The Country

Aruba is a Caribbean island situated approximately 16 miles off the northeast coast of Venezuela and 50 miles west of Curaçao. Like other former Dutch dependencies in the area, its population is largely of mixed African ancestry, with minorities of Carib Indian and European extraction. Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion. Tourism is the primary economic sector, making up 70–75 percent of the GDP in 2019. (For information on the economy prior to 2013, see the 2016 Handbook.) A strong recovery in 2013 of 4.8 percent, according to the IMF, weakened the following year to GDP growth of just 1.1 percent. In 2014 public debt surpassed 80 percent of GDP. In mid-2015 the economy entered recession, contracting by 0.5 percent and, in 2016, by ...

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