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World Factbook (1982) Argentina.jpg
(See reference map IV)


2,771,300 km2; 57% agricultural (11% crops, improved pasture and fallow, 46% natural grazing land), 25% forested, 18% mountain, urban, or waste

Land boundaries: 9,414 km


Limits of territorial waters (claimed): 200 nm (continental shelf, including sovereignty over superjacent waters)

Coastline: 4,989 km


Population: 28,593,000 (July 1982), average annual growth rate 1.6%

Nationality: noun—Argentine(s); adjective—Argentine

Ethnic divisions: approximately 85% white, 15% mestizo, Indian, or other nonwhite groups

Religion: 90% nominally Roman Catholic (less than 20% practicing), 2% Protestant, 2% Jewish, 6% other

'Language: Spanish

Literacy: 85% (90% in Buenos Aires)

Labor force: 10.8 million; 19% agriculture, 25% manufacturing, 20% services, 11% commerce, 6% transport and communications, 19% other; 2.2% estimated unemployment (1978 est.)

Organized labor: 25% of labor force (est.)


Official name: Argentine Republic

Type: republic; under military rule since 1976

Capital: Buenos Aires

Political subdivisions: 22 provinces, 1 district (Federal Capital), and 1 territory

Legal system: based on Spanish and French civil codes; constitution adopted 1853 partially superseded in 1966 by the Statute of the Revolution, which takes precedence over the constitution when the two are in conflict; further changes may be made by new government; judicial review of legislative acts; legal education at University of Buenos Aires and other public and private universities; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

National holiday: Independence Day, 25 May

Branches: presidency; national judiciary

Government leader: President, Lt. Gen. Leopoldo Fortunato GALTIERI, chosen in December 1981 by the military junta that took power on 24 March 1976

Government structure: the President and the junta, composed of the chiefs of the three armed services, retain supreme authority; active duty or retired officers fill three Cabinet posts and administer all provincial and many local governments; in addition, the military now oversees the nation's principal labor confederation and unions, as well as other civilian pressure groups; Congress has been disbanded and all political activity suspended; a five-man Legislative Council, composed of senior officers, advises the junta on lawmaking

Political parties: several civilian political groupings remain potentially influential, despite the suspension of all partisan activity; these include Justicialist Party (Peronist coalition that formerly governed) and the Radical Civic Union, center-left party providing the chief civilian opposition to the Peronists; the Moscow-oriented Communist Party remains legal, but extreme leftist splinter groups have been outlawed

Communists: some 70,000 members in various party organizations, including a small nucleus of activists

Other political or pressure groups: Peronist-dominated labor movement, General Economic Confederation (Peronist-leaning association of small businessmen), Argentine Industrial Union (manufacturers' association), Argentine Rural Society (large landowners' association), business organizations, students, and the Catholic Church

Member of: FAO, G-77, GATT, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, IFAD, ICAC, ICAO, IDA, IDB, IFC, IHO, ILO, IMCO, IMF, IOOC, ISO, ITU, IWC—International Whaling Commission, IWC—International Wheat Council, LAFTA, NAM, OAS, SELA, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WMO, WTO, WSG


GNP: $143 billion (1980), $5,257 per capita; 69% consumption, 26% investment, 6% net foreign demand (1979); real GDP growth rate 1980, -0.3%

Agriculture: main products—cereals, oilseed, livestock products; Argentina is a major world exporter of temperate zone foodstuffs

Fishing: catch 537,323 metric tons (1978); exports $42 million (1976 est.)

Major industries: food processing (especially meatpacking), motor vehicles, consumer durables, textiles, chemicals, printing, and metallurgy

Crude steel: 3.2 million metric tons produced (1979), 120 kg per capita

Electric power: 10,500,000 kW capacity (1981); 40.0 billion kWh produced (1981), 1,454 kWh per capita

Exports: $8.0 billion (f.o.b., 1980); meat, corn, wheat, wool, hides, oilseed

Imports: $9.4 billion (f.o.b., 1980); machinery, fuel and lubricating oils, iron and steel, intermediate industrial products

Major trade partners (1980): exports—9% Brazil, 9% Netherlands, 8% Italy, 9% US, 6% FRG, 5% USSR, Japan, and Spain; imports—26% US, 10% Brazil, 11% FRG, 4% Italy, 11% Japan, 3% Chile

Budget: (1980) approximately $20 billion at exchange rate of first quarter 1980

Monetary conversion rate: 1,930 pesos=US$1 (mid-September 1980)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 39,738 km total; 3,086 km standard gauge (1.435 m), 22,788 km broad gauge (1.676 m), 13,461 km meter gauge (1.000 m), 403 km 0.750-meter gauge; of total in country, 260 km are electrified

Highways: 208,100 km total, of which 47,550 km paved, 39,500 km gravel, 101,000 km improved earth, 20,300 km unimproved earth

Inland waterways: 11,000 km navigable

Ports: 7 major, 21 minor

Pipelines: 4,090 km crude oil; 2,200 km refined products; 8,172 km natural gas

Civil air: 67 major transport aircraft including 2 leased in

Airfields: 2,446 total, 2,147 usable; 108 with permanent-surface runways; 24 with runways 2,440-3,659 m, 311 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: extensive modern system; telephone network has 2.76 million sets (10.3 per 100 popl.), radio relay widely used; 1 satellite station with 2 Atlantic Ocean antennas; 160 AM, 12 FM, and 74 TV stations


Military manpower: males 15-49, 7,040,000; 5,715,000 fit for military service; 236,000 reach military age (20) annually

Military budget: proposed for fiscal year ending 31 December 1981, $3,426,600; about 16.6% of total central government budget