Italian and German
40,482,000 (2009 est.)
Country Profile: Argentina
Argentina, officially the Argentine Republic, is a country in South America, constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city. It is the second largest country in South America and eighth in the world by land area and the largest among Spanish-speaking nations, though Mexico, Colombia and Spain are more populous. Argentina borders Paraguay and Bolivia to the north, Brazil and Uruguay to the northeast, and Chile to the west and south.
Argentina's population is highly urbanized with the country's ten largest metro areas being home to half the total population, and fewer than one in ten living in rural areas. About 3 million people live in the autonomous city of Buenos Aires and the Greater Buenos Aires metro area totals 12.8 million, making it one of the largest conurbations in the world. Together with their respective metropolitan areas the second and third-largest cities in Argentina, Córdoba and Rosario, contain around 1.3 and 1.2 million inhabitants respectively with five other metro areas being home to at least half a million people.
Argentina has abundant natural resources, a well-educated population, an export-oriented agricultural sector and a relatively diversified industrial base. In 2003 expansionary policies and commodity exports triggered a rebound in GDP. This trend has been largely maintained, creating millions of jobs and encouraging internal consumption. The socio-economic situation has been steadily improving and the economy grew around 9% annually for five consecutive years between 2003 and 2007 and 7% in 2008.
The official language of Argentina is Spanish, usually called castellano by Argentines. Studies have shown that the sland spoken in some parts of Argentia is closer to the Italian Neopolitan dialect than any other language, this can be attributed to the large number of Italians in the country. Italian immigration and other European immigrations influenced Lunfardo, the slang spoken in the Río de la Plata region, permeating the vernacular vocabulary of other regions as well. According to one survey, there are around 1.5 million Italian speakers (which makes it the second most spoken language in the country). Standard German is spoken by between 400,000 and 500,000 Argentines of German ancestry, though it has also been stated that the there could be as many as 1.8 million, German is the third or fourth most spoken language in Argentina.
Argentina is one of the world's major agricultural producers, ranking third worldwide in production of honey, soybeans and sunflower seeds and is ranked as fifth in the production of maize and eleventh in wheat. In 2007, agricultural output accounted for 9.4% of GDP and nearly one third of all exports. Soy and its byproducts, mainly animal feed and vegetable oils, are major export commodities at 24% of the total. Wheat, maize, sorghum and other cereals totaled 8%. Cattle-raising is also a major industry, though mostly for domestic consumption. Argentica relies heavily on their wealth of natural resources and understand the severity of the climate change issue. Argentina has ratified the Kyoto Protocol as of 2001 and has recently begun research into the areas of coastal flooding and ocean water temperature change.
The Argentine economy is expected to grow in the coming years, mainly due to their natural resource wealth and strong productive workforce. Furthermore, Argentina has taken the initiative into climate change studies and research. This, added with their economic expansions and reform policy will make them a dominant force in the global economy in the years to come.
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