Argentina Travel Information

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Buenos Aires
IguazĂș National Park
Nahuel Huapi National Park
Parques Nacionales de Argentina

Facts About Argentina

Background: Following independence from Spain in 1816, Argentina experienced periods of internal political conflict between conservatives and liberals and between civilian and military factions. After World War II, a long period of Peronist dictatorship was followed by a military junta that took power in 1976. Democracy returned in 1983, and four free elections since then have underscored Argentina's progress in democratic consolidation.
Government type: republic
Capital: Buenos Aires
Currency: 1 peso = 100 centavos

Geography of Argentina

Location: Southern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Chile and Uruguay
Geographic coordinates: 34 00 S, 64 00 W
Area:
total: 2,766,890 sq km
land: 2,736,690 sq km
water: 30,200 sq km
Land boundaries:
total: 9,665 km
border countries: Bolivia 832 km, Brazil 1,224 km, Chile 5,150 km, Paraguay 1,880 km, Uruguay 579 km
Coastline: 4,989 km
Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
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: Salinas Chicas -40 m (located on Peninsula Valdes)
highest point: Cerro Aconcagua 6,960 m
Natural resources: fertile plains of the pampas, lead, zinc, tin, copper, iron ore, manganese, petroleum, uranium
Land use:
arable land: 9%
permanent crops: 1%
permanent pastures: 52%
forests and woodland: 19%
other: 19% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 17,000 sq km (1993 est.)
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 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, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Marine Life Conservation
Geography - note: second-largest country in South America (after Brazil); strategic location relative to sea lanes between South Atlantic and South Pacific Oceans (Strait of Magellan, Beagle Channel, Drake Passage)

People of Argentina

Argentines are a fusion of diverse national and ethnic groups, with descendants of Italian and Spanish immigrants predominant. Waves of immigrants from many European countries arrived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Syrian, Lebanese, and other Middle Eastern immigrants number about 500,000, mainly in urban areas. Argentina has the largest Jewish population in Latin America, about 250,000 strong. In recent years, there has been a substantial influx of immigrants from neighboring Latin American countries. The indigenous population, estimated at 700,000, is concentrated in the provinces of the north, northwest, and south. The Argentine population has one of Latin America's lowest growth rates. Eighty percent of the population resides in cities or towns of more than 2,000, and over one-third lives in the greater Buenos Aires area. With 13 million inhabitants, this sprawling metropolis serves as the focus for national life. Argentines enjoy comparatively high standards of living; half the population considers itself middle class.

Population: 39,537,943 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years:  26.54% 
15-64 years:  63.04%
65 years and over:  10.42%
Population growth rate: 1.15% 
Birth rate: 18.41 births/1,000 population
Death rate: 7.58 deaths/1,000 population
Net migration rate: 0.64 migrant(s)/1,000 population
Infant mortality rate: 17.75 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  75.26 years
male:  71.88 years
female:  78.82 years
Total fertility rate: 2.44 children born/woman
Nationality:
noun: Argentine(s)
adjective: Argentine
Ethnic groups: white (mostly Spanish and Italian) 97%, mestizo, Amerindian, or other nonwhite 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: 96.2%
male: 96.2%
female: 96.2% (1995 est.)

SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Argentina Map Economy History