Argentina Population and Economy 2001

Argentina Population and Economy 2001

South American state. At the 2001 census the population was 36. 260. 130 residents, And 39. 538. 000 according to 2005 estimates. The natural growth rate, which remained among the lowest in Latin America, is around 1.0 % per year, for birth and death rates, respectively, of 16.9 ‰ and 7.5 ‰ (2000 -2005). Infant mortality is progressively decreasing (15 ‰ in 2000-2005), despite the serious impoverishment linked to the dramatic economic crisis of the early 21st century. (see below). The latter was responsible for the migratory flows which, at least temporarily, reversed the traditional character of immigration country held by the Argentina: these flows were directed mainly towards Israel, for the Jewish component of the population, and towards Spain and Italy, in the form of return emigration, involving above all the middle classes, in more serious difficulty in the face of the loss of jobs, and those with a better level of education and professional preparation (researchers, teachers, artists).

Again, the crisis halted that process of decentralization, albeit an embryonic one, which had affected the metropolitan core of Buenos Aires and which could have been a prelude to a strengthening of the peripheral urban framework: the consequences of the financial collapse, despite having unleashed the demonstrations in the capital. more violent and visible through the mass media, they had a harder impact on the peripheral provinces, especially in the North, but also in the Center, where the share of the population dropped below the poverty line exceeded 50 % everywhere, and in some zone reached 80%. Faced with this dramatic situation, the socio-environmental and ethnic issues that had always marked the development of the country temporarily lost their relevance; this, precisely at the moment in which, especially among the younger generations, the awareness of the dignity of indigenous groups – which were finally recognized the rights to land, health and education – was emerging, together with a renewed awareness of the difficult relationship between environment and development.

For this last aspect, the construction of large hydroelectric plants, the excessive exploitation of fish stocks and urban pollution have greatly impoverished the environmental quality. Biodiversity is now concentrated in the North-West, in the Andean region, between the national parks of Calilegua and El Rey, where there are five hundred species of plants and animals including 60 % of birds, but illegal hunting remains difficult to control. while the planned construction of a gas pipeline threatens the peculiar ecosystem of the yungas (tropical Andean valleys); and in Patagonia (v.) where about thirty protected areas feed growing flows of naturalistic tourism.

Economic conditions

According to, the crisis launched a very heavy phase of recession (see also below: economic and financial policy), which, indeed, had its roots in the complex political and social events of the second half of the previous century, both on a global and national scale. However, after a four-year period of depression and despite the fact that it remained a very fragile country, both in economic and political terms, in 2003 promising signs began to appear, the Argentine economy was restarting and GDP was registering a growth rate. equal to 8.8 %, among the highest in the world. It should also be remembered that this increase is calculated in relation to the 2002 result, When the decrease had reached its lowest level (- 10, 9 %). In 2003, GDP in real terms, corresponded to that of 1996 and was less of ‘ 11, 2 % compared to that of 1998, when the best economic results had been achieved. The positive trend continued in 2004, at a slightly slower pace. The closure of a large number of small and medium-sized companies, especially in the capital area, did not prevent strong support for the recovery from the industrial sector (+ 16 % in 2003), whose main sectors remained food, engineering and petrochemicals; while, as often happens after a financial crisis, the construction sector was once again highly dynamic (+ 38 %). The unemployment rate fell to 15 %, although it was necessary to consider that large sections of the active population, especially the middle classes, had to fall back on part-time jobs.

It also gave oxygen to the country, a strong exporter of agricultural products, also the general rise in prices on the international markets of some crops, enhancing emerging productions such as, for example, soy (32 million t in 2004), in addition to traditional ones, cereals and livestock. A significant share (8 %) of exports with a high technological content should be noted. Other macroeconomic indicators could be considered positive: a surplus of the budget amounted to 2, 5 % of GDP and a surplus in the balance of current payments equivalent to 7, 6 % of GDP, while inflation went down and 2004 became less than 5 %. In March of that same year, the country was thus able to repay the debt maturing with the International Monetary Fund (see), even if the government promised the repayment of only a share equal to 25 % of the total debts. accumulated (equal to approximately 95 billion dollars).

In order to ensure a definitive and lasting recovery for the country, the government still had numerous problems to solve, and in particular the energy one. In fact, a significant oil production (over 40 million tons per year) did not guarantee full energy self-sufficiency; on the contrary, the new increase in consumption, linked to the resumption of production activities, tended to increase the deficit. Manufacturing companies complained that energy prices were too low to support investments; on the other hand, limiting internal consumption would have risked jeopardizing the general economic recovery. For this reason, natural gas imports from Bolivia were used and exports to Chile were reduced, while further projects were launched to exploit the large hydroelectric potential, however with a significant environmental impact (see above). Among these, the Yacyretá power plant, on the Paraná river, designed together with Paraguay about thirty years earlier and considered an emblem of the corruption and managerial inability that had led the country adrift: its completion, for which large investments are still required, would bring Argentina’s energy production close to doubling. The river network is also involved in the development of the infrastructural system: the Paraná-Paraguay-Plata waterway project is worthy of note, however, opposed by the concern to offer advantages above all to exports from Brazil and Paraguay.

Before the crisis, significant tourist flows were directed by the Argentina towards neighboring countries (in particular Brazil, Paraguay and Chile), favored by the currency differential; subsequently the movement was reversed, as the prices of Argentine accommodation facilities became highly competitive. For tourism coming from the MERCOSUR area (Mercado Común del Sur) it was mainly short stays, while the Argentina it remained the destination of an intercontinental tourism recalled by the naturalistic and cultural values, as well as by the distant origins of most of the population: it represents a resource to be developed also towards the European continent, while so far the most consistent flows have been those coming from North America.

In the tertiary sector, the country was looking for new credibility, while the problem of regional economic gaps in the use of services remained: these gaps, even more after the crisis, tend to go beyond the classic center-periphery contrast, already particularly accentuated by the weight of the metropolis of Buenos Aires, to translate into a much more complex socio-spatial fragmentation. The widespread impoverishment generated a sort of parallel economy, essentially based on barter, which was exercised through a few thousand alternative shopping centers distributed irregularly throughout the country and which, if it subtracted resources from general taxation, nevertheless allowed the supply of essential goods to the classes. weaker in terms of income.

Argentina Population and Economy 2001

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