Argentina

Argentina

Argentina occupies most of southern South America. After 30 years of intermittent military rule, democracy returned in 1983. Economy has slowed since its recovery from 2001 crash.

Geography: The Andes form a natural border with Chile in the west. East are the heavily wooded plains (Gran Chaco) and treeless but fertile Pampas plains. Bleak and arid  Patagonia in the south.

 Climate: The Andes are semiarid in the north and snowy in the south. Pampas have a mild climate with summer rains.

 People and Society: People are largely of European descent; over one-third are of Italian origin. Indigenous peoples are now in a minority, living mainly in Andean regions or in the Gran Chaco. The middle classes were worst hit by the economic meltdown of 2001–2002.

 The Economy: Agricultural exports restored growth from 2003, but bad drought in 2008 coincided with global downturn.

 Insight: The Tango originated in the poorer quarters of Buenos Aires at the end of the 19th century

 Fact-File:

 Official Name: Republic of Argentina

 Date of Formation: 1816

 Capital: Buenos Aires

 Population: 40.3 million

 Total Area: 1,068,296 sq. miles (2,766,890 sq. km)

 Density: 38 people per sq. mile

 Languages: Spanish*, Italian, Amerindian languages

 Religions: Roman Catholic 90%, other 6%, Protestant 2%, Jewish 2%

 Ethnic Mix: Indo-European 83%, Mestizo 14%, Jewish 2%, Amerindian 1%

 Government: Presidential system

 Currency: Argentine peso = 100 centavos

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