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República Argentina
Argentine Republic
Flag of Argentina
Coat of arms of Argentina
flag coat of arms
Motto : En Unión y Libertad

( Spanish , "In unity and freedom")

Official language Spanish

Regional indigenous official languages ​​of: Guaraní , Wichi , Toba , Mocovi

Capital Buenos Aires
State and form of government presidential republic ( federal republic )
Head of state , also head of government President
Alberto Fernández
area 2,780,400 km²
population 44,694,198 (July 2018 estimate)
Population density 16.1 inhabitants per km²
Population development   + 0.93% per year
gross domestic product
  • Total (nominal)
  • Total ( PPP )
  • GDP / inh. (nominal)
  • GDP / inh. (KKP)
  • $ 444.5 billion ( 29. )
  • $ 1,033.4 billion ( 26. )
  • 9,890 USD ( 70th )
  • 22,997 USD ( 65. )
Human Development Index   0.845 ( 46th ) (2019)
currency Argentine Peso ( ARS )
independence July 9, 1816 (from Spain )
National anthem Himno Nacional Argentino
National holiday 25. May
Time zone UTC − 3 (ART)
License Plate RA
ISO 3166 AR , ARG, 032
Internet TLD .ar
Telephone code +54
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Argentina ( Spanish Argentina ? / I [ aɾxenˈtina ]) is a republic in southern South America . It is bordered by Chile in the west, Bolivia and Paraguay in the north, Brazil and Uruguay in the northeast and the Atlantic Ocean in the east. Audio file / audio sample

The country's name is derived from the Latin name for silverargentum  - and comes from the Spanish colonial era, when it was hoped to find precious metals here. Until its independence in 1816, it was part of the Spanish colonial empire . Politically, Argentina is a presidential Federal Republic in which the individual provinces have extensive powers.

Km² with an area of almost 2.8 million Argentina's eighth largest state of the world and the second largest in South America and the fourth largest in the Americas continent. Because of its great north-south expansion, the country has a share of several climate and vegetation zones . In terms of population, it ranks third in South America (after Brazil and Colombia) with around 44 million people and fifth in America as a whole. About a third of the population is concentrated in the metropolitan area of the capital Buenos Aires , which is considered to be an important cultural center in America, where the Tango Argentino, among other things , has its origin. The cities of Córdoba , Rosario , Mar del Plata and Mendoza form further urban centers . Large parts of the dry and cold south, on the other hand, are only very sparsely populated.

Until around 1950 Argentina was one of the richest countries on earth. In economic terms, agriculture , animal husbandry and the extraction of raw materials have traditionally played a major role, even though today the service sector accounts for the largest share of GDP with around 60%.

Politically, the country was strongly influenced by immigration from Europe until the middle of the 20th century, especially from Italy and Spain. The most important political stages since then are Peronism (1946–1955; 1973–1976), several military dictatorships (especially 1976–1983 ), redemocratization (after 1983) and neoliberalism (1990s) up to the 2001 Argentina crisis and the one that followed following consolidation.

Natural space

Argentina has an area of ​​2.78 million km², making it the second largest country in South America after Brazil . The extension from north to south is 3694 km, from west to east at the widest point about 1423 km. It is bordered to the east by the Atlantic Ocean , to the north by Bolivia and Paraguay , to the northeast by Brazil and Uruguay ; Chile and Argentina form their longest common border in the west of the country.

Limit with length
Bolivia 742 km
Brazil 1132 km
Chile 5308 km
Paraguay 1699 km
Uruguay 495 km
total * 25,728 km
* including coastline

The entire western border area is occupied by the Andes , the longest continental mountain range on earth. The central north of Argentina is occupied by the Gran Chaco , a hot dry savanna . To the east of it joins the hill country of the province of Misiones along the Río Paraná . There are the Iguazú waterfalls at the border triangle Argentina-Paraguay-Brazil ; they are about 2.7 kilometers wide and are among the largest on earth. To the south, between the great rivers Río Paraná and Río Uruguay , lies the humid and swampy Mesopotamia . On the Río de la Plata , the common estuary of these two rivers, lie the city of Buenos Aires and the province of Buenos Aires of the same name , the economic heart of Argentina, where about a third of the country's inhabitants live.

To the west and south of Buenos Aires stretch the pampas , a grassy plain where most of the country's agricultural products are produced. In this region there are large wheat fields and pastures for cattle ; exports of beef collapsed from 771,000 tons to 190,000 tons as of 2005 as a result of export restrictions and bans by the government. In 2017, 308,638 tons of beef were exported again.

The Aconcagua

The mountain ranges of the Sierras Pampeanas lie between the pampas and the Andes in central Argentina . These low mountain ranges reach heights of 2800 m in the Sierras de Córdoba and up to 6250 m in the Sierra de Famatina in La Rioja . The Patagonia in the south of Argentina is characterized by strong westerly winds and has a very harsh climate . This area, which makes up about a quarter of the country's area, is very sparsely populated. The lowest point in the country and America as a whole is the Laguna del Carbón at 105 m below sea level. It is located between Puerto San Julián and Comandante Luis Piedra Buena in the province of Santa Cruz .

An approximately 60 km long section of the border with Chile , which is located in the southern Patagonian ice field , is not marked as a clearly drawn border, but is occupied by a special zone agreed between the two states.

Argentina claims a sector of the Antarctic continent ; however, this claim conflicts with the Antarctic Treaty , which has been in force since 1961.

Mountains and mountains

There are many mountains over 6,000 m high in the Argentine Andes . They include the highest mountain on the American continent , the Aconcagua with 6961 m height and the two highest volcanoes on earth, the Ojos del Salado with 6880 m and the Monte Pissis with 6795 m. In the southern Andes the mountains are less high; many are always covered with snow because of the cold and damp climate. In the Sierras Pampeanas , too , very high altitudes are sometimes measured: the Sierra de Famatina in the La Rioja province also reaches over 6000 m. The heights of this mountain complex drop to the east, however, in the Sierras de Córdoba only a maximum of 2800 meters is reached.

The northern Patagonids (Mesetas Patagoniens) are still 4700 m high in the southeast of Mendoza, their height decreases towards the southeast. In the other areas of Argentina the mountains only reach a height of over 1000 m in exceptional cases. These include the Sierras Australes Bonaerenses ( Sierra de la Ventana and Sierra de Tandil ) on the Atlantic coast and the hills and mountains of Misiones .

rivers and lakes

The Río de la Plata with the greater Buenos Aires area at the bottom right

Argentina's hydrology is dominated by the tributaries of the Río de la Plata . Its catchment area covers around 5,200,000 km² . About a third of this is in Argentina, the rest in Bolivia , Brazil , Paraguay and Uruguay . The tributaries of the Río de la Plata are the Río Paraná and the Río Uruguay . In the north on the border with Brazil is the Iguazú National Park. In it the Iguazú River with the Iguazú waterfalls , which are three times the size of Niagara Falls. The second largest catchment area has the Río Colorado in northern Patagonia, whose largest tributary, the Río Salado del Oeste , drains a large part of western Argentina, although a large part of its water volume already evaporates on the way due to the dry climate or seeps into marshland.

Argentina has two major lake areas. The most extensive is at the foot of the southern Andes, where a long chain of meltwater lakes extends from the province of Neuquén to Tierra del Fuego . In addition, in the western central pampas and in the southern Chaco there are numerous flatland lakes, some of which are only a few meters deep and often salty . The floodplain lake Mar Chiquita with 5770 square kilometers in the province of Cordoba and the Andean lakes Lago Argentino (1415 km²) and Lake Viedma (1,088 square kilometers) are in the Los Glaciares National Park , which the UNESCO - World Heritage declared. The Perito Moreno glacier is also located there .


The Falkland Islands claimed by Argentina from space

Argentina has few islands despite its long coastline. The largest is the archipelago of Tierra del Fuego part of Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego km² with 47,020, which Argentina (to Tierra del Fuego Province , 21,571 square kilometers) and Chile share (25,429 square kilometers). The only other island area of ​​importance is the south of the province of Buenos Aires, where two extensive mudflats are located in the bays Bahía Blanca and Bahía Anegada . The islands there are flat and uninhabited , with the exception of Isla Jabalí , on which the seaside resort of San Blas is located. The largest island is Isla Trinidad with 207 km². There are also some smaller rock islands off the Patagonian coast.

Territory disputed under international law are the Falkland Islands (also Malwinen , English Falkland Islands , Spanish Islas Malvinas ), a group of islands in the southern Atlantic . Geographically, they belong to South America , are 600 to 800 km east of southern Argentina and Tierra del Fuego at 52 ° south and 59 ° west and are British overseas territory . They have been claimed by Argentina since 1833. The occupation of the islands by Argentina on April 2, 1982 triggered the Falklands War , which lasted until June 14, 1982 and ended in defeat for Argentina. The largest islands of the Falkland Islands are Ostfalkland (Soledad) with 6683 km² and West Falkland (Gran Malvina) with 5278 km². The Territory of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands to the southeast of the Falkland Islands are under the same status .


Climate diagram Buenos Aires
Climate diagram Salta
Climate diagram Mendoza
Climate diagram Ushuaia
( For general explanations see: climate diagram )

Argentina has combined almost all climatic zones in one country , from tropical areas in the extreme northeast to subtropical areas in the rest of the north and an extensive temperate climate zone to cold climatic regions in the south and in the Andes .

The north-west of Argentina is dry in the Andes area with a short rainy season in summer. In it you will find the high desert Puna , whose west is one of the least rainy areas in the world, as well as the steppe-like, barren Monte at the foot of the Andes in the provinces of Mendoza , San Juan and La Rioja .

The eastern slopes of the Voranden are home to subtropical cloud forests in the provinces of Tucumán , Salta and Jujuy , which are very rainy in summer due to the rain from the wet east winds, but relatively dry in winter. To the east the Gran Chaco joins in the central north, its precipitation is concentrated in the summer, the same applies to the region of the Sierras Pampeanas in central Argentina. In both regions, precipitation decreases towards the west.

The northeast and the pampas are humid all year round, with the highest levels of rainfall in the subtropical rainforest of the Misiones province .

The south ( Patagonia ) lies in the west wind zone, which is why the western part receives more precipitation than the east. The Andes are constantly humid and cool in terms of temperature. They act as a barrier to the moist Pacific winds, so that the subsequent east Patagonian cuesta landscape dry lot and is semi-desert-like. In this region, the Pampero wind, which blows regularly every one to two weeks from the southwest, determines the climate. A special case is the climate in the southern part of Tierra del Fuego with a cool oceanic climate , where both Pacific and Atlantic influences determine the weather due to the lack of a climatic divide in the Andes. There the amounts of precipitation are relatively high and the temperatures show a relatively small difference between summer and winter.

Flora and fauna

According to the very different climatic zones of Argentina, the vegetation and the fauna also vary greatly. In total, around twelve percent of the land area is forested.


An American plane tree

In the warm, humid tropical and subtropical rainforests in the north, tropical plants thrive, such as rosewood (Dalbergia) , guaiac wood trees ( Guaiacum officinale) , rosewood (Jacaranda mimosifolia) and quebracho trees ( Schinopsis lorentzii ) , from which tannic acid is obtained, but also palm trees . The Gran Chaco , also in the north of Argentina, has savannah-like vegetation, which is dominated by the Algarrobo trees (mainly Prosopis alba and Prosopis nigra ), Quebracho also occurs. The south and east of the Chaco, with its milder climate, is used intensively for agriculture, while the north is still largely original.

The pampas are characterized by extensive grasslands with various types of grass . Apart from eucalyptus (Eucalyptus) , American plane trees (Platanus occidentalis) and acacias (Acacia) , there are no trees here; the former two genera are not native. Due to the very fine stone-free soil, agricultural development is possible, so that only little original vegetation has survived.

Patagonia is already in the shadow of the Andes and is a barren and largely treeless landscape. Here, as in the pampas, the grasses predominate, but the vegetation is adapted to the much drier conditions. There are also various herbaceous plants and shrubs . Because of the stony soil, grain cultivation is not possible, instead the grasslands are used as sheep pasture.

In the foothills of the Andes and on Tierra del Fuego, there are extensive coniferous forests with spruce (Picea) , cypress (Cypressus) , pine (Pinus) , cedar (Cedrus) and other timber. There are isolated groups of false beeches (Nothofagus) near the Chilean border . The tree line is around 3500 m. In the arid semi-deserts of the dry northern highlands of the Andes there are many cactus plants (Cactaceae) and thorn bushes .

The flower of the Ceibo ( cockscomb tree or coral tree) is one of the national symbols as a so-called "national flower".


Guanacos - a wild form of the llama

In the tropical north, the fauna is extremely diverse. Different species of monkeys , jaguars , pumas , ocelots , raccoons , coatis , anteaters , but also tapirs , umbilical pigs and reptiles such as snakes and caimans live here . The bird life in the tropical north is home to hummingbirds , flamingos , toucans and parrots . Piranhas can also be found in the rivers, along with many other fish . In the Pampa is one armadillos , maned wolves , pampas foxes , pampas cat , pampas deer , rheas , various birds of prey such as hawks and herons . In the barren areas of the Andes you can meet the wild llamas , guanacos and vicuñas , as well as the Andean condor , which is one of the largest birds in the world. Predators are the mountain cat , the puma and the Andean jackal . Migratory birds such as flamingos are often found at salt lakes. In Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego , animal life is poor in species. Pumas, rheas and guanacos also live here; the Patagonian Huemul and Pudú (a small deer ) are part of the fauna of the southern Andes. Cormorants and Magellan woodpeckers also nest on Tierra del Fuego . The Patagonian coasts are home to Magellanic penguins and colonies of South American fur seals and maned seals . The coastal waters of Argentina are home to southern right whales , orcas and Commerson's dolphins , as well as hake , sardines , mackerel and dorados .


It is estimated that more than 25 million Argentines have at least one Italian ancestor. Italians are one of the largest immigrant groups in Argentina.
Population development from 1869 to 2015 (green: projection)

Argentina has a population of approximately 44 million people (according to the CIA World Factbook as of July 2016). This corresponds to a population density of 15.8 inhabitants / km². About 87% of the population live in cities with more than 2,000 inhabitants, of which 11.5 million are in the Gran Buenos Aires agglomeration alone . This has a population density of 2989 inhabitants / km². The city and the entire province of Buenos Aires together have 16.6 million inhabitants, the provinces of Córdoba and Santa Fe each about three million, so that together more than 60% of the population live in these three provinces in the central part of the country. Large parts of the rest of the country, on the other hand, are very sparsely populated, especially in the dry south, where only about one to three inhabitants / km² live.

Life expectancy from 2010 to 2015 was 76.0 years (women 79.8, men: 72.2).

Ethnic groups

According to official statistics, more than 90% of the population are descended from immigrant Europeans, of which 36% are Italians , 29% are Spaniards and 3 to 4% are Germans . Polish culture also plays a role in the Buenos Aires area and in the Chaco and Misiones provinces . These are descendants of Polish emigrants from the 1920s. Until the early 1990s, the proportion of mestizos - descendants of both Europeans and Indians - was assumed to be less than 10%. According to more recent findings, however, their share is much higher. A genetic analysis from 2012 revealed 65% European, 31% Indian and 4% black African genes. This discrepancy is attributed to the fact that the mestizos had previously suffered from severe discrimination and therefore declared themselves "whites".

Family in the north of Argentina

Indigenous population

Only a minority of the Argentines are exclusively descendants of the 30 ethnic groups that lived on the territory before the arrival of the Spaniards. This is due on the one hand to the fact that Argentina was only densely populated in the northwest before the colonial era, and on the other hand to the fact that the remaining natives were largely exterminated by the Spaniards and later by the Argentines. The State Institute for Indigenous Affairs (INAI ) estimates the number of indigenous people at around 1 million, but indigenous organizations such as the AIRA (Asociación de Indígenas de la República Argentina) estimate the number of indigenous people to be more than 1.5 million.

In 2001, approximately 2.8% of all Argentine households had indigenous household members, with the proportion varying widely from province to province. In the province of Jujuy the share was highest at 10.5%. The proportion was lowest in the province of Corrientes at 1.0%. In the capital Buenos Aires it was 2.3%.

The largest groups are the Kollas in Jujuy and Salta , the Mapuche (Araucans) in Neuquén and Río Negro , the Wichí and Toba in the Chaco and Formosa, and the Guaraní in the northern provinces. Only a minority of the indigenous peoples live in their ancestral settlement areas, many have moved to the big cities, where they often live in poor conditions as poorly paid workers. In Rosario and Resistencia there are quarters that are only inhabited by Toba Indians, the same applies to Kollas in San Salvador de Jujuy and San Miguel de Tucumán . Since the 1980s, movements within these tribes have been growing in a targeted manner to preserve and spread traditional culture, for example via radio stations and in schools.

Immigration and emigration

Cedula de Identidad - Argentina - Buenos Aires - 1934

The number of foreigners in the 2010 census was 1,805,957 (4.6% of the population), the largest groups being Paraguayans (550,713), Bolivians (345,272), Chileans (191,147), Peruvians (157,514) and Italians (147,499 ). The province of Santa Cruz (12%), the city of Buenos Aires and Tierra del Fuego (both 11%) have the highest proportions of foreign-born children . In 2017, 4.9% of the population were migrants.

Historically, the largest wave of immigration was recorded between 1880 and 1930, almost exclusively from Europe, especially from Italy (2.9 million immigrants; 45%) and Spain (2 million immigrants; 31.5%). The number of immigrants from Germany between 1857 and 1940 is estimated at 152,000. In the middle of the 20th century, migration to Argentina leveled off, apart from a brief flare-up during the Second World War . After a phase of negative net migration between 1975 and 2001, the balance since the Argentina crisis is currently slightly positive again. Today mainly citizens of the neighboring countries Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay as well as from the South American states Peru and Venezuela immigrate to Argentina. At the time of the Pinochet dictatorship , immigration also took place from Chile , but this reversed after 2001 due to the democratization of speech and the meanwhile higher standard of living in the neighboring country. Overall, around 68% of immigrants come from American states. About 2% of all immigrants come from Asia (mainly Koreans ).

Volga Germans mainly settled in the Entre Ríos province .

Since the 1990s one can find more and more immigrants from Europe , who mainly move here because of the unspoiled nature. In contrast to the other immigrants, they usually already have a secure existence or are pensioners, so they try to improve their quality of life by moving. Other groups of foreigners (especially Italians and Spaniards) are still living main wave immigrants (until 1950). Europeans represent around 28% of foreigners.

Since the Argentina crisis between 1998 and 2002, waves of emigration have increased. Argentinians left the country for Europe and North America, and to a lesser extent for Brazil and Chile. However, this wave of emigration has largely subsided due to the relatively rapid recovery of the Argentine economy.


Argentina no longer has a state religion since May 20, 1955 , which was previously the Roman Catholic denomination . Catholicism enjoys a privileged status under the constitution. According to the 2017 Report on International Religious Freedom , 71% of the population are Roman Catholic . In addition to Catholicism, there are officially over 2500 registered cults and religions . Including Protestantism (9%), Jehovah's Witnesses (approx. 1.2%), and others (approx. 1.2%) for example the Pachamama cult in northwest Argentina, which arose from the merging of Christian rites with indigenous religions . The Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio SJ, was elected Pope on March 13, 2013 by the conclave and is thus the first Pope from Latin America. Bergoglio chose the name Francis. Around 400,000 to 500,000 Muslims (1%) live in Argentina. With around 205,000 to 300,000 followers (0.6%), the Jewish community is the largest in Latin America. Around 11% –13% of the population stated in surveys that they are free of religion.


The only nationally valid official language in Argentina is Spanish . There are also a number of more or less widespread minority languages ​​spoken by the indigenous population. The most widespread of these are Quechua (in two local variants ) and Guaraní , in some areas Mapudungun is also spoken. In the province of Chaco , the languages ​​of the Wichí , Toba (people) and Mocoví are official languages; in the province of Corrientes this applies to the Guaraní. The number of speakers of autochthonous languages is highest among the indigenous people in the Chaco, more than half of whom still understand their native language. In other groups such as the Kolla and Mapuche , this number is far lower.

In terms of pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary, Argentine Spanish differs from the variants used in Spain and other Latin American countries. The double consonant ll is pronounced like the German sch or like the French j , as is the letter y between vowels and a consonant y at the beginning of the word; this phenomenon is known as yeísmo . The letter z is always pronounced like an unvoiced s , the same applies to the c before e and i , this is called Seseo . Furthermore, the Voseo prevails in Argentina , i. H. instead of the personal pronoun tú for the 2nd person singular, vos is used. The verbs are conjugated differently (in the present tense always end stressed and with different imperative forms ). Furthermore, the 2nd person plural vosotros is also replaced in informal language by the 3rd person plural ustedes , which is only the polite form in European Spanish. There are also a number of lexical discrepancies.

While the majority of the descendants of Italian immigrants in Argentina have given up the language of their ancestors, some of the descendants of German-speaking and English-speaking immigrants still maintain the language of their ancestors. There are neighborhoods in the greater Buenos Aires area where you can still hear a lot of German. In the province of Cordoba there is a relatively large colony of survivors of the warship Admiral Graf Spee from the Second World War, who settled in Villa General Belgrano , where German is still partly spoken today.

See also: Río-de-la-Plata-Spanish , Belgrano-German , Cocoliche , Quechua

Population development

Argentina's population structure in 2016 (Source: CIA World Factbook)

In the colonial era, the main focus of the Argentine population was for a long time in the northwest, and especially in the mining region around Salta and Jujuy. The largest city was Córdoba , located at the crossroads of several trade routes . This changed with the establishment of the Viceroyalty Río de la Plata in 1776. The trade now let the population of the coastal region in the east of the country (Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, Entre Rios) increase by leaps and bounds, and after independence had been achieved the economic and political power finally concentrated in this region. The area south of a line between today's La Plata and Mendoza , on the other hand , was still inhabited by the Indians until General Roca's desert campaign in the 1870s, although there were some Spanish and Welsh enclaves.

The wave of immigration from 1880 to 1930 reinforced the dominance of the coastal region and especially of the city and province of Buenos Aires, as the majority of immigrants settled in this area. The northwest became more and more a backward and economically weak region, with relatively little immigration, and Patagonia was just beginning to develop. The metropolitan area of ​​Buenos Aires grew from 150,000 to 1.6 million inhabitants between 1850 and 1914. After the flow of immigrants dried up around 1930, industrialization brought a flow of internal migrants whose destination was also Buenos Aires and - by far - Córdoba and Rosario. This current lasted until the 1970s and led to the metropolitan area around the capital expanding far beyond the actual urban area of ​​Buenos Aires.

In 1980, the greater Buenos Aires area exceeded the 10 million mark for the first time in the national census and thus concentrated almost 40% of the population (24 million at the time). After that, the growth of the cities in the coastal region flattened significantly. Between 1991 and 2001, the city of Buenos Aires lost 7% of its population, the population of the metropolitan area increased only slightly, Rosario and Santa Fe also stagnated. In contrast, remote regions such as the economically booming Patagonia, especially the southernmost provinces of Tierra del Fuego and Santa Cruz (44% and 23% growth between 1991 and 2001), but also the cities of the northwest such as Jujuy, Salta, La Rioja, became a growth magnet and Tucumán as well as the Cordoba metropolitan area.

In Buenos Aires and most major cities, there has been the phenomenon of urban exodus since around 1980 : Many, mostly better-earning residents are moving from the city centers to the surrounding areas. Since around 1990, this phenomenon has been compounded by the mass establishment of private neighborhoods and country clubs . The cause lies in the perceived increase in crime. Tourist and scenic locations have also experienced positive development since then, which is due to the increasing mobility of the population as well as the now significantly better availability of infrastructural services such as telephone, radio, television and the Internet even in remote areas. Formerly small holiday resorts like Merlo , Pinamar and Villa Carlos Paz became prosperous, rapidly growing cities.

Social situation

The Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos continuously documents important indicators for assessing the social situation in Argentina.

The country's social situation is characterized by severe inequality in several respects. On the one hand, as in all of Latin America, there is a large wealth gap between the upper and lower classes.

But the differences between the regions of Argentina are also great. For example, the poverty rate, which is calculated using a basket of goods, was around 15% in the capital Buenos Aires in 2008, only slightly more than half the national average (23%), while it is 41% in the northeast region ( Status 2007). In March 2008 , the average person needed about AR $ 317 a  month to stay outside the poverty line. In most households it is therefore necessary that several family members contribute to the income. This is also shown by the official statistics: the average monthly per capita income is around AR $ 1156, just above the poverty rate for families, while the average monthly household income is AR $ 2090 (see below).

The northern provinces, especially the Tucumán province and the northeast ( Chaco , Formosa , Santiago del Estero ) were hardest hit by poverty and malnutrition until the turn of the millennium. This situation was exacerbated by the relatively high population growth in this region. In contrast, the central provinces ( Buenos Aires , Santa Fe , Córdoba , San Luis and Mendoza ), but also the extreme south ( Santa Cruz and Tierra del Fuego ) were considered relatively rich . In addition to the border areas ( e.g. Jujuy and Formosa), however, it is above all the rich central provinces that have to struggle most with urban poverty and thus with the formation of slums . Immigration from the poorer neighboring countries Peru , Bolivia and Paraguay as well as internal migration from remote areas of the interior were a problem in the big cities, despite a slowdown in the 1990s, which caused the number of slum dwellers to continue to grow despite social housing programs. In 2004, for example, in Rosario, the proportion of slum dwellers in the total population was over 15%. In addition, there was an increase in the slums from the so-called new poor, especially in the economically critical years 1989/1990, 1995 and between 1998 and 2002.

A Villa Miseria in Buenos Aires

During the Argentina crisis , particularly in 2001 and 2002, many indicators of the social situation deteriorated in a very short time. The poverty rate calculated according to a shopping cart rose to over 50%. From 2003 the values ​​slowly normalized again, but until 2006 the poverty rate, despite a decrease, remained well above the values ​​of the 1990s at over 20%. In the worst affected region, Noreste Argentino (northeast region), almost half of the population continued to be poor.

After the economy initially recovered, it slipped back into recession from 2012 onwards. In 2016, a third of Argentines lived below the poverty line and the newly elected Conservative President Macri was forced to embark on an austerity program. As a result, the number of people below the poverty line rose from 29% to 41% (December 2019).

In the case of poverty and misery rates, the incomes on which the rate is based vary from region to region, so only an approximate average value is given. The inflation rate is only calculated in the greater Buenos Aires area . However, the INDEC data for the price index have been questioned several times; the IMF therefore issued a reprimand to the country in 2013.


Handprints in the Cueva de las Manos cave , Santa Cruz , 9,300 BC. Chr.
Argentina and today's neighboring countries around 1600 as part of the viceroyalty of Perú

Pre-Columbian period

Research suggests that the human settlement of what is now Argentina was around 15,000 BC. Took place from North America.

The pampas Indians Het (Querandíes), Charrúa and other small tribes, who lived in the pampas of what is now Argentina, were not settled until the arrival of the Spaniards and lived as hunters and gatherers or fishermen. The tribes in the north-west of the country, on the other hand, (e.g. the Diaguita ) practiced agriculture and cattle breeding from around the time of the early European Middle Ages and were particularly well advanced in the architectural field. In the 13th and 14th centuries, the Inca Empire expanded strongly to the south and by 1450 comprised large parts of north-west Argentina to the north of today's province of Mendoza .

Colonial times

The Europeans first reached the region with Amerigo Vespucci's trip in 1502. Today's Argentina was colonized by the Spaniards from two directions in the 16th century . From the estuary of the Río Paraná on the Atlantic , Spanish branches were founded on the current system of the Río de la Plata ("Silver River"), including Buenos Aires in 1536 . The Spaniards were only able to establish themselves there permanently in 1580, after the first attempt at founding a building had failed due to the resistance of the indigenous pampas inhabitants. After the La Plata colony was initially administered from Asunción , which was founded in 1537, after the rise of the re-founded Buenos Aires to become the most important economic location of the colony in the course of the 17th century, the southern part of the Silver Land was increasingly separated from the northern part, the present-day Paraguay . The north-western parts of what is now Argentina (especially in the Gran Chaco ) were taken by the Spaniards from Peru in the 1540s.

The areas of present-day Argentina ( Patagonia ) further south of Buenos Aires in the southern cone remained in fact outside of Spanish rule during the colonial period. They were ruled for about 300 years by Indian horsemen ( Puelche ), who were in an exciting cultural exchange with the colonists. In several campaigns in the 19th century, the colonists or their descendants finally conquered the areas with great losses on the part of the indigenous population. At the same time, the Mapuche peoples from western Patagonia were able to maintain a high degree of independence well beyond the mid-19th century.

Administratively, today's Argentina was initially part of the Viceroyalty of Peru , which, with the exception of Venezuela and the Portuguese sphere of influence, comprised all of South America. In 1776 the viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata with the capital Buenos Aires was split off, which in addition to Argentina also included what is today Paraguay, Uruguay and parts of what is now Bolivia .

The Latinized name Argentina (" Silver Land ") for the colony appears for the first time in the title of the historical long poem La Argentina by Martín del Barco Centenera , printed in Portugal in 1602 , in which the former conquistador and deacon describes the conquest of the La Plata colony and at the same time tried to imitate the style of La Araucana , the successful verse novel by Alonso de Ercilla y Zúñiga about the war of conquest in Chile .

Formation of a nation state

The independence that was declared in Buenos Aires on May 25, 1810, under the influence of the French Revolution and the coalition wars in Europe, initially only had local effects as the May Revolution , but led to a nationwide war of liberation against the Spaniards. The country finally gained independence on July 9, 1816 in San Miguel de Tucumán . As before Paraguay in 1811, Bolivia in 1825 and Uruguay split off from the then United Provinces of the Río de la Plata .

Between 1816 and 1880 the development of Argentina was marked by dictatorships (under the Bonarens governor Juan Manuel de Rosas ) and civil wars. The provinces were initially largely autonomous, only in 1826-1827 could the country be briefly united. In 1853 the present-day Argentine Republic was founded without the breakaway province of Buenos Aires , and a federal constitution was passed in its first capital, Paraná . In 1861 and 1862, the province of Buenos Aires rejoined after a military conflict, nationwide elections were called, and Bartolomé Miter became the first all-Argentine president . During his reign, the Triple Alliance War fell from 1864 to 1870, in which Argentina, together with Brazil and Uruguay, prevailed against the expansionary tendencies of Paraguay , which at that time had developed into one of the strongest military powers in South America. Through this war Argentina gained the territory of the present-day states of Misiones , Formosa and Chaco .

Immigration and the economic boom

Julio Argentino Roca
Juan Domingo Perón

The years from 1880 to 1912 were characterized by the large number of immigrants, mainly Italians and Spaniards, who settled in the cities and in so-called “colonies” in the countryside. Politically, this period can be described as a sham democracy , because the Julio Argentino Roca government and the following governments were oligarchic , with great influence from the big landowners . The majority of the population were deprived of their political rights through a sophisticated electoral fraud system by the ruling party Partido Autonomista Nacional , which ruled continuously from 1874 to 1916; the immigrants also had no voting rights.

From 1893 the border problems with Chile worsened after Bolivia ceded part of the Puna de Atacama to Argentina. This had been occupied by Chile since the Saltpeter War. There was an arms race between Chile and Argentina. Only the British King Edward VII was able to settle the border dispute in 1902. Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego were redistributed, with 54,000 km² falling to Chile and 40,000 km² to Argentina.

In 1912, the president and head of the liberal wing of the PAN, Roque Sáenz Peña , introduced universal male suffrage. As a result, the Unión Cívica Radical , which had emerged from the bourgeois protest movement, came to power in 1916 . This was followed by the changeable so-called Etapa Radical from 1916 to 1930. The Unión Cívica Radical ruled until 1930, when a military coup reintroduced a conservative system. The 1930s in particular are now referred to as Década infame , the infamous decade in which democracy only existed on paper and electoral fraud was the order of the day.


During the first half of the 1940s, the young officer Juan Domingo Perón succeeded in skillfully maneuvering himself into power. He was initially Minister of Labor under the Ramírez military regime and quickly became a popular hero in the working class because of his far-reaching concessions to the trade unions , so that after his overthrow in July 1945, mass demonstrations forced his return. In 1946 he was elected President.

In World War II , Argentina was officially neutral. It initially sympathized with the Axis powers , but supported the Allies towards the end of the war . During the war Argentina was a destination for refugees from Europe; after the war, numerous National Socialists and fascists found refuge in Argentina as well as in other Latin American states via the so-called " rat line ". Among the most prominent National Socialist war criminals in Argentina were Adolf Eichmann , who was kidnapped by the Mossad in 1960 and sentenced to death in Israel , Josef Mengele , Walther Rauff and Erich Priebke . So-called key companies also moved large assets of the National Socialists to Argentina.

March 2015, the discovery of a 1940s building in a wooded area of ​​the Teyu Cuare nature park about 1000 kilometers north of the state capital Buenos Aires was announced. It was never used. Evidence such as architectural style and found objects suggest that it was intended as a hiding place for fleeting Nazi greats, according to the Center for Urban Archeology (CAU). "The national commission for the investigation of Nazi activities (CEANA) estimates that at least 180 war criminals have fled to the South American country."

Under Perón, who sympathized with fascist ideas, Argentina pursued the goal of fending off communism by making concessions to the workers. During his first reign, the country's industrialization , which had begun around 1930 after the Great Depression , was deepened and an import substitution policy was implemented. The forced industrialization and active social policy led to an unprecedented level of prosperity for the masses, which to this day has not been achieved again , which therefore supported the increasingly authoritarian regime, but also to rising inflation and national debt. In the second term of Perón there were economic difficulties and conflicts with the powerful Catholic Church.

In 1955 he was deposed in a coup and fled into exile in Spain.

Instability and dictatorships

Argentina recorded alternating economic ups and downs in the period that followed. Until 1983 there was an epoch of instability in which civil and military governments alternated ruling the country. The democratically elected governments of Frondizis (1958–1962) and Illias (1963–1966) were prematurely put out of office by the anti-peronist military. From 1966 to 1973 there was a longer right-wing conservative military dictatorship under Onganía and his successors , which was finally abandoned in 1973 after popular protests. The country briefly found its way back to democracy, the still popular Perón was allowed to re-enter and was soon able to regain power.

Isabel Perón (1974)

Perón's second term in office from October 1973 until his death on July 1, 1974 brought only a slight calming of the political and economic situation in Argentina. After his death, his third wife, Isabel Perón (called "Isabelita"), whom he had made vice-president, was installed as president at the instigation of the Peronist party . This, a former night club dancer, was completely overwhelmed with this position and only served as a puppet for right-wing Peronists such as José López Rega , who with the Alianza Anticomunista Argentina had already set up a paramilitary group under Perón that tortured and murdered opponents of the regime. In addition, economic problems increased and inflation rose sharply. Several guerrilla groups ( guerrillas ) such as the Montoneros were active in this context and various kidnappings took place . The kidnapping of production manager Heinrich Metz, who oversees the Argentina location for Mercedes-Benz, in October 1975 (he was later released for a ransom of several million US dollars) triggered a wave of refugees among the immigrants working for German companies in Argentina .

In 1976 there was another military coup and a military dictatorship was set up under the leadership of Jorge Rafael Videla , led by a junta of three members who ruled with open state terror . The period between 1976 and 1978 is therefore also known as the " Dirty War ". Among the estimated 30,000 Desaparecidos ("disappeared") were also numerous students whose mothers joined together to demonstrate in the square in front of the government building ( Plaza de Mayo ) regardless of their self-endangerment, and thus went down in history. The aim of the Madres de Plaza de Mayo ( Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo ) was and is to get information about the whereabouts of their children. The organization Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo ( Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo ), founded in 1977, has set itself the goal of returning the children of the disappeared who were born in captivity and illegally given up for adoption to their families.

After their parents were killed, the orphans were raised as spoils of war by people close to the dictatorship. Only about 100 of these children have learned of their true identity to date. Despite all the efforts of relatives and the seekers, there is still no trace of another 400. In later trials against responsible military personnel, which could only be enforced with difficulty, it became known that the military rulers had cruelly disposed of numerous people: The victims were stunned and thrown from the aircraft over the Río de la Plata or the open sea . One of the victims of the dictatorship in 1977 was the German Elisabeth Käsemann , the documentary film Das Mädchen - What happened to Elisabeth K.? contains statements from survivors and politicians.

Jorge Rafael Videla and Jimmy Carter in September 1977

In order to end sovereignty disputes (see Beagle conflict ) over the islands at the southern tip of America, Argentina and Chile commissioned an international tribunal in 1971 to decide on a binding interpretation of the border treaty of 1881. The court of arbitration in the Beagle conflict ruled in 1977 that all the islands south of the Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego belong to Chile. In 1978 Argentina declared the decision to be null and void and prepared the military capture of the islands (see Operation Soberanía ), only through the mediation of Pope John Paul II this could be prevented. It was not until 1984, in the context of democratization, that Argentina finally recognized the verdict in the friendship and peace treaty of 1984 between Chile and Argentina after an exchange of navigation rights and a shift of the maritime border to the west .

In April 1982 Argentina began the Falklands War against Great Britain under the new junta leader Leopoldo Galtieri . It was about the Falkland Islands off Argentina (referred to as "Islas Malvinas" in Argentina), which, according to Argentine law, belong to their own national territory, but are also considered by Great Britain as a separate territory and have been under its administration since 1833. The invasion of Argentine soldiers was successfully reversed by the United Kingdom's armed forces with air strikes, a naval war and a landing operation. Argentina capitulated on June 14, 1982.

Democratic Argentina from 1983

Raúl Alfonsín , first democratically elected president after the military dictatorship
Mauricio Macri , 2015–2019 President of Argentina

In 1983 the country returned to democracy . The first president of this era was Raúl Alfonsín ( Unión Cívica Radical ), who, however, resigned prematurely in 1989 as a result of a severe economic crisis. The Peronist Party came back to power with Carlos Menem . The neoliberal economic policy Menem and the 1: 1 binding of the Argentine peso to the US dollar was extremely successful during his first term and was able to stabilize the country. During his second term in office, however, the negative sides of this economic policy became more and more noticeable.

Therefore, between 1998 and 2002 the country fell again into a severe economic crisis , in which economic power fell by 20%. In 1999, the Menem government was replaced by a center-left coalition with President Fernando de la Rúa . De la Rúa was not able to quickly and sustainably improve the muddled economic situation that his predecessor left behind. The hesitant action of the president, quarrels within the coalition and strong extra-parliamentary opposition from the trade unions, which are traditionally close to the Peronists, increasingly weakened de la Rúa. This culminated at the end of 2001 after strong unrest and looting when President Fernando de la Rúa resigned.

As a result, there were several Peronist interim presidents until Eduardo Duhalde was entrusted with managing the crisis. This dissolved the dollar parity again. In May 2003, after a very chaotic presidential election, Néstor Kirchner was elected as the new head of state, who belongs to the social democratic wing of the Peronist party . Despite his low election results, Kirchner was very popular with the population during his tenure because he was able to successfully overcome the crisis and therefore improve the overall situation in the country. The economy got a strong growth spurt: in 2003 Argentina recorded a growth of the gross domestic product of +8.7% compared to −10.9% in 2002. Kirchner was however also exposed to criticism, in particular because of his autocratic leadership style and partly also because of his cooperation with the piquetero protest movement interpreted as populism .

In the elections to the Argentine Senate and the Argentine Chamber of Deputies in October 2005, Néstor Kirchner's supporters emerged victorious with around 40% of the vote. His wife Cristina Fernández de Kirchner won against the wife of former President Eduardo Duhalde Hilda González de Duhalde , who also belongs to the Peronist Party, in the election for senatorial posts in the province of Buenos Aires . The president was thus strengthened and was able to rely on a large majority in both chambers, including within his own party.

The presidential and parliamentary elections on October 28, 2007, were won by the ruling Peronists, especially Kirchner's election platform, Frente para la Victoria , with an overwhelming victory. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was able to prevail in the first ballot with 45.3% of the votes, thus avoiding a runoff. She took office on December 10, 2007. Kirchnerismo was also slightly strengthened in parliament.

As a result, the Peronist Party was affected by wing fighting. Several times it was even considered officially to split the party. But after Kirchner took over the party chairmanship in 2008, the situation within the ruling party stabilized again.

In the parliamentary elections on June 28, 2009 , the Frente para la Victoria (FPV) lost. Thereupon Néstor Kirchner gave the chairmanship of the Peronist Party to the governor of the province of Buenos Aires , Daniel Scioli . In October 2010 he died of a heart attack.

In 2015 there was a change of power: In the presidential election , Mauricio Macri , party leader of the conservative Propuesta Republicana party and mayor of Buenos Aires since 2007 , narrowly prevailed against the Kirchner-supported candidate Daniel Scioli in the first runoff election in Argentine history . According to the Argentine constitution, Cristina Kirchner could not run for re-election; she was president for two terms.

After 2016, Macri ended the exchange control system that had existed since 2012 and released the peso exchange rate, abolished subsidies for gas, electricity and public transport and reduced agricultural taxes on exports.

After an economic recession, high inflation and strong protests by the population in 2019, Macri had to admit defeat in the presidential elections to the electoral formula Alberto Fernández / Cristina Fernández ( Frente de Todos ).

Alberto Fernández , President of Argentina since December 10, 2019

See also: List of Presidents of Argentina , Argentina Crisis


Under the 1994 constitution , Argentina is a federal , republican presidential democracy . In the 2019 democracy index of the British magazine The Economist, the country ranks 48th out of 167 countries and is therefore considered an "incomplete democracy". In the country report Freedom in the World 2019 by the US non-governmental organization Freedom House , the country's political system is rated as “free”.

Political system

The Presidential Palace, Casa Rosada , in the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires
The Congress Building in Buenos Aires

In September 1947, after Eva Perón's personal commitment to this project, the active and passive right to vote for women was decided by parliament. In some provinces, women had been given the right to vote and stand as a candidate before.

The president of the nation ("Presidente de la Nación Argentina", "Poder Ejecutivo Nacional") is head of state and head of government in person and has a strong position, including the possibility of governing by decree . He is elected directly in two ballots every four years (until 1995: every six years) together with the Vice-President, who replaces him in absentia. To win in the first round, the victorious candidate must receive 45 or more percent of the valid votes or, if the value is between 40 and 45 percent, ten percentage points ahead of the runner-up. In all other cases there is a runoff . If one of the two most successful candidates does not participate in the runoff election in the first round (most recently in 2003), the other candidate is considered the winner, so the third-placed candidate does not move up in this case. A presidency is possible for a maximum of two consecutive terms, but a new candidacy is allowed after a break of four years. Among other things, the president must be an Argentine citizen and until the constitutional reform in 1994 he had to belong to the Roman Catholic faith.

The legislature (umbrella term: congreso , congress, consisting of the Chamber of Deputies and Senate ) is usually elected at different times in all provinces.

The number of members of the Chamber of Deputies is determined by proportional representation and is distributed over the provinces according to a certain key, it amounts to about one member per 152,000 inhabitants. Members are elected for four years, but half of the members are elected every two years. The number of senators is three for each province and three for the autonomous city of Buenos Aires. In contrast to the Chamber of Deputies, the Senate is elected according to a special case of majority voting; The party with the most votes receives two senatorial seats, and the party with the second most votes receives one seat. The senators are elected for a period of six years, with a third of the senators elected every two years.

The debate about political reform has arisen since the economic crisis, as the current system is very opaque, especially for voters, and promotes both personality cults and corruption.

For example, the elections to the Senate and the House of Representatives are usually held together with mayoral elections, which leads to distortions due to the so-called Listas Sábanas . This is due to the fact that in Argentina no crosses are made on ballot papers, but each party has its own ballot paper (Lista Sábana) and you cast your vote by selecting the right ballot paper. But you can split the votes in many simultaneous elections. In this case, if you want to elect candidates from different parties, you have to cut the ballot papers apart and just throw the appropriate sections into the ballot box. However, only a few voters make use of this option, which leads to distortions if there are frequent elections on the same day. Listas Sábanas (German roughly: bed sheet (large) lists) are called the ballot papers because they are often very large.

The respective majority relationships in the legislature are also hardly made public, which is also due to the fact that the composition changes almost every year.


The political landscape in Argentina is characterized by strong fragmentation and discontinuity. The second half of the 1990s up to the Argentina crisis in particular marked a clear turning point, after which numerous new groups emerged, some of them from splitting off traditional parties.

One of the largest parties today is the PJ (Partido Justicialista, usually called the Peronist Party ), which emerged from the Peronist movement, and which aggregates around 50% of the potential electorate on a national level. Behind them is the UCR ( Unión Cívica Radical ), which between 1945 and 2003 actually formed a two-party system with the PJ and was involved in the government several times. From 2015 to 2019, the Propuesta Republicana (usually referred to as PRO) provided the president with Mauricio Macri . The Propuesta Republicana is rated as conservative-liberal.

The parties ARI (social democratic), Propuesta Republicana (conservative-liberal) and the oldest left-wing party Partido Socialista , founded after the Argentina crisis, are of great regional importance and enter into multiple alliances at the national level, some of which also integrate parts of the PJ and UCR. Furthermore, there are numerous regional parties with a large number of members who occupy dominant positions in their respective provinces and also alternately form coalitions with the parties active throughout the country. The European right-left scheme cannot therefore be clearly applied to certain parties in Argentina, as many of them frequently change their orientation. Some parties that were successful at times in the 1990s, such as the liberal Acción por la República and the social democratic Frente Grande , which was part of the government of the Frente País Solidario coalition between 1999 and 2001 , are only of local importance today .

Since the late 1990s there have been major debates between the wings of the PFY that are ideologically very different. The wings are usually referred to with the name of their leading personality. The Kirchnerismo that ruled between 2003 and 2015 (based on Néstor and Cristina Kirchner ) is oriented towards social democracy, while the Menemismo that dominated in the 1990s was economically liberal . Another wing was for a long time Duhaldismo , which ruled the province of Buenos Aires and was originally allied with Kirchnerism , whereby after Kirchner's seizure of power the alliance between the two blocs broke up due to differences, especially in relation to Carlos Menem, and Duhaldismo lost its importance overall. With Macris' presidency from 2015 to 2019, the PFY appeared somewhat more united again.

Among the parties with more extreme orientations, various communist parties ( Partido Comunista Revolucionario , Partido Obrero, Izquierda Unida and Movimiento Socialista de los Trabajadores ) have a certain importance on the left. In the case of the right, this only applies to the right-wing conservative-nationalist Partido del Campo Popular (emerged from MODIN ), which is regarded as a collective movement for nostalgics of the military dictatorship between 1976 and 1983 .

Foreign policy

At the beginning of his term in office in December 2015, the Argentine President Mauricio Macri declared that he wanted to strive for good relations with all countries. He visibly relied on the revitalization of relations with Europe and the USA and a return of Argentina to the world stage. This included the quick resolution of the conflict with the hedge funds in the USA in April 2016, which brought the country back to the international financial markets. The Macri government also prioritizes relations with the countries in the region, particularly with Brazil. The pursuit of the claim to sovereignty raised on the Falkland Islands / Malwinen remains a constitutional goal of Argentine foreign policy, but should not stand in the way of cooperation with Great Britain on other issues.

Relations with the neighbors in the region, in particular with Brazil, Chile and Uruguay, as well as questions of regional cooperation - especially in Mercosur and UNASUR - are among the classic foreign policy priorities of Argentina.

Argentina is a member of the Organization of American States (OAS) and of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), which was founded in December 2011 and of which all 33 American states except the USA and Canada are members.

Argentina has been on the list of major non-NATO ally since 1998 , making it one of the USA's closest diplomatic and strategic partners outside of NATO . Relations with the United States, however, suffered considerably under the socialist governments. The Argentine government has announced a significant recovery in relations with the United States, and the United States has honored Argentina's first economic and foreign policy steps with initial gestures. Former US President Obama visited Argentina in March 2016, and bilateral relations gained significant momentum. How relations with the United States will develop under the new Trump administration is still open.

With a view to achieving trade diversification, Argentina has strengthened its relations with China, India and Russia. China is now Argentina's second most important trading partner after Brazil.

Argentina belongs to the G20 and is an active member of the United Nations (providing troops to the UN MINUSTAH mission in Haiti). It was represented in the UN Human Rights Council from 2013–2015 and as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2013/2014 .

See also: Argentina's membership in international organizations

Military and defense

The monument to the fallen of the Falklands War in Plaza San Martín in Buenos Aires
The Argentine destroyer Almirante Brown (D 10) in October 2005

The Argentine military has played a dominant role time and again in the history of the country. Especially in the period between 1955 ( coup against Juan Perón ) and 1973 (return and second presidency of Perón) and in the period between 1974 (death of Perón) and 1983 (defeat in the Falklands War and redemocratization) Argentina was directly or indirectly influenced by the military. ( See also: History of Argentina )

Under the presidencies of Raúl Alfonsíns (1983–1989) and Carlos Menems (1989–1999) attempts were made to weaken the influence of the military and in 1994 conscription was abolished. In 1999 defense expenditure was only 62% of 1983 expenditure; over the same period, government spending has generally risen to 152% of 1983 spending. In 2003, the laws against the crimes of the military dictatorship (1976–1983) were abolished.

In 2004 the Argentine armed forces, Fuerzas Armadas de la República Argentina , had a total of around 102,300 people (soldiers and administration) (army: 50,900 people (41,400 soldiers), navy: 26,600 people (17,200 soldiers), air force : 23,600 people (13,200 soldiers) Soldiers), Ministry of Defense and General Staff : 1200 people).

Argentina spent almost 0.9 percent of its economic output or 5.7 billion US dollars on its armed forces in 2017.


In Argentina, school attendance is compulsory for ten years. In addition to state schools, there are also a large number of private schools . The school system is divided into three levels: Inicial (pre-school; usually one year), Primaria (usually from six years with two basic levels: EGB1 and EGB2; a total of six school years) and Secundaria (secondary level; three years EGB 3 up to and including to the 9th grade and the subsequent three-year polimodal level).

According to the 2005 census, about 2.8% of the population over the age of 15 was illiterate . Strong regional disparities were observed: in Tierra de Fuego in the south the rate was 0.73%, in the north of the country, such as in the province of Chaco, it was 8.96%. In 2015, the illiteracy rate had fallen to 1.9%, with the value being almost equally low for men and women.

Of all Argentines who are over 20 years old, 88% have attended school. About 14% have the Primaria not completed, approximately 29% have completed the Primary , about 14% have Secundaria not completed, about 16% have completed Secundaria , about 5% higher non-university degree and about 5% a university degree. This means that around 73% of the population have completed at least Primary , around 30% at least Secondary and only around 10% have a postgraduate degree.


In 1995 the school system was reformed in many provinces: the first nine years of schooling have since been referred to as EGB (Educación General Básica) , while the secondary school, which is divided into several directions, is called 'polimodal' instead. This system was introduced in almost all Argentine provinces with minor deviations; however, the names vary, for example in the province of Córdoba the EGB is called CBU (Ciclo Básico Unitario). In 2005/2006 this reform was implemented in some provinces, e.g. B. in Buenos Aires , partially revised and brought closer to the old system. There are a large number of different school degrees (natural science, social science, technical and economic-oriented), some are technician titles that enable them to work. The Kirchner government has increased funding for technical schools from 5 to 15 million pesos and for 2006 plans to increase it to a total of 260 million pesos. The funding has been trying since 2003 to remedy the considerable difficulties Argentine companies have in recruiting technically qualified personnel.

All qualifications obtained within the framework of the Polimodal entitle the holder to attend universities, even if the course does not match the orientation of the Polimodal.

In the first PISA study in 2003, Argentina performed by far the best when compared to other Latin American countries in an unofficial subsequent extension of the study (it officially did not participate). At the first official participation in 2006 it fell behind Uruguay , Chile and Mexico in almost all disciplines , and also behind Brazil and Colombia in reading comprehension , even if mostly only with a narrow point gap. In the PISA 2015 study , Argentina was ranked between 36th and 43rd in all partial evaluations. In the overall evaluation, it was ranked 40th, the highest ranking of all Latin American countries.

There is a large gap in the quality of school education between large cities and rural regions on the one hand and between private schools and many state schools as well as social classes and milieus on the other. Politicians have been trying to get this problem under control through continuous internal quality tests since the late 1990s. These tests resulted in a range of on average 30% to 80% of the possible score, with the worst results achieved by schools in rural areas, the best in the private schools in large cities and in the so-called Colegios Universitarios (state schools dependent on universities) were.


The law faculty of the UBA

Argentina has a large number of public and private universities . Numerous private universities opened their doors during the reign of the neoliberal Peronist Menem. The law on the financing of private universities, which came into force in 1958, prohibits financial support, but has allowed targeted funding of individual research projects under Menem since the 1990s. An article was published in the political critical magazine "Caras y Caretas" in May 2006, which warns of the growing closeness of some private educational institutions to orthodox religious institutions. B. the Universidad Austral for Opus Dei .

The oldest university is the University of Cordoba , which was founded in 1613 and is now the second largest in the country (around 120,000 students). The largest university, on the other hand, is the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), which was founded in 1821 and has around 400,000 students.


The library system in Argentina is varied. This is how the first privately financed Bibliotecas populares ( public libraries ) emerged towards the end of the 19th century . Today they are sponsored by the Comisión Nacional Protectora de Bibliotecas Populares . This also organizes further training events for the library staff. The Confederación Argentina de Bibliotecas Populares has existed since 1977 . Most of its members are not librarians but politicians. There are also 19 Federaciones Provinciales .

The bibliotecas públicas municipales (public city libraries), which today exist almost exclusively in Buenos Aires, have been in existence since 1927 . Since 1944 this has been under the authority of the Secretaría de Cultura de la Municipalidad de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires . There are currently 23 city libraries and 3 book buses in Buenos Aires, the largest group of which are students.

The Argentine National Library

The Junta de Bibliotecas Universitarias Argentinas (JUBIUA), founded in 1963, represents the interests of the state university libraries vis-à-vis the government and develops common objectives. The private university libraries do not have an institutionalized collaboration.

Only a few of the schools have their own libraries, which are financed by donations of books and goods as well as voluntary work by the parents of the pupils. A concept for the development of a national school library system is currently being developed.

The Biblioteca Nacional ( National Library of the Republic of Argentina ) was founded in 1810 under the name Biblioteca pública de Buenos Aires . It has been the national library since 1884. In 1933 she received the right to deposit copies . Your book inventory is estimated at 800,000 to 2.5 million volumes. The Biblioteca del Congreso de la Nación ( Parliamentary Library) was established in 1859. The library is the depository of international organizations and has an estimated 1.5 million holdings.

Political structure


Antártida Falklandinseln Südgeorgien und die Südlichen Sandwichinseln Argentinien Antarktika Chile Bolivien Paraguay Uruguay Brasilien Falklandinseln Jujuy Salta Formosa Misiones Chaco Tucumán Catamarca Santiago del Estero Corrientes La Rioja Santa Fe Entre Ríos San Juan Córdoba San Luis Mendoza Buenos Aires Provinz Buenos Aires La Pampa Neuquén Río Negro Chubut Santa Cruz Tierra del Fuego
The provinces of Argentina

The provinces ( Spanish provincias , singular: provincia ) are the constituent states of the Argentine federal state . They each have their own provincial constitution, a provincial government headed by a directly elected governor (gobernador) and a parliament. The provinces are in turn subdivided administratively into departments . The exception here is the province of Buenos Aires , which is subdivided into Partidos .

There are 23 provinces and the autonomous city of Buenos Aires , see List of Provinces of Argentina .


The regions of Argentina

From the end of the 1980s, the provinces of Argentina, with the exception of the province of Buenos Aires, have merged into regions with the aim of coordinating economic , infrastructure and development policies with one another and creating counterweights to the dominant position of the greater Buenos Aires area. However, these regions are so far not official member states , but pure interest groups , so they have no official political organs. The degree of cooperation is different.

  1. The Región Centro consists of the provinces of Córdoba , Entre Ríos and Santa Fe and has the highest degree of integration. The interest group was set as a goal in 1973, but only implemented in 1998. The Board of Governors ( Junta de Gobernadores ) and the Executive Committee ( Comité Ejecutivo ) have existed as official institutions since 2004 .
  2. The Región del Nuevo Cuyo consists of the provinces of Mendoza , San Juan , La Rioja and San Luis . It shows only a low degree of integration and has existed since 1988. As institutions, it also has a board of governors and an executive committee, which, however, are of little practical importance.
  3. The Región del Norte Grande Argentino is a special case . This integrates the two traditional regions of Northeast Argentina (provinces Chaco , Corrientes , Formosa and Misiones ) and northwest Argentina ( Catamarca , Jujuy , Salta , Santiago del Estero and Tucumán ). It has existed since 1999 and has already carried out numerous projects, although the regional treaty has yet to be ratified by three provinces. For traditional reasons, however, the north-west and north-east division is still decisive for many statistics.
  4. Finally, the Patagónica region consists of the provinces of Chubut , La Pampa , Neuquén , Río Negro , Santa Cruz and Tierra del Fuego . It was founded in 1996 and has a high degree of cooperation. The provincial parliaments send representatives to a joint parliament, the Parlamento Patagónico , which has existed since 1991, when the region had not yet been officially founded.


Big cities

View over Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires , whose metropolitan area comprised around 14.9 million inhabitants in 2017, is the political capital and economic center of Argentina. It is surrounded by a number of independent suburbs, some of which are pure dormitory cities, but some of which also have production facilities themselves. Córdoba , with 1.6 million inhabitants the second largest city in the country, has larger production facilities and is home to the oldest university in the country, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba . Rosario in the province of Santa Fe (1.3 million inhabitants) is the second largest port in the country and an industrial and commercial center. Mendoza (1 million inhabitants) is best known for its wine and fruit growing, but also serves as a bridgehead for trade with Santiago de Chile . San Miguel de Tucumán (883,000 inhabitants) is the birthplace of independence and became economically and culturally important due to intensive agriculture, especially sugar cane cultivation , but has suffered from the crisis in this economic sector in recent decades and is now one of the cities with the largest Country's poverty rate. The universities in this city, however, are of supraregional importance. B. attended by students from Bolivia .

See also: List of cities in Argentina

Transport networks

In 2018, Argentina was ranked 61st out of 160 countries in the Logistics Performance Index , which is compiled by the World Bank and measures the quality of infrastructure. Of all the countries in Latin America, Argentina ranks among the better.

Rail transport

Logo of the former Argentine railway company
Train Buenos Aires - Tucumán at the station of San Miguel de Tucumán

The railroad system in Argentina began on August 29, 1857 with the first train run. Over time, the rail network was expanded relatively quickly, mainly by English companies, and became a key to the country's development. In the 1930s, with 43,000 kilometers of rail, the country had a larger network than most European countries. The railway system consisted of several independent private companies that were nationalized by President Perón in 1946. The US consultants brought in at the end of the 1950s gave priority to road traffic, so that rail lines were shut down on a large scale. The state railway was privatized again in 1992 by Carlos Menem , with the result that passenger operations were reduced even more, the railway workers' union was smashed, 50,000 people became unemployed, entire areas were deserted and corruption in the railway business increased sharply. Today the Argentine rail network has a length of around 28,300 kilometers in three different gauges . Two railway lines connect Argentina with Chile , other lines connect with Bolivia , Paraguay , Uruguay and Brazil . However, routes are still being closed or decayed and will not be repaired. The transport of people by rail generally only plays a role for commuters in the greater Buenos Aires area . There are long-distance rail connections from Buenos Aires to Córdoba , Mar del Plata , San Miguel de Tucumán , Santa Fe and Posadas . However, the trains take much longer to cover the same route than long-distance buses and have a very limited timetable (e.g. Buenos Aires, Retiro - Córdoba train station, two trips per week). The government under Néstor Kirchner had set up a "Megaplan Railway" in 2006, in which a 710 km long Cobra high-speed line between Buenos Aires and Córdoba was planned for 2011, operating at up to 320 km / h . The routes reactivated as a result of this plan often had to be shut down again due to technical deficiencies in the rails or the rolling stock. From a tourist point of view there are some interesting trains, e.g. B. the Tren a las Nubes in the province of Salta , La Trochita - the only steam-powered narrow - gauge railway in Argentina, which runs between Esquel and Nahuel Pan - and the Tren del Fin del Mundo in the province of Tierra del Fuego .

Road traffic

The role of the railroad in passenger transport was largely taken over by modern, air-conditioned coaches . Practically any point in the country can be reached by coach, and so the bus stations are now the most popular infrastructure facilities alongside the airports. The most important bus station in Argentina is Retiro in Buenos Aires . From there there are bus connections all over the country. Other busy bus stations and hubs are in Córdoba (about 10 hours travel time from Buenos Aires) and Mendoza (about 14-15 hours travel time from Buenos Aires). The longest direct connection is between San Salvador de Jujuy and Río Gallegos (3430 km, scheduled 55 hours driving time), from where you can continue to Ushuaia .

The road network has a total length of about 215,000 km and is divided into national, provincial and municipal roads. The quality of the roads varies greatly. The large economic centers are connected by asphalt roads, some of which are well developed, which are mostly built and maintained by private companies at tolls . In the metropolitan areas and on some main connections there are several multi-lane motorways ( autopistas ) and expressways ( autovías ), which are mostly signposted as regular national and provincial roads. Most trunk roads, however, are two-lane and are often heavily used by heavy traffic. In remote areas there are often only gravel and dirt roads. Since the railroad no longer plays a role in passenger transport and this is almost exclusively carried out by road, there are almost 10,000 traffic fatalities per year, which is a higher number than in India when extrapolated to the population.

The most famous tourist route is the Ruta Nacional 40 between Cabo Vírgenes on the southern tip of the mainland ( Santa Cruz province ) and La Quiaca , which crosses the entire country from north to south.

Air traffic

Aerolíneas Argentinas Boeing 737-800

The national airline Aerolíneas Argentinas was privatized in 1990 and nationalized again in 2008. In domestic traffic, Aerolíneas and its subsidiary Austral Líneas Aéreas have a high market share; since 2005 a bigger competitor has appeared with LAN Argentina . The Líneas Aéreas del Estado (LADE), part of the Argentine Air Force, connects smaller cities in Patagonia.

Due to the great distances, almost every major city in Argentina has an airport. The capital Buenos Aires itself has two passenger airports: International flights, especially all long-haul connections, are mainly handled at Ezeiza Airport (EZE). There is also the city airport Aeroparque Jorge Newbery (AEP), which is mainly used for domestic flights, but also for shorter international routes.


About 3100 km of the waterways are navigable. The Río de la Plata with its upper reaches Río Paraná and Río Uruguay is the most important waterway. A large part of Argentina's agricultural exports are transported via these rivers, most of which are loaded onto ocean-going bulk carriers in the Rosario region .

Energy industry

Natural gas and oil

Argentina has large reserves of natural gas . This form of energy is used for cooking and heating, but also increasingly as a fuel for cars. The import of natural gas, e.g. B. from Bolivia, a bigger role.

Electricity supply

According to the CIA , Argentina was 27th in the world in terms of installed capacity with 38,350  MW and 30th in terms of annual generation with 131.9 billion  kWh . The degree of electrification in 2013 was 96.4% (99.2% in cities and 96% in rural areas). According to the Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica (CNEA), the installed capacity of the power plants in Argentina was 37,652 MW , of which caloric power plants accounted for 24,396 MW (64.8%), hydropower plants 11,265 MW (29.9%) and nuclear power plants 1,755 MW (4.66%).

On the other hand, the energy mix has been supplemented since 1994 by wind energy , which in the province of Chubut in Patagonia, with its particularly windy climate, is already responsible for a considerable part of the electricity generation. It has been subsidized by law since the second half of the 1990s and the industry is therefore currently experiencing high growth. Argentina is one of the countries with the highest wind power potential in the world, but in 2006 it was only in third place in Latin America behind Mexico and Brazil in terms of the use of this form of energy . November 2015, China announced that it would build a wind farm with a capacity of 200 MW in Patagonia. At the end of 2015, 187 MW of wind power were installed in Argentina, which corresponded to 0.6% of the electricity generated. The Argentine government aims to install 6-7 GW of wind power capacity by 2025. Especially in Patagonia there are excellent wind conditions with low turbulence rates and wind speeds of up to 12 m / s a ​​year.

The country wants to stick to the use of nuclear energy. A German import reactor has been in operation at the Atucha site since 1974 . The second Argentine reactor at the Embalse site , in operation since 1983, was an import from Canada. Another reactor imported from Germany has been under construction since 1981 and went into operation as the Atucha-2 in 2014. The construction of a fourth reactor has been considered since 2006. Applicants for the tender came from Canada, France, Russia, Japan, South Korea, China and the USA. A request was made by the Argentine government. In 2010, cooperation agreements were signed with Russia and South Korea, and in May 2011 the possibility of building a reactor together with the Russian company Rosatom was mentioned for the first time . On July 12, 2014, President Cristina Kirchner and Vladimir Putin signed an agreement on Russian participation in the Atucha 3 project . Argentina had already agreed a cooperation with China in 2012 to finance and build the Atucha 4 project . In June 2018, the Argentine government under Mauricio Macri decided to discontinue plans to build an Atucha 3 and Atucha 4 reactor .

Telecommunication and Post

Logo of the former ENTEL

The state-owned telecommunications company ENTEL was privatized in 1990 and sold to two foreign companies - Telefónica (Spain) and Telecom (France, now owned by Telecom Italia ) - who divided up the country. Since then, the number of telephone connections per inhabitant has increased rapidly, because after privatization the setup fee for a telephone connection of US $ 100 was only a tenth of the previous fee, and the waiting time until connection had also been significantly reduced. In 2017 there were around 10 million landlines and around 90% of Argentines had a smartphone. The network quality and coverage is very different from operator to operator. In 2016, 69.2% of the population had access to the Internet.

The postal service was also privatized in 1997 by the SOCMA company. As a result, the company ( Correo Argentino ) owed $ 250 million and was finally nationalized again in 2003. In addition to Correo Argentino, there are several smaller postal services, e.g. B. OCA and Andreani .


Argentina is a managed economy that has been increasingly deregulated and privatized in several stages since the 1970s . Under President Néstor Kirchner, however, this tendency was reversed.

With a gross domestic product (GDP) of around 604 billion US dollars (2015), Argentina is the largest economy in Spanish-speaking South America. In Latin America, only Brazil and Mexico are economically more important. Argentina has a relatively well-developed industry in a regional comparison; the most important sectors are the food industry and the automotive industry (including Volkswagen and Daimler), which exports major parts of production to Brazil.

The manufacturing industry, real estate / business services and trade each contribute around 10% to GDP. The contribution of pure agriculture and forestry to GDP is just under 5%; however, it is estimated that a third of jobs are directly or indirectly (e.g. transport, packaging) related to agribusiness. In terms of exports, too, the share of food (around 45%) clearly dominates, ahead of car (parts) exports (around 10%).

Internationally, Argentina is often counted among the emerging countries . However, according to the Human Development Index collected by the United Nations, it has been one of the very highly developed countries since 2011 . Together with Chile and Uruguay ( southern cone ), it belongs to the top group among the independent South American states in terms of per capita gross domestic product ( purchasing power parity ). Income inequality ( Gini coefficient ) was relatively high in a global comparison in 2009, but still below the average for Latin American countries .

In 2014, the Argentine economy was on a downward slide with massive devaluation of the peso, despite the good framework conditions for raw material exports. At the same time, the inflation rate, which had been between six and eleven percent since 2008, rose to 24% in 2014 and 34% in 2018. In the Global Competitiveness Index , which measures a country's competitiveness, Argentina ranks 92nd out of 137 countries ( Status 2017-2018). In the index for economic freedom , the country ranks 156 out of 180 countries (2017).

After the change of government, the government had to make huge savings in 2016. In 2017 the inflation rate was 26%, in 2018 it was 34.3%.

Natural resources

Argentina is among the three largest steel producers in Latin America , but well behind Brazil and Mexico

Valuable mineral ores and rocks are only found in small amounts in Argentina, such as gold , silver , copper , lead , zinc , iron , tin , mica and limestone . More economically important are the oil and natural gas deposits in the northwest, Neuquén , the area around the Bay of Golfo San Jorge and off the coast.

History of Economic Policy

The Argentine economy is traditionally shaped by agriculture . Until the 1950s, almost exclusively agricultural goods were exported. Only then did industrialization of any considerable size begin. However, economic development was regulated by the various governments according to different, sometimes contradicting requirements. A broad state-controlled sector in industry, trade and services emerged, especially under the influence of Peronism . Yet Argentina never returned to the prosperity levels of the 1950s. The corruption was and is widespread in Argentina.

The massive national debt that was introduced in 1976 under the policy of military dictatorship caused severe damage to the domestic economy. The foreign debt rose from less than 8 billion US dollars in 1967 to 160 billion US dollars in 2001. The peso ley had to be devalued several times. The Falklands War may also go back to the economic problems under the military dictatorship.

After the return to democracy in 1983, hyperinflation emerged as one of the country's greatest economic problems. President Carlos Menem , elected in 1989 , then pegged the Argentine peso 1: 1 to the US dollar . This led almost suddenly to an end to inflation and to a significant economic upturn. In the longer term, however, it meant that Argentine products became more expensive on the world market and imported goods became cheaper domestically. Numerous Argentine production plants had to close. There was a rapidly increasing imbalance between the (official) exchange rate of the currency and its intrinsic value. The flight of capital began, and the country, which was already heavily indebted, had to take out new loans abroad in order to be able to pay off old debts and provide foreign currency for urgent imports . Occasionally even civil servants were paid with bonds instead of money, and businessmen were legally obliged to accept such papers as currency. Initially, this was overshadowed by private capital inflows from foreign investors who bought into Argentine companies, especially in the course of the privatization of state-owned companies initiated by Menem . But in the end the debt had increased so much and economic output decreased so much that at the end of 2001 President Fernando de la Rúa resigned after serious unrest . The trigger for the unrest was the so-called corralito , i.e. the freezing of all bank balances.

Argentine peso to US dollar exchange rate between December 2001 and January 2008

The following government announced the suspension of payments on principal and interest, i.e. the national bankruptcy . Due to a lack of support from the party, the interim President Adolfo Rodríguez Saá resigned after just five days. This was followed by the Peronist Eduardo Duhalde , who initially devalued the Argentine peso to 1.40 ARS / US dollar in January 2002, only to release it a little later.

The IMF supplied after a long negotiation in mid-2002, with political support of the largest industrial nations, Argentina under various Interim Agreement with fresh money. The Argentine economy was able to record considerable growth as early as 2003, mainly because there were no longer any outflows of funds through loan repayments and because of the now significantly cheaper peso (3.5 to 4 Argentine pesos per US dollar). However, in March 2004 the repayment of an installment of 3.1 billion US dollars (about 2.5 billion euros) for an IMF loan granted under the interim agreement became due. The Kirchner government did not order the payment until immediately before the last possible date. This was preceded by several weeks of negotiation poker. The Argentine government wanted an IMF report on the country's efforts to restore economic soundness to be as positive as possible. This was considered to be a prerequisite for further credit from the IMF. However, no agreement has yet been reached on how to deal with the claims of private creditors in Argentina. This continues to burden the country's trade relations .

In the IMF, it has long been controversial whether Argentina meets the requirements for further lending. According to private creditors, the Argentine government has not fulfilled the requirement to negotiate in “good faith”. Instead, Argentina demanded a capital cut in the negotiations between 2002 and 2004, which amounts to a 75% loss in present value. There were lawsuits against Argentina and the IMF before the Federal Constitutional Court with the aim of fully repaying the borrowed money, some of which have not yet been completed. A German creditor organization is the Interest Group Argentina e. V.

At the beginning of 2005 the government started negotiations with the holders of Argentine government bonds to adopt a rescheduling plan. In addition to a substantial cut in capital, this plan also included a time extension of liabilities and a reduction in interest rates. Negotiations were carried out exclusively with private creditors and their representatives. Up until now, domestic creditors have shown a clear willingness to accept the debt rescheduling offer. However, the proposals initially met with stiff resistance from foreign creditors.

The rescheduling plan was accepted by just over 76% of private creditors within the set deadline. A brief dispute with a hedge fund of $ 7 billion delayed the issuance of the new bonds by two months until the end of May 2005.

See also: Argentina crisis

Economic growth

The table of economic growth in Argentina shows the deep cut in the Argentine economic crisis 2001/2002 , which occurred after the Mexican tequila , the Asian and the Brazilian crises .

Change in gross domestic product (GDP), real (1998-2016)
in% compared to the previous year
year 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Change in% yoy 3.8 −3.4 −0.8 −4.4 −10.9 8.8 9.0 9.2 8.5 8.7 6.8 −5.9 10.1 6.0 -1.0 2.4 −2.3 2.6 −2.3 2.9 -2.5
Sources: World Bank

gross domestic product

The gross domestic product (GDP) in 2003 amounted to 376.2 billion Arg $ , this corresponded to about 103 billion euros. About 43% of this was accounted for by the production of goods and about 51% by the provision of services. The manufacturing industry with 22%, agriculture with 10%, wholesaling and retailing with 11% and the rental of buildings and land with 11% had the largest share of GDP.

Gross domestic product 1996-2018
year   1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2016 2017 2018
Gross domestic product ( PPP ) Billion dollars 392.31 431.19 452.75 443.75 449.84 440.33 398.84 442.04 484.23 516.95 548.75 885.83 916.71 915.75
Gross domestic product at market prices Billion dollars 272.15 292.86 298.95 283.52 284.20 268.70 101.45 127.30 151.94 172.12 187.04 545.12 642.93 519.48
Gross domestic product at market prices Billion arg. peso 272.15 292.86 298.95 283.52 284.20 268.70 312.58 375.91 447.31 507.36 555.68 8,228.2 10,644.8 14,605.8
Per capita gross domestic product at market prices dollar 7,729.38 8,213.20 8,278.98 7,753.39 7,674.59 7,170.02 2,675.25 3,316.90 3,912.14 4,379.53 4,708.02 12,772.86 14,588.01 11,658.22
Per capita gross domestic product at constant prices bad. peso 12,671.67 13,542.17 13,906.94 13,290.99 13,048.00 12,347.74 10,897.11 11,761.97 12,690.70 13,682.99 14,640.50 16,207.20 16,457.72 15,873.74

National debt

During the 1990s Argentina was seen as a positive example of financial stability and successful market reforms, but national debt rose steadily under the Menem administration. This was one of the reasons for the Argentina crisis and the national bankruptcy in 2001. The government bonds were no longer serviced. The creditors who submitted to an exchange lost around 70% of their investment, including many private small investors, especially in Italy, Japan and Germany. In Germany alone, several hundred judgments have been won that oblige the Republic of Argentina to pay the outstanding debts. On July 31, 2014, Argentina went bankrupt for the second time since 2001.

Argentina has been one of the top 5 borrowers in the International Monetary Fund since 1985 .

inflation rate

Argentina was known in the 1980s as a country with a very high inflation rate . From the beginning of redemocratization in 1983, this intensified increasingly to hyperinflation , which peaked in 1989. In the same year, under the government of Carlos Menem and his Minister of Economics, Domingo Cavallo, a 1: 1 pegging of the Argentine peso to the US dollar was decided. This measure was able to push the inflation rate relatively quickly to "normal" values. Between 1994 and 1998 there was no significant inflation rate. From 1999 the beginning economic crisis even turned the inflation rate into the deflationary range. With the Argentina crisis , which reached its peak around the turn of the year 2001/2002 and was associated with the declaration of the default and a devaluation against the dollar, the inflation rate initially rose sharply, but has since fallen back to single-digit values. Since the Argentine statistical office INDEC was placed under government supervision at the beginning of 2007 and the statistical calculation bases were changed, the official inflation rate has been questioned by private economic institutes and international organizations. Their estimates for 2011 are around 23% (2010: around 25%). This high level continued at least until 2018. In recent years, the high inflation has been reflected in the bargaining rounds, in which the powerful unions have mostly achieved increases that are well above real inflation rates.

Inflation rate 1980–2017
year 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
Inflation rate (in%) 100.8 104.5 164.8 343.8 626.7 672.2 90.1 131.3 343 3079.5
year 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
Inflation rate (in%) 2314 171.7 24.9 10.6 4.2 3.4 0.2 0.5 0.9 −1.2
year 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Inflation rate (in%) −0.9 −1.1 25.9 13.4 4.4 7.7 6.7 8.5 7.2 7.7
year 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Inflation rate (in%) 10.9 9.5 10.0 10.6 23.9 26.9 25.7 34.3

Foreign trade

Foreign trade in recent years has been heavily influenced by the Argentina crisis . Imports have decreased since 1999. In the 2001/2002 year-on-year comparison, they had a particularly strong decline of 56% and only recovered in 2003. Exports remained almost unaffected by the Argentina crisis.

The exports are dominated by agricultural products. 31% of all exports are processed agricultural products, 25% are raw materials (this also includes agricultural products), 25% are industrial products and 18% are mineral oils and other energy sources.

In 2015, 24% of all Argentine exports went to MERCOSUR, 23% to ASEAN and China, South Korea, Japan, India, 15% to the EU and 10% to NAFTA, broken down by trade block. Among the individual customer countries, Brazil ranks first with 17.8%, followed by China with 9.5% and the USA and Chile with 6.0% and 4.2% respectively. When it comes to Argentine imports, the trading blocs ASEAN and China, South Korea, Japan, India dominated with 28%, followed by Mercosur with 23% and the EU and NAFTA with 17% each. The main supplier countries are Brazil with 21.8% and China with 19.7%, followed by the USA with 12.9% and Germany with 5.2%.

Main trading partner (2016)
Export (in%) to Import (in%) of
BrazilBrazil Brazil 15.6 BrazilBrazil Brazil 24.5
United StatesUnited States United States 7.8 China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China People's Republic of China 18.8
China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China People's Republic of China 7.7 United StatesUnited States United States 12.6
VietnamVietnam Vietnam 4.4 GermanyGermany Germany 5.5
ChileChile Chile 4.0 MexicoMexico Mexico 3.2
IndiaIndia India 3.8 FranceFrance France 2.6
EgyptEgypt Egypt 3.1 ItalyItaly Italy 2.6
United NationsU.N. other states 53.6 United NationsU.N. other states 30.2
Source: GTAI
Development of foreign trade in billion US $ and its change compared to the previous year in%
2014 2015 2016
Billion US $ % yoy Billion US $ % yoy Billion US $ % year-on-year
import 65.2 -12.4 59.8 -8.4 55.6 -6.9
export 68.4 -9.9 56.8 -17.0 57.7 +1.7
balance +3.2 -3.0 +2.1
Source: GTAI


After the Corruption Perceptions Index of Transparency International was Argentina in 2019 by 180 countries, together with Montenegro , Senegal and Belarus on the 66th place, with 45 out of a maximum 100 points.

State budget

The state budget in 2016 comprised expenditure of the equivalent of 141.7 billion US dollars , which was offset by income of the equivalent of 115.9 billion US dollars. This results in a budget deficit of 4.7% of GDP . The national debt in 2016 was $ 279.6 billion, or 51.3% of GDP.

In 2006, the share of government expenditure (as a percentage of GDP) was as follows:


A joke by Jorge Luis Borges describes the Argentines as "Italians who speak Spanish and would like to be English, who believe they live in Paris." clearly noticeable. Argentina has a very active, multicultural cultural scene that is strongly influenced by European influences. Especially in Buenos Aires there is a wide range of events in the fields of theater, music, opera, literature, film and sport.


Tango in the streets of Buenos Aires

Argentine music is best known through tango (and the related forms of music milonga and vals ). The best-known performers are Carlos Gardel , Astor Piazzolla and Osvaldo Pugliese . Tango, however, cannot be restricted to the musical dimension, rather tango is a general cultural phenomenon with the additional aspects of text poetry and dance interpretation. As such, tango establishes a cultural identity that contributes a great deal to the Argentines' self- image , more precisely the “ Porteños ” from Buenos Aires .

There are also folklore performers rooted in traditional music in Argentina. Among the internationally acclaimed musicians are Héctor Roberto Chavero, known worldwide as Atahualpa Yupanqui , and Mercedes Sosa (1935–2009) from the province of Tucumán , who returned to Argentina in 1982 after four years of exile in Madrid and Paris.

Recently, some traditional styles of music have been revived from pop music in Argentina . Mention should be made here of the cheerful, light dance of the Cuarteto , the urban music of the city of Córdoba , as well as some styles of the national folklore adopted by the Spaniards , which have acquired a completely new shape through mixing with other styles. Music styles from other parts of South America, above all the Colombian cumbia , were further developed by Argentine performers. This is how Argentina's current contribution to pop music in Buenos Aires was Cumbia Villera ("slum-cumbia").


Gauchos (recording published between 1890 and 1923)

With the independence of the country in the 19th century, Argentine literature broke away from Spanish literature - without denying this legacy. By thematizing the life of the gauchos in the pampas , literature gains a distinct national component. Examples include Fausto (1866) of Estanislao del Campo , the one Gauchos narrative in verse the story and often as Argentine national epic called El Gaucho Martín Fierro (1872) by José Hernández and already in 1845 resulting Facundo by Domingo Faustino Sarmiento . The story Don Segundo Sombra by Ricardo Güiraldes , published in 1926 (German as early as 1934: The Book of Gaucho Sombra ), follows a similar line of tradition .

Well-known modern authors are Eduardo Mallea , Ernesto Sabato , Humberto Costantini , Julio Cortázar , Adolfo Bioy Casares , Manuel Puig , Victoria Ocampo , María Elena Walsh , Tomás Eloy Martínez , Roberto Arlt and especially Jorge Luis Borges .

In the 1920s, various artists, especially writers, from Argentina and Uruguay formed the groups Grupo Boedo and Grupo Florida . The Boedo group is referred to as "plebeian" and the Florida group (including Borges) as "upper class". However, the controversy between these groups is described as more of a "friendly" nature.

Well-known comic and cartoon authors are Guillermo Mordillo and Quino , who is the winner of the Max and Moritz Prize and who created the Mafalda series .


Teatro Colón (Buenos Aires)

There is a lively theater scene in many cities. One could easily watch over 100 different plays by professional and amateur groups each week. Rosario is particularly known for its theater groups. The most famous theater building in Argentina is the Teatro Colón opera house in Buenos Aires.


Argentine painting is one of the leading in South America. In contrast to other Latin American countries, painting is stylistically less determined by indigenous influences than by classical modernism in Europe. Outstanding traditional painters in Argentina are Enrique de Larrañaga , Didimo Nardino and Horacio Politi. A new generation of painters is increasingly determined by influences from popular culture such as graffiti and New Pop Art .


Argentina was one of the pioneering countries in the field of silent films . The first film with the Argentine flag as its theme was made as early as 1896 . In 1933, the rise of the Argentine film industry began with the advent of talkies. This marked the beginning of the best days of Argentine cinema, and films from this country were shown all over the world. The "Tango films" from Buenos Aires became particularly well-known, including those with the superstar Carlos Gardel .

Argentinian feature film production
year number
1975 34
1985 21st
1995 13
2002 34
2005 80
2015 182

From the mid-1940s, however, the state intervened in the cinema scene by means of censorship and interference. This was particularly dramatic in the military governments (1966–1973 and 1976–1983). In the democratic meantime, however, films of very high artistic quality were produced.

1968 came out La hora de los hornos (German: The Hour of the Blast Furnaces ) by Pino Solanas , a film that is considered one of the high points of political Latin American cinema. Another political filmmaker from this period is Raymundo Gleyzer . After the military dictatorship , the cinema began to come to terms with the reign of terror. Films such as La Historia Oficial ( Luis Puenzo ) (Oscar 1986 for the best foreign film), La Noche de los Lápices (Héctor Olivera) and later Garage Olimpo (Marco Bechis) were made, the partly fictional, partly true cases of so-called "disappearances." “Brought to the screen.

In 1997 Pizza, Birra, Faso ( Adrián Caetano ) ushered in the era of the “Nuevo Cine Argentino”, in which mainly stories from the milieu of common people and slum dwellers were filmed.

Today the Argentine film scene is very active , particularly in Buenos Aires and to a lesser extent in Rosario and Santa Fe . The internationally best-known director at the turn of the millennium was probably Berlinale winner Pino Solanas with his socially critical films such as Sur , El viaje ( Die Reise ), Tangos - el exilio de Gardel and the documentaries Memoria del Saqueo and La Dignidad de los Nadies , which depict the state of the politics and society of Argentina at that time.

In 2010, the Argentine film El secreto de sus ojos ( In Your Eyes ) won the Oscar for best non-English language film, among other awards. The screenplay and direction are by Juan José Campanella .


The Bombonera, the stadium of Boca Juniors
Rugby match Argentina - France

The Argentines are passionate about football . The Argentine Football Association AFA was founded as early as 1893, making it one of the oldest national football associations in the world. The first international match of the Argentine national team was played against Uruguay in 1902 . Since then, the national team has won the South American soccer championship, the Copa América , and twice the soccer world championship 14 times ( 1978 , 1986 ). In 1978 the world championship tournament was held in Argentina. The two most famous football clubs are River Plate and Boca Juniors , both from Buenos Aires. The games between these two teams are called Superclásico and public life is practically at a standstill. The well-known Argentine soccer player Diego Maradona played at Boca Juniors , who is often described as one of the best or even the best soccer players of the 20th century and who also coached the Argentine national team from 2008 to 2010. Since the end of the 2000s, five-time world footballer Lionel Messi , who has been under contract with FC Barcelona since 2000 , has been considered the best Argentinian football player.

Another popular sport in Argentina is rugby in the form of rugby union . The Argentine national rugby team , the "Pumas", is now playing at the highest international level and has made great progress since the 1999 World Cup . At the 2007 World Cup in France , she finished third, beating greats like France and Scotland . In 2015 the Pumas finished fourth in the World Championship. Also Basketball (men) and hockey (especially in women) are widely used in both sports the teams are among the world leaders.

In addition to soccer and other ball sports, equestrian sports , especially polo, are very popular in Argentina. The Argentine national polo team is one of the best in the world and has so far won the world polo championship four times : 1987, 1992, 1998 and 2011. In contrast to polo, which is more played by members of the Argentine upper class, Pato is the official one Argentine national sport , a game played by the simple rural population, a kind of basketball on horses.

In contrast to team sports, the Argentine successes in individual sports are lower. The exception is tennis , where several players have so far been among the best in the world. Best known are Guillermo Vilas , Juan Martín del Potro , Gastón Gaudio , David Nalbandian and, earlier among the ladies, Gabriela Sabatini . Large parts of the population also play squash and paddle tennis . There were also some world leaders in swimming , but in athletics , with few exceptions, successes were only achieved on the South American level. The most popular discipline in martial arts is boxing , which despite the relatively low international awareness of Argentine boxers, arouses lively media interest, including among women.

The rally is particularly popular in motorsport because of the scenic conditions . The Argentina Rally has been part of the World Rally Championship almost continuously since 1980 . The Dakar Rally has been held in South America for safety reasons since 2009, but this is controversial for cultural and ecological reasons. The start and end point is Buenos Aires. The most popular motor sportsman, however, is the former Formula 1 driver Juan Manuel Fangio , who has long been the record world champion in this discipline with a total of five titles ahead of Michael Schumacher. Other successful Formula 1 drivers were José Froilán González and Carlos Reutemann . The importance of Argentina in Formula 1, however, has declined considerably - the Argentina Grand Prix, held at the Autódromo Juan y Oscar Alfredo Gálvez in Buenos Aires, took place for the last time in 1998; with Gastón Mazzacane , an Argentine last competed in this racing class in 2001. In November 2012, two finals took place in Bahía Blanca as part of the Speedway Junior U-21 World Championship. In addition, from 2015 to 2017 there were three editions of the Buenos Aires E-Prix as part of the FIA Formula E Championship .

See also:

public holidays

Memorial march with photos of those who disappeared on the 30th anniversary of the 1976 military coup (March 24, 2006)

If a public holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the following Monday is usually non-working. This regulation does not apply to New Years, Easter and Christmas, Labor Day, March 24th, May 25th and July 9th.

Additional holidays that are non-working for members of the Jewish community (dates are variable and depend on the Jewish calendar ):

  • two days between September 6th and October 5th: Jewish New Year ( Rosh Hashanah ; Año Nuevo )
  • one day between September 15 and October 14: Day of Atonement ( Yom Kippur ; Gran Día del Perdón )

Additional holidays that are non-working for members of the Muslim community (dates are variable and are based on the Islamic calendar ):


Typical Argentinean asado with meat and sausages

Typical of the Argentinean food culture is the beef, traditionally prepared as an asado or parrillada on a charcoal grill. Furthermore, the locro , a corn stew with numerous ingredients, and the empanadas , filled dumplings, are common Argentinian dishes.

Among the drinks, the mate is particularly characteristic, which is also drunk in the neighboring countries of Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile and in southern Brazil. It is a tea-like infusion from the dried and crushed leaves of the mate bush (yerba mate), a species of the holly genus. You drink it through a metal drinking straw, called a bombilla , and usually in good company and at every opportunity. It is customary that only a drinking vessel (also called mate) made of wood or pumpkin is refilled with hot but not boiling water and passed on. Often one also drinks the mate tea as a cold variant, which is called tereré . Argentina also has several large wine-growing regions.


Homosexuality is now largely socially accepted in Argentina. In 2010 marriage was opened to homosexual couples ; In the autonomous city of Buenos Aires and the province of Río Negro, same-sex couples have been able to enter into a registered partnership since 2003. However, there are no anti-discrimination laws protecting sexual orientation at the federal level .


In the 2017 press freedom ranking published by Reporters Without Borders , Argentina was ranked 50th out of 180 countries. The country's press is largely free, but there are also "recognizable problems" with the independence of journalism, according to the non-governmental organization.

watch TV

Argentina has a state television broadcaster , Canal 7 . There are also a large number of local and national, private television stations that can be received via antenna and cable . Furthermore, a large number of channels that are only broadcast via cable and satellite . The best-known channels are the antenna-received Telefe , Canal 9 , América TV and Canal 13 , which also broadcast local programs in many regions.

Some Argentine television series (including many telenovelas , family series , but also weekly productions such as Los Simuladores (2002-2003)) have become an export hit, especially to Eastern Europe, because of their low production costs and high quality.

With the aim of a stronger integration of Latin America, Argentina, together with Uruguay, Colombia, Venezuela and Cuba, is involved in the teleSUR satellite broadcaster, which began broadcasting in July 2005.


Radio is a very popular medium in Argentina. There are an abundance of government and private radio stations. Many of the private radio stations are grouped together in Cadenas , radio chains and so you can receive many stations from Buenos Aires all over the country. The state foreign radio broadcaster Radiodifusión Argentina al Exterior (RAE) has existed since 1949. The programs are broadcast in German, English, French and Spanish on the frequencies 6060, 11,710 and 15,345 kHz. Radio 360 in Euskirchen also broadcasts the German-language programs as podcasts . Receipt reports are confirmed by RAE with QSL cards if return postage in the form of international reply coupons is enclosed.

Print media

Clarín: title page from June 28, 1952

Over 200 daily newspapers are published in Argentina . The most widely distributed appear in Buenos Aires , including Clarín , La Nación and the tabloids Diario Popular , La Razón , Perfil , Crónica , Tiempo Argentino , Ámbito Financiero and Buenos Aires Herald . A left-wing alternative newspaper from Buenos Aires is Página / 12 with a detailed cultural section. High-circulation newspapers from other cities are La Capital ( Rosario ), the oldest newspaper in the country still published today, as well as La Voz del Interior ( Córdoba ) with the highest circulation in the interior and La Gaceta ( Tucumán ). Also worth mentioning is El Tribuno , which is published in three different editions in the provinces of Salta, Tucumán and Jujuy.

More recently, a number of newspapers have gained prominence in the big cities, which are distributed free of charge, especially on buses and trains (for example La Razón and El Diario del Bolsillo ).

Argentina also has a large number of magazines and weekly newspapers . The best-known news magazines are Noticias and Veintitrés , while high-circulation magazines from tabloid journalism are Gente and Paparazzi . There are also numerous local editions of international magazines.

See also: List of Argentine Newspapers

German speaking media

The Argentinisches Tageblatt has been published in Buenos Aires since 1878 . It appeared daily between 1889 and 1981, but was then converted into a weekly newspaper for economic reasons . The Deutsche La Plata newspaper also appeared between 1880 and 1945 .

On the radio, for example, there is a program on Radio Popular called “Treffpunkt Deutschland”, which is broadcast on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. via medium wave 660 kHz and via the Internet. The radio station Radiodifusión Argentina al Exterior broadcasts a one-hour program in German on Monday to Friday on shortwave 15345 kHz , which can also be heard on the Internet.

See also

Portal: Argentina  - Overview of Wikipedia content on Argentina


  • Klaus Bodemer, Andrea Pagni, Peter Waldmann (eds.): Argentina today. Politics. Economy. Culture. 2., completely rework. Ed., Vervuert. Frankfurt 2010, ISBN 978-3-86527-594-3 .
  • Geneviève Fabry, Ilse Logie (Ed.): La literatura argentina de los anos 90. Rodopi, Amsterdam 2003 ISBN 90-420-0998-5 Series: Foro Hispánico 24 ISSN  0925-8620
  • Eduardo Galeano : The open veins of Latin America , Peter Hammer, Wuppertal 1973, ISBN 3-87294-162-3
  • Christoph Jost: Argentina: Extent and causes of national debt and problems of debt rescheduling in: Auslandsinformationen 11, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung , Sankt Augustin 2003, ISSN  0177-7521 (for download: (PDF; 258 kB) ( Memento from October 22, 2012 in the Internet Archive ))
  • Barbara Potthast : A Little History of Argentina . Suhrkamp, ​​Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-518-46147-1
  • Michael Riekenberg: Small History of Argentina . CH Beck, Munich 2006, ISBN 978-3-406-58516-6 .
  • N / A: A survey of Argentina in: The Economist, June 15, 2004, Economist Group: London, ISSN  0013-0613
  • German-speaking exile in Argentina. Special issues from Zwischenwelt. Literature, Resistance, Exile, Journal of the Theodor Kramer Society , Vienna 2011/2012, No. 3 and 4 ISSN  1606-4321
  • Ernesto Sábato, Photos: Res Gerretsen GAMMA, Loren McIntyre, René Burri MAGNUM, Maurice Seraillier RAPHO, Luis Villota, Francisco Erize: Argentina: News from a land of fear . In: Geo-Magazin. Hamburg 1978, 6, pp. 104-132. ("In Argentina the generals rule - the Latin American answer to chaos and terrorism. Ernesto Sábato, former nuclear physicist, now world-famous essayist and novelist, tries to fathom the identity crisis of his homeland."). ISSN  0342-8311

Web links

Wiktionary: Argentina  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Argentina  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Argentina  Travel Guide
Wikisource: Argentina  - Sources and full texts
Wikimedia Atlas: Argentina  - geographical and historical maps

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This article was added to the list of excellent articles on August 17, 2004 in this version .

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