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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.


Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, north of Venezuela

Natural Resources

NEGL; white sandy beaches foster tourism

Population - distribution

most residents live in or around Oranjestad and San Nicolaas; most settlements tend to be located on the less mountainous western side of the island

Papiamento (official) (a creole language that is a mixture of Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, English, and, to a lesser extent, French, as well as elements of African languages and the language of the Arawak) 69.4%, Spanish 13.7%, English (widely spoken) 7.1%, Dutch (official) 6.1%, Chinese 1.5%, other 1.7%, unspecified 0.4% (2010 est.)
ORANJESTAD (capital) 29,000 (2014)
Conventional long form
Conventional short form
Local long form
Local short form
parliamentary democracy (Legislature); part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Geographic coordinates
12 31 N, 70 02 W
Time difference
UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Tourism, petroleum bunkering, hospitality, and financial and business services are the mainstays of the small open Aruban economy.
Total tax rate (% of commercial profits)
Real Interest Rate
Manufacturing, value added (% of GDP)
Current Account Balance
US$ 95,921,788
Labor Force, Total
Employment in Agriculture
Employment in Industry
Employment in Services
Unemployment Rate
Imports of goods and services
US$ 2,233,916,201
Exports of goods and services
US$ 1,829,078,212
Total Merchandise Trade
FDI, net inflows
US$ -22,681,564
Commercial Service Exports
US$ 2,064,245,810
aloes; livestock; fish
tourism, petroleum transshipment facilities, banking
live animals and animal products, art and collectibles, machinery and electrical equipment, transport equipment
Colombia 28.2%, Netherlands Antilles 18.1%, US 14.3%, Netherlands 10.1%, Mexico 6.5%, Venezuela 6.3%, Panama 4.1% (2015)
machinery and electrical equipment, refined oil for bunkering and reexport, chemicals; foodstuffs
US 55.4%, Netherlands 11.2% (2015)
Country Risk Rating
Business Climate Rating

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