Aruba is an island in the Caribbean Sea of Central America. It is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Aruba has a tropical marine climate with little seasonal temperature variation. The land is open and flat with few hills. Plant growth is sparse.
The first European explorers to reach Aruba were the Spanish. They claimed Aruba for Spain in 1499. In 1636, control of Aruba was passed to the Netherlands. The Dutch have maintained some connection with Aruba to this day.
In the 1800s, Aruba experienced a gold rush when gold was discovered there. This was followed by discovery of oil. In 1924, and oil refinery was opened on the island. Both of these events brought economic prosperity to many.
Moving toward modern times, Aruba has a successful tourist industry largely due to its climate and many white sand beaches.
The population of Aruba is now over 100 thousand. The majority of the people are native born Aruban (66%). Other ethnic groups include Colombian 9.1%, Dutch 4.3%, Dominican 4.1%, Venezuelan 3.2%, Cuacaoan 2.2%, Haitian 1.5%, Peruvian 1.1%, and Chinese 1.1%.
The majority of people in Aruba belong to a Christian denomination. Represented religions and denominations include Roman Catholic 75.3%, Protestant 4.9% (includes Methodist 0.9%, Adventist 0.9%, Anglican 0.4%, other Protestant 2.7%), and Jehovah’s Witness 1.7%.
Aruba has two official languages: Dutch and Papiamento. Papiamento is a mixture of Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, English, and a little amount of France & African languages – Arawak. It is the most widely spoken language in Aruba. Other languages spoken are Spanish 13.7%, English, 7.1%, Dutch (official) 6.1%, and Chinese 1.5%.
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