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República Argentina (Spanish)
|Motto: En unión y libertad
"In Unity and Freedom"
|Anthem: Himno Nacional Argentino
Location of Argentina (Red)
(and largest city)
34°36′S 58°23′W / 34.6°S 58.383°W
||86.4% European (mostly Italian and Spanish), 8% Mestizo, 4% Arab and Jewish and East Asian, 1.6% Amerindian 
||Argentine, Argentinian, Argentinean
||Federal presidential republic
||Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
||Vice President and Chairman of the Senate
||Supreme Court President
||25 May 1810
||9 July 1816
||2,766,890 km2 (8th)
1,068,302 sq mi
||$566.922 billion (23rd)
||$301.331 billion (31st)
||▲ 0.866 (high) (49th)
|Drives on the
||right (trains ride on the left)
The name is derived from the Latin argentum
), which comes from the Ancient Greek ἀργήντος
), gen. of ἀργήεις
), "white, shining". Αργεντινός
) was an ancient Greek adjective meaning "silvery".
The first use of the name Argentina
can be traced to the early 16th century
voyages of the Spanish and Portuguese conquerors
to the Río de la Plata ("Silver River").
The earliest evidence of humans in Argentina is in Patagonia
(Piedra Museo, Santa Cruz) and dates from 11,000 BC (Huarpes
and Sanavirones, among others). The Inca Empire
, under King Pachacutec
, invaded and conquered present-day northwestern Argentina in 1480, integrating it into a region called Collasuyu
; the Guaraní
developed a culture based on yuca
, sweet potato
and yerba maté
. The central and southern areas (Pampas
and Patagonia) were dominated by nomadic cultures, the most populous among them being the Mapuches
European explorers arrived in 1516. Spain established the Viceroyalty of Peru
in 1542 encompassing all its holdings in South America, and established a permanent colony at Buenos Aires in 1580 as part of the dependency of Río de la Plata. In 1776 this dependency was elevated to a viceroyalty
which shifted trade from Lima
to Buenos Aires.
The area was largely a country of Spanish
immigrants and their descendants, known as criollos
, and others of native cultures and of descendants of African slaves
, present in significant numbers. A third of Colonial-era settlers gathered in Buenos Aires and other cities, others living on the pampas
, for instance. Indigenous peoples inhabited much of the rest of Argentina. The British invaded twice
between 1806 and 1807, as part of the Napoleonic Wars
when Spain was an ally of France, but both invasions were repelled.
On 25 May 1810, after the rumors of the Napoleonic
overthrow of Ferdinand VII
were confirmed, the citizens of Buenos Aires created the First Government Junta
(May Revolution). Two nations emerged in the former viceroyalty: the United Provinces of South America
(1810) and the Liga Federal
(1815). Other provinces delayed the formation of a unified state because of differences between autonomist and centralist parties; Paraguay seceded, declaring independence in 1811.
Between 1814 and 1817, General José de San Martín
led a military campaign aimed at making independence a reality. San Martín and his regiment crossed the Andes
in 1817 to defeat royalist forces in Chile and Perú, thus securing independence. The Congress of Tucumán
gathered on 9 July 1816 and finally issued a formal Declaration of Independence from Spain. The Liga Federal was crushed in 1820 by the combined forces of the United Provinces and Portuguese-ruled colonial Brazil, and its provinces were absorbed into the United Provinces of South America. Bolivia declared independence in 1825, and Uruguay was created in 1828 as a result of a truce following the Argentina-Brazil War
. The controversial truce led to the rise of Buenos Aires provincial governor Juan Manuel de Rosas
, who, as a federalist, exercised a reign of terror and kept the fragile confederation
The Port of Buenos Aires (1900). Maritime trade led to accelerated development after 1875.
A wave of foreign investment
from Europe after 1870 led to the development of modern agriculture and to a near-reinvention of Argentine society and the economy and the strengthening of a cohesive state. The rule of law
was consolidated in large measure by Dalmacio Vélez Sársfield
, whose 1860 Commercial Code and 1869 Civil Code laid the foundation for Argentina's statutory laws. General Julio Argentino Roca
's military campaign
in the 1870s established Argentine dominance over the southern Pampas and Patagonia, subdued the remaining indigenous peoples
and left 1,300 indigenous dead.
Some contemporary sources indicate that it was campaign of genocide by the Argentine government.
Hipólito Yrigoyen was an activist for universal (male) suffrage and was Argentina's first president so elected (1916)
This allowed their traditional rivals, the centrist Radical Civic Union
, to win the country's first free elections in 1916. President Hipólito Yrigoyen
enacted social and economic reforms and extended assistance to family farmers and small business
; having been politically imposing and beset by the Great Depression
, however, Yrigoyen was overthrown in 1930. This led to another decade of Conservative rule, whose economists turned to more protectionist policies and whose electoral policy was one of "patriotic fraud
". The country was neutral
during World War I
and most of World War II
, becoming an important source of foodstuffs for the Allied Nations
President Juan Perón (1946)
Formerly stable prices and exchange rates were disrupted, however: the peso lost about 70% of its value from early 1948 to early 1950, and inflation reached 50% in 1951.
Foreign policy became more isolationist
, straining U.S.-Argentine relations. Perón intensified censorship as well as repression: 110 publications were shuttered,
and numerous opposition figures were imprisoned and tortured.
Over time, he rid himself of many important and capable advisers, while promoting patronage. A violent coup
, which bombarded the Casa Rosada
and its surroundings killing many, deposed him in 1955. He fled into exile, eventually residing in Spain.
Arturo Frondizi (second from left
) hosts U.S. President John F. Kennedy
Following an attempt to purge the Peronist influence and the banning of Peronists from political life, elections in 1958 brought Arturo Frondizi
to office. Frondizi enjoyed some support from Perón's followers, and his policies encouraged investment to make the country self-sufficient in energy and industry, helping reverse a chronic trade deficit
for Argentina. The military, however, frequently interfered on behalf of conservative interests and the results were mixed.
Frondizi was forced to resign in 1962. Arturo Illia
, elected in 1963, enacted expansionist policies; but despite prosperity, his attempts to include Peronists in the political process resulted in the armed forces' retaking power in a quiet 1966 coup.
, this new regime continued to encourage domestic development and invested record amounts into public works
. The economy grew strongly, and income poverty declined to 7% by 1975, still a record low. Partly because of their repressiveness, however, political violence
began to escalate and, from exile, Perón skillfully co-opted student and labor protests, which eventually resulted in the military regime's call for free elections in 1973 and his return from Spain.
Taking office that year, Perón died in July 1974, leaving his third wife Isabel
, the Vice President, to succeed him in office. Mrs. Perón had been chosen as a compromise among feuding Peronist factions who could agree on no other running mate; secretly, though, she was beholden to Perón's most fascist advisers
. The resulting conflict between left and right-wing extremists led to mayhem and financial chaos and, in March 1976, a coup d'état
removed her from office.
's takeover of the Falkland Islands in 1982 cost Argentina lives and prestige
This new dictatorship at first brought some stability and built numerous important public works; but their frequent wage freezes and deregulation of finance led to a sharp fall in living standards
and record foreign debt
, the peso's collapse and crushing real interest rates
, as well as unprecedented corruption, public revulsion in the face of alleged human rights
abuses and, finally, the country's 1982 defeat by the British in the Falklands War
discredited the military regime and led to free elections in 1983.
Raúl Alfonsín (left
) greets supporters with his trademark salute (1983)
's government took steps to account for the "disappeared", established civilian control of the armed forces and consolidated democratic institutions. The members of the three military juntas were prosecuted and sentenced to life terms. The previous regime's foreign debt, however, left the Argentine economy saddled by the conditions imposed on it by both its private creditors and the IMF
, and priority was given to servicing the foreign debt at the expense of public works and domestic credit. Alfonsín's failure to resolve worsening economic problems caused him to lose public confidence. Following a 1989 currency crisis that resulted in a sudden and ruinous 15-fold jump in prices, he left office five months early.
Newly elected President Carlos Menem
began pursuing privatizations and, after a second bout of hyperinflation
in 1990, reached out to economist Domingo Cavallo
, who imposed a peso-dollar fixed exchange rate
in 1991 and adopted far-reaching market-based
policies, dismantling protectionist
barriers and business regulations
, while accelerating privatizations
. These reforms contributed to significant increases in investment and growth with stable prices through most of the 1990s; but the peso's fixed value could only be maintained by flooding the market with dollars, resulting in a renewed increase in the foreign debt. Towards 1998, moreover, a series of international financial crises and overvaluation of the pegged peso caused a gradual slide into economic crisis
. The sense of stability and well being which had prevailed during the 1990s eroded quickly, and by the end of his term in 1999, these accumulating problems and reports of corruption had made Menem unpopular.
Néstor Kirchner (second from right
) hosts Raúl Alfonsín (right
), the Brazilian President Lula da Silva
and former Brazilian President José Sarney
to commemorate 20 years of productive trade talks
President Fernando de la Rúa
inherited diminished competitiveness in exports, as well as chronic fiscal deficits. The governing coalition developed rifts, and his returning Cavallo to the Economy Ministry was interpreted as a crisis move by speculators. The decision backfired and Cavallo was eventually forced to take measures to halt a wave of capital flight
and to stem the imminent debt crisis (culminating in the freezing of bank accounts). A climate of popular discontent ensued, and on 20 December 2001 Argentina dove into its worst institutional and economic crisis since the 1890 Barings financial debacle
. There were violent street protests, which clashed with police and resulted in several fatalities. The increasingly chaotic climate, amid riots
accompanied by cries that "they should all go", finally resulted in the resignation of President de la Rúa.
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, president since December 2007
Three presidents followed in quick succession over two weeks, culminating in the appointment of interim President Eduardo Duhalde
by the Legislative Assembly
on 2 January 2002. Argentina defaulted
on its international debt, and the peso's 11 year-old tie to the U.S. dollar was rescinded, causing a major depreciation
of the peso and a spike in inflation
. Duhalde, a Peronist with a center-left
economic position, had to cope with a financial and socio-economic crisis
, with unemployment as high as 25% by late 2002 and the lowest real wages
in sixty years. The crisis accentuated the people's mistrust in politicians and institutions. Following a year racked by protest, the economy began to stabilize by late 2002, and restrictions on bank withdrawals were lifted in December.
Argentina has since been enjoying economic growth
, though with high inflation, which according to the Economist
was 15% in June 2009.
Néstor Kirchner forfeited the 2007 campaign in favor of his wife Senator Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Winning by a landslide that October, she became the first woman elected President of Argentina and in a disputed result, Fabiana Ríos
, a center-left (ARI
) candidate in Tierra del Fuego Province became the first woman in Argentine history to be elected governor.
President Cristina Kirchner, despite carrying large majorities in Congress, saw controversial plans for higher agricultural export taxes defeated by Vice President Julio Cobos' surprise tie-breaking vote against them on 16 July 2008, following massive agrarian protests and lockouts
from March to July. The global financial crisis
has since prompted Mrs. Kirchner to step up her husband's policy of state intervention in troubled sectors of the economy.
A halt in growth and political missteps helped lead Kirchnerism
and its allies to lose their absolute majority in Congress, following the 2009 mid-term elections
Topographic map of Argentina (including some territorial claims)
Sailboats on the Uruguay River
The total surface area (excluding the Antarctic claim) is 2,766,891.2 km2
(1,068,302.7 sq mi), of which 30,200 km2
(11,700 sq mi) (1.1%) is water. Argentina is about 3,900 km (2,400 mi) long from north to south, and 1,400 km (870 mi) from east to west (maximum values). There are four major regions: the fertile central plains of the Pampas
, source of Argentina's agricultural wealth; the flat to rolling, oil-rich southern plateau of Patagonia including Tierra del Fuego
; the subtropical northern flats of the Gran Chaco
, and the rugged Andes mountain range along the western border with Chile.
The largest oil spill in fresh water was caused by a Shell Petroleum
tanker in the Río de la Plata, off Magdalena
, on January 15, 1999, polluting the environment, drinking water, and local wildlife.
The 4,665 km (2,899 mi) long Atlantic coast
has been a popular local vacation area for over a century, and varies between areas of sand dunes and cliffs. The continental platform is unusually wide; this shallow area of the Atlantic is called the Argentine Sea
. The waters are rich in fisheries and possibly hold important hydrocarbon energy resources. The two major ocean currents affecting the coast are the warm Brazil Current
and the cold Falkland Current
. Because of the unevenness of the coastal landmass, the two currents alternate in their influence on climate and do not allow temperatures to fall evenly with higher latitude. The southern coast of Tierra del Fuego forms the north shore of the Drake Passage
The generally temperate climate
ranges from subtropical
in the north to subpolar
in the far south. The north is characterized by very hot, humid summers with mild drier winters, and is subject to periodic droughts. Central Argentina has hot summers with thunderstorms (western Argentina produces some of the world's largest hail), and cool winters. The southern regions have warm summers and cold winters with heavy snowfall, especially in mountainous zones. Higher elevations at all latitudes experience cooler conditions.
The Andean range over Santa Cruz province
The hottest and coldest temperature extremes recorded in South America have occurred in Argentina. A record high temperature of 49.1 °C (120.4 °F), was recorded at Villa de María
, Córdoba, on 2 January 1920. The lowest temperature recorded was −39 °C (−38 °F) at Valle de los Patos Superior, San Juan, on 17 July 1972.
Major wind currents include the cool Pampero Winds
blowing on the flat plains of Patagonia and the Pampas
; following the cold front, warm currents blow from the north in middle and late winter, creating mild conditions. The Zonda
, a hot dry wind
, affects west-central Argentina. Squeezed of all moisture during the 6,000 m (20,000 ft) descent from the Andes, Zonda winds can blow for hours with gusts up to 120 km/h (75 mph), fueling wildfires and causing damage; when the Zonda blows (June–November), snowstorms and blizzard
) conditions usually affect higher elevations.
("southeasterlies") could be considered similar to the Nor'easter
, though snowfall is rare but not unprecedented. Both are associated with a deep winter low pressure system. The sudestada
usually moderates cold temperatures but brings very heavy rains, rough seas and coastal flooding. It is most common in late autumn and winter along the central coast and in the Río de la Plata estuary.
The southern regions, particularly the far south, experience long periods of daylight from November to February (up to nineteen hours) and extended nights from May to August.
Panoramic view of Bristol Beach in the city of Mar del Plata
in the low season
In 2001 census [INDEC]
, Argentina had a population of 36,260,130 inhabitants, and the official population estimate for 2009 is of 40,134,425.
Argentina ranks third in South America in total population and 33rd globally. Population density
is of 15 persons per square kilometer of land area, well below the world average of 50 persons. The population growth rate in 2008 was estimated to be 0.92% annually, with a birth rate of 16.32 live births per 1,000 inhabitants and a mortality rate of 7.54 deaths per 1,000 inhabitants. The net migration rate
is zero immigrants per 1,000 inhabitants.
The proportion of people under 15, at 24.6%, is somewhat below the world average (28%), and the cohort of people 65 and older is relatively high, at 10.8%. The percentage of senior citizens
in Argentina has long been second only to Uruguay
in Latin America and well above the world average, which is currently 7%.
Argentina's population has long had one of Latin America
's lowest growth rates
(recently, about one percent a year) and it also enjoys a comparatively low infant mortality rate
. Strikingly, though, its birth rate is still nearly twice as high (2.3 children per woman) as that in Spain
, despite comparable religiosity figures.
The median age is approximately 30 years and life expectancy
at birth is of 76 years.
A crowd in Rosario
reflects the importance of European immigration to Argentine ethnography and culture.
As with other areas of new settlement such as Canada
and the United States
, Argentina is considered a country of immigrants.
Most Argentines are descended from colonial-era settlers and of the 19th and 20th century immigrants
from Europe, and 86.4% of Argentina's population self-identify as European descent
An estimated 8% of the population is mestizo
, and a further 4% of Argentines are of Arab
or East Asian
In the last national census, based on self-identification, 600,000 Argentines (1.6%) declared to be Amerindians
(see Demographics of Argentina
for genetic studies).
Following the arrival of the initial Spanish colonists, over 6.2 million Europeans emigrated to Argentina from the mid-19th to mid-20th centuries
Argentina was second only to the United States
in the number of European immigrants received, and at the time, the national population doubled every two decades mostly as a result.
The majority of these European immigrants came from Italy
. Italian immigrants arrived mainly from the Piedmont
regions, initially, and later from Campania
up to 25 million Argentines have some degree of Italian descent, around 60% of the total population. Spanish
immigrants were mainly Galicians
Smaller but significant numbers of immigrants came from France
and the Northern Basque Country
, and the United Kingdom.
Built in 1906 to welcome hundreds of newcomers daily, the Hotel de Inmigrantes
is now a national museum.
Population pyramid for Argentina (2009)
Immigrant population Argentina (1869–1991)
Small but growing numbers of people from East Asia have also settled in Argentina, mainly in Buenos Aires. The first Asian-Argentines
were of Japanese descent, beginning as visitors who eventually settled in the country starting from 1886; officially steady immigration of Japanese began in 1912. Chinese
followed later. Today, Chinese are the fastest growing community, with 100,000 Chinese-born residing in the largest Argentine cities.
Although relatively few in number, English immigrants to Argentina have played a disproportionately large role in forming the modern state. Anglo-Argentines
were traditionally often found in positions of influence in the railway
, industrial and agricultural sectors. The historical English Argentine status was complicated by an erosion of their economic influence during Perón's nationalisation
of many British-owned companies in the 1940s and, more recently, by the Falklands War in 1982.
The officially recognized indigenous
population in the country, according to the 2004–05 "Complementary Survey of Indigenous Peoples", stands at approximately 600,000 (around 1.4% of the total population), the most numerous of whom are the Mapuche people.
According to David Levinson "Afro Argentines
number about 50,000, nearly all of whom now live in Buenos Aires
. Argentina did not import large numbers of slaves, and the Afro Argentine population today is descended from freed slaves and slaves who escaped to Argentina from Bolivia
, and Brazil
. As part of the Europeanization program of the late 1880’s, Afro Argentines were pushed off their land. African identity was defined as inferior, and warfare, disease, and intermarriage decimated the population. Although largely ignored and relegated to low-level jobs, the Afro Argentine community continues to function as a distinct community in Buenos Aires."
Criticisms of the national census state that data has historically been collected using the category of national origin rather than race in Argentina, leading to undercounting Afro-Argentines and mestizos
The 1887 Buenos Aires census was the last in which blacks were included as a separate category.
has been a recent factor in Argentine demographics. Most illegal immigrants come from Bolivia
, countries which border Argentina to the north. Smaller numbers arrive from Peru
The Argentine government estimates that 750,000 inhabitants lack official documents and has launched a program called Patria Grande
to encourage illegal immigrants to regularize their status; so far over 670,000 applications have been processed under the program.
The 17th century Cathedral of Córdoba
The Constitution guarantees freedom of religion but also requires the government to support Roman Catholicism
Until 1994 the President and Vice President had to be Roman Catholic, though there were no such restrictions on other government officials; indeed, since 1945, numerous Jews have held prominent posts. Catholic policy, however, remains influential in government and still helps shape a variety of legislation. In a study assessing nations' levels of religious regulation and persecution with scores ranging from 0–10 where 0 represented low levels of regulation or persecution, Argentina received a score of 1.4 on Government Regulation of Religion, 6.0 on Social Regulation of Religion, 6.9 on Government Favoritism of Religion and 6 on Religious Persecution.
According to the World Christian Database, Argentines are 92.1% Christian, 3.1% agnostic, 1.9% Muslim, 1.3% Jewish, 0.9% atheist, and 0.9% Buddhist and other.
Argentine Christians are mostly Roman Catholic
. Estimates for the number professing this faith vary from 70% of the population,
to as much as 90%,
though perhaps only 20% attend services regularly. Evangelical
churches have been gaining a foothold since the 1980s, and count approximately 9% of the total population amongst their followers. Pentecostal
churches and traditional Protestant denominations are present in most communities. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
, claiming over 330,000 (the seventh-largest congregation in the world), are also present.
Argentina has the largest Jewish population in Latin America with about 230,000. The community numbered about 400,000 after World War II, but the appeal of Israel
and economic and cultural pressures at home led many to leave; recent instability in Israel has resulted in a modest reversal of the trend since 2003. Muslim Argentines
number about 500,000–600,000, or approximately 1.5% of the population; 93% of them are Sunni
Buenos Aires is home to one of the largest mosques
in Latin America. A recent study found that approximately 11% of Argentines are non-religious, including those who believe in God, though not religion, agnostics
(4%) and atheists
(5%). Overall, 24% attended religious services regularly. Protestants were the only group in which a majority regularly attended services.
"Voseo" in a Buenos Aires billboard
The official language of Argentina is Spanish, usually called castellano
(Castilian) by Argentines. A phonetic study conducted by the Laboratory for Sensory Investigations of CONICET
and the University of Toronto
showed that the accent of the inhabitants of Buenos Aires (known as porteños
) is closer to the Neapolitan
dialect of Italian
than any other spoken language. Italian immigration and other European immigrations influenced Lunfardo
, the slang spoken in the Río de la Plata region, permeating the vernacular vocabulary of other regions as well.
Argentines are the largest Spanish-speaking society that universally employs what is known as voseo
(the use of the pronoun vos
instead of tú
(you), which occasions the use of alternate verb forms as well). The most prevalent dialect is Rioplatense
, whose speakers are primarily located in the basin of the Río de la Plata. Elements of word use (not pronunciation per se) in Argentine voseo
are also prevalent in Central American
dialects; particularly in Nicaragua
According to one survey, there are around 1.5 million Italian speakers (which makes it the second most spoken language in the country) and 1 million speakers of North Levantine Spoken Arabic
is spoken by between 400,000 and 500,000 Argentines of German ancestry,
making it the third or fourth most spoken language in Argentina.
Some indigenous communities have retained their original languages. Guaraní
is spoken by some in the northeast, especially in Corrientes (where it enjoys official status) and Misiones. Quechua
is spoken by some in the northwest and has a local variant in Santiago del Estero
is spoken by members of the Bolivian community who migrated to Argentina from Bolivia. In Patagonia there are several Welsh
, with some 25,000 estimated second-language speakers.
More recent immigrants have brought Chinese
, mostly to Buenos Aires. English, Brazilian Portuguese
are also spoken. English is commonly taught at schools as a second language as are, to a lesser extent, Portuguese and French.
Argentina is highly urbanized
with the ten largest metropolitan areas accounting for half of the population, and fewer than one in ten living in rural areas. About 3 million people live in Buenos Aires proper, and the Greater Buenos Aires
metropolitan area totals around 13 million, making it one of the largest urban areas in the world.
The metropolitan areas of Córdoba
have around 1.3 million inhabitants each,
and six other cities (Mendoza
, La Plata
, Mar del Plata
and Santa Fe
have at least half a million people each.
The population is unequally distributed amongst the provinces, with about 60% living in the Pampa region (21% of the total area), including 15 million people in Buenos Aires Province and 3 million in each of the provinces of Córdoba and Santa Fe, and the city of Buenos Aires. Seven other provinces each have about one million people: Mendoza, Tucumán, Entre Ríos, Salta, Chaco, Corrientes and Misiones. Tucumán is the most densely populated (with 60 inhabitants/km², the only Argentine province more densely populated than the world average), while the southern province of Santa Cruz has less than 1 inhabitant/km².
Most European immigrants settled in the cities which offered jobs, education and other opportunities enabling them to enter the middle class. Many also settled in the growing small towns along the expanding railway system and since the 1930s many rural workers have moved to the big cities.
Urban areas reflect the influence of European immigration, and most of the larger ones feature boulevards and diagonal avenues inspired by the redevelopment of Paris
. Argentine cities were originally built in a colonial Spanish grid style
, centered around a plaza overlooked by a cathedral and important government buildings. Many still retain this general layout, known as a damero
, meaning checkerboard, since it is based on a pattern of square blocks. The city of La Plata, designed at the end of the nineteenth century by Pedro Benoit
, combines the checkerboard layout with added diagonal avenues at fixed intervals, and was the first in South America with electric street illumination.
|Largest cities of Argentina
(2007 INDEC estimate)
||Santiago del Estero
||RNO / NQN
||Mar del Plata
||San Salvador de Jujuy
|Provincial capitals of Argentina
La Plata, Buenos Aires · San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca, Catamarca · Resistencia, Chaco · Rawson, Chubut · Córdoba, Córdoba · Corrientes, Corrientes · Paraná, Entre Ríos · Formosa, Formosa · San Salvador de Jujuy, Jujuy · Santa Rosa, La Pampa · La Rioja, La Rioja · Mendoza, Mendoza · Posadas, Misiones · Neuquén, Neuquén · Viedma, Río Negro · Salta, Salta · San Juan, San Juan · San Luis, San Luis · Río Gallegos, Santa Cruz · Santa Fe, Santa Fe · Santiago del Estero, Santiago del Estero · Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego · Tucumán, Tucumán
The Buenos Aires waterfront and three sectors leading the recent economic recovery: construction, foreign trade and tourism
Freight rail yard in Rosario. The nations' railways move 25 million metric tons of cargo annually.
Argentina has abundant natural resources
, a well-educated population
, an export-oriented agricultural sector
and a relatively diversified industrial
base. Domestic instability and global trends, however, contributed to Argentina's decline from its noteworthy position as the world's 10th wealthiest nation per capita in 1913
to that of an upper-middle income economy. Though no consensus exists explaining this, systemic problems have included increasingly burdensome debt, uncertainty over the monetary system, excessive regulation, barriers to free trade, and a weak rule of law coupled with corruption and a bloated bureaucracy.
Even during its era of decline between 1930 and 1980, however, the Argentine economy created Latin America's largest proportional middle class
but this segment of the population has suffered from a series of economic crises between 1981 and 2002, when the relative decline became absolute.
Argentina's economy started to slowly lose ground after 1930,
when it entered the Great Depression and recovered slowly, afterwards. Erratic policies helped lead to serious bouts of stagflation
in the 1949–52 and 1959–63 cycles and the country lost its place among the world's prosperous nations, even as it continued to industrialize.
Following a promising decade, the economy further declined during the military dictatorship that lasted from 1976 to 1983 and for some time afterwards.
The dictatorship's chief economist, José Alfredo Martínez de Hoz
, advanced a disorganized, corrupt, monetarist
financial liberalization that increased the debt burden and interrupted industrial development and upward social mobility; over 400,000 companies of all sizes went bankrupt by 1982
and economic decisions made from 1983 through 2001 failed to reverse the situation.
Record foreign debt interest payments
, tax evasion and capital flight resulted in a balance of payments
crisis that plagued Argentina with severe stagflation from 1975 to 1990. Attempting to remedy this, economist Domingo Cavallo pegged
the peso to the U.S. dollar in 1991 and limited the growth in the money supply
. His team then embarked on a path of trade liberalization
, deregulation and privatization. Inflation dropped and GDP grew by one third in four years;
but external economic shocks and failures of the system diluted benefits, causing the economy to crumble slowly from 1995 until the collapse in 2001. That year and the next, the economy suffered its sharpest decline since 1930; by 2002, Argentina had defaulted on its debt, its GDP had shrunk, unemployment
reached 25% and the peso had depreciated 70% after being devalued
In 2003 expansionary policies and commodity exports triggered a rebound in GDP. This trend has been largely maintained, creating millions of jobs and encouraging internal consumption. The socio-economic situation has been steadily improving and the economy grew around 9% annually for five consecutive years between 2003 and 2007 and 7% in 2008. Inflation, however, though officially hovering around 9% since 2006, has been privately estimated at over 15%,
becoming a contentious issue again. The urban income poverty rate
has dropped to 18% as of mid-2008, a third of the peak level observed in 2002, though still above the level prior to 1976. Income distribution
, having improved since 2002, is still considerably unequal.
Argentina ranks 106th out of 179 countries in the Transparency International
's Corruption Perceptions Index for 2009.
Reported problems include both government and private-sector corruption, the latter of which include money laundering, trafficking in narcotics and contraband, and tax evasion.
The country faces slowing economic growth in light of an international financial crisis
. The Kirchner administration responded at the end of 2008 with a record US$32 billion public-works program for 2009–10 and a further US$4 billion in new tax cuts and subsidies.
Kirchner has also nationalized private pensions, which required growing subsidies to cover, in a move designed to shed a budgetary drain as well as to finance high government spending and debt obligations.
The Casa Rosada, seat of the Executive branch
The Argentine National Congress, Buenos Aires
The Supreme Court of Argentina
Executive power resides in the President and the Cabinet
. The President and Vice President are directly elected to four-year terms and are limited to two terms. Cabinet ministers are appointed by the President and are not subject to legislative ratification. The current President is Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
, with Julio Cobos
as Vice President.
Legislative power is vested in the bicameral National Congress
, comprising a 72-member Senate
and a 257-member Chamber of Deputies
. Senators serve six-year terms, with one-third standing for re-election every two years. Members of the Chamber of Deputies are elected to four-year terms by a proportional representation
system, with half of the members standing for re-election every two years. A third of the candidates presented by the parties must be women.
The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. The Supreme Court has seven members appointed by the President in consultation with the Senate. The judges of all the other courts are appointed by the Council of Magistrates of the Nation
, a secretariat composed of representatives of judges, lawyers, the Congress and the executive.
Though declared the capital in 1853
, Buenos Aires did not become the official Capital until 1880. There have been moves to relocate the administrative centre elsewhere. During the presidency of Raúl Alfonsín, a law was passed to transfer the federal capital to Viedma, Río Negro
. Studies were underway when economic problems halted the project in 1989. Though the law was never formally repealed, it is now treated as a relic.
Argentina is divided into twenty-three provinces (provincias
; singular provincia
) and one Autonomous City. Buenos Aires Province is divided into 134 partidos
, while the remaining Provinces are divided into 376 departments
). Departments and Partidos are further subdivided into municipalities or districts. With the exception of Buenos Aires Province
, the nation's provinces have chosen in recent years to enter into treaties with other provinces, forming four federated regions aimed at fostering economic integration and development: Center Region
, Patagonic Region, New Cuyo Region and the Argentine Greater North Region..
Provinces of Argentina and Autonomous City of Buenos Aires
Argentina is a full member of the Mercosur
block together with Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela; and five associate members: Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. From 2006 Argentina has emphasized Mercosur (Mercosul in Brazil) , which has some supranational legislative functions, as its first international priority; by contrast, during the 1990s, it relied more heavily on its relationship with the United States. Argentina is a founding signatory and permanent consulting member of the Antarctic Treaty System
and the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat
is based in Buenos Aires.
Argentina has long claimed sovereignty over the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas
), the South Shetland Islands
, the South Sandwich Islands
and almost 1 million km² in Antarctica, between the 25°W and the 74°W meridians and the 60°S parallel, overlapping British claims. Since 1904, a scientific post
has been maintained in Antarctica by mutual agreement. While Argentina has employed threats and force to pursue its claims against Chile in the Beagle channel
and Laguna del Desierto, against Britain in Antarctica
and the Falklands
, as well as against illegal trawlers
, this is the exception rather than the rule in Argentine international relations.
Argentina was the only Latin American country to participate in the 1991 Gulf War
under the United Nations
mandate. It was also the only Latin American country involved in every phase of Operation Uphold Democracy
in Haiti.
Argentina has contributed worldwide to peacekeeping
operations, including those in El Salvador
, the Ecuador-Peru
dispute, Western Sahara
, Croatia, Kosovo
and Timor Leste
. In recognition of its contributions to international security
, U.S. President Bill Clinton
designated Argentina as a major non-NATO ally
in January 1998. It was last elected as a member of the UN Security Council
in 2005. The United Nations White Helmets
, a bulwark of peacekeeping and humanitarian aid
efforts, were first deployed in 1994 following an Argentine initiative.
The armed forces of Argentina comprise an army
and air force
, and number about 70,000 active duty personnel, one third fewer than levels before the return to democracy in 1983.
The President is commander-in-chief
of the armed forces, with the Defense Ministry exercising day-to-day control. There are also two other forces; the Naval Prefecture
(which patrols Argentine territorial waters
) and the National Gendarmerie
(which patrols the border regions); both arms are controlled by the Interior Ministry but maintain liaison with the Defense Ministry. The minimum age for enlistment in the armed forces is 18 years and there is no obligatory military service
Historically, Argentina's military has been one of the best equipped in the region (for example, developing its own jet fighters as early as the 1950s);
but recently it has faced sharper expenditure cutbacks than most other Latin American armed forces. Real military expenditures declined steadily after 1981 and though there have been recent increases, the defense budget is now around US$3 billion.
The armed forces are currently participating in major peacekeeping operations in Haiti
Motorway in Buenos Aires (Av. General Paz)
Argentina's transport infrastructure is relatively advanced.
There are over 230,000 km (144,000 mi) of roads (not including private rural roads) of which 72,000 km (45,000 mi) are paved
and 1,575 km (980 mi) are expressways,
many of which are privatized tollways. Having doubled in length in recent years, multilane expressways now connect several major cities with more under construction.
Expressways are, however, currently inadequate to deal with local traffic, as 9.5 million motor vehicles are registered nationally as of 2009 (240 per 1000 population).
network has a total length of 34,059 km (21,170 mi).
After decades of declining service and inadequate maintenance, most intercity passenger services shut down in 1992 when the rail company was privatized, and thousands of kilometers of track (excluding the above total) are now in disuse. Metropolitan rail services in and around Buenos Aires remained in great demand, however, owing in part to their easy access to the Buenos Aires subway, and intercity rail services are currently being reactivated along numerous lines.
Inaugurated in 1913, the Buenos Aires Metro
was the first subway system built in Latin America and the Southern Hemisphere.
It is no longer the most extensive in South America; but, its 52.3 km (32.5 mi) of track carry nearly a million passengers daily.
Argentina has around 11,000 km (6,835 mi) of navigable waterways
, and these carry more cargo than do the country's renown freight railways.
This includes an extensive network of canals, though Argentina is blessed with ample natural waterways, as well; the most significant among these being the Río de la Plata, Paraná, Uruguay, Río Negro
and Paraguay rivers.
is the country's main airline, providing both extensive domestic and international service. Austral Lineas Aereas
is Aerolineas Argentinas' subsidiary, with a route system that covers almost all of the country. LADE
is a military-run airline that flies extensive domestic services.
is the national flower of Argentina
Subtropical plants dominate the Gran Chaco in the north, with the Dalbergia genus
of trees well represented by Brazilian Rosewood
and the quebracho
tree; also predominant are white and black algarrobo
trees (prosopis alba
and prosopis nigra
). Savannah-like areas exist in the drier regions nearer the Andes. Aquatic plants thrive in the wetlands of Argentina. In central Argentina the humid pampas
are a true tallgrass prairie ecosystem
. The original pampa had virtually no trees; some imported species like the American sycamore
are present along roads or in towns and country estates (estancias
). The only tree-like plant native to the pampa is the evergreen Ombú
. The surface soils of the pampa are a deep black color, primarily mollisols
, known commonly as humus
. This makes the region one of the most agriculturally productive on Earth; however, this is also responsible for decimating much of the original ecosystem, to make way for commercial agriculture. The western pampas receive less rainfall, this dry pampa
is a plain of short grasses or steppe
Most of Patagonia lies within the rain shadow
of the Andes, so the flora, shrubby bushes and plants, is suited to dry conditions. The soil is hard and rocky, making large-scale farming impossible except along river valleys. Coniferous
forests in far western Patagonia and on the island of Tierra del Fuego, include alerce
, ciprés de la cordillera
, ciprés de las guaitecas
, mañío hembra
, while broadleaf trees include several species of Nothofagus
such as coihue
. Other introduced trees present in forestry plantations include spruce
. Common plants are the copihue
, semiarid thorny bushes and other xerophile
plants abound. Along the many rivers grasses and trees grow in significant numbers. The area presents optimal conditions for the large scale growth of grape vines
. In northwest Argentina there are many species of cactus
. No vegetation grows in the highest elevations (above 4,000 m (13,000 ft)) because of the extreme altitude.
Many species live in the subtropical north. Big cats
like the jaguar
, and ocelot
; primates (howler monkey
); large reptiles (crocodiles
), Argentine Black and White Tegu
and a species of caiman
. Other animals include the tapir
, bush dog
and various species of turtle
. There are a wide variety of birds, notably hummingbirds
inhabits the northeast of the country
Café de los Angelitos
, a meeting point for musical and literary talent, like many Argentine coffee houses
Argentine culture has significant European influences. Buenos Aires, its cultural capital, is largely characterized by both the prevalence of people of European descent, and of conscious imitation of European styles in architecture
The other big influence is the gauchos and their traditional country lifestyle of self-reliance. Finally, indigenous American traditions (like yerba mate
infusions) have been absorbed into the general cultural milieu.
When I think of what I've lost, I ask "who know themselves better than the blind?" – for every thought becomes a tool.
Jorge Luis Borges
Argentina has a rich literary history, as well as one of the region's most active publishing industries. Argentine writers have figured prminently in Latin American literature since becoming a fully united entity in the 1850s, with a strong constitution and a defined nation-building plan. The struggle between the Federalists (who favored a loose confederation
of provinces based on rural conservatism) and the Unitarians (pro-liberalism
and advocates of a strong central government that would encourage European immigration), set the tone for Argentine literature of the time.
The ideological divide between gaucho epic Martín Fierro
by José Hernández
, and Facundo
by Domingo Faustino Sarmiento
, is a great example. Hernández, a federalist, was opposed to the centralizing, modernizing and Europeanizing tendencies. Sarmiento wrote in support of immigration as the only way to save Argentina from becoming subject to the rule of a small number of dictatorial caudillo
families, arguing such immigrants would make Argentina more modern and open to Western European influences and therefore a more prosperous society.
Argentine literature of that period was fiercely nationalist. It was followed by the modernist
movement, which emerged in France in the late nineteenth century, and this period in turn was followed by vanguardism
, with Ricardo Güiraldes
as an important reference. Jorge Luis Borges
, its most acclaimed writer, found new ways of looking at the modern world in metaphor and philosophical debate and his influence has extended to writers all over the globe. Borges is most famous for his works in short stories such as Ficciones
and The Aleph
Some of the nation's notable writers, poets and intellectuals include: Juan Bautista Alberdi
, Roberto Arlt
, Enrique Banchs
, Adolfo Bioy Casares
, Silvina Bullrich
, Eugenio Cambaceres
, Julio Cortázar
, Esteban Echeverría
, Leopoldo Lugones
, Eduardo Mallea
, Ezequiel Martínez Estrada
, Tomás Eloy Martínez
, Victoria Ocampo
, Manuel Puig
, Ernesto Sabato
, Osvaldo Soriano
, Alfonsina Storni
and María Elena Walsh
. Caricaturists have also contributed prominently to antional culture, including Alberto Breccia
, Dante Quinterno
, Francisco Solano López
, Horacio Altuna
, Guillermo Mordillo
, Roberto Fontanarrosa
, whose grotesque characters captured life's absurdities with quick-witted commentary, and Quino
, known for the soup-hating Mafalda
and her comic strip
gang of childhood friends.
Film and theatre
The Gran Rex
Cinema, Buenos Aires
The Teatro Colón
, Buenos Aires
More recent films from the "New Wave" of cinema since the 1980s have achieved worldwide recognition, such as The Official Story
(Best foreign film oscar
in 1986), Nine Queens
, Man Facing Southeast
, A Place in the World
, Son of the Bride
, The Motorcycle Diaries
, Blessed by Fire
, and The Secret in Their Eyes
, which won the 2009 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
. Although rarely rivaling Hollywood
productions in popularity, local films are released weekly and widely followed in Argentina and internationally. A number of local films, many of which are low-budget productions, have earned prizes in cinema festivals (such as Cannes
), and are promoted by events such as the Mar del Plata Film Festival
and the Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema
The per capita number of screens is one of the highest in Latin America, and viewing per capita is the highest in the region.
A new generation of Argentine directors has caught the attention of critics worldwide.
Cinema is an important facet of local culture, as well as a popular pastime, and levels of cinema attendance are comparable to those of European countries.
Argentine composers Luis Enrique Bacalov
, Gustavo Santaolalla
and Eugenio Zanetti have been honored with Academy Award for Best Original Score
nods. Lalo Schifrin
has received numerous Grammys
and is best known for the Mission:Impossible
Buenos Aires is one of the great capitals of theater.
The Teatro Colón is a national landmark for opera and classical performances; built at the end of the 19th century, its acoustics are considered the best in the world,
and is currently undergoing a major refurbishment in order to preserve its outstanding sound characteristics, the French-romantic style, the impressive Golden Room (a minor auditorium targeted to Chamber Music performances) and the museum at the entrance. With its theatre scene of national and international caliber, Corrientes Avenue
is synonymous with the art. It is thought of as 'the street that never sleeps' and sometimes referred to as the Broadway
of Buenos Aires.
Many great careers in acting, music, and film have begun in its many theaters. The Teatro General San Martín
is one of the most prestigious along Corrientes Avenue and the Teatro Nacional Cervantes
functions as the national stage theater of Argentina. The El Círculo
in Mendoza and Libertador
are also prominent. Griselda Gambaro
, Roberto Cossa
, Marco Denevi
, Carlos Gorostiza
, and Alberto Vaccarezza
are a few of the more prominent Argentine playwrights. Julio Bocca
, Jorge Donn
, José Neglia
and Norma Fontenla
are some of the great ballet dancers
of the modern era.
Architecture, painting and sculpture
Font of the Nereids
(1903) by Lola Mora, a student of Auguste Rodin
One of the most influential Argentine figures in fine arts was Xul Solar
, whose surrealist
work used watercolors
as readily as unorthodox painting media; he also "invented" two imaginary languages. The works of Cándido López
(in Naïve art
style), Ernesto de la Cárcova
and Eduardo Sívori
), Fernando Fader
), Pío Collivadino
and Cesáreo Bernaldo de Quirós
), Emilio Pettoruti
), Antonio Berni
), Gyula Košice
), Eduardo Mac Entyre
), Guillermo Kuitca
), and Roberto Aizenberg
) are a few of the best-known Argentine painters.
Food and drink
(an herbal beverage) in a traditional gourd
Besides many of the pasta, sausage and dessert dishes common to continental Europe, Argentines enjoy a wide variety of indigenous creations, which include empanadas
(a stuffed pastry), locro
(a mixture of corn, beans, meat, bacon, onion, and gourd), humitas
and yerba mate
, all originally indigenous Amerindian staples, the latter considered Argentina's national beverage. Other popular items include chorizo
(a spicy sausage), facturas
) and Dulce de Leche
, a sort of milk caramel
The Argentine wine
industry, long among the largest outside Europe, has benefited from growing investment since 1992; in 2007, 60% of foreign investment worldwide in viticulture
was destined to Argentina.
The country is the fifth most important wine producer in the world,
with the annual per capita
consumption of wine among the highest. Malbec grape, a discardable varietal in France (country of origin), has found in the Province of Mendoza an ideal environment to successfully develop and turn itself into the world's best Malbec
Mendoza accounts for 70% of the country's total wine production. "Wine tourism" is important in Mendoza province, with the impressive landscape of the Cordillera de Los Andes and the highest peak in the Americas, Mount Aconcagua, 6,952 m (22,808 ft) high, providing a very desirable destination for international tourism.
Argentine player Ignacio Corleto
about to score against France in the 2007 Rugby World Cup
The official national sport of Argentina is pato
played with a six-handle ball on horseback, but the most popular sport is association football
The national football team
has won 25 major international titles
including two FIFA World Cups
, two Olympic gold medals and fourteen Copa Américas
Over one thousand Argentine players play abroad, the majority of them in European football leagues.
There are 331,811 registered football players,
with increasing numbers of girls and women, who have organized their own national championships since 1991 and were South American champions in 2006.
The Argentine Football Association
(AFA) was formed in 1893 and is the eighth oldest national football association in the world. The 1891 league tournament in Argentina was the third in football history, after England and the Netherlands. The AFA today counts 3,377 football clubs,
including 20 in the Premier Division. Since the AFA went professional in 1931, fifteen teams have won national tournament titles, including River Plate
with 33 and Boca Juniors
Over the last twenty years, futsal and beach soccer have become increasingly popular. The Argentine beach football team was one of four competitors in the first international championship for the sport, in Miami
, in 1993.
Basketball is the second most popular sport; a number of basketball players play in the U.S. National Basketball Association
and European leagues including Manu Ginóbili
, Andrés Nocioni
, Carlos Delfino
, Luis Scola
and Fabricio Oberto
. The men's national basketball team won Olympic gold in the 2004 Olympics
and the bronze medal in 2008
. Argentina is currently ranked first by the International Basketball Federation
. Argentina has an important rugby union football
team, "Los Pumas
", with many of its players playing in Europe. Argentina beat host nation France
twice in the 2007 Rugby World Cup
, placing them third in the competition. The Pumas are currently sixth in the official world rankings
. Other popular sports include field hockey (particularly amongst women
), tennis, auto racing, boxing, volleyball, polo and golf.
Carlos Gardel, still the standard among Tango
, the music and
lyrics (often sung in a form of slang called lunfardo
), is Argentina's musical symbol. The Milonga
dance was a predecessor, slowly evolving into modern tango
. By the 1930s, tango had changed from a dance-focused music to one of lyric and poetry, with singers such as Carlos Gardel
, Hugo del Carril
, Roberto Goyeneche
, Raúl Lavié
, Tita Merello
and Edmundo Rivero
. The golden age of tango (1930 to mid-1950s) mirrored that of Jazz
in the United States, featuring large orchestral groups too, like the bands of Osvaldo Pugliese
, Anibal Troilo
, Francisco Canaro
, Julio de Caro
and Juan D'Arienzo
. Incorporating acoustic music
and later, synthesizers
into the genre after 1955, bandoneon
virtuoso Astor Piazzolla
popularized "new tango"
creating a more subtle, intellectual and listener-oriented trend. Today tango enjoys worldwide popularity; ever-evolving, neo-tango
is a global phenomenon with renown groups like Tanghetto
and the Gotan Project
, called rock nacional
, is the most popular music among youth. Arguably the most listened form of Spanish-language rock, its influence and success internationally owes to a rich, uninterrupted development. Bands such as Soda Stereo
, and composers like Charly García
, Luis Alberto Spinetta
, and Fito Páez
are referents of national culture. Mid-1960s Buenos Aires and Rosario were cradles of the music and by 1970, Argentine rock was well-established among middle class youth (see Almendra
, Sui Generis
). Seru Giran
bridged the gap into the 1980s, when Argentine bands became popular across Latin America and elsewhere (Enanitos Verdes
, Fabulosos Cadillacs
, Andrés Calamaro
). There are many sub-genres: underground, pop-oriented and some associated with the working class (La Renga
, Attaque 77
and Los Redonditos
). Current popular bands include: Babasonicos
, Rata Blanca
, Attaque 77, Bersuit
, Los Piojos
, Catupecu Machu
Mercedes Sosa, the grande dame
of Argentine folk music
Argentine folk music is uniquely vast. Beyond dozens of regional dances, a national folk style emerged in the 1930s. Perón
's Argentina would give rise to Nueva Canción
, as artists began expressing in their music objections to political themes. Atahualpa Yupanqui
, the greatest Argentine folk musician
, and Mercedes Sosa
would be defining figures in shaping Nueva Canción, gaining worldwide popularity in the process. The style found a huge reception in Chile, where it took off in the 1970s and went on to influence the entirety of Latin American music
Today, Chango Spasiuk
and Soledad Pastorutti
have brought folk back to younger generations. Leon Gieco
bridged the gap between Argentine folklore and Argentine rock, introducing both styles to millions overseas in successive tours.
Though holidays of many faiths are respected, public holidays usually include most Catholic holidays. Historic holidays include the celebration of the May Revolution (25 May), the Independence Day (9 July), National Flag
Day (20 June) and the death of José de San Martín (17 August).
The extended family gathers on Christmas Eve at around 9 p.m. for dinner, music, and often dancing. Candies are served just before midnight, when the fireworks begin. They also open gifts from Papá Noel (Father Christmas or "Santa Claus"). New Year's Day
is also marked with fireworks. Other widely observed holidays include Good Friday
, Labor Day
(1 May) and Sovereignty Day (formerly Malvinas Day
, 2 April).
After independence Argentina constructed a national public education system in comparison to other nations, placing the country high up in the global rankings of literacy
. Today the country has a literacy rate
of 97%, and three in eight adults over age 20 have completed secondary school studies or higher.
The ubiquitous white uniform of Argentine school children is a national symbol of learning
School attendance is compulsory between the ages of 5 and 17. The Argentine school system consists of a primary or lower school level lasting six or seven years, and a secondary or high school level lasting between five to six years. In the 1990s, the system was split into different types of high school instruction, called Educacion Secundaria
and the Polimodal
. Some provinces adopted the Polimodal
while others did not. A project in the executive branch to repeal this measure and return to a more traditional secondary level system was approved in 2006.
President Domingo Faustino Sarmiento is overwhelmingly credited in pushing and implementing a free, modern education system in Argentina. The 1918 university reform
shaped the current tripartite representation of most public universities.
Education is funded by tax payers at all levels except for the majority of graduate studies
. There are many private school institutions in the primary
and university levels. Around 11.4 million people were enrolled in formal education of some kind in 2006, including 1.5 million in the nation's 85 universities.
Public education in Argentina is tuition-free from the primary to the university levels. Though literacy was nearly universal as early as 1947,
the majority of Argentine youth had little access to education beyond the compulsory seven years of grade school during the first half of the 20th century; since then, when the tuition-free system was extended to the secondary and university levels, demand for these facilities has often outstripped budgets (particularly since the 1970s).
Consequently, public education is now widely found wanting and in decline; this has helped private education flourish, though it has also caused a marked inequity between those who can afford it (usually the middle and upper classes) and the rest of society, as private schools often have no scholarship systems in place. Roughly one in four primary and secondary students and one in six university students attend private institutions.
However, in the last years education received increased interest from the government and in the year 2009 the inversion in education has been the largest in history, thus reflecting the improvements in infrastructure of universities and schools all around the country.
The University of Buenos Aires School of Medicine, alma mater to many of the country's 3,000 medical graduates, annually.
Health care is provided through a combination of employer and labor union-sponsored plans (Obras Sociales
), government insurance plans, public hospitals and clinics and through private health insurance plans. Government efforts to improve public health can be traced to Spanish Viceroy Juan José de Vértiz
's first Medical Tribunal of 1780.
Following independence, medical schools
were established at the University of Buenos Aires (1822) and the National University of Córdoba (1877). The training of doctors and nurses at these and other schools enabled the rapid development of health care cooperatives, which during the presidency of Juan Perón became publicly subsidized Obras Sociales. Today, these number over 300 (of which 200 are related to labor unions
) and provide health care for half the population; the national INSSJP (popularly known as PAMI) covers nearly all of the five million senior citizens.
Perón's Minister of Health, Ramón Carrillo
, borrowed from German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck
's support for employer or guild-sponsored plans and the British National Health Service
. He advanced the widespread use of Obras Sociales, a form of health insurance cooperative
, accompanied by the construction of over 4,000 public clinics and hospitals.
These (totaling 8,000) serve the roughly 40% of Argentines who belong to neither an Obra Social nor to one of 280 private health insurance companies.
Private health insurance, which was first made available in 1932 by Alejandro Schvarzer, covers 1.1 million households (about 10% of the population) and collects average monthly premiums of about US$100 (though larger families often pay US$300). This system operates nearly 10,000 clinics and 18,000 beds.
Health care costs amount to almost 10% of GDP and have been growing in pace with the proportion of Argentines over 65 (7% in 1970). Public and private spending have historically split this about evenly: public funds are mainly spent through Obras, which in turn, refer patients needing hospitalization to private and public clinics; private funds are spent evenly between private insurers' coverage and out-of-pocket expenses.
There are more than 153,000 hospital beds, 121,000 physicians and 37,000 dentists (ratios comparable to developed nations
The relatively high access to medical care has historically resulted in mortality patterns and trends similar to developed nations': from 1953 to 2005, deaths from cardiovascular disease
increased from 20% to 23% of the total, those from tumors
from 14% to 20%, respiratory
problems from 7% to 14%, digestive
maladies (non-infectious) from 7% to 11%, strokes
a steady 7%, injuries a steady 6% and infectious
diseases, 4%. Causes related to senility
led to many of the rest. Infant deaths have fallen from 19% of all deaths in 1953 to 3% in 2005.
The availability of health care has reduced infant mortality
from 70 per 1000 live births in 1948
to 12.5 in 2008
and raised life expectancy at birth
from 60 years to 76.
Though these figures compare favorably with global averages, they fall short of levels in developed nations and in 2006, Argentina ranked fourth in Latin America.
Science and technology
Dr. Luis Federico Leloir (left
) and his staff toast his 1970 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Argentina has contributed many distinguished doctors, scientists and inventors to the world, including three Nobel Prize
laureates in sciences. Argentines have been responsible for major breakthroughs in world medicine
; their research has led to significant advances in wound-healing therapies and in the treatment of heart disease
and several forms of cancer. Domingo Liotta
designed and developed the first artificial heart
successfully implanted in a human being in 1969. René Favaloro
developed the techniques and performed the world's first ever coronary bypass surgery
and Francisco de Pedro invented a more reliable artificial cardiac pacemaker
Dr. Luis Agote (second from right
) overseeing the first safe and effective blood transfusion (1914)
Argentina's nuclear program
is highly advanced, having resulted in a research reactor
in 1957 and Latin America's first on-line commercial reactor in 1974. Argentina developed its nuclear program without being overly dependent on foreign technology. Nuclear facilities with Argentine technology have been built in Peru, Algeria
, Australia and Egypt
. In 1983, the country admitted having the capability of producing weapon-grade uranium
, a major step needed to assemble nuclear weapons
; since then, however, Argentina has pledged to use nuclear power only for peaceful purposes.
Communications and media
The funeral of Eva Perón, as covered by Clarín
Public television, Buenos Aires. On the air since 1951, Argentine TV broadcasting was the first in Latin America.
The print media industry is highly developed and independent of the government, with more than two hundred newspapers. The major national newspapers are from Buenos Aires, including the centrist Clarín
, the best-selling daily in Latin America and the second most-widely circulated in the Spanish-speaking world.
Other nationally circulated papers are La Nación
(center-right, published since 1870), Página/12
(left-wing), Ámbito Financiero
(business conservative), Olé
(sports) and Crónica
Radio and television
Argentina was a pioneering nation in radio broadcasting: at 9 pm on 27 August 1920, Sociedad Radio Argentina
announced: "We now bring to your homes a live performance of Richard Wagner's Parsifal opera from the Coliseo Theater]in downtown Buenos Aires"
; only about twenty homes in the city had a receiver to tune in. The world's first radio station was the only one in the country until 1922, when Radio Cultura
went on the air; by 1925, there were twelve stations in Buenos Aires and ten in other cities. The 1930s were the "golden age" of radio in Argentina, with live variety, news, soap opera and sport shows.
There are currently 260 AM broadcasting
and 1150 FM broadcasting
radio stations in Argentina.
Radio remains an important medium in Argentina. Music and youth variety programs dominate FM formats; news, debate, and sports are AM radio's primary broadcasts. Amateur radio
is widespread in the country. Radio still serves a vital service of information, entertainment and even life saving in the most remote communities.
The Argentine television
industry is large and diverse, widely viewed in Latin America, and its productions seen around the world. Many local programs are broadcast by networks in other countries, and others have their rights purchased by foreign producers for adaptations in their own markets. Argentina has five major networks. All provincial capitals and other large cities have at least one local station. Argentines enjoy the highest availability of cable and satellite television in Latin America, similar to percentages in North America.
Many cable networks operate from Argentina and serve the Spanish-speaking world, including Utilísima Satelital, TyC Sports
, Fox Sports en Español
(with the United States and México), MTV Argentina, Cosmopolitan TV and the news network Todo Noticias.
- ^ Article 35 of the "Constitution". http://www.argentina.gov.ar/argentina/portal/documentos/constitucion_ingles.pdf. gives equal recognition to "United Provinces of the River Plate", "Argentine Republic" and "Argentine Confederation" and authorizes the use of "Argentine Nation" in the making and enactment of laws
- ^ a b c Ben Cahoon. "Argentina". World Statesmen.org. http://www.worldstatesmen.org/Argentina.html.
- ^ a b c "Encuesta Complementaria de Pueblos Indígenas 2004–2005". National Institute of Statistics and Census of Argentina. http://www.indec.gov.ar/webcenso/ECPI/index_ecpi.asp. (Spanish)
- ^ a b "Proyecciones provinciales de población por sexo y grupos de edad 2001–2015". Gustavo Pérez. INDEC. http://www.indec.mecon.ar/nuevaweb/cuadros/2/proyecciones_provinciales_vol31.pdf. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
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- ^ INDEC (precios)
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- ^ Andersen, Martin. Dossier Secreto. Westview Press, 1993.
- ^ Todo Argentina: Alfonsín (Spanish)
- ^ Todo Argentina: Menem (Spanish)
- ^ Todo Argentina: de la Rúa (Spanish)
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- ^ Depressions The Lowest Surface Point on Each Continent
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- ^ About Termas de Río Hondo.
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- ^ Clarín
- ^ Yale: Immigration History
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- ^ Monografías
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- ^  Peopledaily 2008
- ^ Maldonado-Salcedo, Melissa (2007), "From South Korea to Argentina – Argentina in South Koreans", Imagining Global Asia 1, http://www.imaginingglobalasia.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=175&Itemid=71, retrieved 2008-10-25
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- ^ "Constitution of the Argentine Nation". Government of Argentina. http://www.argentina.gov.ar/argentina/portal/documentos/constitucion_ingles.pdf. Retrieved 2009-09-03. See Article I, Chapter I, sections 2 and 14. As of 2010 the state pays the bishops' salary which is calculated as 80% of a judge's salary.
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- ^ Clarín
- ^ a b c Lewis, M. Paul, ed (2009). "Languages of Argentina". Ethnologue: Languages of the World. Dallas: SIL International. http://www.ethnologue.com/show_country.asp?name=AR. Retrieved 2009-09-01.
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- ^ – EDELAP – 120 años de alumbrado público
- ^ "3218.0 - Instituto Nacional de Estadistica y Censos, Argentina, 2006-07". INDEC. 2008-03-31. http://www.indec.mecon.gov.ar/nuevaweb/cuadros/4/EPHcont_1trim08.pdf. Retrieved 2008-06-06.
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- ^ Inflación verdadera
- ^ a b c d e INDEC Household Survey
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- ^ InfoBAE, 20 September 2006. Para los bancos la Argentina seguirá creciendo en 2006
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- ^ Antarctic Treaty Secretariat
- ^ See Relaciones bilaterales sin diálogo, 1945–1965buques de la Armada Argentina llevaron a cabo maniobras en las aguas adyacentes a las Islas Malvinas realizaron desembarcos en distintas islas de las "Dependencias" … incidentes menores entre los presentes en el Puerto Melchior … en la Bahía Esperanza y la Argentina anunció una progresiva ocupación de esa región.…
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- ^ a b  Animals in Argentina
- ^  Info about Hornero
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- ^ [http://www.awn.com/mag/issue1.4/articles/bendazzi1.4.html Giannalberto Bendazzi: Quirino Cristiani, The Untold Story of Argentina's Pioneer Animator]
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- ^ Music: 'El Derecho de vivir en paz' from http://www.msu.edu/~chapmanb/jara/enueva.html
- ^ La Iglesia salió a defender la ley de Educación que el Gobierno quiere modificar Clarin.com 20 July 2006 (Spanish)
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- ^ "Vision of Humanity". Vision of Humanity. http://www.visionofhumanity.org/gpi/home.php. Retrieved 2010-02-04.