Aruba



Official Country Name
Aruba

Aruba Overview
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.

Aruba Economy
Tourism is the mainstay of the small, open Aruban economy, with offshore banking and oil refining and storage also important. 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. 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. Tourist arrivals have rebounded strongly following a dip after the 11 September 2001 attacks. The island experiences only a brief low season, and hotel occupancy in 2004 averaged 80%, compared to 68% throughout the rest of the Caribbean. The government has made cutting the budget and trade deficits a high priority.

Aruba Location
Aruba is located in Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, north of Venezuela

Region
Aruba is located in Caribbean

Aruba Population
Aruba has population of 71,891 (July 2006 est.)

Aruba Climate
Aruba has tropical marine; little seasonal temperature variation

Aruba Terrain
flat with a few hills; scant vegetation

Aruba Natural Resources
NEGL; white sandy beaches

Ethnic Groups in Aruba
Aruba has the following ethnic groups - mixed white/Caribbean Amerindian 80%

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

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

Aruba Capital
Aruba capital is Oranjestad

Aruba Currency
Aruba currency is Aruban guilder/florin

Map of Aruba