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1.4.2015

The Immigrant Population

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.

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).

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)


Country of originNumber of immigrants
Paraguay 550.713
Bolivia345.272
Chile191.147
Peru157.514
Uruguay116.592
Brazil41.330
Rest of Americas68.831
Italy147.499
Spain94.030
Rest of Europe57.865
China8.929
Rest of Asia22.072
Africa and Oceania4.163
Total1.805.957
Source: INDEC, Censo Nacional de Población, Hogares y Viviendas 2010.

This text is part of the country profile Argentina.
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Thomas Maier

Thomas Maier

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: thomas.maier.12@ucl.ac.uk


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