One hundred years ago, Argentina was one of the world’s ten richest countries, but failed economic policies and corruption have led to several economic downturns in the country. Today, there are major differences between the poor and the rich in Argentina, and about every fourth inhabitant lives below the poverty line.
Key figures and facts
- Capital: Buenos Aires
- Ethnic groups: Argentines of Spanish and Italian origin, mestizo 97.2%, American indigenous population 2.4% and African origin 0.4% (2010)
- Language: Spanish (official), Italian, English, German, French, and languages spoken by indigenous peoples; Mapudungun and Quechua
- Religion: Roman Catholic 92%, Protestants 2%, Jews 2%, other/unspecified 4%
- Population: 44 688 864 (2017)
- Control Form: Republic
- Area: 2 780 400 Km2
- Currency: peso
- GNP per capita: 19 940 PPP $
- National Day: May 25th
Argentina’s population is at 44 044 811 (INDEC, 2017). Life expectancy at birth is 76.2 years (World Bank, 2018), and 30 percent of the population lives below the poverty line (2016). GDP per capita is $ 11,970 (World Bank, 2016), about 3.6 percent lower than the previous year.
About 90 percent of the population is of European descent, primarily Spanish or Italian. It is also part of German origin in the country. Between 1857 and 1939, about 5.5 million immigrants came to Argentina, the vast majority from Europe. There was great immigration even after World War II. Since 1950, immigrants have come from neighboring countries to a greater extent, especially from Paraguay and Bolivia. Only a small part of the population counts as indigenous people. Most of the indigenous people live in the north, on the border with Bolivia or Paraguay, or scattered in Patagonia and the Fire Land.
The population density varies widely, but the national average is 15.1 residents per km2. Parts of Gran Chaco, the Andes and Patagonia are almost empty. The population density is greatest in the humid parts of the pampas, and around Buenos Aires. 2/3 of the country’s population lives on 20 percent of the area. The Andes Mountains in the northwest also have a relatively close settlement.
The Constitution states that the state must protect the Catholic Church, which is also the dominant one and comprises about 87.7 percent of the population. Around two of the population are Protestants, but there are also Jewish and Muslim minorities.
The country’s official language and mother tongue for almost the entire population is Spanish. The pronunciation differs from European Spanish, as throughout Latin American Latin America, in that the “play sound” [þ] is pronounced s. Moreover, in the areas around Buenos Aires, they have a special way of pronouncing [lj]: calle pronunciation [kaʒe]. They share this peculiarity with Uruguay. Smaller groups speak indigenous languages.
|City||Residents (last official census is from 2010)|
|Buenos Aires (not what is called Greater Buenos Aires or Gran Buenos Aires)||2 900 000|
|Córdoba||1 330 023|
|Rosario||1 198 528|
|Mendoza||1 086 066|
|La Plata||649 900|