Hook & Gold


Argentina is Latin America's third-largest economy, it has the fifth highest nominal GDP (Gross Domestic Product) per capita and the highest in purchasing power terms. Analysts have argued that the country has a "foundation for future growth due to its market size, levels of foreign direct investment, and percentage of high-tech exports as share of total manufactured goods", and it is classed by investors as an emerging economy. Argentina is a founding member of the United Nations, Mercosur, the Union of South American Nations, the OEI, the World Bank Group and the World Trade Organization, and is one of the G-15 and G-20 major economies.




European explorers arrived in 1516. Spain established the Viceroyalty of Peru in 1542, encompassing all its holdings in South America. Their first settlement in modern Argentina was the Fort of Sancti Spiritu established in 1527 next to the Paraná River.

After 1776, however, Buenos Aires flourished as a commercial hub. In 1806 and 1807 the city was the site of two ill-fated British invasions. The resistance was headed both times by the French Santiago de Liniers, who would become viceroy through popular support.

The news of the overthrow of the Spanish King Ferdinand VII during the Peninsular War (1807-1814) created great concern in the Viceroyalty. The May Revolution of 1810 took place in Buenos Aires, removing Viceroy Cisneros from government and replacing him by the Primera Junta.

During the following decade a war for independence ensued in the former Viceroyalty, its regions divided between patriots and royalists. While the cities of present-day Argentina would align with the independents after 1811.

By 1816 the United Provinces of South America were under severe internal and external threats. In July a new Congress declared independence and named Juan Martín de Pueyrredón as the Supreme Director.




The total surface area (excluding the Antarctic claim) is 2,766,891.2 km2 (1,068,302.7 sq mi), of which 30,200 km2 (11,700 sq mi) (1.1%) is water. Argentina is about 3,900 km (2,400 mi) long from north to south, and 1,400 km (870 mi) from east to west (maximum values).

There are four major regions: the fertile central plains of the Pampas, source of Argentina's agricultural wealth; the flat to rolling, oil-rich southern plateau of Patagonia including Tierra del Fuego; the subtropical northern flats of the Gran Chaco, and the rugged Andes mountain range along the western border with Chile.

The highest point above sea level is in Mendoza province at Cerro Aconcagua (6,962 m (22,841 ft)), also the highest point in the Southern and Western Hemisphere.

The major rivers are the Paraná, the Pilcomayo, Paraguay, Bermejo, Colorado, Río Negro, Salado and the Uruguay. The Paraná and the Uruguay join to form the Río de la Plata estuary, before reaching the Atlantic.




The generally temperate climate ranges from subtropical in the north to subpolar in the far south. The north is characterized by hot, humid summers with mild drier winters. Central Argentina has hot summers, and cool winters. The southern regions have warm summers and cold winters with heavy snowfall, especially in mountainous zones. Higher elevations at all latitudes experience cooler conditions.




In the 2001 census [INDEC], Argentina had a population of 36,260,130, and preliminary results from the 2010 census were of 40,091,359 inhabitants. 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.

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 others. Argentine Christians are mostly Roman Catholic with estimates for the number of Catholics varying from 70% to 90% of the population (though perhaps only 20% attend services regularly).

The official language of Argentina is Spanish, usually called castellano (Castilian).

Argentina is highly urbanized. The ten largest metropolitan areas account for half of the population, and fewer than one in ten live in rural areas.