Ushuaia, the southernmost point in Argentina.
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Introduction

Background

In 1816, the United Provinces of the Rio Plata declared their independence from Spain. After Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay went their separate ways, the area that remained became Argentina. The country's population and culture were heavily shaped by immigrants from throughout Europe, with Italy and Spain providing the largest percentage of newcomers from 1860 to 1930. Up until about the mid-20th century, much of Argentina's history was dominated by periods of internal political unrest and conflict between civilian and military factions.

After World War II, an era of populism under former President Juan Domingo PERON - the founder of the Peronist political movement - and direct and indirect military interference in subsequent governments was followed by a military junta that took power in 1976. Democracy returned in 1983 after a failed bid to seize the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) by force, and has persisted despite numerous challenges, the most formidable of which was a severe economic crisis in 2001-02 that led to violent public protests and the successive resignations of several presidents. The years 2003-15 saw Peronist rule by Nestor KIRCHNER (2003-07) and his spouse Cristina FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER (2007-15), who oversaw several years of strong economic growth (2003-11) followed by a gradual deterioration in the government’s fiscal situation and eventual economic stagnation and isolation. Argentina underwent a brief period of economic reform and international reintegration under Mauricio MACRI (2015-19), but a recession in 2018-19 and frustration with MACRI’s economic policies ushered in a new Peronist government in 2019 led by President Alberto FERNANDEZ and Vice President FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER. Presidential elections will take place next in 2023.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.

Geography

Location

Southern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Chile and Uruguay

Geographic coordinates

34 00 S, 64 00 W

Map references

South America

Area

total: 2,780,400 sq km

land: 2,736,690 sq km

water: 43,710 sq km

country comparison to the world: 9

Area - comparative

slightly less than three-tenths the size of the US

Area comparison map
Area comparison map

Land boundaries

total: 11,968 km

border countries (5): Bolivia 942 km; Brazil 1,263 km; Chile 6,691 km; Paraguay 2,531 km; Uruguay 541 km

Coastline

4,989 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

Climate

mostly temperate; arid in southeast; subantarctic in southwest

Terrain

rich plains of the Pampas in northern half, flat to rolling plateau of Patagonia in south, rugged Andes along western border

Elevation

highest point: Cerro Aconcagua (located in the northwestern corner of the province of Mendoza; highest point in South America) 6,962 m

lowest point: Laguna del Carbon (located between Puerto San Julian and Comandante Luis Piedra Buena in the province of Santa Cruz) -105 m

mean elevation: 595 m

Natural resources

fertile plains of the pampas, lead, zinc, tin, copper, iron ore, manganese, petroleum, uranium, arable land

Land use

agricultural land: 53.9% (2018 est.)

arable land: 13.9% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.4% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 39.6% (2018 est.)

forest: 10.7% (2018 est.)

other: 35.4% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

23,600 sq km (2012)

Major lakes (area sq km)

Fresh water lake(s): Lago Buenos Aires (shared with Chile) - 2,240 sq km; Lago Argentino - 1,410 sq km; Lago Viedma - 1,090 sq km; Lago San Martin (shared with Chile) - 1,010 sq km; Lago Colhue Huapi - 800 sq km; Lago Fagnano (shared with Chile) - 590 sq km; Lago Nahuel Huapi - 550 sq km

Salt water lake(s): Laguna Mar Chiquita - 1,850 sq km;

Major rivers (by length in km)

Rio de la Plata/Parana river mouth (shared with Brazil [s], Paraguay, and Uruguay) - 4,880 km; Paraguay (shared with Brazil [s], and Paraguay [m]) - 2,549 km; Uruguay (shared with Brazil [s] and Uruguay [m]) - 1,610 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Paraná (2,582,704 sq km)

Major aquifers

Guarani Aquifer System

Population distribution

one-third of the population lives in Buenos Aires; pockets of agglomeration occur throughout the northern and central parts of the country; Patagonia to the south remains sparsely populated

Natural hazards

San Miguel de Tucuman and Mendoza areas in the Andes subject to earthquakes; pamperos are violent windstorms that can strike the pampas and northeast; heavy flooding in some areas

volcanism: volcanic activity in the Andes Mountains along the Chilean border; Copahue (2,997 m) last erupted in 2000; other historically active volcanoes include Llullaillaco, Maipo, Planchon-Peteroa, San Jose, Tromen, Tupungatito, and Viedma

Geography - note

note 1: second-largest country in South America (after Brazil); strategic location relative to sea lanes between the South Atlantic and the South Pacific Oceans (Strait of Magellan, Beagle Channel, Drake Passage); diverse geophysical landscapes range from tropical climates in the north to tundra in the far south; Cerro Aconcagua is the Western Hemisphere's tallest mountain, while Laguna del Carbon is the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere; shares Iguazu Falls, the world's largest waterfalls system, with Brazil

note 2: southeast Bolivia and northwest Argentina seem to be the original development site for peanuts

Map description

Argentina map showing major cities as well as parts of surrounding countries and the South Atlantic Ocean.

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Argentine(s)

adjective: Argentine

Ethnic groups

European (mostly Spanish and Italian descent) and Mestizo (mixed European and Amerindian ancestry) 97.2%, Amerindian 2.4%, African descent 0.4% (2010 est.)

Languages

Spanish (official), Italian, English, German, French, indigenous (Mapudungun, Quechua)

major-language sample(s):
La Libreta Informativa del Mundo, la fuente indispensable de información básica. (Spanish)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.

Spanish audio sample:

Religions

Roman Catholic 62.9%, Evangelical 15.3% (Pentecostal 13%, other Evangelical 2.3%), Jehovah's Witness and Church of Jesus Christ 1.4%, other 1.2% (includes Muslim, Jewish), none 18.9% (includes agnostic and atheist), unspecified 0.3% (2019 est.)

Demographic profile

Argentina's population continues to grow but at a slower rate because of its steadily declining birth rate. Argentina's fertility decline began earlier than in the rest of Latin America, occurring most rapidly between the early 20th century and the 1950s, and then becoming more gradual. Life expectancy has been improving, most notably among the young and the poor. While the population under age 15 is shrinking, the youth cohort - ages 15-24 - is the largest in Argentina's history and will continue to bolster the working-age population. If this large working-age population is well-educated and gainfully employed, Argentina is likely to experience an economic boost and possibly higher per capita savings and investment. Although literacy and primary school enrollment are nearly universal, grade repetition is problematic and secondary school completion is low. Both of these issues vary widely by region and socioeconomic group.

Argentina has been primarily a country of immigration for most of its history, welcoming European immigrants (often providing needed low-skilled labor) after its independence in the 19th century and attracting especially large numbers from Spain and Italy. More than 7 million European immigrants are estimated to have arrived in Argentina between 1880 and 1930, when it adopted a more restrictive immigration policy. European immigration also began to wane in the 1930s because of the global depression. The inflow rebounded temporarily following WWII and resumed its decline in the 1950s when Argentina's military dictators tightened immigration rules and European economies rebounded. Regional migration increased, however, supplying low-skilled workers escaping economic and political instability in their home countries. As of 2015, immigrants made up almost 5% of Argentina's population, the largest share in South America. Migration from neighboring countries accounted for approximately 80% of Argentina's immigrant population in 2015.

The first waves of highly skilled Argentine emigrant workers headed mainly to the United States and Spain in the 1960s and 1970s, driven by economic decline and repressive military dictatorships. The 2008 European economic crisis drove the return migration of some Argentinean and other Latin American nationals, as well as the immigration of Europeans to South America, where Argentina was a key recipient. In 2015, Argentina received the highest number of legal migrants in Latin America and the Caribbean. The majority of its migrant inflow came from Paraguay and Bolivia.

Age structure

0-14 years: 24.02% (male 5,629,188/female 5,294,723)

15-24 years: 15.19% (male 3,539,021/female 3,367,321)

25-54 years: 39.6% (male 9,005,758/female 9,002,931)

55-64 years: 9.07% (male 2,000,536/female 2,122,699)

65 years and over: 12.13% (2020 est.) (male 2,331,679/female 3,185,262)

2022 population pyramid
2022 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 56.5

youth dependency ratio: 38.1

elderly dependency ratio: 17.7

potential support ratio: 5.6 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 32.4 years

male: 31.1 years

female: 33.6 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 110

Birth rate

15.58 births/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 106

Death rate

7.32 deaths/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 110

Net migration rate

-0.08 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 102

Population distribution

one-third of the population lives in Buenos Aires; pockets of agglomeration occur throughout the northern and central parts of the country; Patagonia to the south remains sparsely populated

Urbanization

urban population: 92.3% of total population (2022)

rate of urbanization: 0.97% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

15.370 million BUENOS AIRES (capital), 1.598 million Cordoba, 1.574 million Rosario, 1.209 million Mendoza, 1.014 million San Miguel de Tucuman, 904,000 La Plata (2022)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.57 male(s)/female

total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2022 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

39 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 101

Infant mortality rate

total: 9.35 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 10.35 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 8.28 deaths/1,000 live births (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 141

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 78.31 years

male: 75.23 years

female: 81.59 years (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 74

Contraceptive prevalence rate

81.3% (2013)

note:  percent of women aged 14-49

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 99.8% of population

rural: NA

total: NA

unimproved: urban: 0.2% of population

rural: NA

total: (2020 est.) NA

Physicians density

4.06 physicians/1,000 population (2020)

Hospital bed density

5 beds/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: NA

total: NA

unimproved: rural: NA

total: (2020 est.) NA

Major infectious diseases

note: widespread ongoing transmission of a respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is occurring throughout Argentina; as of 18 August 2022, Argentina has reported a total of 9,633,732 cases of COVID-19 or 21,315.55 cumulative cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 population with a total of 129,566 cumulative deaths or 286.67 cumulative deaths per 100,000 population; as of 17 August 2022, 91.07% of the population has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 7.95 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 3.62 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 2.88 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 0.72 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0.72 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 45

Tobacco use

total: 24.5% (2020 est.)

male: 29.4% (2020 est.)

female: 19.6% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 53

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 99%

male: 98.9%

female: 99.1% (2018)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 18 years

male: 17 years

female: 19 years (2019)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 30.2%

male: 26.8%

female: 35% (2020 est.)

Environment

Environment - current issues

environmental problems (urban and rural) typical of an industrializing economy such as deforestation, soil degradation (erosion, salinization), desertification, air pollution, and water pollution

Environment - international agreements

party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protection, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: Marine Dumping-London Protocol, Marine Life Conservation

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 11.83 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 201.35 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 120.66 megatons (2020 est.)

Climate

mostly temperate; arid in southeast; subantarctic in southwest

Land use

agricultural land: 53.9% (2018 est.)

arable land: 13.9% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.4% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 39.6% (2018 est.)

forest: 10.7% (2018 est.)

other: 35.4% (2018 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 92.3% of total population (2022)

rate of urbanization: 0.97% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Revenue from coal

coal revenues: 0% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 57

Major infectious diseases

note: widespread ongoing transmission of a respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is occurring throughout Argentina; as of 18 August 2022, Argentina has reported a total of 9,633,732 cases of COVID-19 or 21,315.55 cumulative cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 population with a total of 129,566 cumulative deaths or 286.67 cumulative deaths per 100,000 population; as of 17 August 2022, 91.07% of the population has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 17,910,550 tons (2014 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 1,074,633 tons (2010 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 6% (2010 est.)

Major lakes (area sq km)

Fresh water lake(s): Lago Buenos Aires (shared with Chile) - 2,240 sq km; Lago Argentino - 1,410 sq km; Lago Viedma - 1,090 sq km; Lago San Martin (shared with Chile) - 1,010 sq km; Lago Colhue Huapi - 800 sq km; Lago Fagnano (shared with Chile) - 590 sq km; Lago Nahuel Huapi - 550 sq km

Salt water lake(s): Laguna Mar Chiquita - 1,850 sq km;

Major rivers (by length in km)

Rio de la Plata/Parana river mouth (shared with Brazil [s], Paraguay, and Uruguay) - 4,880 km; Paraguay (shared with Brazil [s], and Paraguay [m]) - 2,549 km; Uruguay (shared with Brazil [s] and Uruguay [m]) - 1,610 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Paraná (2,582,704 sq km)

Major aquifers

Guarani Aquifer System

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 5.85 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

industrial: 4 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 27.93 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

876.24 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Argentine Republic

conventional short form: Argentina

local long form: Republica Argentina

local short form: Argentina

etymology: originally the area was referred to as Tierra Argentina, i.e., "Land beside the Silvery River" or "silvery land," which referred to the massive estuary in the east of the country, the Rio de la Plata (River of Silver); over time the name shortened to simply Argentina or "silvery"

Government type

presidential republic

Capital

name: Buenos Aires

geographic coordinates: 34 36 S, 58 22 W

time difference: UTC-3 (2 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: the name translates as "fair winds" in Spanish and derives from the original designation of the settlement that would become the present-day city, "Santa Maria del Buen Aire" (Saint Mary of the Fair Winds)

Administrative divisions

23 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia) and 1 autonomous city*; Buenos Aires, Catamarca, Chaco, Chubut, Ciudad Autonoma de Buenos Aires*, Cordoba, Corrientes, Entre Rios, Formosa, Jujuy, La Pampa, La Rioja, Mendoza, Misiones, Neuquen, Rio Negro, Salta, San Juan, San Luis, Santa Cruz, Santa Fe, Santiago del Estero, Tierra del Fuego - Antartida e Islas del Atlantico Sur (Tierra del Fuego - Antarctica and the South Atlantic Islands), Tucuman

note: the US does not recognize any claims to Antarctica

Independence

9 July 1816 (from Spain)

National holiday

Revolution Day (May Revolution Day), 25 May (1810)

Constitution

history: several previous; latest effective 11 May 1853

amendments: a declaration of proposed amendments requires two-thirds majority vote by both houses of the National Congress followed by approval by an ad hoc, multi-member constitutional convention; amended several times, last significant amendment in 1994

Legal system

civil law system based on West European legal systems; note - in mid-2015, Argentina adopted a new civil code, replacing the old one in force since 1871

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: yes

citizenship by descent only: yes

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 2 years

Suffrage

18-70 years of age; universal and compulsory; 16-17 years of age - optional for national elections

Executive branch

chief of state: President Alberto Angel FERNANDEZ (since 10 December 2019); Vice President Cristina FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER (since 10 December 2019); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Alberto Angel FERNANDEZ (since 10 December 2019); Vice President Cristina FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER (since 10 December 2019)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president

elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on the same ballot by qualified majority vote (to win, a candidate must receive at least 45% of votes or 40% of votes and a 10-point lead over the second place candidate; if neither occurs, a second round is held ); the president serves a 4-year term (eligible for a second consecutive term); election last held on 27 October 2019 (next to be held in October 2023)

election results:
2019: Alberto Angel FERNANDEZ elected president; percent of vote - Alberto Angel FERNANDEZ (TODOS) 48.1%, Mauricio MACRI (PRO) 40.4%, Roberto LAVAGNA (independent) 6.2%, other 5.3%

2015: Mauricio MACRI elected president in second round; percent of vote in first round - Daniel SCIOLI (PJ) 37.1%, Mauricio MACRI (PRO) 34.2%, Sergio MASSA (FR/PJ) 21.4%, other 7.3%; percent of vote in second round - Mauricio MACRI (PRO) 51.4%, Daniel SCIOLI (PJ) 48.6%

Legislative branch

description: bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of:
Senate or Senado (72 seats; members directly elected on a provincial basis with 2 seats awarded to the party with the most votes and 1 seat to the party with the second highest number of votes; members serve 6-year terms with one-third of the membership renewed every 2 years)
Chamber of Deputies or Cámara de Diputados (257 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by party-list proportional representation vote using the D'Hondt method; members serve 4-year terms with one-half of the membership renewed every 2 years)

elections:
Senate - last held on 14 November 2021 (next to be held 29 October 2023)
Chamber of Deputies - last held on 14 November 2021 (next to be held 29 October 2023)

election results:


Senate - percent of vote by bloc or party - NA; seats by bloc or party - FdT 35, JxC 33, other 4; composition (as of February 2022) men 41, women 31, percent of women 43.1%

Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by bloc or party - NA; seats by bloc or party - FdT 118, JxC 116, FIT-U 4, other: 19; composition (as of February 2022) - men 142, women 115, percent of women 44.7%; note - total National Congress percent of women 44.4%

Judicial branch

highest courts: Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (consists of the court president, vice president, 2 judges, 1 vacancy)

judge selection and term of office: judges nominated by the president and approved by the Senate; ministers can serve until mandatory retirement at age 75; extensions beyond 75 require renomination by the president and approval by the Senate

subordinate courts: federal level appellate, district, and territorial courts; provincial level supreme, appellate, and first instance courts

Political parties and leaders

Avanza Libertad or AL [Jose Luis ESPERT]
Civic Coalition ARI or CC-ARI [Elisa CARRIO, Maximiliano FERRARO]
Federal Consensus or CF [Roberto LAVAGNA, Juan Manuel URTUBEY]
Frente Civico por Santiago (Civic Front for Santiago) [Gerardo ZAMORA]
Frente de Izquierda (Workers' Left Front) or FIT-U [Nicolas DEL CANO, Miriam BREGMAN] (coalition of leftist parties in lower house; includes PTS, PO, and MST)
Frente de la Concordia Misionero (Front for the Renewal of Social Concord) or FRCS [Carlos Eduardo ROVIRA]
Frente de Todos (Everyone's Front) or FdT [Alberto FERNANDEZ] (includes FR, La Campora, and PJ); note - ruling coalition since 2019; includes several national and provincial Peronist political parties
Frente Renovador (Renewal Front) or FR [Sergio MASSA, Pablo MIROLO]
Generacion por un Encuentro Nacional (Generation for a National Encounter) or GEN [Margarita STOLBIZER]
Hacemos por Cordoba (We do for Cordoba) or HC [Juan SCHIARETTI]
Juntos por el Cambio (Together for Change) or JxC [Horacio Rodríguez LARRETA] (includes CC-ARI, PRO, and UCR); note - primary opposition coalition since 2019
Juntos Somos Rio Negro (Together We Are Rio Negro) or JSRN [Alberto WERETILNECK]   
Justicialist Party or PJ [Alberto Angel FERNANDEZ]
La Campora [Maximo KIRCHNER]
La Libertad Avanza or LLA [Javier MILEI]
Movimiento Popular Neuquino (Neuquen People's Movement) or MPN [Omar GUTIERREZ]
Partido Socialista or PS [Monica Haydee FEIN]
Propuesta Republicana or PRO [Mauricio MACRI]
Radical Civic Union or UCR [Gerardo MORALES]
Socialist Workers' Party or PTS [Nicolas DEL CANO]
Unidad Federal (coalition of provencial parties in the lower house; includes FRCS and JSRN)
Workers' Party or PO [Gabriel SOLANO]
Workers' Socialist Movement or MST [Alejandro BODART]
Vamos con Vos (Let's Go with You) or VcV [Florencio RANDAZZO]

International organization participation

AfDB (nonregional member), Australia Group, BCIE, BIS, CAN (associate), CD, CELAC, FAO, FATF, G-15, G-20, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA, Mercosur, MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, Paris Club (associate), PCA, PROSUR, SICA (observer), UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina (observer), UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, Wassenaar Arrangement, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Jorge Martin Arturo ARGUELLO (since 6 February 2020)

chancery: 1600 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009

telephone: [1] (202) 238-6400

FAX: [1] (202) 332-3171

email address and website:
eeeuu@mrecic.gov.ar

https://eeeuu.cancilleria.gob.ar/en

consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Washington, DC

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Marc Robert STANLEY (since 24 January 2022)

embassy:
Avenida Colombia 4300, (C1425GMN) Buenos Aires

mailing address: 3130 Buenos Aires Place, Washington DC  20521-3130

telephone: [54] (11) 5777-4533

FAX: [54] (11) 5777-4240

email address and website:
buenosaires-acs@state.gov

https://ar.usembassy.gov/

Flag description

three equal horizontal bands of sky blue (top), white, and sky blue; centered in the white band is a radiant yellow sun with a human face (delineated in brown) known as the Sun of May; the colors represent the clear skies and snow of the Andes; the sun symbol commemorates the appearance of the sun through cloudy skies on 25 May 1810 during the first mass demonstration in favor of independence; the sun features are those of Inti, the Inca god of the sun

National symbol(s)

Sun of May (a sun-with-face symbol); national colors: sky blue, white

National anthem

name: "Himno Nacional Argentino" (Argentine National Anthem)

lyrics/music: Vicente LOPEZ y PLANES/Jose Blas PARERA

note: adopted 1813; Vicente LOPEZ was inspired to write the anthem after watching a play about the 1810 May Revolution against Spain

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 11 (6 cultural, 5 natural)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Los Glaciares National Park (n); Jesuit Missions of the Guaranis (c); Iguazú National Park (n); Cueva de las Manos (c); Valdés Península (n); Ischigualasto/Talampaya National Parks (n); Jesuit Block and Estancias of Córdoba (c); Quebrada de Humahuaca (c); Qhapaq Ñan/Andean Road System (c)

Economy

Economic overview

Argentina benefits from rich natural resources, a highly literate population, an export-oriented agricultural sector, and a diversified industrial base. Although one of the world's wealthiest countries 100 years ago, Argentina suffered during most of the 20th century from recurring economic crises, persistent fiscal and current account deficits, high inflation, mounting external debt, and capital flight.

 

Cristina FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER succeeded her husband as president in late 2007, and in 2008 the rapid economic growth of previous years slowed sharply as government policies held back exports and the world economy fell into recession. In 2010 the economy rebounded strongly, but slowed in late 2011 even as the government continued to rely on expansionary fiscal and monetary policies, which kept inflation in the double digits.

 

In order to deal with these problems, the government expanded state intervention in the economy: it nationalized the oil company YPF from Spain's Repsol, expanded measures to restrict imports, and further tightened currency controls in an effort to bolster foreign reserves and stem capital flight. Between 2011 and 2013, Central Bank foreign reserves dropped $21.3 billion from a high of $52.7 billion. In July 2014, Argentina and China agreed on an $11 billion currency swap; the Argentine Central Bank has received the equivalent of $3.2 billion in Chinese yuan, which it counts as international reserves.

 

With the election of President Mauricio MACRI in November 2015, Argentina began a historic political and economic transformation, as his administration took steps to liberalize the Argentine economy, lifting capital controls, floating the peso, removing export controls on some commodities, cutting some energy subsidies, and reforming the country’s official statistics. Argentina negotiated debt payments with holdout bond creditors, continued working with the IMF to shore up its finances, and returned to international capital markets in April 2016.

 

In 2017, Argentina’s economy emerged from recession with GDP growth of nearly 3.0%. The government passed important pension, tax, and fiscal reforms. And after years of international isolation, Argentina took on several international leadership roles, including hosting the World Economic Forum on Latin America and the World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference, and is set to assume the presidency of the G-20 in 2018.

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$893.31 billion (2020 est.)

$991.52 billion (2019 est.)

$1,012,670,000,000 (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 27

Real GDP growth rate

-2.03% (2019 est.)

-2.53% (2018 est.)

2.83% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 204

Real GDP per capita

$19,700 (2020 est.)

$22,100 (2019 est.)

$22,800 (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 86

GDP (official exchange rate)

$447.467 billion (2019 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

25.7% (2017 est.)

26.5% (2016 est.)

note: data are derived from private estimates

country comparison to the world: 220

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: CCC (2020)

Moody's rating: Ca (2020)

Standard & Poors rating: CCC+ (2020)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 10.8% (2017 est.)

industry: 28.1% (2017 est.)

services: 61.1% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 65.9% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 18.2% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 14.8% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 3.7% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 11.2% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -13.8% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

maize, soybeans, wheat, sugar cane, milk, barley, sunflower seed, beef, grapes, potatoes

Industries

food processing, motor vehicles, consumer durables, textiles, chemicals and petrochemicals, printing, metallurgy, steel

Industrial production growth rate

2.7% (2017 est.)

note: based on private sector estimates

country comparison to the world: 111

Labor force

18 million (2017 est.)

note: urban areas only

country comparison to the world: 31

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 5.3%

industry: 28.6%

services: 66.1% (2017 est.)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 30.2%

male: 26.8%

female: 35% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 33

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 1.8%

highest 10%: 31% (2017 est.)

Budget

revenues: 120.6 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 158.6 billion (2017 est.)

Public debt

57.6% of GDP (2017 est.)

55% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 77

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$3.997 billion (2019 est.)

-$27.049 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 178

Exports

$64.18 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$79.29 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$77.07 billion (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

country comparison to the world: 51

Exports - partners

Brazil 16%, China 11%, United States 7%, Chile 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

soybean products, corn, delivery trucks, wheat, frozen meat, gold (2019)

Imports

$52.14 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$66.28 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$86.78 billion (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

country comparison to the world: 57

Imports - partners

Brazil 21%, China 18%, US 14%, Germany 6% (2019)

Imports - commodities

cars, refined petroleum, vehicle parts, natural gas, soybeans (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$55.33 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$38.43 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 38

Debt - external

$278.524 billion (2019 est.)

$261.949 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 33

Exchange rates

Argentine pesos (ARS) per US dollar -

82.034 (2020 est.)

59.96559 (2019 est.)

37.23499 (2018 est.)

9.23 (2014 est.)

8.08 (2013 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 99% (2020)

electrification - urban areas: 99% (2020)

electrification - rural areas: 85% (2020)

Electricity

installed generating capacity: 44.731 million kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 121,563,940,000 kWh (2020 est.)

exports: 261 million kWh (2020 est.)

imports: 7.802 billion kWh (2020 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 20.74 billion kWh (2020 est.)

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 65.8% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 7.3% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 1% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 6.8% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 17.6% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 1.5% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Coal

production: 829,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 1.55 million metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 4,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 990,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 500 million metric tons (2019 est.)

Petroleum

total petroleum production: 690,200 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 680,000 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 59,100 barrels/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 11,400 barrels/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 2,482,700,000 barrels (2021 est.)

Natural gas

production: 41,194,148,000 cubic meters (2020 est.)

consumption: 49,476,585,000 cubic meters (2019 est.)

exports: 691.241 million cubic meters (2019 est.)

imports: 6,865,323,000 cubic meters (2019 est.)

proven reserves: 396.464 billion cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

193.205 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 2.122 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 94.208 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 96.875 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 32

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 7,356,165 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 16 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 21

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 54,763,900 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 121 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 29

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: Argentina’s ongoing hyperinflation continues to distort the telecom market’s performance, which shows strong growth in revenue but only modest gains in subscriber numbers each year; fixed-line teledensity continues on its slow, gradual decline year upon year, the fixed broadband segment has increased levels only slightly higher than the fixed-line teledensity; nearly a quarter of the country’s broadband connections are via DSL, although fiber is   increasing it's share of that market as networks expand across most of the main cities; mobile broadband continues to be the preferred platform for internet access, supported by high mobile levels and nationwide LTE coverage; the first 5G service was launched in February 2021 using re-farmed LTE frequencies; the various fixed, mobile, and cable operators are expanding and enhancing their services, the government is also making an active contribution towards boosting broadband connectivity around the country; its national connectivity plan ‘Plan Conectar’, launched in September 2020, provides funding for a range of programs to increase coverage; in August 2021, the telecom regulator announced the release of a further ARS671.6 million in funding to help operators accelerate the rollout of their broadband infrastructure and services. (2021)

domestic: roughly 16 per 100 fixed-line and 121 per 100 mobile-cellular; microwave radio relay, fiber-optic cable, and a domestic satellite system with 40 earth stations serve the trunk network (2020)

international: country code - 54; landing points for the UNISUR, Bicentenario, Atlantis-2, SAm-1, and SAC, Tannat, Malbec and ARBR submarine cable systems that provide links to Europe, Africa, South and Central America, and US; satellite earth stations - 112 (2019)

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced a downturn, particularly in mobile device production; progress towards 5G implementation has resumed, as well as upgrades to infrastructure; consumer spending on telecom services has increased due to the surge in demand for capacity and bandwidth; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home is still evident, and the spike in this area has seen growth opportunities for development of new tools and increased services

Broadcast media

government owns a TV station and radio network; more than two dozen TV stations and hundreds of privately owned radio stations; high rate of cable TV subscription usage (2022)

Internet users

total: 39,024,016 (2020 est.)

percent of population: 86% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 26

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 9,571,562 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 21 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 20

Transportation

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 6 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 107

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 18,081,937 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 311.57 million (2018) mt-km

Airports - with paved runways

total: 161

over 3,047 m: 4

2,438 to 3,047 m: 29

1,524 to 2,437 m: 65

914 to 1,523 m: 53

under 914 m: 10 (2021)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 977

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 43

914 to 1,523 m: 484

under 914 m: 448 (2021)

Heliports

2 (2021)

Pipelines

29,930 km gas, 41 km liquid petroleum gas, 6,248 km oil, 3,631 km refined products (2013)

Railways

total: 36,917.4 km (2014)

standard gauge: 2,745.1 km (2014) 1.435-m gauge (41.1 km electrified)

narrow gauge: 7,523.3 km (2014) 1.000-m gauge

broad gauge: 26,391 km (2014) 1.676-m gauge (149 km electrified)

258 km 0.750-mm gauge

country comparison to the world: 6

Roadways

total: 281,290 km (2017)

paved: 117,616 km (2017)

unpaved: 163,674 km (2017)

country comparison to the world: 21

Merchant marine

total: 202

by type: container ship 1,bulk carrier 1 general cargo 8, oil tanker 33, other 159 (2021)

country comparison to the world: 66

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Bahia Blanca, Buenos Aires, La Plata, Punta Colorada, Ushuaia

container port(s) (TEUs): Buenos Aires (1,485,328) (2019)

LNG terminal(s) (import): Bahia Blanca

river port(s): Arroyo Seco, Rosario, San Lorenzo-San Martin (Parana)

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Armed Forces of the Argentine Republic (Fuerzas Armadas de la República Argentina): Argentine Army (Ejercito Argentino, EA), Navy of the Argentine Republic (Armada Republica, ARA; includes naval aviation and naval infantry), Argentine Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Argentina, FAA); Ministry of Security: Gendarmería Nacional Argentina (National Gendarmerie), Coast Guard (Prefectura Naval)  (2022)

Military expenditures

0.8% of GDP (2021 est.)

0.8% of GDP (2020)

0.7% of GDP (2019) (approximately $5 billion)

0.8% of GDP (2018) (approximately $5.3 billion)

0.9% of GDP (2017) (approximately $5.95 billion)

country comparison to the world: 141

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 82,000 active duty personnel (50,000 Army; 18,000 Navy, including about 3,500 marines); 14,000 Air Force); estimated 20,000 Gendarmerie (2022)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the inventory of Argentina's armed forces is a mix of domestically-produced and mostly older imported weapons, largely from Europe and the US; since 2010, France and the US are the leading suppliers of equipment; Argentina has an indigenous defense industry that produces air, land, and sea systems (2022)

Military service age and obligation

18-24 years of age for voluntary military service for men and women; conscription suspended in 1995; citizens can still be drafted in times of crisis, national emergency, or war, or if the Defense Ministry is unable to fill all vacancies to keep the military functional (2022)

note - as of 2021, women comprised over 21% of the active duty military

Military deployments

250 Cyprus (UNFICYP) (May 2022)

Military - note

the Army and Navy were both created in 1810 during the Argentine War of Independence, while the Air Force was established in 1945; the military coups d'état in 1930, 1943, 1955, 1962, 1966, and 1976; the 1976 coup, aka the "National Reorganization Process," marked the beginning of the so-called "Dirty War," a period of state-sponsored terrorism that saw the deaths or disappearances of thousands of Argentinians; the defeat in the 1983 Falklands War led to the downfall of the military junta

Argentina has Major Non-NATO Ally (MNNA) status with the US; MNNA is a designation under US law that provides foreign partners with certain benefits in the areas of defense trade and security cooperation; while MNNA status provides military and economic privileges, it does not entail any security commitments (2022)

Terrorism

Terrorist group(s)

Hizballah

note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix-T

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Argentina-Bolivia: Contraband smuggling, human trafficking, and illegal narcotic trafficking are problems in the porous areas of the border with Bolivia

Argentina-Brazil: Uncontested dispute between Brazil and Uruguay over Braziliera/Brasiliera Island in the Quarai/Cuareim River leaves the tripoint with Argentina in question.

Argentina-Chile: The joint boundary commission, established by Chile and Argentina in 2001 has yet to map and demarcate the delimited boundary in the inhospitable Andean Southern Ice Field (Campo de Hielo Sur).

Argentina-Paraguay: None identified

Argentina-Uruguay: In 2010, the ICJ ruled in favor of Uruguay's operation of two paper mills on the Uruguay River, which forms the border with Argentina; the two countries formed a joint pollution monitoring regime. Isla de Martín Garcia situated in the Rio de la Plata estuary is wholly within Uruguayan territorial waters but up to its low tide mark, the island is Argentinian territory.  The island is accorded unrestricted access rights.

Argentina-United Kingdom: Argentina continues to assert its claims to the UK-administered Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), South Georgia, and the South Sandwich Islands in its constitution, forcibly occupying the Falklands in 1982, but in 1995 agreed to no longer seek settlement by force; UK continues to reject Argentine requests for sovereignty talks.

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 170,517 (Venezuela) (economic and political crisis; includes Venezuelans who have claimed asylum, are recognized as refugees, or have received alternative legal stay) (2021)

Illicit drugs

counterfeiting, drug trafficking, and other smuggling offenses along the northern border; some money laundering organizations in the Tri-Border Area may have links to the terrorist organization Hizballah; a large producer of chemical precursors