Rich plains of the Pampas in northern half, flat to rolling plateau of Patagonia in south, rugged Andes along western border
Mostly temperate; arid in southeast; subantarctic in southwest
Population: 42,610,981 (July 2013 est.)
Languages: Spanish (official), Italian, English, German, French, indigenous (Mapudungun, Quechua)
Nominally Roman Catholic 92% (less than 20% practicing), Protestant 2%, Jewish 2%, other 4%
Argentina benefits from rich natural resources, a highly literate population, an export-oriented agricultural sector, and a diversified industrial base. Although one of the world's wealthiest countries 100 years ago, Argentina suffered during most of the 20th century from recurring economic crises, persistent fiscal and current account deficits, high inflation, mounting external debt, and capital flight.
The major cities in Argentina have a European look to them. The middle classes live in tall, modern apartment buildings or in bungalows with small gardens. Since the 1930s, rural workers have flocked to the big cities and a number of slums have sprouted on the outskirts, where the workers live in shacks. Rural houses are often built of adobe, with earth floors and roofs of straw and mud.
US Military Presence/Support