More than nine out of ten Argentinians live in cities. About one third of the residents live in and around the capital Buenos Aires. Otherwise, the country is relatively sparsely populated. Birth rates are low at the same time as the proportion of older people in the population is increasing (just over a tenth of Argentines are older than 65).
The hardened herdsmen of the prairie, gauchos, have long been a symbol of the Argentine people. Most of them were of Spanish-Native American descent. Today, more than eight of ten Argentinians are of European origin, the majority of whom are descendants of immigrants from Spain or Italy who came during the years 1852-1930. Many also immigrated from the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, France, Poland and Sweden.
- COUNTRYAAH.COM: Key populations estimated size and data of Argentina, including population density of how many people per square mile. Also included are facts for population and language.
Argentina has long had a large urban population. Already in 1914 half of the residents lived in the cities.
When the Spanish conquered Argentina, a large part of the indigenous population was exterminated. Today there are more than 10 people, including quechua, mapuche, toba, mataco and chiriguano. They often live in poor conditions in the country’s northern and western parts.
A minority of the population is mastiser, that is, of mixed Native American and European origin. According to official figures, about 600,000 Argentinians are estimated to be Native Americans or Mastisites, but other sources indicate about two million.
The legislation of many provinces guarantees indigenous peoples special rights. Among other things, they must be consulted before their land areas are exploited, but this rarely happens, and land is nevertheless sold to private companies without their consent. In 2017, about 200 disputes about land rights were ongoing. The conflicts are believed to be increasing as Argentina welcomes foreign companies to invest and exploit the country’s natural resources. In the fall of 2017, the government decided to extend a crisis law that prevents indigenous peoples from being evicted from their traditional lands before ownership conditions have been determined.
Argentina has Latin America’s largest Jewish population. Most of them have roots in Central and Eastern Europe. Jewish immigration has been in circles. In the 1960s, about 300,000 Jews lived in Argentina, now they are almost 200,000. In the context of the economic crisis in the early 2000s, several thousand Argentine Jews emigrated to Israel.
More than 100,000 people also immigrated from the Middle East (mainly from Syria and Lebanon) in 1860-1960. Today, over three million Argentinians are estimated to have Arab roots, but only a minor part of them speak Arabic. The civil war in Syria has led to an increase in immigration since 2011. In 2016, then-President Macri promised that Argentina would receive 3,000 refugees from Syria, but by spring 2018, the country had only received about 400 Syrians.
In recent years, most immigrants have come from neighboring countries, mainly Paraguay, Bolivia, Chile and Peru. Some immigration also occurs from countries in Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa. Most of them come to Argentina to work.
In 2010, almost one million Argentinians lived abroad. About a third of them settled in Spain. Many of the emigrants returned home years later, at least because of the difficulties in finding jobs in Europe. At the same time, thousands of Spaniards went to Argentina. Many Argentinians are still living in the USA, Chile, Israel, Paraguay, Brazil, Canada, Italy and Australia.
In 2018, there were just over 3,500 people who had applied for asylum in Argentina. Most of them came from Venezuela, Haiti or various African countries. Of these, 124 were granted political asylum. The asylum system is slow and there are no programs to help refugees integrate into the country.
The Spanish spoken in the Río de la Plata area have characteristics, which are considered to originate in Old Spanish. The Italian language has also affected the Spanish spoken in Argentina. A number of Native American languages are still used, such as Guarani, spoken in the north at the border with Paraguay, as well as tehuelche and quecha. There are also many who speak English, Italian, German or French within their own family.
FACTS – POPULATION AND LANGUAGE
About 85 percent of the population is of European origin, but there is also a large group of Arab origin. A few percent of the population belong to / have roots in Argentina’s indigenous peoples
Number of residents
44 271 041 (2017)
Number of residents per square kilometer
Percentage of residents in the cities
91.7 percent (2017)
Nativity / birth
17.2 per 1000 residents (2016)
Mortality / mortality
7.6 per 1000 residents (2016)
1.0 percent (2017)
2.3 number of births per woman (2016)
Percentage of women
51.1 percent (2017)
77 years (2016)
Life expectancy for women
80 years (2016)
Life expectancy for men
73 years (2016)
official language is Spanish 1
- Italian and some Native American languages, such as Guaraní, are also spokensources
Trade union leaders break with government
Tensions are rising between the government and parts of the CGT trade union movement, whose Secretary-General Hugo Moyano is breaking with the president. Moyano also leaves his post within the Peronist Party. An important reason for the dispute is the government’s plans to reduce government subsidies for households and water, among other things.
New currency rules are introduced
Four days after the presidential election, the government is introducing strict rules for the foreign exchange market, the purpose being both to stabilize the exchange rate of the peso against the dollar and to prevent capital flight. Shortly thereafter, subsidies on electricity are withdrawn for several industries (including banks, insurance and telecom companies) with high profits.
Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner wins the presidential election
President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is re-elected as president with 54 percent of the vote, while the election’s second Hermes Binner, from the Socialist Party, receives just under 17 percent, Ricardo Alfonsín just over 11 percent, Alberto Rodríguez Saá 8 percent and Eduardo Duhalde 6 percent. Amado Boudou is elected new Vice President. The government also wins its own majority in both chambers of Congress. Peronists also win eight of the nine governor positions at stake.
Success for Fernández de Kirchner in the primary election
In the primary election, President Fernández de Kirchner is victorious. She only loses in one of the country’s 24 constituencies. Also Ricardo Alfonsín, Eduardo Duhalde, Hermes Binner Santa Fe Socialist Governor and Alberto Rodríguez Saá qualify for the presidential election. The support for Fernández de Kirchner is significantly stronger than most analysts have thought. The turnout is 78 percent.
Life imprisonment for former generals
Two former generals Hector Gamen and Hugo Pascarelli are sentenced to life imprisonment for abuses such as kidnapping, torture and rape in a torture camp during the military dictatorship.
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is running for re-election
The President announces that she will stand for re-election on October 23. As its Vice Presidential candidate, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner appoints Finance Minister Amado Boudou, who himself knows ten minutes before his candidacy is announced on television. The president now has strong support in public opinion.
The charity is suspected of embezzlement
The Fundación Madres de Plaza de Mayo foundation is shaken by a scandal that also seems to have repercussions for the government. This then money, which the government paid for the foundation to build new housing for poor Argentines, disappeared. How much money is missing is not known, but from 2003 at least $ 300 million has been paid out. The Kirchner couple has had close personal contacts with several leading members of the foundation. (Madres de Plaza de Mayo was split in 1986, and only the foundation is suspected of crime, not the Asociación Madres de Plaza de Mayo).
The President praises economic progress
In his speech before the opening of the congress, the president attaches great importance to the economic successes made since 2003: renegotiation of external debt, rapid growth in industry and increased exports. However, she criticizes the agricultural sector, which she says contributes just under 3 percent of the country’s tax revenue. Some unions are also criticized, including the transport worker union Unión Ferroviaria, whose strike actions earlier in the year caused all train traffic to and from Buenos Aires to stop.
New farmer protests
Argentinian peasants are conducting a seven-day protest against the government’s decision to introduce export quotas for cereals. According to the farmers, the quotas prevent them from taking advantage of high world cereal prices, while keeping prices down on the domestic market. At the same time, severe drought prevails in parts of Argentina. Since the harvest has not yet begun, the strike is highly symbolic. Public support for farmers is not as strong as 2008.