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Aruba's Information

Flag of Aruba
Land Area 180 km2
Total Area 180km2
Population 113,648 (#188)
Population Density 631.38/km2
Government Type Parliamentary Democracy (Legislature); Part Of The Kingdom Of The Netherlands
GDP (PPP) $2.52 Billion
GDP Per Capita $25,300
Currency Guilder (AWG)
More Information Aruba

arawak Aruba's first inhabitants are believed to have been the Caquetios Amerinds from the Arawak tribe of Venezuela. Archeologists have found remnants of their settlements dating back to 1000 AD.

In 1499 the Europeans arrived as the Spanish explorer Alonso de Ojeda and the Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci discovered the island.

Within a few years Aruba was colonized by settlers from Spain and from other Caribbean islands. In 1508, Alonso de Ojeda was appointed Spain's first Governor of Aruba.

The Spanish eventually decided that Aruba, as well as Bonaire and Curacao were without much value, so in 1515 they forcibly deported the natives to work as slaves in the copper mines on the island of Hispaniola. Most of the Spanish occupants left Aruba for South America (in search of gold) and Aruba was consequently attacked in 1633, then occupied in 1636 by the Dutch West India Company and used as a military outpost and trade base; the same was true for the neighboring islands of Bonaire and Curacao.

In short order the "ABC Islands," as well as the islands of Saint Eustatius, Saba and Sint Maarten in the northeastern Caribbean became overseas territories of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

oil refinery Aruba and Curacao were hit especially hard by the abolition of slavery in 1863. Prosperity (and that of neighboring Curacao) was fortunately restored in the early 20th century with the construction of oil refineries to service the newly discovered Venezuelan oil fields.

During World War II, together with Curacao, the island's world-class exporting oil refineries were the main suppliers of refined products to the Allies. Consequently, Aruba became a British protectorate from 1940 to 1942 and a US protectorate from 1942 to 1945.

Dutch colonial rule ended after the conclusion of the Second World War as Queen Wilhelmina had promised in a 1942 speech to offer autonomy to the overseas territories of the Netherlands.

In May 1948, a new constitution for the Dutch overseas territories was crafted, granting the largest amount of autonomy allowed under the Dutch constitution. Among others, universal suffrage was introduced, and the territory was renamed the "Netherlands Antilles."

On January 1, 1986, Aruba seceded from the Netherlands Antilles and officially became a country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands with full independence set for 1996. Aruba's scheduled (complete) independence was rescinded by vote in 1995, although the process can begin again after an island-wide referendum.

In Aruba, oil refining (even gold mining) remained the major industries into the early 1990s, but then tourism developed quickly and the economy of Aruba changed. In fact, Aruba remains one of the most popular vacation destinations in the entire Caribbean. Aruba has a population of 107,635 and the people are refered to as Aruban/Dutch.

This sunshiny place of balmy (some say perfect) weather, sandy beaches, duty-free shopping, and one of the most fascinating ecosystems on the planet, is surrounded by the warm, aquamarine waters of the Caribbean Sea.

This page was last updated on March 20, 2019.

Aruba Trivia

Which Continent is Aruba In?

Although a Caribbean island, Aruba is part of the continent of South America. The island of Aruba is located in the southern Caribbean Sea.

What Continent Is Aruba In?

What Kind of Economy Does Aruba Have?

Aruba has a small open economy dominated by the service sector. Tourism, financial, hospitality, business, and petroleum bunkering are among the major service industries. The services sector contributes over 60% to Aruba’s economy.

The Economy of Aruba

What are the Seven Wonders of Aruba?

The Seven Wonders of Bermuda are the Natural Pool, the Seroe Colorado, the Natural Bridge, the California Lighthouse, the Guadirikiri Caves, the De Oude Molen, and Hooiberg.

The Seven Wonders of Aruba

What Kind of Government Does Aruba Have?

Aruba, a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, is a parliamentary representative democratic country.

What Type Of Government Does Aruba Have?

What Languages are Spoken in Aruba?

Dutch and Papiamento are the two official languages of Aruba.

What Languages Are Spoken in Aruba?

What Is The Capital Of Aruba?

Oranjestad serves as the seat of government of Aruba, and it is also the country’s largest city situated on the southern coast close to the country’s western island. The capital city of Aruba is a popular tourist destination.

What Is The Capital Of Aruba?

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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