The Nation Report
• The total surface area (excluding the
Antarctic claim) is 2,766,891 km2
(1,068,303 sq mi), of which 30,200 km2
(11,700 sq mi) (1.1%) is water
• There are four major regions: the fertile
central plains of the Pampas, source of
Argentina's agricultural wealth; the flat to
rolling, oil-rich southern plateau of
Patagonia including Tierra del Fuego; the
subtropical northern flats of the Gran
Chaco, and the rugged Andes mountain
range along the western border with
• The major rivers are the Paraná
(the largest), the Pilcomayo,
Paraguay, Bermejo, Colorado, Río
Negro, Salado and the Uruguay.
• Regionally important rivers are the
Atuel and Mendoza in the
homonymous province, the
Chubut in Patagonia, the Río
Grande in Jujuy and the San
Francisco River in Salta.
• The highest point above sea level
is in Mendoza province at Cerro
Aconcagua (6,962 m (22,841 ft))
• The lowest point is Laguna del
Carbón in Santa Cruz province, -
105 m (−344 ft) below sea level,
the lowest point in South America.
• The census of 2001 counted a
population of 36,260,130, and the
estimate for 2008 was 40,482,000.
Argentina ranks third in South America
in total population and 30th globally.
Argentina's population density is 15
persons per square kilometer of land
area, well below the world average of
50 persons. The population is
unevenly distributed: the city of
Buenos Aires has a population density
of over 14,000 inhab./km², while Santa
Cruz province has fewer than 1
inhab./km². Benefiting from a
moderate birth rate since the
1930s, Argentina is the only nation
in Latin America with a net positive
migration rate: about 4 net immigrants
per 10,000 locals, yearly.
• Argentina is considered a country of immigrants.
• Most Argentines are descended from colonial-era
settlers and of the 19th and 20th century immigrants
from Europe, and 86.4% of Argentina's population self-
identify as European descent An estimated 8% of the
population is mestizo. A further 4% of Argentines were
of Arab or East Asian heritage. In the last national
census, based on self-identification, 600,000
Argentines (1.6%) declared to be Amerindians.
• The majority of these European immigrants came from
Italy and Spain.
• The first Asian-Argentines were of Japanese descent;
Koreans, Vietnamese and Chinese followed. Today,
Chinese are the fastest growing community and over
70,000 Chinese-born live in the largest Argentine
• Argentine culture has significant European
influences. Buenos Aires, considered by many
its cultural capital, is often said to be the most
European city in South America, as a result
both of the prevalence of people of European
descent and of conscious imitation of European
styles in architecture. The other big influence is
the gauchos and their traditional country
lifestyle of self-reliance. Finally, indigenous
American traditions (like yerba mate infusions)
have been absorbed into the general cultural
• Numerous Argentine architects have enriched
their own country's cityscapes and, in recent
decades, those around the world.
• One of the most influential Argentine figures in
fine arts was Xul Solar, whose surrealist work
used watercolors as readily as unorthodox
painting media; he also "invented" two
• Combination of Art Nouveau with Italianate
• Besides many of the pasta, sausage and dessert
dishes common to continental Europe, Argentines enjoy
a wide variety of indigenous creations, which include
empanadas (a stuffed pastry), locro (a mixture of corn,
beans, meat, bacon, onion, and gourd), humitas and
yerba mate, all originally indigenous Amerindian
staples, the latter considered Argentina's national
beverage. Other popular items include chorizo (a spicy
sausage), facturas (Viennese-style pastry) and Dulce
• The official national sport of Argentina is pato, played
with a six-handle ball on horseback, but the most
popular sport is association football. The national
football team has won 25 major international titles
including two FIFA World Cups, two Olympic gold
medals and fourteen Copa Américas. Over one
thousand Argentine players play abroad, the majority of
them in European football leagues. There are 331,811
registered football players, with increasing numbers of
girls and women, who have organized their own
national championships since 1991 and were South
American champions in 2006.
• The earliest evidence of humans in
Argentina is in Patagonia (Piedra Museo,
Santa Cruz) and dates from 11,000 BC
(Santa María, Huarpes, Diaguitas and
Sanavirones, among others). The Inca
Empire under King Pachacutec invaded
and conquered present-day northwestern
Argentina in 1480, integrating it into a
region called Collasuyu; the Guaraní
developed a culture based on yuca, sweet
potato and yerba mate. The central and
southern areas (Pampas and Patagonia)
were dominated by nomadic cultures,
unified in the 17th century by the
• European explorers arrived in 1516. Spain
established the Viceroyalty of Peru in 1542
encompassing all its holdings in South
America, and established a permanent
colony at Buenos Aires in 1580 as part of
the dependency of Río de la Plata. In 1776
this dependency was elevated to a
viceroyalty which shifted trade from Lima
to Buenos Aires.
• A wave of foreign investment and immigration
from Europe after 1870 led to the development
of modern agriculture and to a near-reinvention
of Argentine society and the economy and the
strengthening of a cohesive state. The rule of
law was consolidated in large measure by
Dalmacio Vélez Sársfield, whose 1860
Commercial Code and 1869 Civil Code laid the
foundation for Argentina's statutory laws.
General Julio Argentino Roca's military
campaign in the 1870's established Argentine
dominance over the southern Pampas and
Patagonia, subdued the remaining indigenous
peoples and left 1,300 indigenous dead. Some
contemporary sources indicate that it was
campaign of genocide by the Argentine
• In 1946, General Juan Perón was elected
president, creating a political movement
referred to as "Peronism".
Nation Report Part 2
• Variety of cultures and mixed of ethnic groups
• In uenced by European immigration although there are also some Amerindian and African
in uences, particularly in the elds of music and art.
• Mixture of architectural styles imported from Europe.
• Modern styles appear mixed with colonial features, relics from the Spanish-ruled past.
• Museums, cinemas and galleries are abundant in all the large urban centers, as well as traditional
establishments such as literary bars, or bars o ering live music of a variety of genres.
• Cinema has been active since 1896.
• Achieved international recognition with lms such as
e O cial Story and 9 Queens.
• Argentine theatre traces its origins to Viceroy Juan
José de Vértiz y Salcedo's creation of the colony's rst
comedy theatre (La Ranchería) in 1783.
• European Immigration in Argentina created a need
for a cultural shi in theatre addressed by Florencio
• e best-known element of Argentine culture is the
• Tango is the word refers to both the music and the
lyrics (o en containing words and phrases in
lunfardo, a local slang), which are a form of poetry.
• Folk music and dance are popular in provincial
Argentina and are blends of various native and
• Since the 1970s Rock music has been widely
appreciated in Argentina.
Painting and Sculpture
• Rich history in painting and sculpture from both before and since the development of modern Argentina in the second
half of the 19th century.
• Shortly a er independence in 1816, landscape painters from Europe began exploring the spacious Argentine
countryside, much as many did in the United States.
• In the 1830s, Carlos Morel became the rst in uential Argentine painter and Prilidiano Pueyrredón's naïve, slice-of-life
portraits made him among the few successful Argentine artists of those early days
• Artistic production in Argentina, however, did not truly come into its own until a er the 1852 overthrow of the
repressive regime of Juan Manuel de Rosas.
• Monumental sculptors became in very high demand a er 1900, particularly by municipal governments and wealthy
families, who competed with each other in boasting the most evocative mausolea for their dearly departed. P3
• Many Argentines are involved in sports.
• Fútbol (soccer) is more of a national obsession than a game. Argentina won the World Cup in 1978 and
1986 and the gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics and 2008 Summer Olympics for men's soccer,
and the exploits of Diego Maradona have kept fans, paparazzi and columnists busy for the past 20 years.
• Argentina's o cial language is Spanish
• Most Argentines can understand simple spoken Italian and Portuguese, due to their similarity to
Spanish. ere are about 23 native languages spoken in di erent parts of the country, including
Quechua, Mapuche, Guaraní, Toba and Wichí.
Nation Report P3
Contemporary Issues in Argentina
• Argentina has since been enjoying economic growth, though with high in ation. Néstor Kirchner forfeited the 2007 campaign
in favor of his wife Senator Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Winning by a landslide that October, she became the rst woman
elected President of Argentina and in a disputed result, Fabiana Ríos, a center-le (ARI) candidate in Tierra del Fuego Province
became the rst woman in Argentine history to be elected governor. President Cristina Kirchner, despite carrying large
majorities in Congress, saw controversial plans for higher agricultural export taxes defeated by Vice President Julio Cobos'
surprise tie-breaking vote against them on 16 July 2008, following massive agrarian protests and lockouts from March to July.
e global nancial crisis has since prompted Mrs. Kirchner to step up her husband's policy of state intervention in troubled
sectors of the economy. A halt in growth and political missteps helped lead Kirchnerism and its allies to lose their absolute
majority in Congress, following the 2009 mid-term elections.
• Argentina has abundant natural resources, a well-educated population, an export-oriented agricultural sector and a relatively
diversi ed industrial base.
• e Buenos Aires waterfront and three sectors leading the recent economic recovery:
construction, foreign trade and tourism
• Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, president since December 2007
• Néstor Kirchner (second from right) hosts Raúl Alfonsín (right), the Brazilian President Lula da Silva and
former Brazilian President José Sarney to commemorate 20 years of productive trade talks
• Argentina claims part of Antarctica as Argentine Antarctica, an area delimited by the 25° West and
74° West meridians and the 60° South parallel. is claim overlaps the British and Chilean claims,
though all territorial claims in Antarctica are currently suspended (although not abandoned) under
the Antarctic Treaty System. Argentina also claims the British overseas territories of the Falkland
Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. In addition a 50 kilometres (31 mi)
long border with Chile in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field is awaiting demarcation as required
under a 1998 treaty.
• On 22 April 2009, the Argentine government submi ed a claim to the United Nations (UN) for
1,700,000 square kilometres (660,000 sq mi) of ocean territory to be recognised as Argentina's
continental shelf as governed by the Convention on the Continental Shelf and Convention on the
Law of the Sea. Argentina claims to have spent 11 years investigating the ma er and submi ed 800
kilograms (1,800 lb) of documents in support of the claim. If the claim is recognised by the UN
then Argentina will gain the rights to the commercial exploitation of the sea bed (which includes
mining and oil drilling). e new claim will add to the existing 4,800,000 square kilometres
(1,850,000 sq mi) of commercial shelf already managed by Argentina and includes the disputed
British overseas territories of the Falklands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and
parts of Antarctica disputed with Chile and the United Kingdom.
• Argentina has a dispute with neighboring Uruguay about two pulp mills on the Uruguay side of the
shared Uruguay River near the Argentine city of Gualeguaychú. Residents of Gualeguaychú,
concerned about pollution from the mills, blockaded bridges across the river in 2006. e case was
brought before the International Court of Justice which ruled in Uruguay's favour in July 2006 and
allowed the mills to remain..
• Early on in the administration of President Carlos Menem (1989–1999), Argentina restored diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom and
developed a strong partnership with the United States. It was at this time that Argentina le the Non-Aligned Movement and adopted a policy of
"automatic alignment" with the United States. In 1990, Menem's Foreign Minister, Guido di Tella, memorably pronounced the U.S.–Argentine
alliance to be a "carnal relationship."
• Within the term of President Néstor Kirchner, from 2003 onwards, Argentina suspended its policy of automatic alignment with the United States
and moved closer to other Latin American countries. Argentina no longer supports the UN Commission on Human Rights resolution criticizing the
"human rights situation in Cuba" and calling upon the Government of Cuba to "adhere to international human rights norms", but has chosen instead
to abstain. In the 2006 United Nations Security Council election, Argentina supported, like all Mercosur countries, the candidacy of Venezuela (a
Mercosur member) over Guatemala for a non-permanent seat in the Security Council.
• e Mercosur has become a central part of the Argentine foreign policy, with the goal of forming a Latin American trade block. Argentina has
chosen to form a block with Brazil when it comes to external negotiations, though the economic asymmetries between South America's two largest
countries have produced tension at times.
• e United States has a positive bilateral relationship with Argentina based on many common strategic interests, including non-proliferation,
counternarcotics, counterterrorism, the ght against human tra cking, and issues of regional stability, as well as the strength of commercial ties.
Argentina is a participant in the ree-Plus-One regional mechanism (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and the U.S.), which focuses on coordination of
counter-terrorism policies in the tri-border region.
• Argentina is a full member of the Mercosur block together with Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela; and ve associate members: Bolivia, Chile,
Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. From 2006 Argentina has emphasised Mercosur, which has some supranational legislative functions, as its rst
international priority; by contrast, during the 1990s, it relied more heavily on its relationship with the United States. Argentina is a founding
signatory and permanent consulting member of the Antarctic Treaty System and the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat is based in Buenos Aires.