The Island of Aruba is one of the four constituent countries that compose the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The other three are the Netherlands, Curacao and Sint Maarten. It is divided into eight regions with Oranjestad as its capital. Aruba has an arid climate and landscape with a sunny weather making it the favourite of tourists looking for a tropical vacation place. It is one of the most booming territories in the Caribbean fuelled by the gold rush and mining in the early 19th century until reserves were used up after one century. The petroleum industry took over in 1920 until 1985 during the global economic crisis. Since then, the tourism sector became Aruba’s main source of revenues.
Aruba’s quest for autonomy began in 1947 although it took nearly 40 years before Aruba attained independence in 1986. Aruban People’s Party, the ruling party of Aruba Prime Minister Mike Eman won 13 seats while the People’s Electoral Movement claimed seven during the elections in September of 2013. The government says it aims to continue policies focused on the implementation of reforms to improve efficiency of the public sector efficiency. It also strives to bolster economic growth and deal with high fiscal deficit while looking for a way to reopen the Valero oil refinery. Tourism has picked up with a projected modest growth of 3.6 percent from 2014 until 2015. Prime Minister Eman admits that his administration is looking forward to beef up the technology, communications and finance sectors.
There was a tourism issue in 2005 when an American teenager (Natalee Holloway) from Alabama disappeared under mysterious circumstances in Alabama. This incident hugged international publicity and the Alabama Governor called for a boycott of the country claiming that Aruban officials were not serious with the case. Nonetheless, the US Government did not support the proposed sanctions. The perception that Aruba was one of the safest island destinations was not affected totally.
Population. Ranked 189th in 2013.
GDP per capita. Ranked 35th in 2011.
180 sq km
Sq. km. Ranked 193th in 2008.