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  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January 2002
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2002.

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003

Map of Argentina

Legend: Definition Definition Field Listing Field Listing
   Introduction    Argentina
Definition Field Listing
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 was 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
Definition Field Listing
Southern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Chile and Uruguay
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
34 00 S, 64 00 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
South America
Definition Field Listing
total: 2,766,890 sq km
land: 2,736,690 sq km
water: 30,200 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly less than three-tenths the size of the US
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 9,665 km
border countries: Bolivia 832 km, Brazil 1,224 km, Chile 5,150 km, Paraguay 1,880 km, Uruguay 579 km
Definition Field Listing
4,989 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
contiguous zone: 24 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
continental shelf: 200 NM or to the edge of the continental margin
Definition Field Listing
mostly temperate; arid in southeast; subantarctic in southwest
Definition Field Listing
rich plains of the Pampas in northern half, flat to rolling plateau of Patagonia in south, rugged Andes along western border
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Salinas Chicas -40 m (located on Peninsula Valdes)
highest point: Cerro Aconcagua 6,960 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
fertile plains of the Pampas, lead, zinc, tin, copper, iron ore, manganese, petroleum, uranium
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 9.14%
permanent crops: 0.8%
other: 90.06% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
15,610 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
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 the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
second-largest country in South America (after Brazil); strategic location relative to sea lanes between the South Atlantic and the South Pacific Oceans (Strait of Magellan, Beagle Channel, Drake Passage); Cerro Aconcagua is South America's tallest mountain, while the Valdes Peninsula is the lowest point on the continent
   People    Argentina
Definition Field Listing
37,812,817 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 26.3% (male 5,090,046; female 4,854,761)
15-64 years: 63.2% (male 11,968,135; female 11,937,709)
65 years and over: 10.5% (male 1,636,332; female 2,325,834) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.13% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing
18.23 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing
7.57 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.63 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
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
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing
17.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing
total population: 75.48 years
female: 79.03 years (2002 est.)
male: 72.1 years
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.41 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.69% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing
130,000 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing
1,800 (1999 est.)
Definition Field Listing
noun: Argentine(s)
adjective: Argentine
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
white (mostly Spanish and Italian) 97%, mestizo, Amerindian, or other nonwhite groups 3%
Definition Field Listing
nominally Roman Catholic 92% (less than 20% practicing), Protestant 2%, Jewish 2%, other 4%
Definition Field Listing
Spanish (official), English, Italian, German, French
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.2%
male: 96.2%
female: 96.2% (1995 est.)
   Government    Argentina
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Argentine Republic
conventional short form: Argentina
local short form: Argentina
local long form: Republica Argentina
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing
Buenos Aires
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
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: the US does not recognize any claims to Antarctica
Definition Field Listing
9 July 1816 (from Spain)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Revolution Day, 25 May (1810)
Definition Field Listing
1 May 1853; revised August 1994
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
mixture of US and West European legal systems; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal and mandatory
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Eduardo Alberto DUHALDE (since 2 January 2002); note - selected by National Congress in aftermath of resignation of former President DE LA RUA on 20 December 2001 and resignations of others who briefly held the office following DE LA RUA's departure; Vice President Carlos "Chacho" ALVAREZ resigned 6 October 2000 and the post remains vacant; note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Eduardo Alberto DUHALDE (since 2 January 2002); note - selected by National Congress in aftermath of resignation of former President DE LA RUA on 20 December 2001 and resignations of others who briefly held the office following DE LA RUA's departure; Vice President Carlos "Chacho" ALVAREZ resigned 6 October 2000 and the post remains vacant; note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
election results: Fernando DE LA RUA elected president; percent of vote - 48.5% ; Vice President Carlos "Chacho" ALVAREZ resigned 6 October 2000 and a replacement was not named; DE LA RUA resigned 20 December 2001; following a series of interim presidents, Eduardo Alberto DUHALDE was selected president by the National Congress on 1 January 2002
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)
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of the Senate (72 seats; formerly, three members appointed by each of the provincial legislatures; presently transitioning to one-third of the members being elected every two years to six-year terms) and the Chamber of Deputies (257 seats; one-half of the members elected every two years to four-year terms)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by bloc or party - NA%; seats by bloc or party - Justicialist (Peronist) 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 - Justicialist (Peronist) 113, UCR 74, provincial parties 27, Frepaso 17, ARI 17, AR 9
elections: Senate - last held 14 October 2001 (next to be held NA October 2003); Chamber of Deputies - last held 14 October 2001 (next to be held NA October 2003)
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (the nine Supreme Court judges are appointed by the president with approval by the Senate)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Action for the 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]; several provincial parties
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Eduardo AMADEO
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 the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador James D. 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:
Definition Field Listing
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    Argentina
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Argentina benefits from rich natural resources, a highly literate population, an export-oriented agricultural sector, and a diversified industrial base. Over the past decade, however, the country has suffered recurring economic problems of inflation, hugh external debt, capital flight, and budget deficits. Growth in 2000 was a negative 0.5%, as both domestic and foreign investors remained skeptical of the government's ability to pay debts and maintain the peso's fixed exchange rate with the US dollar. The economic situation worsened in 2001 with the widening of spreads on Argentine bonds, massive withdrawals from the banks, and a further decline in consumer and investor confidence. Government efforts to achieve a "zero deficit", to stabilize the banking system, and to restore economic growth proved inadequate in the face of the mounting economic problems. The peso's peg to the dollar was abandoned in January 2002, and the peso was floated in February; the exchange rate plunged and inflation picked up rapidly, but by mid-2002 the economy had stabilized, albeit at a lower level. Output was 14.7% below the previous year's figure, and unemployment remained high, at 21.5%. In order to reverse the crisis some economists recently have advocated that Argentina adopt the US dollar as the national currency, however, others argue tieing the economy closely to the dollar was precisely what led to Argentina's current problems.
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $391 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
-14.7% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $10,200 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 5%
industry: 28%
services: 66% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
37% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing
4% (2001 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing
15 million (1999)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture NA%, industry NA%, services NA%
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing
25% (yearend 2001)
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $44 billion
expenditures: $48 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)
Definition Field Listing
food processing, motor vehicles, consumer durables, textiles, chemicals and petrochemicals, printing, metallurgy, steel
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing
82.802 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
Definition Field Listing
fossil fuel: 52%
hydro: 41%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 7%
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing
80.806 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
3.7 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
7.5 billion kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
sunflower seeds, lemons, soybeans, grapes, corn, tobacco, peanuts, tea, wheat; livestock
Definition Field Listing
$26.7 billion f.o.b. (2001)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
edible oils, fuels and energy, cereals, feed, motor vehicles
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Brazil 26.5%, US 11.8%, Chile 10.6%, Spain 3.5% (2000)
Definition Field Listing
$20.3 billion f.o.b. (2001)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
machinery and equipment, motor vehicles, chemicals, metal manufactures, plastics
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Brazil 25.1%, US 18.7%, Germany 5%, China 4.6% (2000)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing
$155 billion (2001 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$10 billion (2001 est.)
Definition Field Listing
Argentine peso (ARS)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Argentine pesos per US dollar - 1.33325 (January 2002), 1.000 (1997-2001); note - fixed rate pegged to the US dollar was abandoned in January 2002; peso now floats
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Argentina
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing
7.5 million (1998)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing
3 million (December 1999)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: by opening the telecommunications market to competition and foreign investment with the "Telecommunications Liberalization Plan of 1998", Argentina encouraged the growth of modern telecommunication technology; fiber-optic cable trunk lines are being installed between all major cities; the major networks are entirely digital and the availability of telephone service is being improved; however, telephone density is presently minimal, and making telephone service universally available will take some time
domestic: microwave radio relay, fiber-optic cable, and a domestic satellite system with 40 earth stations serve the 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:
Definition Field Listing
AM 260 (including 10 inactive stations), FM NA (probably more than 1,000, mostly unlicensed), shortwave 6 (1998)
Definition Field Listing
24.3 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
42 (plus 444 repeaters) (1997)
Definition Field Listing
7.95 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Definition Field Listing
33 (2000)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing
3.88 million (2001)
   Transportation    Argentina
Definition Field Listing
total: 33,744 km (167 km electrified)
broad gauge: 20,594 km 1.676-m gauge (141 km electrified)
standard gauge: 2,739 km 1.435-m gauge (26 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 10,154 km 1.000-m gauge; 257 km 0.750-m gauge (2000 est.)
Definition Field Listing
total: 215,434 km
paved: 63,553 km (including 734 km of expressways)
unpaved: 151,881 km (1998 est.)
Definition Field Listing
10,950 km
Definition Field Listing
crude oil 4,090 km; petroleum products 2,900 km; natural gas 9,918 km
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Bahia Blanca, Buenos Aires, Comodoro Rivadavia, Concepcion del Uruguay, La Plata, Mar del Plata, Necochea, Rio Gallegos, Rosario, Santa Fe, Ushuaia
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 24 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 147,505 GRT/222,500 DWT
ships by type: cargo 9, petroleum tanker 10, railcar carrier 1, refrigerated cargo 2, roll on/roll off 1, short-sea passenger 1, includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: United Arab Emirates 1, Uruguay 1 (2002 est.)
Definition Field Listing
1,369 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
total: 1,197 1,225
over 3,047 m: 2 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 50 53
914 to 1,523 m: 572 598
under 914 m: 571 570 (2002)
   Military    Argentina
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Argentine Army, Navy of the Argentine Republic (includes naval aviation and Marines), Coast Guard, Argentine Air Force, National Gendarmerie, National Aeronautical Police Force
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
20 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 9,521,633 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 7,721,219 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 335,085 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing
$4.3 billion (FY99)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing
1.3% (FY00)
   Transnational Issues    Argentina
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
claims UK-administered Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas); claims UK-administered South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; territorial claim in Antarctica partially overlaps British and Chilean claims
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
used as a transshipment country for cocaine headed for Europe and the US; some money-laundering activity, especially in the Tri-Border Area; domestic consumption of drugs in urban centers is increasing

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003

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