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17th of December 2018
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Aruba is located in the Caribbean 30 km (18.6 miles) from the mainland of Venezuela
180 square km (69.5 square miles)
Papiamento, Dutch, English and Spanish
Aruban Florin (Afl.)
Exchange Rate
US$ 1.00 = Afl. 1.79

History, Politics and Government
Already settled by Amerindians moving north from South America, Aruba was discovered in 1499 by the Spanish, colonized by the Dutch from 1636, and briefly held by the British between 1805 and 1816. The Dutch influence can still be found in the Aruban political, legal and educational system, as well as in its architecture, language and work ethic.

In 1951, the Island Territory of Aruba was formed, providing Aruba with its own government within the political structure of the Netherlands Antilles.
On January 1, 1986 Aruba seceded from the Netherlands Antilles and gained its "Status Aparte" within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which now consists of the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. Under this arrangement, Aruba, a separate country with its own constitution, has complete autonomy over its internal affairs, while the Netherlands is constitutionally responsible for its defense and external affairs.

Aruba is a parliamentary democracy. The Head of State is the Queen of the Kingdom of The Netherlands who is represented by a governor. The Governor is appointed by the Queen, upon the recommendation of the Aruban Council of Ministers, for a six-year term of office. Vested with executive powers and headed by a Prime Minister is an eight-member Council of Ministers.

This Council is responsible to a 21-member Parliament, the “Staten”, which is elected every four years on the basis of a multi-party system.
Aruba’s judicial system, which has been derived mainly from the Dutch system, operates independently of the legislative and the executive. Jurisdiction, including appeal, lies with the Common Court of Justice of Aruba and the Supreme Court of Justice in the Netherlands.

The languages spoken in Aruba are Dutch, Papiamento, English and Spanish. Dutch and Papiamento are the official language while English and Spanish are compulsory at school and are widely spoken. Papiamento, the Aruban language, is influenced by Spanish, Dutch, English and Portuguese.
The majority of the people are Roman Catholic (75.7%) and 6.3% of the population are other Christian religion.
Currency unit
The official currency is the Aruban Florin (or AWG) which is pegged to the US Dollar at US$1.00 to Afls. 1.79

Aruba enjoys a healthy and comfortable tropical climate with refreshing Northeast trade winds. The median and almost constant temperature is 28° C (82° F), while the rainfall is about 331mm (12.9"). Because of low rainfall, Aruba has a dry and desert type nature. The relative humidity is 75%.

Local time
Aruba is on Atlantic Standard Time (AST) and one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Quality of Life
Quality of life is reflected in the island's education, health care system, housing and leisure time attractions. The magnificent stretch of white sand beaches, the tropical breeze, the spectacular sunsets and the people make Aruba a real attractive place to live and work.
All kind of sports are possible: swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing, windsurfing, deep sea fishing, tennis, squash, golf, bowling, horseback riding, etc

Aruba offers a variety of attractions: submarine sightseeing, attractive locations for scuba diving, gold mill ruins at Balashi and Bushiribana, old Indian drawings in caves near Arikok and Fontein, the natural bridge, Fort Zoutman, the Willem III Tower, etc. Furthermore, annual events, including Carnival and the Hi-Winds International Windsurfing Tournament, are held.
Aruba offers a wide variety of restaurants with native and international cuisine, while nights can be spent in nightclubs, discos and casinos.
Shopping malls and supermarkets offer a wide variety of quality goods from all over the world.
For more information on attractions, visit www.aruba.com

Because of the growth of the economy and consequently the influx of foreign laborers and the local custom to own a private house, the housing market is experiencing an excessive demand in regard to rental houses.
For the high-income earners the housing market is less restrictive and there is an oversupply of houses in this category. For more information, please contact a real estate broker.

Education in Aruba is modeled after the Dutch system, with English and Spanish compulsory in secondary school. There are 68 schools for primary education and 12 schools for secondary education. There are several technical and vocational training schools offering hospitality courses, business administration and secretarial science, a teacher training school and a private US type high school with GED preparatory courses. The International School also has an American curriculum. It is fully accredited in the US and recognized by the US Department of State as an OAS school overseas. Higher education, accredited with foreign education, is also available but in a limited selection.

The University of Aruba provides a Faculty of Law, of Finance and Economics, of Hospitality and Tourism Management, and of Science and Arts. For information contact Tel: 297-5835036 or visit www.ua.aw  Many Arubans study abroad, primarily in the Netherlands and the USA. Special schools are available for children who are physically or mentally handicapped. For further information on education please contact:

Department of Education
Frankrijkstraat 3
Tel: +297 582 3400
Fax: +297 528 3434
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website: www.ea.aw

Health Care
The quality of health care is of a high level and is available to everyone. The Public Health Department consists of several departments, which provide physical and mental health services, curative as well as preventive. Those are among others the Department of Infections Diseases, Youth Health Care, Youth Dental Care, Medicines Inspection, Pharmaceutical Affairs, Labor Health Service, Ambulance Service, a Medical Center in San Nicolas for Emergency and outpatient care, Social Psychiatric Service, Information and Education, Epidemiological Service.
There is also the Public Health Laboratory, providing services to the public health, which are necessary for the enforcement of public health legislation, and to a much greater extent, to provide clinical laboratory diagnostic services at the request of physicians and specialists in the general community, and the hospital. This laboratory is equipped with state of the art diagnostic analytical instruments and has a well-trained staff amongst which professionally educated bio-analysts and laboratory specialists.

It is enrolled in the external quality control survey programs of the College of American Pathologists, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Caribbean Epidemiological Center (CAREC), the S.K.Z.L. and L.W.B.I. in the Netherlands, to ensure and maintain quality and reliability of test results. The private laboratories, must also comply with national and international standards.

The White and Yellow Cross, provides domestic nursing services primarily for patients with chronic diseases such as diabetics and for neonates (monitoring of healthy growth and vaccination for example).

There is also a Family Planning Service and Red Cross. The Blood Bank, of which the blood supply is acquired and controlled in accordance with the standards of the American Blood Bank Association (ABBA) is located on hospital territory. For more information on contact:

Department of Health
Caya Ing. R.H. Lacle 4
Tel: 297 582 4200, Fax: 297 582 6436
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Aruba has a 300-bed hospital, Dr. Horacio Oduber Hospital, equipped with a reputable medical staff and modern sophisticated equipment, with the potential to provide medical services, which are comparable to the services provided at medical facilities in the U.S.A. and the Netherlands. For services, which are not provided on the island, patients are sent abroad, mostly to the U.S.A. and the Netherlands.
For information contact: Hospital Dr. Horacio E. Oduber, L.G. Smith Blvd z/n, Tel: 297 5874300, Fax: 297 5870321, www.arubahospital.com.

Life expectancy
Life expectancy (Population Census 2010) is 73.88 years for men and 79.75 for women. In the year 2000 Census, the life expectancy was 70.01 for men and 76.02 for women.  
Source: CBS 

Environmental policy
Aruba's environmental policy is aimed at promoting harmonious economic development and environmental protection. The objective of environmentally sound and sustainable economic development requires an integrated and multi disciplinary approach.

Expansion and updating of environmental legislation is anticipated in order to provide a regulatory framework to establish, clarify and execute environmental policy.
However an ongoing consultation with all interested parties is considered part of a democratic and participatory approach to achieve good environmental care, and to avoid excessive regulation. This furthermore will allow sufficient flexibility to adapt environmental policy to new scientific and technical developments in the environmental field. In this regard the government encourages international cooperation between the government and all involved non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

The Government holds the view of "polluter pays principle". In the interest of conserving a clean and healthy environment it makes sense to invest in the prevention of pollution rather than to pay later for the consequences of pollution. In this regard incentives and facilities that encourage such environmental investments are considered of importance. These regard e.g. the promotion of energy efficiency and conservation, the use of environmentally friendly products, efficient waste management, etc.

The protection of the marine and coastal environment together with a waste management policy emphasizing reduction of wastes, have a great priority in order to promote a balanced and sustainable development of the island. Even more so, consideration the physical characteristics of Aruba, the close interrelationship with the sea and the limited space of land.

Aruba's population of about 107,000 people is made up of a broad international mixture of well-educated people with a pleasant nature and a zest to work. Arubans are descendants of the Arawak Indians, the Spanish and the Dutch settlers. Aruba's population of over 100,000 is made up of a mixture of people who came from all over the world to this island. There are over 40 nationalities living in friendship and harmony on the island. Arubans are known for their warmth and friendly hospitality.

year end

 2011 20122013 
 49,075 49,78850,446 
 54,429 55,36456,349 

Source: Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) 2013 

The density of population amounts to 593 persons per square km (2013). The birth rate per thousand is 10.9 while the death rate is 5.7 per thousand (2013). The infant mortality rate per thousand is 5.7 (2013).

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

year end




Nominal GDP (market price) (Afl. million)

 4,626 4,555*
(%) change8.78.4



 (1.2) 4.7 
Nominal GDP per capita (Afl.)36,959

Nominal GDP per capita (US$)

 Real GDP (Afl.million)**2,887 3,682 3,596 3,289 3,182 3,193 3,171* 
 (%) change 4.52.8 (2.3)(8.5) (3.3) 0.3  

Source: Statistical Year Book 2012 CBS / National Accounts 2000-2011
* CBA - Central Bank of Aruba - Statistical Digest 2012
* * In constant 2000 prices

Consumer Price Index

year end

 2008 20092010 2011  20122013 
83.7 109.9 107.9 115.2 114.4121.4 116.8  116.9
Annual year-end change (%)
3.5 9.9
 -1.9 6.8 -0.76.1 -3.7  0.1
Annual average change (%)
4.05.4 9.0 - 2.1 2.14.4 0.6 - 2.4

The basis 100 of September 2000, has been shifted to December 2006 = 100.
Source: Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).