Aruba - AW - ABW - ARU - Central America and the Caribbean

Last updated: April 12, 2024
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Aruba Factbook Data

Dependency status

constituent 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

Diplomatic representation from the US

embassy: the US does not have an embassy in Aruba; the Consul General to Curacao is accredited to Aruba

Age structure

0-14 years: 17.32% (male 10,745/female 10,677)

15-64 years: 66.11% (male 39,490/female 42,284)

65 years and over: 16.58% (2023 est.) (male 8,237/female 12,269)
2023 population pyramid
This is the population pyramid for Aruba. A population pyramid illustrates the age and sex structure of a country's population and may provide insights about political and social stability, as well as economic development. The population is distributed along the horizontal axis, with males shown on the left and females on the right. The male and female populations are broken down into 5-year age groups represented as horizontal bars along the vertical axis, with the youngest age groups at the bottom and the oldest at the top. The shape of the population pyramid gradually evolves over time based on fertility, mortality, and international migration trends.

For additional information, please see the entry for Population pyramid on the Definitions and Notes page.

Geographic coordinates

12 30 N, 69 58 W

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female

total population: 0.9 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Natural hazards

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

Area - comparative

slightly larger than Washington, DC


Discovered and claimed for Spain in 1499, Aruba was acquired by the Dutch in 1636. Three main industries have since dominated the island's economy: gold mining, oil refining, and tourism. A 19th-century gold rush was followed by prosperity brought on by the opening of an oil refinery in 1924. 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, semi-autonomous member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Movement toward full independence was halted at Aruba's request in 1990.

Environment - current issues

difficulty in properly disposing of waste produced by large numbers of tourists; waste burning that occurs in the landfill causes air pollution and poses an environmental and health risk; ocean environmental damage due to plastic pollution

Population below poverty line


Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA

highest 10%: NA

Exports - commodities

crude petroleum, cigarettes, whiskies, refined petroleum, scrap iron (2021)

Exports - partners

Malaysia 57%, United States 11%, Netherlands 6%, Jordan 6%, Venezuela 5% (2019)

Administrative divisions

none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)

note: Aruba is one of four constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; the other three are the Netherlands, Curacao, and Sint Maarten

Agricultural products

aloes; livestock; fish

Military and security forces

no regular military forces; Aruban Militia (ARUMIL); Police Department for local law enforcement, supported by the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (Gendarmerie), the Dutch Caribbean Police Force (Korps Politie Caribisch Nederland, KPCN), and the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard (DCCG or Kustwacht Caribisch Gebied (KWCARIB))


revenues: $793 million (2019 est.)

expenditures: $782 million (2019 est.)


name: Oranjestad

geographic coordinates: 12 31 N, 70 02 W

time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: translates as "orange town" in Dutch; the city is named after William I (1533-1584), Prince of Orange, the first ruler of the Netherlands

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, jewelry, cars, vehicle parts, tobacco products (2019)


tropical marine; little seasonal temperature variation


68.5 km


history: previous 1947, 1955; latest drafted and approved August 1985, enacted 1 January 1986 (regulates governance of Aruba but is subordinate to the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands); in 1986, Aruba became a semi-autonomous entity within the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Exchange rates

Aruban guilders/florins per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
1.79 (2022 est.)
1.79 (2021 est.)
1.79 (2020 est.)
1.79 (2019 est.)
1.79 (2018 est.)

Executive branch

chief of state: King WILLEM-ALEXANDER of the Netherlands (since 30 April 2013); represented by Governor General Alfonso BOEKHOUDT (since 1 January 2017)

head of government: Prime Minister Evelyn WEVER-CROES (since 17 November 2017)

cabinet: Council of Ministers elected by the Legislature (Staten)

elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch for a 6-year term; prime minister and deputy prime minister indirectly elected by the Staten for 4-year term; election last held on 25 June 2021 (next to be held by June 2025)

election results: as leader of the majority party of the ruling coalition, Evelyn WEVER-CROES (MEP) elected prime minister; percent of Staten vote - NA

Fiscal year

calendar year

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

Illicit drugs

northbound transshipment point for cocaine from Colombia and Venezuela; cocaine shipped to the United States, other Caribbean islands, Africa, and Europe



none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)


tourism, petroleum transshipment facilities, banking

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Joint Court of Justice of Aruba, Curacao, Sint Maarten, and of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba or "Joint Court of Justice" (sits as a 3-judge panel); final appeals heard by the Supreme Court in The Hague, Netherlands

judge selection and term of office: Joint Court judges appointed for life by the monarch

subordinate courts:  Court in First Instance

Land boundaries

total: 0 km

Land use

agricultural land: 11.1% (2018 est.)

arable land: 11.1% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 0% (2018 est.)

forest: 2.3% (2018 est.)

other: 86.6% (2018 est.)

Legal system

civil law system based on the Dutch civil code

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Legislature or Staten (21 seats; members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)

elections: last held on 25 June 2021 (next to be held in June 2025)

election results:
percent of vote by party MEP 35.3%, AVP 31.3%, ROOTS 9.4%, MAS 8%, Accion21 5.8%; seats by party - MEP 9, AVP 7, ROOTS 2, MAS 2, Accion21 1; composition as of September 2023 - men 13, women 8, percentage women - 38.1%


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 97.8%

male: 97.8%

female: 97.8% (2018)

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

International organization participation

Caricom (observer), FATF, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, ITUC (NGOs), UNESCO (associate), UNWTO (associate), UPU

National holiday

National Anthem and Flag Day, 18 March (1976)


noun: Aruban(s)

adjective: Aruban; Dutch

Natural resources

NEGL; white sandy beaches foster tourism

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)

Economic overview

small, tourism-dependent, territorial-island economy; very high public debt; COVID-19 crippled economic activity; partial recovery underway via tourism, benefitting from its high amount of timeshare residences; considering reopening oil refinery

Political parties and leaders

Accion21 [Miguel MANSUR]
Aruban People's Party or AVP [Michiel "Mike" EMAN]
Democratic Network or RED [Ricardo CROES]
Movimiento Aruba Soberano (Aruban Sovereignty Movement) or MAS [Marisol LOPEZ-TROMP]
People's Electoral Movement Party or MEP [Evelyn WEVER-CROES]
Pueblo Orguyoso y Respeta or POR [Alan Howell]

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Barcadera, Oranjestad

oil terminal(s): Sint Nicolaas

cruise port(s): Oranjestad


18 years of age; universal

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: the telecom sector has seen a decline in subscriber numbers (particularly for prepaid mobile services the mainstay of short term visitors) and revenue; fixed and mobile broadband services are two areas that have benefited from the crisis as employees and students have resorted to working from home; one area of the telecom market that is not prepared for growth is 5G mobile; governments, regulators, and even the mobile network operators have shown that they have not been investing in 5G opportunities at the present time; network expansion and enhancements remain concentrated around improving LTE coverage (2021)

domestic: 33 per 100 fixed-line telephone subscriptions and 130 per 100 mobile-cellular (2021)

international: country code - 297; landing points for the PAN-AM, PCCS, Deep Blue Cable, and Alonso de Ojeda submarine telecommunications cable system that extends from Trinidad and Tobago, Florida, Puerto Ricco, Jamaica, Guyana, Sint Eustatius & Saba, Suriname, Dominican Republic, BVI, USVI, Haiti, Cayman Islands, the Netherlands Antilles,  through Aruba to Panama, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile; extensive interisland microwave radio relay links (2019)


flat with a few hills; scant vegetation

Government type

parliamentary democracy; part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Military - note

defense is the responsibility of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; the Aruba security services focus on organized crime and terrorism; the Dutch Government controls foreign and defense policy; the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard (DCCG) provides maritime security; the Dutch military maintains a presence on Aruba, including a marine company and a naval base (2023)

Country name

conventional long form: Country of Aruba

conventional short form: Aruba

local long form: Land Aruba (Dutch); Pais Aruba (Papiamento)

local short form: Aruba

etymology: the origin of the island's name is unclear; according to tradition, the name comes from the Spanish phrase "oro huba" (there was gold), but in fact no gold was ever found on the island; another possibility is the native word "oruba," which means "well-situated"


Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, north of Venezuela

Map references

Central America and the Caribbean

Irrigated land


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: none (represented by the Kingdom of the Netherlands)

Internet country code


GDP (official exchange rate)

$3.545 billion (2022 est.)

note: data in current dollars at official exchange rate

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 14 years

male: 13 years

female: 14 years (2012)


urban population: 44.3% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 0.77% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Broadcast media

2 commercial TV stations; cable TV subscription service provides access to foreign channels; about 19 commercial radio stations broadcast (2017)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 98.1% of population

rural: 98.1% of population

total: 98.1% of population

unimproved: urban: 1.9% of population

rural: 1.9% of population

total: 1.9% of population (2015 est.)

National anthem

name: "Aruba Deshi Tera" (Aruba Precious Country)

lyrics/music: Juan Chabaya 'Padu' LAMPE/Rufo Inocencio WEVER

note: local anthem adopted 1986; as part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, "Het Wilhelmus" is official (see Netherlands)
This is an audio of the National Anthem for Aruba. The national anthem is generally a patriotic musical composition - usually in the form of a song or hymn of praise - that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions, or struggles of a nation or its people. National anthems can be officially recognized as a national song by a country's constitution or by an enacted law, or simply by tradition. Although most anthems contain lyrics, some do not.

Major urban areas - population

30,000 ORANJESTAD (capital) (2018)

National symbol(s)

Hooiberg (Haystack) Hill; national colors: blue, yellow, red, white

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 60.3% (2014 est.)

government consumption: 25.3% (2015 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 22.3% (2014 est.)

investment in inventories: 0% (2015 est.)

exports of goods and services: 70.5% (2015 est.)

imports of goods and services: -76.6% (2015 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 47.8

youth dependency ratio: 24.8

elderly dependency ratio: 23

potential support ratio: 4.4 (2021 est.)


see the Netherlands

Population distribution

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

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2021)

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 3 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 19

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 274,280 (2018)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix


Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 97.7% of population

rural: 97.7% of population

total: 97.7% of population

unimproved: urban: 2.3% of population

rural: 2.3% of population

total: 2.3% of population (2015 est.)

Ethnic groups

Dutch 78.7%, Colombian 6.6%, Venezuelan 5.5%, Dominican 2.8%, Haitian 1.3%, other 5.1% (2020 est.)

note: data represent population by nationality


Roman Catholic 75.3%, Protestant 4.9% (includes Methodist 0.9%, Adventist 0.9%, Anglican 0.4%, other Protestant 2.7%), Jehovah's Witness 1.7%, other 12%, none 5.5%, unspecified 0.5% (2010 est.)


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.)

Imports - partners

United States 48%, Netherlands 16% (2019)

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 17,000 (Venezuela) (2021)

Disputes - international

none identified


highest point: Ceru Jamanota 188 m

lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m

Physicians density


Contraceptive prevalence rate


Current health expenditure


Credit ratings

Fitch rating: BB (2020)

Standard & Poors rating: BBB+ (2013)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 88,132 tons (2013 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 9,695 tons (2013 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 11% (2013 est.)

Air pollutants

carbon dioxide emissions: 0.88 megatons (2016 est.)


production: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 0 metric tons (2019 est.)

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 83.3% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 1.2% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 15.4% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Natural gas

production: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

consumption: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

exports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

imports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

proven reserves: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)


total petroleum production: 0 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 8,100 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 0 barrels (2021 est.)

Gross reproduction rate

0.9 (2023 est.)

Currently married women (ages 15-49)

42.1% (2023 est.)


1.08% of GDP (2022 est.)
1.16% of GDP (2021 est.)
1.37% of GDP (2020 est.)

note: personal transfers and compensation between resident and non-resident individuals/households/entities

Labor force

51,610 (2007 est.)

note: of the 51,610 workers aged 15 and over in the labor force, 32,252 were born in Aruba and 19,353 came from abroad; foreign workers are 38% of the employed population

Net migration rate

8.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Median age

total: 40.7 years (2023 est.)

male: 39 years

female: 42.2 years

Debt - external

$693.2 million (31 December 2014 est.)
$666.4 million (31 December 2013 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$1.544 billion (2022 est.)
$1.513 billion (2021 est.)
$1.213 billion (2020 est.)

note: holdings of gold (year-end prices)/foreign exchange/special drawing rights in current dollars

Refined petroleum products - imports

7,891 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Public debt

86% of GDP (2017 est.)
84.7% of GDP (2016 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.82 children born/woman (2023 est.)

Unemployment rate

7.7% (2016 est.)


123,702 (2023 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-2.7% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Internet users

total: 106,800 (2021 est.)

percent of population: 97% (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

1.254 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 1.254 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)


total: 180 sq km

land: 180 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Taxes and other revenues

25.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$4.393 billion (2022 est.)
$3.977 billion (2021 est.)
$3.116 billion (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars


total: 1,000 km (2010)


1 (2024)

Infant mortality rate

total: 11.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

male: 16 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 7.5 deaths/1,000 live births

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 140,000 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 130 (2021 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

4.26% (2019 est.)
3.63% (2018 est.)
-1.03% (2017 est.)

note: annual % change based on consumer prices

Refined petroleum products - exports

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Current account balance

$230.556 million (2022 est.)
$79.257 million (2021 est.)
-$316.455 million (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - net trade and primary/secondary income in current dollars

Real GDP per capita

$41,300 (2022 est.)
$37,300 (2021 est.)
$29,200 (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 19,000 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 18 (2020 est.)

Energy consumption per capita

174.629 million Btu/person (2019 est.)

Death rate

8.7 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Birth rate

11.7 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)


installed generating capacity: 296,000 kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 909.442 million kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 0 kWh (2020 est.)

imports: 0 kWh (2020 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 10.27 million kWh (2019 est.)

Merchant marine

total: 1 (2023)

by type: other 1

Children under the age of 5 years underweight



$2.429 billion (2022 est.)
$1.947 billion (2021 est.)
$1.644 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - imports of goods and services in current dollars


$2.853 billion (2022 est.)
$2.201 billion (2021 est.)
$1.444 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - exports of goods and services in current dollars

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 35,000 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 33 (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 78.3 years (2023 est.)

male: 75.2 years

female: 81.4 years

Real GDP growth rate

10.46% (2022 est.)
27.64% (2021 est.)
-23.98% (2020 est.)

note: annual GDP % growth based on constant local currency

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 0.4% (2002 est.)

industry: 33.3% (2002 est.)

services: 66.3% (2002 est.)

Revenue from forest resources

0% of GDP (2017 est.)

Education expenditures

5.5% of GDP (2016 est.)

Population growth rate

1.11% (2023 est.)