Demographics of Argentina


Demographics of Argentina
Demographics of Argentina
Argentina-demography.png
Population of Argentina, 1961–2003
Population: 40,091,359 (2010 census [INDEC])[1]
Growth rate: 1.036% (2010 est.)[2]
Birth rate: 17.75 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)
Death rate: 7.39 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.)
Life expectancy: 76.76 years
–male: 73.52 years
–female: 80.17 years (2010 est.)
Fertility rate: 2.33 children born/woman (2010 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 11.11 deaths/1,000 live births
Age structure:
0-14 years: 25.6% (male 5,369,477/female 5,122,260)
15-64 years: 63.5% (male 12,961,725/female 13,029,265)
65-over: 10.8% (male 1,819,057/female 2,611,800) (2010 est.)
Sex ratio:
Total: 0.97 male(s)/female (2010 est.)
At birth: 1.052 male(s)/female
Under 15: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65-over: 0.7 male(s)/female
Nationality:
Nationality: Argentine
Major ethnic: European (mostly Spanish and Italian) 86.4%[3]
Minor ethnic: Mestizo (mixed white and Amerindian ancestry) 8%, 4% Arab or East Asian heritage, Amerindian 1.4%[3]
Language:
Official: Spanish language

This article is about the demographic features of Argentina, including population density, ethnicity, economic status and other aspects of the population.

In the 2001 census [INDEC], Argentina had a population of 36,260,130 inhabitants, and preliminary results from the 2010 census [INDEC] census were of 40,091,359 inhabitants.[4][5] Argentina ranks third in South America in total population and 33rd globally. Population density is of 15 persons per square kilometer of land area, well below the world average of 50 persons. The population growth rate in 2008 was estimated to be 0.92% annually, with a birth rate of 16.32 live births per 1,000 inhabitants and a mortality rate of 7.54 deaths per 1,000 inhabitants. The net migration rate is zero immigrants per 1,000 inhabitants.[2]

The proportion of people under 15, at 24.6%, is somewhat below the world average (28%), and the cohort of people 65 and older is relatively high, at 10.8%. The percentage of senior citizens in Argentina has long been second only to Uruguay in Latin America and well above the world average, which is currently 7%.

Argentina's population has long had one of Latin America's lowest population growth rates (recently, about 1% a year), and it also enjoys a comparatively low infant mortality rate. The rate of Argentine emigration to Europe (especially to Spain and Italy[6]) and, to a lesser degree, to South America (mostly to Uruguay and Brazil) had a noteworthy peak in the late 1970s and early 1980s.[7] Strikingly, though, its birth rate is still nearly twice as high (2.3 children per woman) as that in Spain or Italy, despite comparable religiosity figures.[8][9] The median age is approximately 30 years and life expectancy at birth is of 76 years. According to an official cultural consumption survey conducted in 2006, 42.3% of Argentines know some English (though only 15.4% of those claimed to have a high level of English comprehension).[10]

Contents

Immigration to Argentina

As with other areas of new settlement such as Canada, Australia, and the United States, Argentina is considered a country of immigrants.[11] Most Argentines are descended from colonial-era settlers and of the 19th and 20th century immigrants from Europe, and 86.4% of Argentina's population self-identify as of European descent.[3] An estimated 8% of the population is Mestizo, and a further 4% of Argentines are of Arab or Asian heritage.[3] In the last national census, based on self-identification, 600,000 Argentines (1.6%) declared to be Amerindians[12] Most of the 6.2 million European immigrants arriving between 1850 and 1950, regardless of origin, settled mainly in the centre - southern region of Argentina, the city of Buenos Aires, as well as in other areas.[13] Due to this large-scale European immigration, Argentina's population more than doubled and consecuently increased the national population. Argentina was second only to the United States in the number of European immigrants received[14]

A crowd in the city of Rosario, Santa Fe reflects the importance of European immigration to Argentine ethnography and culture.

The majority of these European immigrants came from Italy, Spain, Germany, Wales and many other regions. Italian immigrants arrived mainly from the Piedmont, Veneto and Lombardy regions, initially, and later from Campania and Calabria;[15] up to 25 million Argentines have some degree of Italian descent, around 60% of the total population.[16] Spanish immigrants were mainly Galicians and Basques.[17][18] Smaller but significant numbers of immigrants came from France (notably Béarn and the Northern Basque Country), Germany and Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, Greece, Portugal, and the United Kingdom.[19] The Welsh settlement in Patagonia, known as Y Wladfa, began in 1865; mainly along the coast of Chubut Province. In addition to the main colony in Chubut, a smaller colony was set up in Santa Fe and another group settled at Coronel Suárez, southern Buenos Aires Province.[20] Of the 50,000 Patagonians of Welsh descent, about 5,000 are Welsh speakers.[21] The community is centered around Gaiman, Trelew and Trevelin.[22]

Eastern Europeans were also numerous, and arrived from Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania and from Central Europe (particularly Poland, Hungary and Slovenia).[23] Sizable numbers of immigrants also arrived from Balkan countries (Bulgaria, Montenegro, Romania and Croatia).[24] Argentina has South America's largest population of Armenians. 130,000 Armenian Argentines are reported to live in Argentina, including a population of 65,000 in Buenos Aires.[25] Although relatively few in number, English immigrants to Argentina have played a disproportionately large role in forming the modern state. Anglo-Argentines were traditionally often found in positions of influence in the railway, industrial and agricultural sectors. The historical English Argentine status was complicated by an erosion of their economic influence during Perón's nationalization of many British-owned companies in the 1940s and, more recently, by the Falklands War in 1982.[19]

Indigenous peoples

According to the provisional data of INDEC's Complementary Survey of Indigenous Peoples (ECPI) 2004 - 2005, 600,000 indigenous persons (about 1.5% of the total population) reside in Argentina. An additional 8% are labeled as Mestizo.[26][not in citation given] The most numerous of these communities are the Mapuches, who live mostly in the south, the Kollas and Wichís, from the northwest, and the Tobas, who live mostly in the northeast.[27]

The officially recognized indigenous population in the country, according to the 2004–05 "Complementary Survey of Indigenous Peoples", stands at approximately 600,000 (around 1.4% of the total population), the most numerous of whom are the Mapuche people.[12]

Asian

There are an estimated 180,000 Asian Argentines, 120,000 of which are of Chinese descent.,[28] 32,000 of Japanese descent, 25,000 of Korean descent,[29] and 2,000 of Lao descent.

Asian-Argentines primarily migrated in three waves. The first wave was composed of Japanese immigrants (largely from Okinawa Prefecture), that arrived in small numbers during the early twentieth century. The Japanese-Argentine community, located mostly in Pablo Nougués city where a large temple was built, has fully integrated themselves into Argentine society today. Sources believe that 78% of the 4th generation Japanese-Argentine community is of mixed European ancestry, while the 3rd generation is 66% mixed, and a majority of them have non-Japanese ancestors and relatives. The Japanese-Argentine community is less visible due to the intermixing with the European immigrants that have also settled in Argentina like the Italians, Spaniards, German, French, Irish, Polish and Swiss. Today they are one of the most distinguishable communities in Argentina because of their mixed race. Many of their Asian features are almost not visible due to their ancestry. In Buenos Aires, the "Jardín Japonés" (Japanese Garden and Teahouse) has become a traditional landmark of the city since its opening 30 years ago.

The second wave were primarily Korean entrepreneurs, settling in Buenos Aires during the 1960s. Koreans live primarily in the Balvanera and Flores (where the Koreatown is located) districts of Buenos Aires, and are mainly involved in the manufacturing and selling of textiles.

The third wave consisted mostly of Chinese entrepreneurs, who settled in Buenos Aires during the 1990s. Meanwhile, the Chinese live in Chinatown with a Buddhist temple in Belgrano. Many of them are involved with grocery retailing, which has caused Chinese-owned stores to become a common feature of Buenos Aires. Today, Chinese are the fastest growing community, with 100,000 Chinese-born residing in the largest Argentine cities.[30][31][32]

Jewish

The origins of Argentina's Jewish community go back to the days of the Spanish Inquisition and Portuguese Inquisition, when Jews fleeing persecution settled in what is now Argentina.[33] Many of the Portuguese traders in the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata were Jewish, but an organized Jewish community developed only after Argentina gained independence from Spain in 1810. At that time, Jews from France and other parts of Western Europe began to settle in Argentina.[33][34] The current Jewish population is 80% Ashkenazi.[35] Argentina has the largest Jewish population of any country in Latin America.[33]

Today, approximately 250,000 Jews live in Argentina,[35][36][37] down from 310,000 in the early 1960s.[35] Most of Argentina's Jews live in Buenos Aires, Córdoba and Rosario.[38] Argentina's Jewish population is the largest Jewish community in Latin America, the third-largest in the Americas (after that of the United States and Canada), and the sixth-largest in the world.[35][36] By law, the Jews are allowed two days of vacation on Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and the first two and last two days of Passover.[39]

African

According to David Levinson "Afro Argentines number about 50,000, nearly all of whom now live in Buenos Aires. Argentina did not import large numbers of slaves, and the Afro Argentine population today is descended from freed slaves and slaves who escaped to Argentina from Bolivia, Paraguay, and Brazil. As part of the Europeanization program of the late 1880s, Afro Argentines were pushed off their land. African identity was defined as inferior, and warfare, disease, and intermarriage decimated the population. Although largely ignored and relegated to low-level jobs, the Afro Argentine community continues to function as a distinct community in Buenos Aires."[40]

Criticisms of the national census state that data has historically been collected using the category of national origin rather than race in Argentina, leading to undercounting Afro-Argentines and mestizos.[41] The 1887 Buenos Aires census was the last in which blacks were included as a separate category.[42]

Recent immigrants

Foreign born residents in Argentina by country of birth.[43]

According to the INDEC 1,531,940 of the Argentine resident population were born outside Argentina, representing 4.22% of the total Argentine resident population.[44][45]

Illegal immigration has been a recent factor in Argentine demographics. Most illegal immigrants come from Bolivia and Paraguay, countries which border Argentina to the north. Smaller numbers arrive from Peru, Ecuador and Romania.[46] The Argentine government estimates that 750,000 inhabitants lack official documents and has launched a program called Patria Grande ("Greater Homeland")[47] to encourage illegal immigrants to regularize their status; so far over 670,000 applications have been processed under the program.[48]

Languages

The official language of Argentina is Spanish, and it is spoken by practically the entire population in several different accents, each having various degrees of Italian and Spanish influences.[citation needed] The most common accent of Spanish in Argentina is Rioplatense Spanish, and it is so named because it evolved in the central areas around the Río de la Plata basin. Its distinctive feature is widespread voseo, the use of the pronoun vos instead of for the second person singular. Rioplatense Spanish is as different from the rest Spanish accents as American English is of English from the UK.

Preliminary research has shown that Rioplatense Spanish, and particularly the speech of the city of Buenos Aires, has intonation patterns that resemble those of Italian dialects,[49] most closely resembling Neapolitan.This correlates well with immigration patterns.[citation needed] Argentina, and particularly Buenos Aires, had huge numbers of Italian settlers since the 19th century.

Italian influence is shown mainly in vocabulary, lingo and intonation. In addition to Rioplatense Spanish, people of the province of Córdoba have a distinctive intonation pattern. Along the Brazilian border it is quite common to hear a mixture of Portuguese and Spanish called Portuñol.

Some few in the littoral provinces of the north-east speak Guaraní, an Amerindian language, usually mixing it with Spanish. Guaraní as a second language is understood at varying degrees by 3.7% of Argentines,[10] and holds official status alongside Spanish in the province of Corrientes. Quechua, another Amerindian language, is also spoken by some people but is confined primarily to Santiago del Estero.

Non-indigenous minority languages

Many Argentines also speak other European languages (Italian, Portuguese, French, Welsh, German and Croatian, as examples) due to the vast number of immigrants from Europe that came to Argentina.[2]

Argentina has more than 1,500,000 Italian speakers;[50] this tongue is the second most widely spoken language in the nation. Italian immigration from the second half of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century made a lasting and significant impact on the pronunciation and vernacular of the nation's spoken Spanish, giving it an Italian flair. Italian has contributed so much to Rioplatense Spanish that many foreigners mistake it for Italian.[51]

English language is a required subject in many schools, and there are also many private English-teaching academies and institutions. Young people have become accustomed to English through movies and the Internet, and knowledge of the language is also required in certain jobs, so most middle-class children and teenagers now speak, read and/or understand it with various degrees of proficiency. According to an official cultural consumption survey conducted in 2006, 42.3% of Argentines claim to know some English (though only 15.4% of those claimed to have a high level of English comprehension).[10]

Standard German is spoken by between 400,000[52] and 500,000[53] Argentines of German ancestry, though the number may be as high as 2,800,000 according to some sources.[54] German, is the third or fourth most spoken language in Argentina.

There are sources of around one million Levantine Arabic speakers in Argentina,[52] as a result of immigration from the Middle East, mostly from Syria and Lebanon.

There is a small but prosperous community of Argentine Welsh-speakers of approximately 25,000[55] in the province of Chubut, in the Patagonia region, who descend from 19th century immigrants.

Religion

The 17th century Cathedral of Córdoba

The Constitution guarantees freedom of religion but also requires the government to support Roman Catholicism economically.[56] Until 1994 the President and Vice President had to be Roman Catholic, though there were no such restrictions on other government officials; indeed, since 1945, numerous Jews have held prominent posts. Catholic policy, however, remains influential in government and still helps shape a variety of legislation. In a study assessing nations' levels of religious regulation and persecution with scores ranging from 0–10 where 0 represented low levels of regulation or persecution, Argentina received a score of 1.4 on Government Regulation of Religion, 6.0 on Social Regulation of Religion, 6.9 on Government Favoritism of Religion and 6 on Religious Persecution.[57]

According to the World Christian Database, Argentines are 92.1% Christian, 3.1% agnostic, 1.9% Muslim, 1.3% Jewish, 0.9% atheist, and 0.9% Buddhist and other.[58] Argentine Christians are mostly Roman Catholic. Estimates for the number professing this faith vary from 70% of the population,[59] to as much as 90%,[60] though perhaps only 20% attend services regularly.[2] Evangelical churches have been gaining a foothold since the 1980s, and count approximately 9% of the total population amongst their followers.[61] Pentecostal churches and traditional Protestant denominations are present in most communities. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, claiming over 330,000 (the seventh-largest congregation in the world), are also present.[62]

Argentina has the largest Jewish population in Latin America with about 300,000. The community numbered about 400,000 after World War II, but the appeal of Israel and economic and cultural pressures at home led many to leave; recent instability in Israel has resulted in a modest reversal of the trend since 2003.[60][63] Muslim Argentines number about 500,000–600,000, or approximately 1.5% of the population; 93% of them are Sunni.[60] Buenos Aires is home to one of the largest mosques in Latin America. A recent study found that approximately 11% of Argentines are non-religious, including those who believe in God, though not religion, agnostics (4%) and atheists (5%). Overall, 24% attended religious services regularly. Protestants were the only group in which a majority regularly attended services.[61]

Urbanization

Argentina is highly urbanized,[2] with the ten largest metropolitan areas accounting for half of the population, and fewer than one in ten living in rural areas. About 3 million people live in Buenos Aires proper, and the Greater Buenos Aires metropolitan area totals around 13 million, making it one of the largest urban areas in the world.[64] The metropolitan areas of Córdoba and Rosario have around 1.3 million inhabitants each,[64] and six other cities (Mendoza, Tucumán, La Plata, Mar del Plata, Salta and Santa Fe)[64][65] have at least half a million people each.

The population is unequally distributed amongst the provinces, with about 60% living in the Pampa region (21% of the total area), including 15 million people in Buenos Aires Province, and 3 million each in Córdoba Province, Santa Fe Province and the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires. Seven other provinces each have about one million people: Mendoza, Tucumán, Entre Ríos, Salta, Chaco, Corrientes and Misiones. Tucumán is the most densely populated (with 60 inhabitants/km², the only Argentine province more densely populated than the world average), while the southern province of Santa Cruz has less than 1 inhabitant/km².

Most European immigrants settled in the cities which offered jobs, education and other opportunities enabling them to enter the middle class. Many also settled in the growing small towns along the expanding railway system and since the 1930s many rural workers have moved to the big cities.[66] Urban areas reflect the influence of European immigration, and most of the larger ones feature boulevards and diagonal avenues inspired by the redevelopment of Paris. Argentine cities were originally built in a colonial Spanish grid style, centered around a plaza overlooked by a cathedral and important government buildings. Many still retain this general layout, known as a damero, meaning checkerboard, since it is based on a pattern of square blocks. The city of La Plata, designed at the end of the 19th century by Pedro Benoit, combines the checkerboard layout with added diagonal avenues at fixed intervals, and was the first in South America with electric street illumination.[67]

Largest cities

Gallery

See also

References

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