Argentina

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In 1816, the United Provinces of the Rio Plata declared their independence from Spain. After Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay went their separate ways, the area that remained became Argentina. The country's population and culture were heavily shaped by immigrants from throughout Europe, with Italy and Spain providing the largest percentage of newcomers from 1860 to 1930. Up until about the mid-20th century, much of Argentina's history was dominated by periods of internal political conflict between Federalists and Unitarians and between civilian and military factions.

After World War II, an era of Peronist populism and direct and indirect military interference in subsequent governments was followed by a military junta that took power in 1976. Democracy returned in 1983 after a failed bid to seize the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) by force, and has persisted despite numerous challenges, the most formidable of which was a severe economic crisis in 2001-02 that led to violent public protests and the successive resignations of several presidents.

Geography

Location

Southern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Chile and Uruguay

Geographic coordinates

34.00° S, 64.00° W

Area 8/257

total: 2,780,400 sq km

land: 2,736,690 sq km

water: 43,710 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly less than three-tenths the size of the US

Land boundaries

total: 11,968 km

border countries (5): Bolivia 942 km, Brazil 1,263 km, Chile 6,691 km, Paraguay 2,531 km, Uruguay 541 km

Coastline

4,989 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

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

mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

lowest point: Laguna del Carbon -105 m (located between Puerto San Julian and Comandante Luis Piedra Buena in the province of Santa Cruz)

highest point: Cerro Aconcagua 6,960 m (located in the northwestern corner of the province of Mendoza; highest point in South America)

Natural resources

fertile plains of the pampas, lead, zinc, tin, copper, iron ore, manganese, petroleum, uranium, arable land

Land use

agricultural land: 53.9%

arable land 13.9%; permanent crops 0.4%; permanent pasture 39.6%

forest: 10.7%

other: 35.4% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

23,600 sq km (2012)

Total renewable water resources

814 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)

total: 32.57 cu km/yr (23%/13%/64%)

per capita: 864.9 cu m/yr (2005)

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 in some areas

volcanism: volcanic activity in the Andes Mountains along the Chilean border; Copahue (elev. 2,997 m) last erupted in 2000; other historically active volcanoes include Llullaillaco, Maipo, Planchon-Peteroa, San Jose, Tromen, Tupungatito, and Viedma

Environment - current issues

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

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, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation

Geography - note

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); diverse geophysical landscapes range from tropical climates in the north to tundra in the far south; Cerro Aconcagua is the Western Hemisphere's tallest mountain, while Laguna del Carbon is the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Argentine(s)

adjective: Argentine

Ethnic groups

white (mostly Spanish and Italian) 97%, mestizo (mixed white and Amerindian ancestry), Amerindian, or other non-white groups 3%

Languages

Spanish (official), Italian, English, German, French, indigenous (Mapudungun, Quechua)

Religions

nominally Roman Catholic 92% (less than 20% practicing), Protestant 2%, Jewish 2%, other 4%

Population 33/238

43,431,886 (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 24.74% (male 5,498,766/female 5,244,555)

15-24 years: 15.59% (male 3,458,318/female 3,311,765)

25-54 years: 39.01% (male 8,452,645/female 8,489,476)

55-64 years: 9.11% (male 1,917,317/female 2,040,750)

65 years and over: 11.55% (male 2,088,160/female 2,930,134) (2015 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 56.5%

youth dependency ratio: 39.4%

elderly dependency ratio: 17.1%

potential support ratio: 5.8% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 31.4 years

male: 30.3 years

female: 32.6 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 124/233

0.93% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 111/224

16.64 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 117/225

7.33 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 110/222

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 91.8% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 1.04% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

BUENOS AIRES (capital) 15.18 million; Cordoba 1.511 million; Rosario 1.381 million; Mendoza 1.009 million; San Miguel de Tucuman 910,000; La Plata 846,000 (2015)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female

total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Maternal mortality rate 84/184

52 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 140/224

total: 9.69 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 10.86 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 8.47 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 66/224

total population: 77.69 years

male: 74.46 years

female: 81.09 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 97/224

2.23 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

78.9% (2004/05)

Health expenditures 52/191

7.3% of GDP (2013)

Physicians density

3.86 physicians/1,000 population (2013)

Hospital bed density

4.7 beds/1,000 population (2012)

Drinking water source

improved:

urban: 99% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 99.1% of population

unimproved:

urban: 1% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0.9% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

improved:

urban: 96.2% of population

rural: 98.3% of population

total: 96.4% of population

unimproved:

urban: 3.8% of population

rural: 1.7% of population

total: 3.6% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

0.47% (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

126,600 (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

1,500 (2014 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate 29/191

26.5% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight 119/138

2.3% (2005)

Education expenditures 32/173

5.1% of GDP (2012)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 18 years

male: 17 years

female: 19 years (2012)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 63/134

total: 23.5%

male: 17%

female: 19.4% (2013 est.)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Argentine Republic

conventional short form: Argentina

local long form: Republica Argentina

local short form: Argentina

etymology: originally the area was referred to as Tierra Argentina, i.e., "Land beside the Silvery River" or "silvery land," which referred to the massive estuary in the east of the country, the Rio de la Plata (River of Silver); over time the name shortened to simply Argentina or "silvery"

Government type

republic

Capital

name: Buenos Aires

geographic coordinates: 34.35° S, 58.40° W

time difference: UTC-3 (2 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

23 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia) and 1 autonomous city*; Buenos Aires, Catamarca, Chaco, Chubut, Ciudad Autonoma de Buenos Aires*, 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 (Tierra del Fuego), 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

several previous; latest effective 11 May 1853; amended many times, last in 1994 (2015)

Legal system

civil law system based on West European legal systems; note - in 2014, Congress passed government-backed reform to the civil code that will go into effect in 2016

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: yes

citizenship by descent: yes

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 2 years

Suffrage

18-70 years of age; universal and compulsory; 16-17 years of age - optional for national elections

Executive branch

chief of state: President Mauricio MACRI (since 10 December 2015); Vice President Gabriela MICHETTI (since 10 December 2015); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Mauricio MACRI (since 10 December 2015); Vice President Gabriela MICHETTI (since 10 December 2015)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president

elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on the same ballot by qualified majority popular vote for a 4-year term (eligible for a second consecutive term); election last held in 2 rounds on 25 October and 22 November 2015 (next to be held in October 2019)

election results: Mauricio MACRI elected president; percent of vote: first-round results - Daniel SCIOLI (PJ) 37.1%, Mauricio MACRI (PRO) 34.2%, Sergio MASSA (FR/PJ) 21.4%, other 7.3%; second-round results - Mauricio MACRI (PRO) 51.4%, Daniel SCIOLI (PJ) 48.6%

Legislative branch

description: bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of the Senate (72 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 6-year terms with one-third of the membership elected every 2 years) and the Chamber of Deputies (257 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms with one-half of the membership renewed every 2 years)

elections: Senate - last held on 25 October 2015 (next to be held October 2017); Chamber of Deputies - last held on 25 October 2015 (next to be held October 2017)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by bloc or party - NA; seats by bloc or party - Cambiemos 12, FpV 8, PF 2, Progresistas 2; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by bloc or party - NA; seats by bloc or party - FpV 84, Cambiemos 21, FR and allies 8, Progresistas 9, Federal Peronism 3, PP 3, other 2; note - as of 1 February 2016, the total seats per party of bloc in the legislature is as follows: Senate - FpV 117, UCR/CC 50, Pro 41, PJ 36, PS/GEN 9, other 4; Chamber of Deputies - FpV 42, UCR/CC 11, PJ 10, Pro 4, PS/GEN 2, other 3

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (consists of the court president, vice-president, and 5 judges)

judge selection and term of office: judges nominated by the president and approved by the Senate; judges have a mandatory retirement age of 75

subordinate courts: federal level appellate, district, and territorial courts; provincial level supreme, appellate, and first instance courts

Political parties and leaders

Cambiemos (a coalition composed of CC, PRO, and UCR) [Mauricio MACRI]

Civic Coalition or CC (a coalition loosely affiliated with Elisa CARRIO)

Dissident Peronists (PJ Disidente) or Federal Peronism (a right-wing faction of the Justicialist Party opposed to the Kirchners) [Ramon PUERTA]

Front for Victory or FpV (left-wing faction of PJ) [Cristina FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER]

Peronist (or Justicialist) Party or PJ [Eduardo FELLNER]

Popular Path or PP

Progresistas [Margarita STOLBIZER]

Radical Civic Union or UCR [Ernesto SANZ]

Republican Proposal or PRO [Mauricio MACRI]

Socialist Party or PS [Hermes BINNER]

Renewal Front (Frente Renovador) or FR [Sergio MASSA]

numerous provincial parties

Political pressure groups and leaders

Argentine Association of Pharmaceutical Labs or CILFA

Argentine Industrial Union (manufacturers' association)

Argentine Rural Confederation or CRA (small to medium landowners' association)

Argentine Rural Society (large landowners' association)

Blue and White CGT (dissident CGT labor confederation)

Central of Argentine Workers or CTA (a union for employed and unemployed workers)

General Confederation of Labor or CGT (Peronist-leaning umbrella labor organization)

Roman Catholic Church

other: business organizations; Peronist-dominated labor movement; Piquetero groups (popular protest organizations that can be either pro or anti-government); students

International organization participation

AfDB (nonregional member), Australia Group, BCIE, BIS, CAN (associate), CD, CELAC, FAO, FATF, G-15, G-20, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA, Mercosur, MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, Paris Club (associate), PCA, SICA (observer), UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina (observer), UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

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; the colors represent the clear skies and snow of the Andes; the sun symbol commemorates the appearance of the sun through cloudy skies on 25 May 1810 during the first mass demonstration in favor of independence; the sun features are those of Inti, the Inca god of the sun

National symbol(s)

Sun of May (a sun-with-face symbol); national colors: light blue, white

National anthem

name: "Himno Nacional Argentino" (Argentine National Anthem)

lyrics/music: Vicente LOPEZ y PLANES/Jose Blas PARERA

note: adopted 1813; Vicente LOPEZ was inspired to write the anthem after watching a play about the 1810 May Revolution against Spain

Economy

Economy - overview

Argentina benefits from rich natural resources, a highly literate population, an export-oriented agricultural sector, and a diversified industrial base. Although one of the world's wealthiest countries 100 years ago, Argentina suffered during most of the 20th century from recurring economic crises, persistent fiscal and current account deficits, high inflation, mounting external debt, and capital flight.

A severe depression, growing public and external indebtedness, and an unprecedented bank run culminated in 2001 in the most serious economic, social, and political crisis in the country's turbulent history. Interim President Adolfo RODRIGUEZ SAA declared a default - at the time the largest ever - on the government's foreign debt in December of that year, and abruptly resigned only a few days after taking office. His successor, Eduardo DUHALDE, announced an end to the peso's decade-long 1-to-1 peg to the US dollar in early 2002. The economy bottomed out that year, with real GDP 18% smaller than in 1998 and almost 60% of Argentines under the poverty line. Real GDP rebounded to grow by an average 8.5% annually over the subsequent six years, taking advantage of previously idled industrial capacity and labor, an audacious debt restructuring and reduced debt burden, excellent international financial conditions, and expansionary monetary and fiscal policies. Inflation also increased, however, during the administration of President Nestor KIRCHNER, which responded with price restraints on businesses, as well as export taxes and restraints, and beginning in 2007, with understating inflation data.

Cristina FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER succeeded her husband as President in late 2007, and the rapid economic growth of previous years began to slow sharply the following year as government policies held back exports and the world economy fell into recession. The economy in 2010 rebounded strongly from the 2009 recession, but has slowed since late 2011 even as the government continued to rely on expansionary fiscal and monetary policies, which have kept inflation in the double digits.

The government has taken multiple steps in recent years to deal with these problems. It expanded state intervention in the economy throughout 2012. In May 2012 the Congress approved the nationalization of the oil company YPF from Spain's Repsol. The government expanded formal and informal measures to restrict imports during the year, including a requirement for pre-registration and pre-approval of all imports. In July 2012 the government also further tightened currency controls in an effort to bolster foreign reserves and stem capital flight. In October 2013, the government settled long-standing international arbitral disputes dating back to before and following the 2001 Argentine financial crisis. During 2014, the government continued with expansionary fiscal and monetary policies and foreign exchange and imports controls. Between 2011 and 2013, Central Bank foreign reserves had dropped $21.3 billion from a high of $52.7 billion. In July 2014, Argentina and China agreed on an $11 billion currency swap; the Argentine Central Bank has received the equivalent of $3.2 billion in Chinese yuan, which it counts as international reserves.

In 2014, the government also took some measures to mend ties with the international financial community, including engaging with the IMF to improve its economic data reporting, reaching a compensation agreement with Repsol for the expropriation of YPF, and agreeing to pay $9.7 billion in arrears to the Paris Club over five years, including $606 million owed to the United States. In July 2014, Argentina made its first payment to Paris Club creditors since the country's 2001 financial crisis. At the same time, the Argentine government in July 2014 entered a technical default on its external debt after it failed to reach an agreement with holdout creditors in the US. The government's delay in reaching a settlement and the continuation of interventionist and populist policies are contributing to high inflation and a prolonged recession, according to private analysts.

The election of pro-market candidate Mauricio MACRI in November 2015 may change the international perception of Argentina and boost foreign investment.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 26/230

$964.3 billion (2015 est.)

$960.3 billion (2014 est.)

$955.9 billion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$578.7 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 194/225

0.4% (2015 est.)

0.5% (2014 est.)

2.9% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 81/230

$22,400 (2015 est.)

$22,300 (2014 est.)

$22,100 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving 112/179

15.6% of GDP (2015 est.)

18.8% of GDP (2014 est.)

17.8% of GDP (2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 64.6%

government consumption: 16.7%

investment in fixed capital: 17.3%

investment in inventories: 1.6%

exports of goods and services: 12.9%

imports of goods and services: -13.1% (2015 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 10.5%

industry: 29.1%

services: 60.4% (2015 est.)

Agriculture - products

sunflower seeds, lemons, soybeans, grapes, corn, tobacco, peanuts, tea, wheat; livestock

Industries

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

Industrial production growth rate 163/202

0.3%

note: based on private sector estimates (2015 est.)

Labor force 37/233

17.47 million

note: urban areas only (2015 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 5%

industry: 23%

services: 72% (2009 est.)

Unemployment rate 88/207

7.6% (2015 est.)

7.3% (2014 est.)

Population below poverty line

30%

note: data are based on private estimates (2010 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 1.5%

highest 10%: 32.3% (2010 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index 37/144

45.8 (2009)

Budget

revenues: $143.4 billion

expenditures: $170.4 billion (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 123/219

24.8% of GDP (2015 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 164/220

-4.7% of GDP (2015 est.)

Public debt 94/176

45.8% of GDP (2015 est.)

42.7% of GDP (2014 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 221/226

27.6% (2015 est.)

37.6% (2014 est.)

note: data are derived from private estimates

Central bank discount rate

NA%

Commercial bank prime lending rate 7/184

23.6% (31 December 2015 est.)

24.01% (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 43/192

$69.37 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$62.87 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of broad money 51/193

$150.3 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$138.6 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of domestic credit 43/191

$208.2 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$183.3 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares 59/121

$34.24 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

$43.58 billion (31 December 2011)

$63.91 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Current account balance 181/197

-$10.17 billion (2015 est.)

-$5.641 billion (2014 est.)

Exports 44/224

$65.95 billion (2015 est.)

$67.42 billion (2014 est.)

Exports - commodities

soybeans and derivatives, petroleum and gas, vehicles, corn, wheat

Exports - partners

Brazil 20.5%, China 6.6%, US 5.7%, Chile 4.2% (2014)

Imports 43/223

$60.56 billion (2015 est.)

$65.25 billion (2014 est.)

Imports - commodities

machinery, motor vehicles, petroleum and natural gas, organic chemicals, plastics

Imports - partners

Brazil 22.1%, China 16.2%, US 13.8%, Germany 5.4%, Bolivia 4.2% (2014)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 52/170

$28.22 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$31.4 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Debt - external 42/206

$147 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$143.7 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 41/120

$125.9 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$116.5 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 48/105

$37.66 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$36.44 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Exchange rates

Argentine pesos (ARS) per US dollar -

9.2 (2015 est.)

8.08 (2014 est.)

8.08 (2013 est.)

4.54 (2012 est.)

4.11 (2011 est.)

Energy

Electricity - production 29/220

127.9 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption 30/219

117.1 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 66/218

506 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - imports 28/219

8.116 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 27/214

34.95 million kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 115/214

68.1% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 27/214

2.7% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 84/214

26% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 104/212

0.4% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production 28/214

532,100 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 42/214

59,630 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - imports 83/214

100 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 35/215

2.354 billion bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 26/214

678,700 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 24/212

770,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 54/214

59,470 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 52/213

99,930 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Natural gas - production 25/216

36.89 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 18/215

47.99 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports 46/215

100 million cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports 24/214

11.2 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 35/212

378.8 billion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 32/212

196 million Mt (2012 est.)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines 21/219

total subscriptions: 9.4 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 22 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 23/217

total: 66.4 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 154 (2014 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: in 1998 Argentina opened its telecommunications market to competition and foreign investment encouraging the growth of modern telecommunications technology; fiber-optic cable trunk lines are being installed between all major cities; major networks are entirely digital and the availability of telephone service is improving

domestic: microwave radio relay, fiber-optic cable, and a domestic satellite system with 40 earth stations serve the trunk network; fixed-line teledensity is increasing gradually and mobile-cellular subscribership is increasing rapidly; broadband Internet services are gaining ground

international: country code - 54; landing point for the Atlantis-2, UNISUR, South America-1, and South American Crossing/Latin American Nautilus submarine cable systems that provide links to Europe, Africa, South and Central America, and US; satellite earth stations - 112; 2 international gateways near Buenos Aires (2011)

Broadcast media

government owns a TV station and a radio network; more than 2 dozen TV stations and hundreds of privately owned radio stations; high rate of cable TV subscription usage (2007)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 260, FM (probably more than 1,000, mostly unlicensed), shortwave 6 (1998)

Television broadcast stations

42 (plus 444 repeaters) (1997)

Internet country code

.ar

Internet hosts 13/232

11.232 million (2012)

Internet users 23/217

total: 25.7 million

percent of population: 59.7% (2014 est.)

Transportation

Airports 6/236

1,138 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 161

over 3,047 m: 4

2,438 to 3,047 m: 29

1,524 to 2,437 m: 65

914 to 1,523 m: 53

under 914 m: 10 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 977

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 43

914 to 1,523 m: 484

under 914 m: 448 (2013)

Heliports

2 (2013)

Pipelines

gas 29,930 km; liquid petroleum gas 41 km; oil 6,248 km; refined products 3,631 km (2013)

Railways 8/136

total: 36,917.4 km

broad gauge: 26,391 km 1.676-m gauge (149 km electrified)

standard gauge: 2,745.1 km 1.435-m gauge (41.1 km electrified)

narrow gauge: 7,523.3 km 1.000-m gauge; 258 km 0.750-m gauge (2014)

Roadways 21/223

total: 231,374 km

paved: 69,412 km (includes 734 km of expressways)

unpaved: 161,962 km (2004)

Waterways 12/107

11,000 km (2012)

Merchant marine 80/156

total: 36

by type: bulk carrier 1, cargo 5, chemical tanker 6, container 1, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 18, refrigerated cargo 4

foreign-owned: 14 (Brazil 1, Chile 6, Spain 3, Taiwan 2, UK 2)

registered in other countries: 15 (Liberia 1, Panama 5, Paraguay 5, Uruguay 1, unknown 3) (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Bahia Blanca, Buenos Aires, La Plata, Punta Colorada, Ushuaia

river port(s): Arroyo Seco, Rosario, San Lorenzo-San Martin (Parana)

container port(s) (TEUs): Buenos Aires (1,851,701)

LNG terminal(s) (import): Bahia Blanca

Military and Security

Military branches

Argentine Army (Ejercito Argentino), Navy of the Argentine Republic (Armada Republica; includes naval aviation and naval infantry), Argentine Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Argentina, FAA) (2013)

Military service age and obligation

18-24 years of age for voluntary military service (18-21 requires parental consent); no conscription; if the number of volunteers fails to meet the quota of recruits for a particular year, Congress can authorize the conscription of citizens turning 18 that year for a period not exceeding one year (2012)

Military expenditures 106/132

0.91% of GDP (2012)

0.9% of GDP (2011)

0.91% of GDP (2010)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Argentina continues to assert its claims to the UK-administered Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), South Georgia, and the South Sandwich Islands in its constitution, forcibly occupying the Falklands in 1982, but in 1995 agreed to no longer seek settlement by force; UK continues to reject Argentine requests for sovereignty talks; territorial claim in Antarctica partially overlaps UK and Chilean claims; uncontested dispute between Brazil and Uruguay over Braziliera/Brasiliera Island in the Quarai/Cuareim River leaves the tripoint with Argentina in question; in 2010, the ICJ ruled in favor of Uruguay's operation of two paper mills on the Uruguay River, which forms the border with Argentina; the two countries formed a joint pollution monitoring regime; the joint boundary commission, established by Chile and Argentina in 2001 has yet to map and demarcate the delimited boundary in the inhospitable Andean Southern Ice Field (Campo de Hielo Sur); contraband smuggling, human trafficking, and illegal narcotic trafficking are problems in the porous areas of the border with Bolivia

Illicit drugs

a transshipment country for cocaine headed for Europe, heroin headed for the US, and ephedrine and pseudoephedrine headed for Mexico; some money-laundering activity, especially in the Tri-Border Area; law enforcement corruption; a source for precursor chemicals; increasing domestic consumption of drugs in urban centers, especially cocaine base and synthetic drugs (2008)