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Argentina is subdivided into twenty-three provinces (Spanish: provincias, singular provincia) and one autonomous city (Ciudad autónoma de Buenos Aires, informally the Capital Federal). The city and the provinces have their own constitutions, but exist under a federal system.

Provinces are then divided into departments (Spanish: departamentos, singular departamento), except for Buenos Aires Province, which is divided into partidos.



The country is also divided into six or seven regions (seven when The Pampas is divided into the Pampas' plains and Pampas' sierras):

Region Provinces included
Argentine Northwest Jujuy, Salta, Tucumán, Catamarca, La Rioja
Gran Chaco Formosa, Chaco, Santiago del Estero
Mesopotamia Misiones, Entre Ríos, Corrientes
Cuyo San Juan, Mendoza, San Luis
The Pampas Córdoba, Santa Fe, La Pampa, Buenos Aires
Patagonia Rio Negro, Neuquén, Chubut, Santa Cruz, Tierra del Fuego

Even though there are provinces that belong to more than one region, they are shown here within the most representative region. In the Tucumán province, the smallest of Argentina, coexist three regions: the Pampas to the south, Gran Chaco to the northeast, and Argentine Northwest.

First-level Political divisions of Argentina


Provinces of Argentina and Autonomous City of Buenos Aires

a Not a Province. Autonomous City and seat of National Government.
(Also known as Buenos Aires City).
b or Provincia del Río Negro.
c Tierra del Fuego Province include claims over Argentine Antarctica, Falkland Islands, and South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands.

Tierra del Fuego Santa Cruz Chubut Rio Negro Neuquen La Pampa Buenos Aires Ciudad Autonoma de Buenos Aires Santa Fe Cordoba San Luis Mendoza San Juan La Rioja Catamarca Salta Jujuy Tucuman Santiago del Estero Chaco Formosa Corrientes Misiones Entre Rios Falkland Islands Antartida Argentina
Map of the provinces of Argentina. Note that areas in orange are disputed: the Falkland Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands are under British effective control; and claims to Antarctica are regulated by the Antarctic Treaty, and overlap claims by the United Kingdom and Chile.


Province/District Capital Population (2001) Rank Area (km²) Rank Density (/km²) Rank
Buenos Aires - &0000000002776138.0000002,776,138 4 203 24 &0000000000013675.60000013,675.6 1
Buenos Aires Province La Plata &0000000013827203.00000013,827,203 1 &0000000000307571.000000307,571 1 44.95 3
Catamarca Province S.F.V. de Catamarcaa &0000000000334568.000000334,568 20 &0000000000102602.000000102,602 11 3.26 19
Chaco Province Resistencia &0000000000984446.000000984,446 9 &0000000000099633.00000099,633 12 9.90 11
Chubut Province Rawson &0000000000413237.000000413,237 18 &0000000000224686.000000224,686 3 1.84 23
Córdoba Province Córdoba &0000000003066801.0000003,066,801 2 &0000000000165321.000000165,321 5 18.60 6
Corrientes Province Corrientes &0000000000930991.000000930,991 11 &0000000000088199.00000088,199 16 10.60 10
Entre Ríos Province Paraná &0000000001158147.0000001,158,147 7 &0000000000078781.00000078,781 17 14.70 7
Formosa Province Formosa &0000000000486559.000000486,559 16 &0000000000072066.00000072,066 19 6.75 14
Jujuy Province San Salvador de Jujuy &0000000000611888.000000611,888 14 &0000000000053219.00000053,219 20 11.50 8
La Pampa Province Santa Rosa &0000000000299294.000000299,294 21 &0000000000143440.000000143,440 8 2.00 22
La Rioja Province La Rioja &0000000000289983.000000289,983 22 &0000000000089680.00000089,680 14 3.23 20
Mendoza Province Mendoza &0000000001579651.0000001,579,651 5 &0000000000148827.000000148,827 7 10.61 9
Misiones Province Posadas &0000000000965522.000000965,522 10 &0000000000029801.00000029,801 21 32.40 4
Neuquén Province Neuquén &0000000000474155.000000474,155 17 &0000000000094078.00000094,078 13 5.00 16
Río Negro Province Viedma &0000000000552822.000000552,822 15 &0000000000203013.000000203,013 4 2.72 21
Salta Province Salta &0000000001079051.0000001,079,051 8 &0000000000155488.000000155,488 6 6.94 12
San Juan Province San Juan &0000000000620023.000000620,023 13 &0000000000089651.00000089,651 15 6.92 13
San Luis Province San Luis &0000000000367933.000000367,933 19 &0000000000076748.00000076,748 18 4.80 17
Santa Cruz Province Río Gallegos &0000000000196958.000000196,958 23 &0000000000243943.000000243,943 2 0.81 24
Santa Fe Province Santa Fe &0000000003000701.0000003,000,701 3 &0000000000133007.000000133,007 10 22.56 5
Santiago del Estero Province   Santiago del Estero &0000000000804457.000000804,457 12 &0000000000136351.000000136,351 9 5.90 15
Tierra del Fuego Province Ushuaia &0000000000101079.000000101,079 24 &0000000000021263.00000021,263b 23 4.75b 18
Tucumán Province San Miguel de Tucumán   &0000000001338523.0000001,338,523 6 &0000000000022524.00000022,524 22 59.42 2

a San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca.
b Not including claims to the Falkland Islands or Argentine Antarctica.


See also List of Governors in Argentina

Each province has also its own government, with a provincial constitution, a set of provincial laws and justice system, a supreme court, a governor, an autonomous police force (independent of the Federal Police), and a congress: in eight provinces the parliament is constituted by an upper chamber (senate) and a lower chamber (deputies), while in the remaining fifteen provinces and in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires the congress has just one chamber.[1]

On occasion the national government intervenes in a province under internal instability or after a corruption scandal, designating an intervenor to replace the local government until the situation is normalized: since the return of democracy to the country in 1983, four provinces were intervened, namely Catamarca, Corrientes (twice), Santiago del Estero (twice) and Tucumán.[2]

During the 20th century, some provinces have had governments traditionally controlled by a single family (i.e. the Saadi family in Catamarca, or the Sapag family in Neuquén); in one case, it is still the situation as of 2009: the Province of San Luis was ruled almost without a break by the Rodríguez Saá family since december of 1983.[3]

The internal products of the provinces are merged into the national product when the national budget is decided. The share of the budget given to each province is decided based on each province's individual contribution to the national budget. Provinces are free to choose their own utilization of their assigned percentages of the national product.


The north of Argentina was the first part of the present country to be explored by the Spanish colonisation, searching for the routes that would allow them to bring the gold and silver extracted in the Viceroyalty of Peru to the port of Buenos Aires.

Santiago del Estero, in the year 1550, was the first city founded in the territory with such ends, but lost its importance when Tucumán and Salta replaced it as mid-stops to the Atlantic coast when these two cities secured from the aboriginal attacks, and economically strengthened.

The centre of the country was also soon explored and inhabited, being the most important of the first founded cities the city of Córdoba, that became not only a political but also cultural centre with the creation of the first university, the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba in 1622.

Most capital cities of the centre-northern Argentina were founded before the year 1600, except for Santa Rosa in La Pampa Province, and Resistencia in Chaco Province.

To the south of the Colorado River, the Patagonia remained under control of the aboriginals. The river itself served as natural frontier.

It was not until the infamous Roca's Conquest of the Desert, started in 1879, when the southern part of Argentina was conquered in what meant the near annihilation of the aboriginal people living in these lands.

The current political division of the provinces of Patagonia was set in 1884 and has not been changed since then, except between 1944 and 1955 when a stripe covering the southern part of Chubut Province and the northern part of Santa Cruz Province was named Comodoro Rivadavia Military Zone.

But the National Territories didn't have provincial status until the 20th century. They were named provinces in 1957. The exception is Tierra del Fuego Province, which was named in 1990.

Due to the late conquest of the south of the country and the prevailing cold weather, most people live in the central or northern provinces. Recent immigration to the south, mainly from Buenos Aires Province and Buenos Aires city, is lessening this difference.

See also

External links



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