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Aruba
Capital:
Oranjestad
Population:
71,218 (July 2004 est.)
Flag
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.
Government type:
parliamentary democracy
GDP:
purchasing power parity - $1.94 billion (2002 est.)
Internet users:
24,000 (2002)
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