According to 2020 estimates, Aruba has a population of 107,195 inhabitants, with a population growth rate of 1.34%.
47% of the total population lives in urban areas, with the capital, Oranjestad, being the most populous city (33,000 inhabitants).
The majority of the population is descended from the Spaniards and Dutch who dominated the island and black population, along with the Arahuacos, who were the natives of the island and who were allowed in grazing and livestock in the time of Dutch domination. Although there are no indigenous Arahuacos today, the ethnic heritage is very visible, being one of the strongest in the Caribbean. Recently, immigrants have arrived from Continental America and the Caribbean islands in search of work. People of 40 different nationalities live together on the island. Multilingualism prevails, where the majority of the population can speak at least four languages (Papiamento, Dutch, Spanish and English). As in the islands of the Netherlands Antilles, the official languages are Papiamento (a mixture of Spanish and Afro-Portuguese) and Dutch, the latter being the language of instruction in schools and of government work.
VISITORS, TOURISM AND ECONOMY.
About 70% of the island’s GDP is supported by the tourism sector and related activities, such as hospitality, gastronomy and recreation, being the largest source of employment for the country’s residents. Another sector driven by tourism activities has been the construction of real estate, as the demand for hotels is five times greater than a couple of decades ago, Aruba has a large and well-developed tourism industry, receiving 1,117,000 tourists who stayed overnight in its territory in 2019. The largest number of tourists comes from North America (mainly the United States), with a market share of 73.3%, in addition to 15.2% from Latin America (mainly Venezuela) and 8.3% from Europe. In 2018 there were 40,231 visitors from the Netherlands. Oranjestad is, in addition to the capital, an important place in the tourist industry, here we find the port for the numerous cruise ships that visit Aruba. The cruise sector is a very important pillar of tourism in Aruba, since during a cruise stop a large part of the passengers go ashore to visit the island. With 334 “cruise calls” Aruba received 815,161 cruise tourists in 2018. According to some sources, the 2017/2018 cruise season contributed $102.8 million to Aruba’s economy.