Aruba: Background & Geography

Introduction Aruba
Background:
Discovered and claimed for Spain in 1499, Aruba was acquired by the Dutch in 1636. The island's economy has been dominated by three main industries. A 19th century gold rush was followed by prosperity brought on by the opening in 1924 of an oil refinery. 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, autonomous member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Movement toward full independence was halted at Aruba's request in 1990.
Geography Aruba
Location:
Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, north of Venezuela
Geographic coordinates:
12 30 N, 69 58 W
Map references:
Central America and the Caribbean
Area:
total: 193 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 193 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly larger than Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
Coastline:
68.5 km
Maritime claims - as described in UNCLOS 1982 (see Notes and Definitions):
territorial sea: 12 NM
Climate:
tropical marine; little seasonal temperature variation
Terrain:
flat with a few hills; scant vegetation
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mount Jamanota 188 m
Natural resources:
NEGL; white sandy beaches
Land use:
arable land: 10.53% (including aloe 0.01%)
permanent crops: 0%
other: 89.47% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
0.01 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
lies outside the Caribbean hurricane belt
Environment - current issues:
NA
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)

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