The United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata became independent from Spain in 1816. The union was made up of numerous provinces that now form the following countries: Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Uruguay. After a battle for independence, a group of provinces united to form the Argentine Republic. The culture and population of Argentina was shaped by immigrants from different parts of Europe. Spain and Italy were the biggest contributors of newcomers between 1806 and 1930.
Fun Facts About Argentina
- The belief that the country held a great wealth of silver deposits resulted in the name "Argentina."
- With an area of 1,073,500 square miles, Argentina is the second largest country in Latin America, the eighth largest country in the world, and the largest Spanish speaking country in the world.
- The division of Argentina into provinces occurred in 1861 after a long civil war.
- Buenos Aires, the country’s capital, is one of the world’s largest metropolitan areas by population.
- Argentina is geographically divided into seven unique regions: Northwest, Mesopotamia, Gran Chaco, Sierras Pampeanas, Cuyo, Pampas, and Patagonia.
- Argentina is home to the highest and lowest points in the southern hemisphere. Aconcagua is 22,831ft above sea level, and Laguna del Carbon is 344ft below sea level.
- Argentina has the world’s largest waterfall system in its Iguazu falls on the Iguazu River. The falls have 275 drops and a width of 269ft.
- Argentina is an upper middle economy, which is the second largest and third largest in South America and Latin America, respectively.
- In the early 20th century, Argentina ranked as the world’s seventh wealthiest developed nation and the wealthiest in South America.
- Argentina’s human development index is Latin America’s highest and the ranks 45th in the world.
- Argentina is among the founding members of several international organizations such as G15, G-20, the UN, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization.
- Argentina is the leading tourist destination in South America and the second in Latin America with more than 5 million visitors annually.
- Argentina ranks among the top five world largest producers of wine and the leading in South America.
- Argentina is one of the top exporters and the leading consumer of beef in the world. While the export industry is not as developed for export purposes, Argentine beef is highly regarded in international markets.
- Argentina practices organic farming, with about 2,777,959 hectares under organic cultivation, which is the world’s second largest area under organic cultivation.
- Biodiversity in Argentina is one of the highest in terms of animals, plants and ecological regions.
- Argentina boasts a wide climatic variation with temperate, subtropical and subpolar climates within the country.
- Argentina is a top sporting country and has produced world champions in various games, including footballers Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi.
- Argentina is the best international polo team, scooping top awards in most international competitions since the 1930s and has produced some of the best polo players such as Adolfo Cambiaso.
- Argentina is the third most populated country in South America with a population of about 40 million.
- Argentina legalized same-sex marriage in 2010, becoming the first in Latin America and the 10th worldwide.
- Argentina was the first Latin American country to produce a pope.
- Jewish and Muslim populations of Argentina are the largest in Latin America. Its Jewish population is also the seventh largest in the world.
- Argentina is regarded as the original place for the tango, a dance that is growing in significance worldwide.
- Argentina was the first country to air a radio program in 1920, and currently, has the largest percentage of radio listeners in the world.
- The country has one of the most developed film industries in Latin America.
- Child and forced labor are highly prevalent in the country, especially in farms and industries.
- Argentina ranks as one of the top countries in corruption and crime rates.
- The consciousness of body image among citizens has made Argentina a top destination for cosmetic surgery both for locals and foreigners.
- Anorexia rates in Argentina are the second highest in the world, with the disorder affecting both males and females.
- Argentina first used fingerprints in a criminal investigation in 1892, the first country in the world to do so.
- Argentina has occupied Antarctica since 1904, and has occupied the territory for longer than any other country.
About the Author
Benjamin Elisha Sawe holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Statistics and an MBA in Strategic Management. He is a frequent World Atlas contributor.
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