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Introduction Argentina
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 authoritarian rule and interference in subsequent governments previously followed by a military junta that took power in 1976. Democracy returned in 1983, and numerous elections since then have underscored Argentina's progress in democratic consolidation.
Geography Argentina
Southern South America, bordering South Atlantic Ocean, between Chile and Uruguay
Geographic coordinates:
34 00 S, 64 00 W
Map references:
South America
total: 2,766,890 sq km
land: 2,736,690 sq km
water: 30,200 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly less than three-tenths size of US
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
4,989 km
Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
continental shelf: 200 NM or to edge of continental margin
mostly temperate; arid in southeast; subantarctic in southwest
rich plains of 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 Pampas, lead, zinc, tin, copper, iron ore, manganese, petroleum, uranium
Land use:
arable land: 9.14%
permanent crops: 0.8%
other: 90.06% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
15,610 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
San Miguel de Tucuman and Mendoza areas in Andes subject to earthquakes; pamperos are violent windstorms that can strike 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 Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, 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 South Atlantic and South Pacific Oceans (Strait of Magellan, Beagle Channel, Drake Passage); Cerro Aconcagua is South America's tallest mountain, while Valdes Peninsula is lowest point on continent
People Argentina
Total Population:
38,740,807 (July 2003 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 26.2% (male 5,185,548; female 4,955,551)
15-64 years: 63.4% (male 12,274,625; female 12,282,772)
65 years and over: 10.4% (male 1,659,641; female 2,382,670) (2003 est.)
Median age:
total: 29 years
male: 28 years
female: 29.9 years (2002)
Population growth rate:
1.05% (2003 est.)
Birth rate:
17.47 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Death rate:
7.58 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Net migration rate:
0.62 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female
Population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 16.16 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 14.08 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
male: 18.14 deaths/1,000 live births
Life Expectancy:
Population: 75.48 years
male: 71.72 years
female: 79.44 years (2003 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.28 children born/woman (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.7% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
130,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
1,800 (2001 est.)
noun: Argentine(s)
adjective: Argentine
Ethnic groups:
white (mostly Spanish and Italian) 97%, mestizo, Amerindian, or other nonwhite groups 3%
nominally Roman Catholic 92% (less than 20% practicing), Protestant 2%, Jewish 2%, other 4%
Spanish (official), English, Italian, German, French
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Population: 97.1%
male: 97.1%
female: 97.1% (2003 est.)
Government Argentina
Country name:
conventional long form: Argentine Republic
conventional short form: Argentina
local short form: Argentina
local long form: Republica Argentina
Government type:
Buenos Aires
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: US does not recognize any claims to Antarctica
9 July 1816 (from Spain)
National holiday:
Revolution Day, 25 May (1810)
1 May 1853; revised August 1994
Legal system:
mixture of US and West European legal systems; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal and mandatory
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Nestor KIRCHNER (since 25 May 2003); note - declared winner of a runoff election by default after Carlos Saul MENEM withdrew his candidacy on eve of election; Vice President Daniel SCIOLI (since 25 May 2003); note - president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Nestor KIRCHNER (since 25 May 2003); note - declared winner of a runoff election by default after Carlos Saul MENEM withdrew his candidacy on eve of election; Vice President Daniel SCIOLI (since 25 May 2003); note - president is both chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by president
election results: results of presidential primary of 27 April 2003: Carlos Saul MENEM 24.3%, Nestor KIRCHNER 22%, Ricardo Lopez MURPHY 16.4%, Adolfo Rodriguez SAA 14.4%, Elisa CARRIO 14.2%, other 8.7%; subsequent runoff election slated for 25 May 2003 previously awarded to KIRCHNER by default after MENEM withdrew his candidacy on eve of election
elections: president and vice president elected on same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms; last election held previously presidential primary election of 27 April 2003 (next election to be held NA 2007); a runoff election slated for 25 May 2003 between two candidates receiving highest votes in primary previously awarded to KIRCHNER by default after MENEM withdrew his candidacy on eve of election
Legislative branch:
bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of Senate (72 seats; members are elected by direct vote; presently one-third of members being elected every two years to a six-year term) and Chamber of Deputies (257 seats; members are elected by direct vote; one-half of members elected every two years to a four-year term)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by bloc or party - NA%; seats by bloc or party - PJ 40, UCR 24, provincial parties 6, Frepaso 1, ARI 1; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by bloc or party - NA%; seats by bloc or party - PJ 113, UCR 74, provincial parties 27, Frepaso 17, ARI 17, AR 9
elections: Senate - last held 14 October 2001 (next to be held intermittently by province before December 2003); Chamber of Deputies - last held 14 October 2001 (next to be held intermittently by province before December 2003)
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (the nine Supreme Court judges are appointed by president with approval by Senate)
Political parties and leaders:
Action for Republic or AR [Domingo CAVALLO]; Alternative for a Republic of Equals or ARI [Elisa CARRIO]; Front for a Country in Solidarity or Frepaso (a four-party coalition) [Dario Pedro ALESSANDRO]; Justicialist Party or PJ [Carlos Saul MENEM] (Peronist umbrella political organization); Radical Civic Union or UCR [Angel ROZAS]; Federal Recreate Movement [Ricardo LOPEZ MURPHY]; several provincial parties
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Argentine Association of Pharmaceutical Labs (CILFA); Argentine Industrial Union (manufacturers' association); Argentine Rural Society (large landowners' association); business organizations; General Confederation of Labor or CGT (Peronist-leaning umbrella labor organization); Peronist-dominated labor movement; Roman Catholic Church; students
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Jose Octavio BORDON
chancery: 1600 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York
FAX: [1] (202) 332-3171
telephone: [1] (202) 238-6400
Diplomatic representation from US:
chief of mission: Ambassador James D. WALSH; note - Lino GUTIERREZ is designated to replace Ambassador WALSH
embassy: Avenida Colombia 4300, C1425GMN Buenos Aires
mailing address: international mail: use 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 white band is a radiant yellow sun with a human face known as Sun of May
Economy Argentina
Economy - overview:
Argentina benefits from rich natural resources, a highly literate population, an export-oriented agricultural sector, and a diversified industrial base. Over past decade, however, country has suffered recurring economic problems of inflation, external debt, capital flight, and budget deficits. Growth in 2000 previously a negative 0.8%, as both domestic and foreign investors remained skeptical of government's ability to pay debts and maintain peso's fixed exchange rate with US dollar. economic situation worsened in 2001 with widening of spreads on Argentine bonds, massive withdrawals from banks, and a further decline in consumer and investor confidence. Government efforts to achieve a "zero deficit," to stabilize banking system, and to restore economic growth proved inadequate in face of mounting economic problems. peso's peg to dollar previously abandoned in January 2002, and peso previously floated in February; exchange rate plunged and inflation picked up rapidly, but by mid-2002 economy had stabilized, albeit at a lower level. Strong demand for peso compelled Central Bank to intervene in foreign exchange markets to curb its appreciation in early 2003. Led by record exports, economy began to recover with output up 5.5% in 2003, unemployment falling, and inflation sliced to 4.2% at year-end.
buying power parity - $403.8 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
-10.9% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
buying power parity - $10,500 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 5%
industry: 28%
services: 66% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
37% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
41% (2002, yearend)
Labor force:
15 million (1999)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture NA%, industry NA%, services NA%
Unemployment rate:
21.5% (37377)
revenues: $44 billion
expenditures: $48 billion, includes capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)
food processing, motor vehicles, consumer durables, textiles, chemicals and petrochemicals, printing, metallurgy, steel
Industrial production growth rate:
1% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production:
97.17 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 52.2%
hydro: 40.8%
other: 0.2% (2001)
nuclear: 6.7%
Electricity - consumption:
92.12 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
5.662 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
7.417 billion kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
828,600 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
486,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:
2.927 billion bbl (37257)
Natural gas - production:
37.15 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
31.1 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
6.05 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
768 billion cu m (37257)
Agriculture - products:
sunflower seeds, lemons, soybeans, grapes, corn, tobacco, peanuts, tea, wheat; livestock
$25.3 billion f.o.b. (2002)
Exports - commodities:
edible oils, fuels and energy, cereals, feed, motor vehicles
Exports - partners:
Brazil 23.6%, US 10.9%, Chile 9.7%, Spain 4.3% (2002)
$9 billion f.o.b. (2002)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, motor vehicles, chemicals, metal manufactures, plastics
Imports - partners:
Brazil 42%, US 12.8%, Germany 4.4% (2002)
Debt - external:
$155 billion (2001 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$10 billion (2001 est.)
Argentine peso (ARS)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Argentine pesos per US dollar - 3.06 (2002), 1 (2001), 1 (2000), 1 (1999), 1 (1998)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Argentina
Telephones - main lines in use:
7.5 million (1998)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
3 million (December 1999)
Telephone system:
general assessment: by opening telecommunications market to competition and foreign investment with "Telecommunications Liberalization Plan of 1998," Argentina encouraged growth of modern telecommunication technology; fiber-optic cable trunk lines are being installed between all major cities; major networks are entirely digital and availability of telephone service is being improved; however, telephone density is presently minimal, and making telephone service universally available will take time
domestic: microwave radio relay, fiber-optic cable, and a domestic satellite system with 40 earth stations serve trunk network; more than 110,000 pay telephones are installed and mobile telephone use is rapidly expanding
international: satellite earth stations - 8 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); Atlantis II and Unisur submarine cables; two international gateways near Buenos Aires (1999)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 260 (including 10 inactive stations), FM NA (probably more than 1,000, mostly unlicensed), shortwave 6 (1998)
24.3 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
42 (plus 444 repeaters) (1997)
7.95 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
33 (2000)
Internet users:
3.88 million (2001)
Transportation Argentina
total: 34,463 km (168 km electrified)
broad gauge: 20,736 km 1.676-m gauge (142 km electrified)
standard gauge: 3,115 km 1.435-m gauge (26 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 10,375 km 1.000-m gauge; 237 km 0.750-m gauge (2002)
total: 215,471 km
paved: 63,348 km (including 734 km of expressways)
unpaved: 152,123 km (1999)
10,950 km
gas 26,797 km; liquid petroleum gas 41 km; oil 3,668 km; refined products 2,945 km; unknown (oil/water) 13 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Bahia Blanca, Buenos Aires, Comodoro Rivadavia, Concepcion del Uruguay, La Plata, Mar del Plata, Necochea, Rio Gallegos, Rosario, Santa Fe, Ushuaia
Merchant marine:
total: 23 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 141,851 GRT/208,821 DWT
ships by type: cargo 9, petroleum tanker 8, railcar carrier 1, refrigerated cargo 2, roll on/roll off 1, short-sea passenger 1, specialized tanker 1, includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: United Arab Emirates 1, Uruguay 1 (2002 est.)
1,342 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 145
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 26
1,524 to 2,437 m: 62
914 to 1,523 m: 44
under 914 m: 9 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 1,197
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 50
914 to 1,523 m: 572
under 914 m: 571 (2002)
Military Argentina
Military branches:
Argentine Army, Navy of Argentine Republic (includes naval aviation and Marines), Coast Guard, Argentine Air Force, National Gendarmerie, National Aeronautical Police Force
Military manpower - military age:
20 years of age (2003 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 9,780,063 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 7,942,837 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 331,011 (2003 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$4.3 billion (FY99)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
1.3% (FY00)
Transnational Issues Argentina
Disputes - international:
claims UK-administered Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) and South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands in its constitution, but in 1995 ceded right to settle dispute by force; Beagle Channel islands dispute resolved through Papal mediation in 1984, but armed incidents persist since 1992 oil discovery; 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 drug trafficking, and harbors Islamist militants; uncontested dispute between Brazil and Uruguay over Braziliera Island in Quarai/Cuareim leaves tripoint with Argentina in question
Illicit drugs:
used as a transshipment country for cocaine headed for Europe and US; some money-laundering activity, especially in Tri-Border Area; domestic consumption of drugs in urban centers is increasing