Form of Government: Federal republic
Area: 2 780 400 sq km
Population: 45 808 747 inhab. (estimate 2021)
Density: 16.48 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 22° - 55° S; long. 74° - 54° W
Capital: Buenos Aires (capital) 3 068 043 inhab. (2018); Gran Buenos Aires 15 397 000 inhab. (2020), urban agglomeration
Currency: argentine peso (100 centavos)
Human development index: 0.845 (rank: 46)
President and head of government: Alberto Fernández (Justicialist Party), elected 27 October 2019, in office since 10 December 2019
Chamber of Deputies: seats based on the elections of 22 October 2017 and 27 October 2019: Everyone's Front (coalition led by the Justicialist Party), 119; Together for Change (coalition led by Republican Proposal), 116; others, 22
Internet: www.indec.gob.ar (Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos)
Member of Mercosur, OAS, PROSUR, UN, WTO
International license plate code RA
International dialling code 0054
Travel vaccinations requirement none; yellow fever (recommended for some areas); malaria prophylaxis (very low risk confined to some rural areas for which it is recommended or advised)
Electricity (Voltage) 220
Driving side rigth
Internet code .ar
DST not applied
Annual average temperature (°C) Buenos Aires 16.3; Salta 17.7; Ushuaia 5.1
Average temperature in January/July (°C) Buenos Aires 23/10; Salta 21.5/12.5; Ushuaia 9.5/0
Daily sunshine hours in June/December (average) Buenos Aires 4/9; Salta 5/6; Ushuaia 1/6
Annual average precipitation (mm) Buenos Aires 1205; Salta 670; Ushuaia 575
Days of rainfall (annual average) Buenos Aires 86; Salta 79; Ushuaia 140
Politics and current affairs
The health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic worsened the already precarious economic situation, resulting in serious social consequences. To find the necessary resources to face up to the situation, the government taxed the wealthy with a solidarity law (effective 18 December 2020), while also renegotiating the debt with international creditors.
Argentina is bordered to the north by Bolivia and Paraguay, to the northeast by Brazil and Uruguay, and to the west by Chile. To the east its Atlantic coastline extends over 4989 km. The most striking geographical contrast is between the plains to the east and, to the west, the Andes mountain range, which marks the border with Chile.
The highest mountain in Argentina (and the Americas) is Aconcagua (6962 m). To the east of the Andes, from north to south, lie the Gran Chaco, a vast low-lying plain of grass and scattered shrubs; the huge Pampas plain; the Mesopotamia Argentina, a low-lying swampy region between the River Paraná and the River Uruguay; and the steppe-like, sparsely-populated Patagonia region and Tierra del Fuego, south of the Río Colorado. The largest river is the Paraná, whose main tributary is the River Paraguay. Other rivers include the Pilcomayo, the Uruguay, the Río Negro and the Chubut.
The climate ranges from subtropical in the Gran Chaco through arid steppe in the Pampas to sub-polar in Patagonia.
Argentina has laid geographical claim to the Islas del Atlántico Sur, which include the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas, 12 173 km²), South Georgia (Georgias del Sur, 3560 km²), the South Orkney Islands (Orcadas del Sur, 750 km²) and the South Sandwich Islands (Sandwich del Sur, 307 km²), all of which are owned by the United Kingdom and claimed by Argentina.
Argentina, a presidential federal republic, gained its independence from Spain on 9 July 1816. It has 23 Provinces, each with its own Governor and Elective Assembly, and the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires. The federal capital is Buenos Aires; the province of Buenos Aires has 24 districts. Ruled by the military-reformist regime of Juan Domingo Perón from 1946 to 1955, Argentina was subsequently governed by unstable coalitions or military juntas. Perón returned to power in 1973 and, after his death (1974), the post of president was occupied by his wife, María Estela Martínez de Perón, known as “Isabelita”. A military coup in 1976 ushered in a harsh dictatorship that ended in 1983 when Argentina lost the war with the United Kingdom over possession of the Falkland Islands (2 April-14 June 1982). President Raul Alfonsín (1983-89) was succeeded by Carlos Menem (two terms, 1989-99), whose governments pursued a liberalist economic policy based on peso-US dollar parity. The ongoing financial crisis also created serious problems for his successor, the radical Fernando de la Rúa (elected 1999), who was forced to resign on 20 December 2001 in response to widespread popular protest over the catastrophic economic situation. Elected in 2003, the Peronist Néstor Kirchner was succeeded by his wife Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in 2007, who remained in office until 2015 and returned to the government as vice president in 2019, after the parenthesis of the conservative Mauricio Macri. The Constitution which came into force on 24 August 1994 reduced the Presidential mandate from six to four years. The President is also the head of government, directly elected for a maximum of two terms. The Argentinian Congress comprises the Chamber of Deputies (257 members directly elected with a mandate of four years, with half of the members re-elected every two years) and the Senate (72 members elected with a mandate of six years, with a third of the members re-elected every two years). The right to vote is acquired at the age of 16.
Defence and justice.
Military service is voluntary. The legal system is essentially European in inspiration with some US features. The highest federal court is the Supreme Court; every province has its own judicial courts that deal with non-political crimes. In 2010 same-sex marriages became legal. In 2020, a law passed that allows abortion within the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.
|Buenos Aires||3 068 043||inhab.||2018|
|La Matanza||1 775 272||inhab.||2010|
|Gran Buenos Aires||15 397 000||inhab.||2020|
|Córdoba||1 563 000||inhab.||2020|
|Population by age and gender (% - 2020)|
The urban population rate is among the highest in the world. About a third of the population is of Italian origin and a quarter of Spanish origin. Attempts to exterminate the indigenous Amerindians continued into the early 20th century. Some nomadic tribes survive in the Chaco province, together with the Guaraní in the Misiones province.
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated the country’s ongoing financial crisis, which was worsened by the 2018 financial turmoil, resulting in recession and high inflation. To cover the public debt, weighed down by subsidies to businesses and citizens during the pandemic, the central bank prints banknotes, worsening the depreciation of the peso, while the dollar reserves are on the brink of running out. Inflation remains high, despite the reduction due to a halt on activities. To obtain part of the necessary resources, on 18 December 2020 solidarity tax on the wealthy came into force.
The debts have been renegotiated with private creditors (the country became insolvent in May 2020) and with the IMF (the country owes 44 billion dollars).
|Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)||130.85||index||2016|
|Agricultural prod. index (2014-16=100)||112.57||index||2019|
|Active population||19 180 360||units||2020|
|Active population, Females||43$||%||2019|
|Unemployment rate, Females||47.9||%||2019|
|Expenses||7 001 428.7||M LCU||2020|
|Revenues||6 008 138.5||M LCU||2020|
|Currency in circulation||3 396||BN LCU||2020|
|International reserves||39 403.735||M US$||2020|
Government support for agriculture has extended and diversified the range of crops, leading to an increase in fruit and oil crop production, especially soybeans (provinces of Buenos Aires, Córdoba, and Santa Fe). Cereal farming is mainly maize and wheat (Córdoba and Buenos Aires), followed by barley (Buenos Aires). Sunflowers are grown in the provinces of Buenos Aires, Chaco and Santa Fe; cotton in Santiago del Estero and Chaco; tobacco and tea in Corrientes, Misiones, Salta and Jujuy; sugar cane in Tucumán; and vines and fruit (apples, peaches, pears) in Mendoza, San Juan, Río Negro and La Rioja.
Livestock farming, one of the major national industries, is practised on the Pampas (cattle and horses) and in Patagonia (sheep and goats). Argentina is one of the largest producers in the world of meat, milk, butter, cheese and wool.
|barley||5 117.247||1000 t||2019|
|cereals, total||84 948.777||1000 t||2019|
|potatoes||2 209.22||1000 t||2019|
|beans, dry||578.713||1000 t||2019|
|beans, green||3.133||1000 t||2019|
|grapes||2 519.886||1000 t||2019|
|groundnuts||1 337.229||1000 t||2019|
|tung nuts||5.735||1000 t||2019|
|sugar cane||17 652.814||1000 t||2019|
|seed cotton||872.721||1000 t||2019|
|flax fibre and tow||2.695||1000 t||2019|
|citrus fruits||3 469.277||1000 t||2019|
|barley||1 256.36||1000 ha||2019|
|maize||7 232.761||1000 ha||2019|
|carrots and turnips||9.039||1000 ha||2019|
|beans, dry||419.927||1000 ha||2019|
|beans, green||5.205||1000 ha||2019|
|castor oil seed||0$||1000 ha||2016|
|tung nuts||2.198||1000 ha||2019|
|sugar cane||476.176||1000 ha||2019|
|seed cotton||332.896||1000 ha||2019|
|flax fibre and tow||2.896||1000 ha||2019|
|citrus fruits||137.361||1000 ha||2019|
|timber||17 884 109||m³||2019|
|cattle||54 460.799||1000 heads||2019|
|cattle and buffaloes||54 460.799||1000 heads||2019|
|pigs||5 128.954||1000 heads||2019|
|sheep||14 774.196||1000 heads||2019|
|goats||4 638.635||1000 heads||2019|
|asses and mules||108.134||1000 heads||2019|
|birds||126 722||1000 heads||2019|
|crustaceans and molluscs||336 953.5||t||2019|
|freshwater fishes||26 846.35||t||2019|
Argentina is virtually self-sufficient in energy. The most important product is oil, about a third of which comes from the oil fields in Comodoro Rivadavia (Chubut province), and the rest from wells in the provinces of Santa Cruz (Cerro Redondo), Neuquén (Plaza Huincul), Río Negro, Salta (Campo Durán), Mendoza (Tupungato, Mendoza, Barrancas) and in Tierra del Fuego. The major pipelines are the Campo Durán to San Lorenzo (1489 km) and the Puerto Rosales to La Plata. Natural gas production is strong, distributed via a network of pipelines that cross the country and link up with the networks of Bolivia, Chile and Uruguay.
Lithium production and reserves are among the largest in the world. There are also coal (Río Turbio), boron, copper, silver, gold, bentonite and feldspar mines.
Most of the electricity is produced by gas-fired thermal plants. The hydroelectric potential is noteworthy (main power plants on Limay, Paraná, Santa Cruz and Uruguay rivers). Three nuclear reactors are also active, with a fourth being under construction.
Industry, mainly oriented towards the internal market, contributes about a quarter to the GDP and is among the most diversified in Latin America. Some twenty oil refineries are located along the Río de la Plata (La Plata, Campana, Avellaneda, Dock Sud, San Lorenzo), at Bahía Blanca and in drilling areas (Comodoro Rivadavia, Luján de Cuyo, Campo Durán, Plaza Huincul).
There are major chemical plants in Córdoba and Rosario, as well as cement works in the province of Buenos Aires and in the north-west of the country. Also important are iron and steelworks (especially in the provinces of Santa Fe and Buenos Aires), lead (Barranqueras, Mercedes, San Justo), zinc (Comodoro Rivadavia, Zárate, Rosario) and aluminium (Puerto Madryn) plants. The main centres of mechanical engineering are Córdoba (aircraft, tractors, cars), Tafí Viejo, San Cristóbal, Cruz del Eje, Remedios and Junín (railways), Escobar (oil industry), Buenos Aires (office machines), and Tigre and San Fernando (shipyards). The automobile industry is mostly located in the provinces of Buenos Aires, Córdoba and Sante Fé.
The food industry is very developed (wine making, edible oils, preserves and pasta production), and operates mostly in national products.
|coal, total||93.4||1000 t||2020|
|precious stones - kg||27 534||kg||2018|
|- thermal||89 899.72||M kWh||2019|
|- hydro||27 334.89||M kWh||2019|
|- thermal||24 531||1000 kW||2018|
|- hydro||10 336||1000 kW||2019|
|total net generation||132 346.61||M kWh||2019|
|total installed capacity||38 643.6||1000 kW||2018|
|aluminium, primary||438||1000 t||2019|
|commercial vehicles||164 186||no.||2020|
|air conditioners||891 776||no.||2020|
|petrol||7 643.4||1000 t||2014|
|artificial yarn||0.925||1000 t||2010|
|cotton yarn||1.3||1000 t||2004|
|beer of barley||1 914||1000 t||2018|
|cottonseed oil||20.1||1000 t||2018|
|cigarettes, packs||1 686||M units||2020|
|chemical pulp||502||1000 t||2019|
|chemi-mechanical pulp||660||1000 t||2019|
|cement||9 871||1000 t||2020|
|chemicals production||8 751.123||M US$||2018|
|food, beverages and tobacco production||20 354.068||M US$||2018|
Argentina is a major exporter of farm produce and foodstuffs.
It imports mainly machinery, motor vehicles and chemicals.
(M US$ - 2017) residues and waste of food industry 9 822, vehicles and parts thereof 4 230, maize 3 883, soya beans and soybean oil 6 458, chemicals 2 755, wheat 2 362, gold 2 260, fish and crustaceans 1 950, meat 1 836, fruit and vegetables 1 651, cars 1 542, crude oil and petroleum products 1 215, fruit & vegetable juices and preserves 1 149, vegetable oils 1 127, machinery 1 109, plastics 995, wine 806, aluminium 793, iron and steel 768, pharmaceuticals 744, cereals 721, leather 720, cosmetics 635, milk and dairy products 580, malt extract and flours 499, aircraft and parts thereof 489, oil seeds 417
Finance & banking.
The banking system is governed by the Banco Central. The main stock exchange is in Buenos Aires.
|food products||58.767||% of goods exports||2019|
|manufactures||16.555||% of goods exports||2019|
|Brazil||7 941||M US$||2020|
|China||5 244||M US$||2020|
|China||8 656||M US$||2020|
|Brazil||8 649||M US$||2020|
The main destinations are the Andes, the Atlantic beaches, the Iguazú Falls, Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego.
|Expenditures||9 826||M US$||2019|
|Number of arrivals||7 399 000||units||2019|
The road and rail networks radiate from Buenos Aires; a road tunnel is planned under the Agua Negra Pass, on the border with Chile. The railways were privatized in the Nineties, but were later partly renationalized. The national airline Aerolíneas Argentinas, taken over by Iberia in 1991, returned to state control in 2008.
|Civil aviation, km flown||42 600 000||km flown||2009|
|Civil aviation, passengers carried||19 461.4||1000 units||2019|
|Broadband subscribers||196.361||per 1000 pop.||2019|
|Computers||90.4||per 1000 pop.||2005|
Social and welfare
Education and research.
Education is free at all levels. Primary education (seven years) is compulsory; secondary education lasts from five to seven years depending on the type of certificate. There are a hundred universities, of which about half are private.
|Expected years of schooling||17.656||years||2018|
|Students, primary level||4 776 452||units||2018|
|Students, secondary level||4 582 184||units||2018|
|Social protection spending||47.138||% of total expenses||2019|
|Hospital beds||4.99||per 1000 pop.||2017|
|Physicians||3.99||per 1000 pop.||2017|
|HIV||0.4||% of adults||2019|
|Research and development spending||0.494||% of GDP||2018|
|Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking||99.8||%||2019|
|Access to electricity||100||%||2019|