About Argentina


Flag of Argentina.svg

Here’s some quick facts about Argentina, readily available on Wikipedia (my primary source) but thought it would be handy to share some highlights here.

Location and Geography:

Argentina is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil.  Argentina’s continental area lies between the Andes mountain range in the west and the Atlantic Ocean in the east. It borders Paraguay and Bolivia to the north, Brazil andUruguay to the northeast, and Chile to the west and south.

Argentine claims overAntarctica, as well as overlapping claims made by Chile and the United Kingdom, are suspended by the Antarctic Treaty of 1961. Argentina also claims the Falkland Islands (Spanish: Islas Malvinas), South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, which are administered by the United Kingdom as British Overseas Territories.

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 Chile.

Area:  The total surface area (excluding the Antarctic claim) is 2,791,810 km2 (1,077,920 sq mi), of which 30,200 km2 (11,700 sq mi) (1.1%) is water. Argentina is about 3,900 km (2,400 mi) long from north to south, and 1,400 km (870 mi) from east to west (maximum values).

Languages: Spanish is the defacto official language.  Argentina has around 1.5 million Italian speakers (making it the second most spoken language in the country) and 1 million speakers of the North Levantine dialect of Arabic (spoken in Syria, Lebanon and Cyprus). Standard German is spoken by 400,000—500,000 Argentines of German ancestry, making it the fourth most spoken language.

Currency: Argentine Peso (ARS)  1 CAD = 4.35570 ARS

TimeZone:  ART (UTC−3) – 2 hours behind Ottawa, Canada (EST)

Population:  Preliminary results from the 2010 census were of 40,091,359 inhabitants.  Argentina ranks third in South America in total population and 33rd globally.

Major Cities and their populations:

  • Buenos Aires (3,050,728)
  • Cordoba (1,372,000)
  • Rosario (1,242,00)
  • Mendoza (885,434)
  • Tucaman (789,000)


Argentina is a recognised middle power, and is Latin America’s third-largest economy, with a “very high” rating on the Human development index. Within Latin America, Argentina has the fifth highest nominal GDP per capita and the highest in purchasing power terms. Analysts have argued that the country has a “foundation for future growth due to its market size, levels of foreign direct investment, and percentage of high-tech exports as share of total manufactured goods”, and it is classed by investors as an emerging economy.

Other Interesting Facts:

  • Argentina is a founding member of the United Nations.
  • Argentina is highly urbanized. The ten largest metropolitan areas account for half of the population, and fewer than one in ten live in rural areas.
  • Tango, the music and lyrics (often sung in a form of slang called lunfardo), is Argentina’s musical symbol.
  • Cueva de las Manos, over 10,000 years old, is among the oldest evidence of indigenous culture in the Americas.
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