratified: NA

    People

    Population: 68,031 (July 1997 est.)

    Age structure:
    0-14 years : 22% (male 7,814; female 7,127)
    15-64 years: 69% (male 22,544; female 24,656)
    65 years and over: 9% (male 2,433; female 3,457) (July 1997 est.)

    Population growth rate: 0.39% (1997 est.)

    Birth rate: 14.2 births/1,000 population (1997 est.)

    Death rate: 6.32 deaths/1,000 population (1997 est.)

    Net migration rate: -3.97 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1997 est.)

    Sex ratio:
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    under 15 years : 1.1 male(s)/female
    15-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (1997 est.)

    Infant mortality rate: 8.1 deaths/1,000 live births (1997 est.)

    Life expectancy at birth:
    total population: 76.8 years
    male: 73.11 years
    female : 80.68 years (1997 est.)

    Total fertility rate: 1.81 children born/woman (1997 est.)

    Nationality:
    noun : Aruban(s)
    adjective: Aruban

    Ethnic groups: mixed white/Caribbean Amerindian 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

    Government

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

    Data code: AA

    Dependency status: part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; full autonomy in internal affairs obtained in 1986 upon separation from the Netherlands Antilles

    Government type: NA

    National capital: Oranjestad

    Administrative divisions: none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)

    Independence: none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; 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 of the Netherlands (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) and Deputy Prime Minister Glenbert F. CROES
    cabinet : Council of Ministers elected by the Staten
    elections: the queen is a constitutional monarch; governor general appointed for a six-year term by the queen; prime minister and deputy prime minister elected by the Staten for a four-year term; election last held 29 July 1994 (next to be held by July 1998)
    election results : Jan (Henny) H. EMAN elected prime minister; percent of legislative vote - NA; Glenbert F. CROES elected deputy prime minister; percent of legislative vote - NA

    Legislative branch: unicameral Legislature or Staten (21 seats; members elected by direct popular vote and serve four-year terms)
    elections: last held 29 July 1994 (next to be held by NA July 1998)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - AVP 10, MEP 9, OLA 2

    Judicial branch: Joint High Court of Justice

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

    International organization participation: ECLAC (associate), Interpol, IOC, UNESCO (associate), WCL, WToO (associate)

    Diplomatic representation in the US: none (represented by the Kingdom of the Netherlands)

    Diplomatic representation from the US: none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)

    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

    Economy

    Economy - 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. In addition, 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.

    GDP: purchasing power parity - $1.4 billion (1996 est.)

    GDP - real growth rate: 5% (1996 est.)

    GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $21,000 (1996 est.)

    GDP - composition by sector:
    agriculture: NA%
    industry: NA%
    services: NA%

    Inflation rate - consumer price index: 3.5% (1996)

    Labor force: NA
    by occupation: most employment is in the tourist industry (1996)

    Unemployment rate: 0.5% (1994)

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

    Industries: tourism, transshipment facilities, oil refining

    Industrial production growth rate: NA%

    Electricity - capacity: NA kW

    Electricity - production: NA kWh

    Electricity - consumption per capita: NA kWh

    Agriculture - products: aloes; livestock; fishing

    Exports:
    total value: $1.3 billion (including oil re-exports) (f.o.b., 1995)
    commodities: mostly refined petroleum products
    partners: US 64%, EU

    Imports:
    total value: $1.8 billion (f.o.b., 1995)
    commodities: food, consumer goods, manufactures, petroleum products, crude oil for refining and reexport
    partners: US 8%, EU

    Debt - external: $669 million (December 1995)

    Economic aid: the Netherlands provided a 1996 aid package of $224 million to Aruba, the Netherlands Antilles, and Suriname

    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

    Communications

    Telephones: 22,922 (1993 est.)

    Telephone system:
    domestic: more than adequate
    international: 1 submarine cable to Sint Maarten (Netherlands Antilles); extensive interisland microwave radio relay links

    Radio broadcast stations: AM 4, FM 4, shortwave 0

    Radios: NA

    Television broadcast stations: 1

    Televisions: 19,000 (1993 est.)

    Transportation

    Railways: 0 km

    Highways:
    total: NA km
    paved : NA km
    unpaved: NA km
    note : most coastal roads are paved, while unpaved roads serve large tracts of the interior

    Ports and harbors: Barcadera, Oranjestad, Sint Nicolaas

    Merchant marine:
    total : 4 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 7,274 GRT/ 10,130 DWT
    ships by type: bulk 1, cargo 3 (1996 est.)

    Airports: 2 (1996 est.)

    Airports - with paved runways:
    total: 2
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
    914 to 1,523 m: 1

    Military

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

    Transnational Issues

    Disputes - international: none

    Illicit drugs: drug money-laundering center and transit point for narcotics bound for the US and Europe; added to the US list of major drug producing or drug transit countries in December 1996