Title: Aruba

Population: 120,917

Population Change: 0.43

National Average Age: 41

Urban Percentage: 44

Christian Population: 98,000

Christian Percentage: 88

Introduction: Aruba a tiny Dutch Caribbean island off the coast of Venezuela has dry sunny weather blond beaches and gentle surf. Constant trade winds bring cool breezes and cause the divi-divi trees to slope southwesterly. European influence shows in architecture that features Dutch gables painted in tropical pastels. It’s also evident in language with English Dutch and Spanish spoken alongside the local tongue Papiamento.

Overview: 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.