The gaps between the poor and the rich are
large. During the acute crisis in 1999–2002, 60 percent
of the residents were considered poor. As the economy
improved, special support measures were put in place to
help disadvantaged families and poverty gradually
diminished. In 2017, however, it was estimated that just
over a quarter of Argentines live below the poverty
line, and the situation deteriorated as the country 2018
entered a new economic crisis.
By the end of 2019, about 40 percent of Argentines
were estimated to be living in poverty.
Many Argentinian families got better since a new
child allowance, introduced in 2009, and which is
especially aimed at families where the parents are
unemployed or employed in the informal sector. Later,
some low-income earners and pregnant women were also
included. The grant is paid for a maximum of five
children per family. For disabled children, the level of
compensation is higher. For the grant to be paid out,
the children must attend school and do regular health
checks. In 2018, the grant was paid to 4 million
Countryaah Official Site:
Official statistics for population in Argentina, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
Large social differences exist between different
parts of Argentina. The well-off live mainly in and
around Buenos Aires, Córdoba and Santa Fé. The poor live
mainly in the north or in the slums on the outskirts of
big cities, villas misery. There are many who leave the
countryside in the hope of finding work in the cities.
Despite widespread protests, Mauricio Macri's
government pushed through pension reform at the end of
2017 (see Calendar). The retirement age will be
increased from 65 years to 70 years for men, and from 60
years to 63 years for women. It also means a new way of
calculating how large the pension should be. Instead of
assuming taxed income and the wage situation (with a
reconciliation twice a year), the pension should be
linked to the consumer price index (it should be
adjusted every quarter and the increase should be 5
percent higher than inflation). Those who have the
lowest pensions should also receive a lump sum bonus
(about 72 percent of all pensioners).
When it comes to access to care, there are major
differences between the city and the countryside and
between different parts of the country. In the northern
provinces the problems are greatest. There is both
public and private care. Some of the public hospitals
offer free care, under the auspices of the provinces,
but the queuing times can be long.
At the end of 2018, it became mandatory to vaccinate
against diseases that can be prevented, such as measles,
rubella and mumps. After the change in the law, citizens
will not be able to access some public service if they
are unable to present a valid vaccination card (see
A mental health law is slowly changing mental health
care. The emphasis should be on outpatient care, where
staff with different skills work in teams while limiting
the hours of care at mental hospitals.
Argentina is said to be the world's most
psychologically dense country. According to a 2012
study, there were over 200 psychologists per 100,000
residents. More than half of them are in the capital
Buenos Aires. Especially in the middle and upper
classes, it is common to go into therapy or
psychoanalysis without it being seen as a big deal, but
there is also the opportunity for people with low
incomes to go into therapy, for example through
government healthcare or through insurance. which some
Argentina has adopted the Convention on the Rights of
the Child, but not all provinces have adapted their
legislation accordingly. To enter into marriage, a
person must be 18 years of age.
Women were given the right to vote in 1947. After the
autumn 2017 election, just over 38 percent of the
women's MPs were elected. The proportion was about as
high in the Senate. In September 2018, 2 out of 12
ministers were women, ie almost 17 percent. At the same
time, three out of 24 governors were women.
Since 2003, all women have the right to free
contraception and sexual information at health centers,
but this does not always work in practice.
Abortion is prohibited except after a rape (when the
victim is mentally ill or has a mental disability) or
when the woman's life is in danger, but it happens that
women are denied abortion even in these cases. According
to estimates, hundreds of thousands of illegal abortions
are carried out each year, often with major sanitary
shortcomings. According to Amnesty, about 3,000 women
have died in connection with illegal abortions since the
mid-1990s. In March 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that
no prior authorization is needed for abortions that
occur after a rape. By September 2017, nine provinces
had introduced rules to adapt to this.
Opinion polls indicate that a majority of Argentines
are for legalizing abortion. In June 2018, the Chamber
of Deputies voted with little margin to introduce free
abortion, but a few months later the bill was rejected
by the Senate (see Calendar). The Ni
Una Menos movement has been pushing for
the ban on abortion, while the Catholic Church has
opposed all changes.
Violence against women in the home is common. Women
can now turn to family courts to secure housing. In
order for a longer sentence to be imposed, the man is
often required to subject the woman to sexual violence.
There are also few women's medical records. Since 2010,
there is a new national law that aims to prevent
gender-related violence, within the family, working
life, the media, etc. In 2012, a new law was passed
which means that a perpetrator can receive a higher
penalty if the crime is gender-related.
Trafficking in human beings, which has been
prohibited by law since 2008, occurs both within the
country and from other countries in the region. Most of
the victims are used for prostitution but also for
forced labor in agriculture, in shops or in industry.
Prostitution is legal, but it is forbidden to provide
When it comes to the approach to gay relationships,
there are major differences between different parts of
the country. In 2002, Buenos Aires became the first in
Latin America to introduce partnership laws.
In December 2009, two men in Buenos Aires entered the
first same-sex marriage in the country's history after
obtaining their marriage license in the province of
Tierra del Fuego. In 2010, both congresses of the
Congress passed a new national law which meant that
gender-neutral marriages are allowed throughout the
country. Argentina thus became the first South American
nation to allow marriage between gays. In 2012, same-sex
couples from other parts of the world were also allowed
to marry in Argentina.
Same-sex couples also have the right to adopt
children. In 2009, Argentina abolished the ban that
prevented homosexuals from getting jobs in the defense.
Although attitudes have changed rapidly, persecution and
discrimination against LGBT people continues.
In 2012, new laws were introduced that allow sex
change to take place in all official documents without a
person having first been diagnosed or undergoing any
surgical procedures. Both private and public health care
providers were also required to offer hormone treatments
or sex-corrective surgery to those who so desired. This
also applies to persons under the age of 18. In 2013, a
gender change was approved for a child as young as six
years old. In 2012, Argentina became the first in the
world to register dual paternity for a child born by a
FACTS - SOCIAL CONDITIONS
9 per 1000 births (2018)
Percentage of HIV infected
0.4 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young women
0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young men
0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of population with access to clean
99.6 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to
94.3 percent (2016)
Public expenditure on health care as a
percentage of GDP
6.8 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person
US $ 955 (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament
39 percent (2018)
The communications are best developed around
Buenos Aires and at Pampas. The Pan-American highway
runs from Buenos Aires in four directions towards the
borders of Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay and Brazil. Most of
the foreign trade is by ship, and Buenos Aires has South
America's largest port. Bahía Blanca and Quequén are
other important ports and the river ports Rosario and
Santa Fé can be reached by Atlantic vessels.
From the largest ports, Latin America's longest rail
network spreads over 3,200 km. There are train
connections to all neighboring countries. In Buenos
Aires there are metro and commuter trains. Plans are on
a new express train line between Buenos Aires, Rosario
and Córdoba. In many places maintenance is neglected and
traffic is down. Profitable passenger traffic between
the major cities and parts of freight was privatized in
the early 1990s.
After a serious train accident in 2012 that claimed
at least 50 lives and injured hundreds, several local
companies lost their licenses to operate train traffic.
From 2015, most of the commuter train traffic is run by
a state-owned company, Sofse.
Domestic flights are well developed. Aerolíneas
Argentinas was sold to Spanish Iberia in 2001, but was
re-nationalized in 2008. There are ten international
airports, of which Ezeiza outside Buenos Aires is the
The state takes over pension funds
The government nationalizes ten private pension funds
and justifies the decision to safeguard workers' assets
so that they do not lose value due to the ongoing
financial crisis. The opposition claims that the
government needs the money to pay its debts. The
President promises that money will be used to build
housing and to create new jobs.
Former generals are sentenced to life imprisonment
Two former generals, Antonio Bussi and Luciano
Menendez, are sentenced to life imprisonment for crimes
committed during the dictatorship.
The government loses congressional vote on export
Congress may vote on the higher export taxes and the
government suffers a defeat in the Senate since Vice
President Julio Cobos voted no. He then steps over to
the opposition. The tax increases are then withdrawn.
The Cabinet Chief, in effect the Governor, Alberto
Fernández resigns and is replaced by Sergio Massa.
Conversation with peasant groups fails
The talks the government held with farmer
organizations about the new export tax (see
March 2008) fail. New strikes break out.
New export taxes cause protests
The government's decision to raise export taxes,
especially soy products, has led to widespread protests
organized by four farmer organizations. The actions
receive strong support in public opinion despite the
fact that food shortages are occurring in several parts
of the country.