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Countries > Argentina Argentina Flag

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Capital: Buenos Aires
Population: 37,384,816
Description: Spanish is the official language, spoken by the great majority of the population. Italian speakers number about one million, German 500,000, Yiddish 200,000. Indian languages are spoken in a few remote areas.
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Argentina Map


Location: Southern South America, bordering the 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 the size of the 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

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
highest point: Cerro Aconcagua 6,962 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: erosion results from inadequate flood controls and improper land use practices; irrigated soil degradation; desertification; air pollution in Buenos Aires and other major cities; water pollution in urban areas; rivers becoming polluted due to increased pesticide and fertilizer use

Environment - international agreements:
party to : Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Desertification, 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)


Population: 37,384,816 (July 2001 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 26.54% (male 5,077,593; female 4,842,811)
15-64 years : 63.04% (male 11,795,282; female 11,773,855)
65 years and over: 10.42% (male 1,609,672; female 2,285,603) (2001 est.)

Population growth rate:1.15% (2001 est.)

Birth rate: 18.41 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Death rate: 7.58 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Net migration rate: 0.64 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 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: 0.71 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2001 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 17.75 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population:75.26
male: 71.88 years
female:78.82 years (2001 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.44 children born/woman (2001 est.)

noun: Argentine(s)
adjective: Argentine

Ethnic groups: white 85%, mestizo, Amerindian, or other nonwhite groups 15%

Religions: nominally Roman Catholic 90% (less than 20% practicing), Protestant 2%, Jewish 2%, other 6%

Languages: Spanish (official), English, Italian, German, French

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.2%
male : 96.2%
female: 96.2% (1995 est.)


Country name:
conventional long form : Argentine Republic
conventional short form: Argentina
local long form: Republica Argentina
local short form: Argentina

Data code: AR

Government type: republic

National capital: Buenos Aires

Administrative divisions: 23 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia), and 1 federal district* (distrito federal); Buenos Aires; Catamarca; Chaco; Chubut; Cordoba; Corrientes; Distrito Federal*; 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: the US does not recognize any claims to Antarctica

Independence: 9 July 1816 (from Spain)

National holiday: Revolution Day, 25 May (1810)

Constitution: 1 May 1853; revised August 1994

Legal system: mixture of US and West European legal systems; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state : President Fernando DE LA RUA (since 10 December 1999); Vice President Carlos "Chacho" ALVAREZ resigned 6 October 2000 and a replacement has not yet been named; note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Fernando DE LA RUA (since 10 December 1999); Vice President Carlos "Chacho" ALVAREZ resigned 6 October 2000 and a replacement has not yet been named; note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms; election last held 24 October 1999 (next to be held NA October 2003)
election results : Fernando DE LA RUA elected president; percent of vote - 48.5%

Legislative branch: bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of the Senate (72 seats; three members appointed by each of the provincial legislatures, one-third of the members appointed every three years to a 9-year term) and the Chamber of Deputies (257 seats; one-half of the members elected every two years to four-year terms)
elections: Senate - transition phase will begin in the 2001 elections when all seats will be fully contested; winners will randomly draw to determine whether they will serve a two-year, four-year, or full six-year term, beginning a rotating cycle renovating one-third of the body every two years; Chamber of Deputies - last held 24 October 1999 (next to be held NA October 2001)
election results:Senate - percent of vote by bloc or party - NA%; seats by bloc or party - Peronist 40, UCR 20, Frepaso 1, other 11; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by bloc or party - NA%; seats by bloc or party - Alliance 124 (UCR 85, Frepaso 36, others 3), Peronist 101, AR 12, other 20

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Corte Suprema), the nine Supreme Court judges are appointed by the president with approval of the Senate

Political parties and leaders: Action for the Republic or AR [Domingo CAVALLO]; Front for a Country in Solidarity or Frepaso (a four-party coalition) [Carlos ALVAREZ]; Justicialist Party or PJ [Carlos Saul MENEM] (Peronist umbrella political organization); Radical Civic Union or UCR [Raul ALFONSIN]; several provincial parties

Political pressure groups and leaders: Peronist-dominated labor movement; General Confederation of Labor or CGT (Peronist-leaning umbrella labor organization); Argentine Industrial Union (manufacturers' association); Argentine Rural Society (large landowners' association); business organizations; students; the Roman Catholic Church; the Armed Forces

International organization participation: AfDB, AG (observer), Australia Group, BCIE, CCC, ECLAC, FAO, G- 6, G-11, G-15, G-19, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur, MINURSO, MTCR, NSG (observer), OAS, OPANAL, PCA, RG, UN, UNAVEM III, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNITAR, UNMIBH, UNMOP, UNPREDEP, UNTAES, UNTSO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission : Ambassador Guillermo Enrique GONZALEZ
chancery: 1600 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 202) 238-6400 through 6403
FAX: [1] (202) 332-3171
consulate(s) general : Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, and San Juan (Puerto Rico)

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador James D. WALSH
embassy: 4300 Colombia, 1425 Buenos Aires
mailing address : Unit 4334, APO AA 34034
telephone: [54] (1) 777-4533, 4534
FAX : [54] (1) 777-0197

Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of light blue (top), white, and light blue; centered in the white band is a radiant yellow sun with a human face known as the Sun of May


Economy - overview: Argentina benefits from rich natural resources, a highly literate population, an export-oriented agricultural sector, and a diversified industrial base. Nevertheless, following decades of mismanagement and statist policies, the economy in the late 1980s was plagued with huge external debts and recurring bouts of hyperinflation. Elected in 1989, in the depths of recession, President MENEM has implemented a comprehensive economic restructuring program that shows signs of putting Argentina on a path of stable, sustainable growth. Argentina's currency has traded at par with the US dollar since April 1991, and inflation has fallen to its lowest level in 50 years. Argentines have responded to price stability by repatriating capital and investing in domestic industry. Growth averaged more than 8% between 1991 and 1994, then fell to 4.6% in 1995, largely in reaction to the Mexican peso crisis. The economy grew at 4.4% in 1996, with the strongest growth occurring in the second half of the year. Unemployment increased slightly - to over 17% - and Buenos Aires was forced to renegotiate fiscal targets with the IMF. Although the economy is expected to grow by at least 5% in 1997, unemployment and fiscal concerns will continue to challenge the MENEM administration.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $476 billion (2000 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 0.8% (2000 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity -purchasing power parity - $12,900 (2000 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
industry: 32%
services: 62% (2000 est.)

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 0.9% (2000 est.)

Labor force:
total:15 million (1999)
by occupation : agriculture 12%, industry 31%, services 57% (1985 est.)

Unemployment rate: 15% (December 2000)

revenues: $44 billion
expenditures : $48 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)

Industries: food processing, motor vehicles, consumer durables, textiles, chemicals and petrochemicals, printing, metallurgy, steel

Industrial production growth rate: 1% (2000 est.)

Electricity - capacity: 20.207 million kW (1995)

Electricity - production: 77.087 billion kWh (1999)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 1,606 kWh (1995 est.)

Agriculture - products: wheat, corn, sorghum, soybeans, sugar beets; livestock

total value: $26.5 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
commodities : meat, wheat, corn, oilseed, manufactures, fuels
partners:Brazil 24%, EU 21%, US 11% (1999 est.)

total value: $25.2 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
commodities: machinery and equipment, chemicals, metals, transport equipment, agricultural products
partners: EU 28%, US 22%, Brazil 21% (1999 est.)

Debt - external:$154 billion (2000 est.)

Economic aid: IMF offer of $13.7 billion (January 2001)

Currency: 1 nuevo peso argentino = 100 centavos

Exchange rates: pesos per US$1 - 0.99950 (January 1997), 0.99966 (1996), 0.99975 (1995), 0.99901 (1994), 0.99895 (1993), 0.99064 (1992)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Telephones: 7.5 million (1998)

Telephone system: 12,000 public telephones; extensive modern system but many families do not have telephones; despite extensive use of microwave radio relay, the telephone system frequently grounds out during rainstorms, even in Buenos Aires
domestic: microwave radio relay and a domestic satellite system with 40 earth stations serve the trunk network
international : satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 260 (including 10 inactive stations), FM NA (probably more than 1,000, mostly unlicensed), shortwave 6 (1998)

Radios: 24.3 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 231

Televisions: 7.165 million (1991 est.)


total: 37,910 km
broad gauge: 24,124 km 1.676-m gauge (142 km electrified)
standard gauge: 2,765 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 11,021 km 1.000-m gauge (26 km electrified)

total : 216,100 km
paved: 61,589 km (including 600 km of expressways)
unpaved : 154,511 km (1995 est.)

Waterways: 11,000 km navigable

Pipelines: crude oil 4,090 km; petroleum products 2,900 km; natural gas 9,918 km

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: 36 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 263,266 GRT/385,211 DWT
ships by type: cargo 11, chemical tanker 1, container 2, oil tanker 14, railcar carrier 1, refrigerated cargo 6, roll-on/roll-off cargo 1 (1996 est.)

Airports: 1,202 (1996 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 598
over 3,047 m: 5
2,438 to 3,047 m: 25
1,524 to 2,437 m: 55
914 to 1,523 m : 44
under 914 m: 469 (1996 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 604
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m : 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 59
914 to 1,523 m: 542 (1996 est.)


Military branches: Argentine Army, Navy of the Argentine Republic, Argentine Air Force, National Gendarmerie, Argentine Naval Prefecture (Coast Guard only), National Aeronautical Police Force

Military manpower - military age: 20 years of age

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 8,932,491 (1997 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males : 7,244,682 (1997 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 321,345 (1997 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $4.6 billion (1996)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 1.6% (1996)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: short section of the boundary with Chile is indefinite; claims British-administered Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas); claims British-administered South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; territorial claim in Antarctica

Illicit drugs: increasing use as a transshipment country for cocaine headed for Europe and the US

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