Nationality: Noun: Argentine(s); Adjective: Argentine
Ethnic groups: European and mestizo 97.2%, Amerindian 2.4%, African 0.4%.
Languages: Spanish (official), Italian, English, German, and French.
Religions: Nominally Roman Catholic 92% (less than 20% practicing), Protestant 2%, Jewish 2%, other 4%.
Population distribution: One-third of the population lives in Buenos Aires; Pockets of agglomeration occur throughout the northern and central parts of the country; Patagonia to the south remains sparsely populated
Urbanization: Urban population: 92% of total population.
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
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 by force, and has persisted despite numerous challenges. The years 2003-15 saw Peronist rule by Nestor and Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, whose policies isolated Argentina and caused economic stagnation. With the election of Mauricio Macri in November 2015, Argentina began a period of reform and international reintegration
Argentina's population continues to grow but at a slower rate because of its steadily declining birth rate. While the population under age 15 is shrinking, the youth cohort - ages 15-24 - is the largest in Argentina's history and will continue to bolster the working-age population. If this large working-age population is well-educated and gainfully employed, Argentina is likely to experience an economic boost and possibly higher per capita savings and investment.
Argentina has been primarily a country of immigration for most of its history, welcoming European immigrants after its independence in the 19th century and attracting especially large numbers from Spain and Italy. More than 7 million European immigrants are estimated to have arrived in Argentina between 1880 and 1930. European immigration began to wane in the 1930s because of the global depression. As of 2015, immigrants made up almost 5% of Argentina’s population, the largest share in South America. In 2015, Argentina received the highest number of legal migrants in Latin America and the Caribbean.
It is estimated that 95% of Argentina’s population will live in the country’s metropolitan regions by 2050. This estimate takes into consideration the migration from rural to urban as well as the influx of immigrants from around the world.
Argentines are nominally Roman Catholic and steeped in traditionalism. The number of Evangelicals has grown over the last two decades yet still remains less than 5% throughout much of the country. A growing spirit of agnosticism and secularism has pervaded much of the current cultural mood.