Argentina has had a massive impact on South America, and the world, in a variety of ways. But there’s much more to Argentina than Lionel Messi, Eva Perón, and Diego Maradona. That’s why I’ll be giving you 28 facts about Argentinian culture to broaden your scope and show you just how influential the nation is.
The history of Argentina
- The name ‘Argentina’ comes from a Spanish poem called La Argentina, written by Martín del Barco Centenera in 1602 but etymologically, “argentina” derives from the Italian “(made) of silver” or “silver-coloured” and, from there, the Latin for “silver” (argentum).
- Argentina was originally called the “Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata” by the Spanish Empire. Plata is Spanish for “silver”.
- The Argentine flag features a sun with a face in the middle. This is known as the “sun of May”, with features of Inti, the Incan sun god, and references the May Revolution of 1810.
- Argentina declared independence from the Spanish on 9th July 1816.
- Argentina’s motto is “En unión y libertad” (“In Unity and Freedom”)
- Argentina is a member of G-15 and G20, a founding member of the UN, World Bank, World Trade Organization, Mercosur, Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and the Organization of Ibero-American States.
- Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world.
- The capital of Argentina is Buenos Aires.
- The official language of Argentina is Spanish.
- Argentina has a population of about 46.6 million people (as of 2023, according to the CIA)
- The currency of Argentina is the Argentine peso.
- The average life expectancy in Argentina is about 77 years.
- The Argentine economy is the second-largest in South American, after Brazil, and the third-largest in Latin America
- Argentina has a a Gini coefficient of 0.42 (as of 2021). This measures income inequality.
Food and drink
- In 2020, Argentina was the largest wine producer in Latin America, with an output of 10.8m hectoliters (source).
- Argentine cuisine is heavily influenced by Italian and Spanish cuisine and the national dish is asado, which is grilled meats.
- The legal purchase age of alcohol is 18 but there isn’t a drink age and ID is rarely requested
- Argentina is known for its famous dance, the tango. It originated in the working-class neighborhoods of Buenos Aires and in Uruguay in the late 19th century. The dance was based on the African candombe and Cuban habanera, amongst other European influences.
- Argentina is home to many famous writers, including Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar, and Silvina Ocampo.
- The literacy rate in Argentina is 99.51% (as of 2021).
- Soccer is the most popular sport but other sports like archery with the latest bow sling is also rising in fame in Argentina.
- Argentina has won three FIFA World Cup titles, in 1978, 1986, and 2022.
- The national basketball team won the bronze medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics and silver at the 2019 World Championship.
Nature and geography
- The highest mountain in the Americas, Aconcagua, is located in Argentina.
- Argentina is home to the Iguazu Falls, part of the largest waterfall system in the world
- The national bird of Argentina is the rufous hornero.
- The national flower of Argentina is the ceibo.
- The Andes mountain range runs along the western border of Argentina.
- The Falkland Islands, a disputed territory between Argentina and the United Kingdom, are located off the coast of Argentina.
- The Obelisk of Buenos Aires is a famous landmark that stands over 235 feet tall, which was designed by modernist architect Alberto Prebisch