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The Immigrant Population

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The Immigrant Population

Thomas Maier

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Ever since, Argentina has been an important destination for immigrants from Europe, neighboring Latin American countries and other parts of the world. As a result, the country's population is very heterogeneous.

Members of the Bolivian community in Argentina are celebrating the integration day in the streets during the Bicentenary celebration in Buenos Aires. (© picture-alliance/dpa)

The latest national census of 2010 shows the dominance of Latin American immigration in recent years. More than 75 percent of Argentina’s foreign-born population came from the neighboring countries alone (including Peru), Europeans follow with about 16 percent. In total terms, 4.5 percent of the country’s population was born outside Argentina. In total numbers, the biggest groups are Paraguayans with 550,713 people, Bolivians with 345,272 individuals, Chileans with 191,147, followed by Peruvians with 157,514.

Figure 4: Foreign-born population in Argentina in 2010 - countries of origin, total numbers and percentage Source: INDEC, Censo Nacional de Población, Hogares y Viviendas 2010. (© bpb)

Importantly, Argentina also participates in the globally observable "feminization of migration". The 2010 census reveals that 53.9 percent of the foreign-born population is female, which contrasts to the general ratio of 51.2 percent of the Argentine born population. The data also reveals a strong urban bias in settlement patterns: 73.2 percent of the foreign-born population resides in the city of Buenos Aires and the strongly urbanized province of Buenos Aires. 13.5 percent of the residents of the city of Buenos Aires were born abroad, in contrast to only 0.3 percent in the peripheral province of Santiago del Estero. About a third of foreign-born residents in Argentina arrived between 2001 and 2010, highlighting the continuing relevance of immigration for the country (see Figure 4).

Country of origin of Argentinian immigrants

Country of originNumber of immigrants
Paraguay 550.713
Bolivia 345.272
Chile191.147
Peru 157.514
Uruguay 116.592
Brazil 41.330
Rest of Americas 68.831
Italy 147.499
Spain 94.030
Rest of Europe 57.865
China 8.929
Rest of Asia 22.072
Africa and Oceania 4.163
Total 1.805.957

Source: INDEC, Censo Nacional de Población, Hogares y Viviendas 2010.

This text is part of the Interner Link: country profile Argentina.

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Thomas Maier is currently researching his PhD at the Institute of the Americas, University College London. His main focus of research is the history of labor and the welfare state in the Americas, particularly Argentina and the Southern Cone. Email: E-Mail Link: thomas.maier.12@ucl.ac.uk