Information about Argentina: Argentina, officially the Argentine Republic, is a federal republic in the southern portion of South America. Sharing the bulk of the Southern Cone with its neighbor Chile to the west, the country is also bordered by Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, Brazil to the northeast, Uruguay and the South Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Drake Passage to the south. Buenos Aires is the capital and the largest city with a population in the metro area of 15,15 million (2020). Read More...

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Facts


Population: 44,49 million (2018)
Area: 1.074 million mi²


 With a mainland area of 2,780,400 km2 (1,073,500 sq mi), Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world, the second largest in Latin America, and the largest Spanish-speaking one. The country is subdivided into twenty-three provinces and one autonomous city, Buenos Aires, which is the federal capital of the nation as decided by Congress. The provinces and the capital have their own constitutions, but exist under a federal system.
Argentina claims sovereignty over part of Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. The earliest recorded human presence in the area of modern-day Argentina dates back to the Paleolithic period. The country has its roots in Spanish colonization of the region during the 16th century. Argentina rose as the successor state of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, a Spanish overseas viceroyalty founded in 1776. The declaration and fight for independence (1810–1818) was followed by an extended civil war that lasted until 1861, culminating in the country’s reorganization as a federation of provinces with Buenos Aires as its capital city. The country thereafter enjoyed relative peace and stability, with massive waves of European immigration radically reshaping its cultural and demographic outlook. The almost-unparalleled increase in prosperity led to Argentina becoming the seventh wealthiest developed nation in the world by the early 20th century.
After 1930, Argentina descended into political instability and periodic economic crises that pushed it back into underdevelopment, though it nevertheless remained among the fifteen richest countries until the mid-20th century. Argentina retains its historic status as a middle power in international affairs, and is a prominent regional power in the Southern Cone and Latin America. Argentina has the second largest economy in South America, the third-largest in Latin America and is a member of the G-15 and G-20 major economies. It is also a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, World Trade Organization, Mercosur, Union of South American Nations, Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and the Organization of Ibero-American States. It is the country with the second highest Human Development Index in Latin America with a rating of “very high”. Because of its stability, market size and growing high-tech sector, Argentina is classified as a high-income economy.

Currency

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The peso is the currency of Argentina, identified by the symbol $ preceding the amount in the same way as many countries using dollar currencies. It is subdivided into 100 centavos. Its ISO 4217 code is ARS. Several earlier currencies of Argentina were also called “peso”; as inflation progressed a new currency with a few zeroes dropped and a different qualifier (peso national currency, peso law 18188, peso argentino…) was introduced. Since 1970, thirteen zeroes have been dropped (a factor of ten trillion).
The official exchange rate hovered around 3 pesos per United States dollar from 2002 to 2008, was around 4 pesos from 2009 to 2011, surpassed 6 pesos in November 2013, sat at 6.5 pesos per dollar during December 2013. As of October 2014, the exchange rate was about 8 pesos per dollar, by February 2015, it was 10 per US dollar, and by December of the same year, 13 pesos per US dollar, after a record of 14.


Climate


Although the most populated areas are generally temperate, Argentina has an exceptional amount of climate diversity, ranging from subtropical in the north to subpolar in the far south. The average annual precipitation ranges from 150 millimetres (6 in) in the driest parts of Patagonia to over 2,000 millimetres (79 in) in the westernmost parts of Patagonia and the northeastern parts of the country. Mean annual temperatures range from 5 °C (41 °F) in the far south to 25 °C (77 °F) in the north.
Major wind currents include the cool Pampero Winds blowing on the flat plains of Patagonia and the Pampas; following the cold front, warm currents blow from the north in middle and late winter, creating mild conditions. The Sudestada usually moderates cold temperatures but brings very heavy rains, rough seas and coastal flooding. It is most common in late autumn and winter along the central coast and in the Río de la Plata estuary. The Zonda, a hot dry wind, affects Cuyo and the central Pampas. Squeezed of all moisture during the 6,000 m (19,685 ft) descent from the Andes, Zonda winds can blow for hours with gusts up to 120 km/h (75 mph), fueling wildfires and causing damage; between June and November, when the Zonda blows, snowstorms and blizzard (viento blanco) conditions usually affect higher elevations.


Languages

Although Argentina’s official language is Spanish, Argentinian Spanish is different from the Spanish spoken in Spain. In some ways it sounds more like Italian than Spanish. There are also many other languages spoken in Argentina, including Italian, German, English and French. Indigenous languages that are spoken today include Mapuche, Guarani, Aymara, Toba and Quechua.
You can distinguish Argentinians from other Latin Americans by their use of “che”. It comes from the language used by the Mapuche and means “man.” It is used as people in Canada might say, “hey” or “you know” or “eh.” For example, an Argentinian might say, “Che, vení” (“Hey you, come here”) to get someone’s attention.
Another important difference between the Argentinean way of speaking Spanish and the Spanish spoken in Spain is the use of “vos” instead of “tu” ( you ) and a very strong pronunciation of “y” and “ll” as “sh”.
A special slang, called lunfardo, originated in the slum neighbourhoods of Buenos Aires in the late 19th century. Today most Argentinians are familiar with at least a few words of lunfardo. Lunfardo contains elements of Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and other languages, but with a distinctive twist. One of the most common ways to change a word is to reverse the syllables. For example, in lunfardo, “tango” becomes “gotan.”
Argentinians love to discuss two topics, sports (especially fútbol) and politics. Most people have strong opinions on these subjects and will discuss them with a passion. It is not unusual to find several conversations going on at once at a social gathering.

Economy


Benefiting from rich natural resources, a highly literate population, a diversified industrial base, and an export-oriented agricultural sector, the economy of Argentina is Latin America’s third-largest, and the second largest in South America. It has a “very high” rating on the Human Development Index and a relatively high GDP per capita, with a considerable internal market size and a growing share of the high-tech sector.
A middle emerging economy and one of the world’s top developing nations, Argentina is a member of the G-20 major economies. Historically, however, its economic performance has been very uneven, with high economic growth alternating with severe recessions, income maldistribution and—in the recent decades—increasing poverty. Early in the 20th century Argentina achieved development, and became the world’s seventh richest country Although managing to keep a place among the top fifteen economies until mid-century, it suffered a long and steady decline and now it’s just an upper middle-income country.
High inflation—a weakness of the Argentine economy for decades—has become a trouble once again, with rates in 2013 between the official 10.2% and the privately estimated 25%, causing heated public debate over manipulated statistics. Income distribution, having improved since 2002, is classified as “medium”, still considerably unequal.
Argentina ranks 107th out of 175 countries in the Transparency International’s 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index. While the country has settled most of its debts, it faces a technical debt crisis since 31 July 2014. A New York judge blocked Argentina’s payments to 93% of its bonds unless it pays to “Vulture funds” the full value of the defaulted bonds they bought after its 2001 default. Argentina vowed not to capitulate to what it considered the ransom tactics of the funds.

Religion

The Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. Although it enforces neither an official nor a state faith, it gives Roman Catholicism a differential status.
According to a CONICET poll, Argentines are 76.5% Catholic, 11.3% Agnostics and Atheists, 9% Evangelical Protestants, 1.2% Jehovah’s Witnesses, 0.9% Mormons; 1.2% follow other religions, including Islam, Judaism and Buddhism.
The country is home to both the largest Muslim and largest Jewish communities in Latin America, the latter being the 7th most populous in the world. Argentina is a member of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.
Argentines show high individualization and de-institutionalization of religious beliefs; 23.8% of them claim to always attend religious services; 49.1%, to seldom do and 26.8%, to never do.
On 13 March 2013, Argentine Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires, was elected Bishop of Rome and Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church. He took the name “Francis”, and he became the first Pope from either the Americas or from the Southern Hemisphere. He is the first Pope born outside of Europe since the election of Pope Gregory III (who was Syrian) in 741. He is also the first Jesuit Pope.

Culture

Argentina is a multicultural country with significant European influences. Its cities are largely characterized by both the prevalence of people of European descent, and of conscious imitation of European styles in fashion, architecture and design. Modern Argentine culture has been largely influenced by Italian, Spanish and other European immigration like France, United Kingdom, Germany among others. Argentina is largely characterized by both the prevalence of people of European descent, and of conscious imitation of European styles in architecture. Museums, cinemas, and galleries are abundant in all the large urban centers, as well as traditional establishments such as literary bars, or bars offering live music of a variety of genres although there are lesser elements of Amerindian and African influences, particularly in the fields of music and art. The other big influence is the gauchos and their traditional country lifestyle of self-reliance. Finally, indigenous American traditions have been absorbed into the general cultural milieu. Argentine writer Ernesto Sabato has reflected on the nature of the culture of Argentina as follows:


Cuisine


Besides many of the pasta, sausage and dessert dishes common to continental Europe, Argentines enjoy a wide variety of Indigenous and Criollo creations, including empanadas (a small stuffed pastry), locro (a mixture of corn, beans, meat, bacon, onion, and gourd), humita and mate.
The country has the highest consumption of red meat in the world, traditionally prepared as asado, the Argentine barbecue. It is made with various types of meats, often including chorizo, sweetbread, chitterlings, and blood sausage.
Common desserts include facturas (Viennese-style pastry), cakes and pancakes filled with dulce de leche (a sort of milk caramel jam), alfajores (shortbread cookies sandwiched together with chocolate, dulce de leche or a fruit paste), and tortas fritas (fried cakes).
Argentine wine, one of the world’s finest, is an integral part of the local menu. Malbec, Torrontés, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Chardonnay are some of the most sought-after varieties.

Health Care


Health care is provided through a combination of employer and labor union-sponsored plans (Obras Sociales), government insurance plans, public hospitals and clinics and through private health insurance plans. Health care cooperatives number over 300 (of which 200 are related to labor unions) and provide health care for half the population; the national INSSJP (popularly known as PAMI) covers nearly all of the five million senior citizens.
There are more than 153,000 hospital beds, 121,000 physicians and 37,000 dentists (ratios comparable to developed nations). The relatively high access to medical care has historically resulted in mortality patterns and trends similar to developed nations’: from 1953 to 2005, deaths from cardiovascular disease increased from 20% to 23% of the total, those from tumors from 14% to 20%, respiratory problems from 7% to 14%, digestive maladies (non-infectious) from 7% to 11%, strokes a steady 7%, injuries, 6%, and infectious diseases, 4%. Causes related to senility led to many of the rest. Infant deaths have fallen from 19% of all deaths in 1953 to 3% in 2005.
The availability of health care has also reduced infant mortality from 70 per 1000 live births in 1948 to 12.1 in 2009 and raised life expectancy at birth from 60 years to 76. Though these figures compare favorably with global averages, they fall short of levels in developed nations and in 2006, Argentina ranked fourth in Latin America.


Education


The Argentine education system consists of four levels:
An initial level for children between 45 days to 5 years old, with the last two years being compulsory.

An elementary or lower school mandatory level lasting 6 or 7 years. In 2010 the literacy rate was 98.07%.

A secondary or high school mandatory level lasting 5 or 6 years. In 2010 18.3% of people over age 15 had completed secondary school.

A higher level, divided in tertiary, university and post-graduate sub-levels. in 2013 there were 47 national public universities across the country, as well as 46 private ones. In 2010 6.3% of people over age 20 had graduated from university. The public universities of Buenos Aires, Córdoba, La Plata, Rosario, and the National Technological University are some of the most important.

The Argentine state guarantees universal, secular and free-of-charge public education for all levels. Responsibility for educational supervision is organized at the federal and individual provincial states. In the last decades the role of the private sector has grown across all educational stages.

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