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This page was last updated on 15 November, 2007


Map of Argentina



Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Argentina Top of Page
Background:

In 1816, the United Provinces of the Rio Plata declared their independence from Spain. Eventually, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay went their own way, but the area that remained became Argentina. The country's population and culture were subsequently heavily shaped by immigrants from throughout Europe, but most particularly Italy and Spain, which provided the largest percentage of newcomers from 1860 to 1930. Up until about the mid-20th century, much of Argentina's history was dominated by periods of internal political conflict between Federalists and Unitarians and between civilian and military factions. After World War II, an era of Peronist authoritarian rule and interference in subsequent governments was followed by a military junta that took power in 1976. Democracy returned in 1983, and has persisted despite numerous challenges, the most formidable of which was a severe economic crisis in 2001-02 that led to violent public protests and the resignation of several interim presidents. The economy has recovered strongly since bottoming out in 2002. The government renegotiated its public debt in 2005 and paid off its remaining obligations to the IMF in early 2006.

  
   Geography    Argentina Top of Page
Location:

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

34 00 S, 64 00 W
Map references:

South America
Area:

total: 2,766,890 sq km
land: 2,736,690 sq km
water: 30,200 sq km
Area - comparative:

slightly less than three-tenths the size of the US
Land boundaries:

total: 9,861 km
border countries: Bolivia 832 km, Brazil 1,261 km, Chile 5,308 km, Paraguay 1,880 km, Uruguay 580 km
Coastline:

4,989 km
Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate:

mostly temperate; arid in southeast; subantarctic in southwest
Terrain:

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

lowest point: Laguna del Carbon -105 m (located between Puerto San Julian and Comandante Luis Piedra Buena in the province of Santa Cruz)
highest point: Cerro Aconcagua 6,960 m (located in the northwestern corner of the province of Mendoza)
Natural resources:

fertile plains of the pampas, lead, zinc, tin, copper, iron ore, manganese, petroleum, uranium
Land use:

arable land: 10.03%
permanent crops: 0.36%
other: 89.61% (2005)
Irrigated land:

15,500 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:

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

environmental problems (urban and rural) typical of an industrializing economy such as deforestation, soil degradation, desertification, air pollution, and water pollution
note: Argentina is a world leader in setting voluntary greenhouse gas targets
Environment - international agreements:

party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation
Geography - note:

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

40,301,927 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure:

0-14 years: 24.9% (male 5,134,958/female 4,905,181)
15-64 years: 64.4% (male 12,979,588/female 12,967,507)
65 years and over: 10.7% (male 1,769,593/female 2,545,100) (2007 est.)
Median age:

total: 29.9 years
male: 29 years
female: 31 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate:

0.938% (2007 est.)
Birth rate:

16.53 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate:

7.55 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate:

0.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.047 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.001 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.695 male(s)/female
total population: 0.974 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate:

total: 14.29 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 16.11 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 12.38 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 76.32 years
male: 72.6 years
female: 80.24 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate:

2.13 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.7% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

130,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:

1,500 (2003 est.)
Nationality:

noun: Argentine(s)
adjective: Argentine
Ethnic groups:

white (mostly Spanish and Italian) 97%, mestizo (mixed white and Amerindian ancestry), Amerindian, or other non-white groups 3%
Religions:

nominally Roman Catholic 92% (less than 20% practicing), Protestant 2%, Jewish 2%, other 4%
Languages:

Spanish (official), English, Italian, German, French
Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.2%
male: 97.2%
female: 97.2% (2001 census)
   Government    Argentina Top of Page
Country name:

conventional long form: Argentine Republic
conventional short form: Argentina
local long form: Republica Argentina
local short form: Argentina
Government type:

republic
Capital:

name: Buenos Aires
geographic coordinates: 34 36 S, 58 40 W
time difference: UTC-3 (2 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:

23 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia) and 1 autonomous city* (distrito federal); Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires Capital Federal*, Catamarca, Chaco, Chubut, Cordoba, Corrientes, Entre Rios, Formosa, Jujuy, La Pampa, La Rioja, Mendoza, Misiones, Neuquen, Rio Negro, Salta, San Juan, San Luis, Santa Cruz, Santa Fe, Santiago del Estero, Tierra del Fuego - Antartida e Islas del Atlantico Sur, Tucuman
note: the US does not recognize any claims to Antarctica
Independence:

9 July 1816 (from Spain)
National holiday:

Revolution Day, 25 May (1810)
Constitution:

1 May 1853; amended many times starting in 1860
Legal system:

mixture of US and West European legal systems; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branch:

chief of state: President Nestor KIRCHNER (since 25 May 2003); Vice President Daniel SCIOLI (since 25 May 2003); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Nestor KIRCHNER (since 25 May 2003); Vice President Daniel SCIOLI (since 25 May 2003)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held 28 October 2007 (next election to be held in 2011)
election results: Cristina FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER elected president; percent of vote - Cristina FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER 45%, Elisa CARRIO 23%, Roberto LAVAGNA 17%, Alberto Rodriguez SAA 8%; note - FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER will take office on 10 December 2007
Legislative branch:

bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of the Senate (72 seats; members are elected by direct vote; presently one-third of the members elected every two years to serve six-year terms) and the Chamber of Deputies (257 seats; members are elected by direct vote; one-half of the members elected every two years to serve four-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held 23 October 2005 (next to be held in 2007); Chamber of Deputies - last held last held 23 October 2005 (next to be held in 2007)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by bloc or party - FV 45.1%, FJ 17.2%, UCR 7.5%, other 30.2%; seats by bloc or party - FV 14, FJ 3, UCR 2, other 5; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by bloc or party - FV 29.9%, UCR 8.9%, ARI 7.2%, PJ 6.7%, PRO 6.2%, FJ 3.9%, other 37.2%; seats by bloc or party - FV 50, UCR 10, PJ 9, PRO 9, ARI 8, FJ 7, other 34; note - Senate and Chamber of Deputies seating reflect the number of replaced senators and deputies, rather than the whole Senate and Chamber of Deputies
Judicial branch:

Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (the nine Supreme Court judges are appointed by the president with approval by the Senate)
note: the Supreme Court currently has two unfilled vacancies, and the Argentine Congress is considering a bill to reduce the number of Supreme Court judges to five
Political parties and leaders:

Affirmation for an Egalitarian Republic or ARI [Elisa CARRIO]; Front for Victory or FV [Nestor KIRCHNER]; Interbloque Federal or IF (a broad coalition of approximately 12 parties including PRO); Justicialist Front or FJ; Justicialist Party or PJ (Peronist umbrella political organization); Radical Civic Union or UCR [Gerardo MORALES]; Republican Proposal or PRO (including Federal Recreate Movement or RECREAR [Ricardo LOPEZ MURPHY] and Commitment for Change or CPC [Mauricio MACRI]); Socialist Party or PS [Ruben GIUSTINIANI]; Union For All [Patricia BULLRICH]; several provincial parties
Political pressure groups and leaders:

Argentine Association of Pharmaceutical Labs (CILFA); Argentine Industrial Union (manufacturers' association); Argentine Rural Confederation or CRA (small to medium landowners' association); Argentine Rural Society (large landowners' association); business organizations; Central of Argentine Workers or CTA (a radical union for employed and unemployed workers); General Confederation of Labor or CGT (Peronist-leaning umbrella labor organization); Peronist-dominated labor movement; Piquetero groups (popular protest organizations that can be either pro or anti-government); Roman Catholic Church; students
International organization participation:

ABEDA, AfDB, Australia Group, BCIE, BIS, CAN (associate), CPLP (associate), CSN, FAO, G-6, G-15, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur, MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, NSG, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina (observer), UNMOVIC, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Jose Octavio BORDON
chancery: 1600 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 238-6400
FAX: [1] (202) 332-3171
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Earl Anthony WAYNE
embassy: Avenida Colombia 4300, C1425GMN Buenos Aires
mailing address: international mail: use embassy street address; APO address: Unit 4334, APO AA 34034
telephone: [54] (11) 5777-4533
FAX: [54] (11) 5777-4240
Flag description:

three equal horizontal bands of light blue (top), white, and light blue; centered in the white band is a radiant yellow sun with a human face known as the Sun of May
   Economy    Argentina Top of Page
Economy - overview:

Argentina benefits from rich natural resources, a highly literate population, an export-oriented agricultural sector, and a diversified industrial base. Although one of the world's wealthiest countries 100 years ago, Argentina suffered during most of the 20th century from recurring economic crises, persistent fiscal and current account deficits, high inflation, mounting external debt, and capital flight. Beginning in 1998, with external debt equivalent to more than 400% of annual exports, the economy slowed and ultimately fell into a full-blown depression; investors' fears grew in the wake of Russia's debt default, Brazil's devaluation, and the political discord caused by then-President Carlos MENEM's unpopular efforts to run for a constitutionally prohibited third term. The government of Fernando DE LA RUA, elected President in late 1999, tried several measures to cut the fiscal deficit and instill confidence and received large IMF credit facilities, but nothing worked to revive the economy. Depositors began withdrawing money from the banks in late 2001, and the government responded with strict limits on withdrawals. When street protests turned deadly, DE LA RUA was forced to resign in December 2001. Interim President Adolfo Rodriguez SAA declared a default - the largest in history - on Argentina's foreign debt, but he stepped down only a few days later when he failed to garner political support from the country's governors. Eduardo DUHALDE became President in January 2002 and announced an end to the peso's decade-long 1-to-1 peg to the US dollar. When the peso depreciated and inflation rose, DUHALDE's government froze utility tariffs, curtailed creditors' rights, and imposed high taxes on exports. The economy rebounded strongly from the crisis, inflation started falling, and DUHALDE called for special elections. Nestor KIRCHNER was elected President, taking office in May 2003, and continued the restrictions imposed by DUHALDE. With the reemergence of double-digit inflation in 2005, the KIRCHNER administration pressured businesses into a series of agreements to hold down prices. The government also restructured its debt in 2005 and paid off its IMF obligations in early 2006, reducing Argentina's external debt burden. Real GDP growth averaged 9% during the period 2003-06, bolstering government revenues and keeping the budget in surplus.
GDP (purchasing power parity):

$608.8 billion (2006 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):

$210 billion (2006 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:

8.5% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):

$15,200 (2006 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 8.5%
industry: 35.9%
services: 55.6% (2006 est.)
Labor force:

15.76 million (2006 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Unemployment rate:

8.7% (2006 est.)
Population below poverty line:

26.9% (July-December 2006)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 1%
highest 10%: 35% (June 2006)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:

48.3 (June 2006)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):

10.9% (2006 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):

23.4% of GDP (2006 est.)
Budget:

revenues: $51.9 billion
expenditures: $48.1 billion; including capital expenditures of $5.4 billion (2006 est.)
Public debt:

64% of GDP (2006 est.)
Agriculture - products:

sunflower seeds, lemons, soybeans, grapes, corn, tobacco, peanuts, tea, wheat; livestock
Industries:

food processing, motor vehicles, consumer durables, textiles, chemicals and petrochemicals, printing, metallurgy, steel
Industrial production growth rate:

8.2% (2006 est.)
Electricity - production:

101.1 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - consumption:

88.98 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports:

4.14 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports:

8.017 billion kWh (2005)
Oil - production:

745,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption:

470,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - exports:

367,600 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports:

21,650 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves:

2.116 billion bbl (2006 est.)
Natural gas - production:

43.76 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:

38.79 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports:

6.646 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports:

1.669 billion cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves:

512.4 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:

$7.998 billion (2006 est.)
Exports:

$46.46 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports - commodities:

edible oils, fuels and energy, cereals, feed, motor vehicles
Exports - partners:

Brazil 17.5%, Chile 9.5%, US 8.9%, China 7.5% (2006)
Imports:

$32.59 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports - commodities:

machinery and equipment, motor vehicles, chemicals, metal manufactures, plastics
Imports - partners:

Brazil 34.8%, US 12.6%, China 9.1%, Germany 4.5% (2006)
Economic aid - recipient:

$99.66 million (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$32.03 billion (2006 est.)
Debt - external:

$109.7 billion (2006 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$60.04 billion (2006 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$25.02 billion (2006 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:

$79.73 billion (2006)
Currency (code):

Argentine peso (ARS)
Exchange rates:

Argentine pesos per US dollar - 3.0543 (2006), 2.9037 (2005), 2.9233 (2004), 2.9006 (2003), 3.0633 (2002)
Fiscal year:

calendar year
   Communications    Argentina Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:

9.46 million (2006)
Telephones - mobile cellular:

31.51 million (2006)
Telephone system:

general assessment: by opening the telecommunications market to competition and foreign investment with the "Telecommunications Liberalization Plan of 1998," Argentina encouraged the growth of modern telecommunications technology; fiber-optic cable trunk lines are being installed between all major cities; the major networks are entirely digital and the availability of telephone service is improving; fixed-line telephone density is gradually increasing reaching nearly 25 lines per 100 people in 2006; mobile telephone density has been increasing rapidly and has reached a level of 80 telephones per 100 persons
domestic: microwave radio relay, fiber-optic cable, and a domestic satellite system with 40 earth stations serve the trunk network; more than 110,000 pay telephones are installed and mobile telephone use is rapidly expanding; broadband services are gaining ground
international: country code - 54; landing point for the Atlantis-2, UNISUR, and South America-1 optical submarine cable systems that provide links to Europe, Africa, South and Central America, and US; satellite earth stations - 112; 2 international gateways near Buenos Aires (2007)
Radio broadcast stations:

AM 260 (includes 10 inactive stations), FM (probably more than 1,000, mostly unlicensed), shortwave 6 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:

42 (plus 444 repeaters) (1997)
Internet country code:

.ar
Internet hosts:

2.159 million (2007)
Internet users:

8.184 million (2006)
   Transportation    Argentina Top of Page
Airports:

1,272 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways:

total: 154
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 26
1,524 to 2,437 m: 65
914 to 1,523 m: 50
under 914 m: 9 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 1,118
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 44
914 to 1,523 m: 515
under 914 m: 556 (2007)
Heliports:

1 (2007)
Pipelines:

gas 29,804 km; liquid petroleum gas 41 km; oil 10,373 km; refined products 8,540 km; unknown (oil/water) 13 km (2006)
Railways:

total: 31,902 km
broad gauge: 20,858 km 1.676-m gauge (141 km electrified)
standard gauge: 2,885 km 1.435-m gauge (26 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 7,922 km 1.000-m gauge; 237 km 0.750-m gauge (2006)
Roadways:

total: 229,144 km
paved: 68,809 km (includes 734 km of expressways)
unpaved: 160,335 km (2004)
Waterways:

11,000 km (2006)
Merchant marine:

total: 47 ships (1000 GRT or over) 542,556 GRT/892,818 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 4, cargo 11, chemical tanker 1, container 1, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 3, petroleum tanker 23, refrigerated cargo 2, roll on/roll off 1
foreign-owned: 12 (Chile 7, UK 4, Uruguay 1)
registered in other countries: 19 (Bolivia 1, Chile 1, Liberia 3, Panama 8, Paraguay 3, Uruguay 3) (2007)
Ports and terminals:

Bahia Blanca, Buenos Aires, Concepcion del Uruguay, La Plata, Punta Colorada, Rosario, San Lorenzo-San Martin, San Nicolas
   Military    Argentina Top of Page
Military branches:

Argentine Army (Ejercito Argentino), Navy of the Argentine Republic (Armada Republica; includes naval aviation and naval infantry), Argentine Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Argentina, FAA) (2007)
Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2001)
Manpower available for military service:

males age 18-49: 8,981,886
females age 18-49: 8,883,756 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:

males age 18-49: 7,316,038
females age 18-49: 7,442,589 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:

males age 18-49: 344,575
females age 18-49: 334,649 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:

1.3% (2005 est.)
Military - note:

the Argentine military is a well-organized force constrained by the country's prolonged economic hardship; the country has recently experienced a strong recovery, and the military is now implementing "Plan 2000," aimed at making the ground forces lighter and more responsive (2005)
   Transnational Issues    Argentina Top of Page
Disputes - international:

Argentina continues to assert its claims to the UK-administered Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands in its constitution, forcibly occupying the Falklands in 1982, but in 1995 agreed no longer to seek settlement by force; territorial claim in Antarctica partially overlaps UK and Chilean claims (see Antarctic disputes); unruly region at convergence of Argentina-Brazil-Paraguay borders is locus of money laundering, smuggling, arms and illegal narcotics trafficking, and fundraising for extremist organizations; uncontested dispute between Brazil and Uruguay over Braziliera/Brasiliera Island in the Quarai/Cuareim River leaves the tripoint with Argentina in question; in January 2007, ICJ provisionally ruled Uruguay may begin construction of two paper mills on the Uruguay River, which forms the border with Argentina, while the court examines further whether Argentina has the legal right to stop such construction with potential environmental implications to both countries; the joint boundary commission, established by Chile and Argentina in 2001 has yet to map and demarcate the delimited boundary in the inhospitable Andean Southern Ice Field (Campo de Hielo Sur)
Trafficking in persons:

current situation: Argentina is primarily a destination country for women and children trafficked for sexual and labor exploitation with most victims trafficked internally, from rural to urban areas, for exploitation in prostitution; foreign women and children trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation come primarily from Paraguay, but also from Bolivia, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Chile; Bolivians are trafficked for forced labor; Argentine women and girls are also trafficked to neighboring countries for sexual exploitation
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Argentina failed to show evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking particularly in the key area of prosecutions
Illicit drugs:

used as a transshipment country for cocaine headed for Europe; some money-laundering activity, especially in the Tri-Border Area; domestic consumption of drugs in urban centers is increasing

This page was last updated on 15 November, 2007


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