Argentina Ethnic Groups

Ethnic composition

As a country located in South America according to HISTORYAAH.COM, the current Argentine population is the direct result of a great wave of immigrant workers who entered between 1850-1950, mostly Italians and secondly Spaniards, and of the mixing of these with each other and with the native indigenous populations, Creoles, Afro-Argentines and with the gauchos., from the colonial period. Some sources estimate that around 90% of the population is descended from Europeans, [75] mainly Italians and Spanish. The population also has large communities of Jews, Arabs, Armenians, Gypsies, British, French, Germans, Poles, Russians, Croats, Ukrainians, Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, Paraguayans, Bolivians, Uruguayans, Chileans, Peruvians, Brazilians, etc. Like Australia, Brazil, Canada, the United States or Uruguay, Argentina is considered a country of immigration, that is, a society that has been decisively influenced by one or more massive immigration phenomena.

Immigration in Argentina

The Argentine Constitution of 1853 and the governments established from that year on, sought to promote immigration from northwestern Europe, although later Mediterranean, eastern European and Middle Eastern immigrants predominated, under the basis of the Alberdiano precept to govern is to populate., aimed at generating a rural-type social fabric and ending the occupation of the territories obtained through a military campaign against the indigenous people called Conquest of the Desert and at the same time substantially modifying the population composition. This policy was reflected in the text of article 25 of the National Constitution, which establishes:

The federal government will promote European immigration; and it will not be able to restrict, limit or impose any tax on the entry into Argentine territory of foreigners who bring for the purpose of working the land, improving industries, and introducing and teaching science and the arts.

When it was constitutionally organized in the mid-nineteenth century, Argentina was a sparsely populated country, with a smaller population than other South American countries such as Bolivia, Chile, and Peru. Through immigration policy, the country went from having a population of 1.1 million residents in 1850 (3.5% of Latin America), to reach 11.8 million residents in 1930 (11.1% of Latin America). [76] The country received around 6.5 million immigrants – net immigration was close to 4 million immigrants-, [77] and it was constituted as the third recipient country in America (after the United States and Canada). The first national census of 1869 showed a total of 1,737,000 residents. In 1960 the country already had a little more than 20 million, that is to say that in 90 years it had multiplied its initial population by 10. [78]

  • In the central region of the country, where the majority of the population is concentrated, the ancestry is made up mainly of European immigrants, especially Italians, Spaniards, especially Galicians and, to a lesser extent, French, Germans, Poles, Jews and Arabs.
  • The current population of Argentine Patagonia was formed mainly from internal migratory currents from the Pampean and Chilean regions, as well as the influence of Welsh, Swiss and German immigration.
  • In the northern part of the country, the population with indigenous, or Spanish and African ancestors who arrived in colonial times, is proportionally greater than the national average, partly because it was the most populated region before and during the Spanish conquest, and because it received a less influence of the great European immigration currents produced between 1830 and 1950. Despite this, there were considerable immigration flows of Italians, Spaniards, Arabs and Jews towards the northwest region, and of Germans and Eastern Europeans towards Chaco and Misiones.

Indigenous villages

The definitive data from the Complementary Survey of Indigenous Peoples (ECPI) carried out in 2004-2005 [79] highlight the existence of 35 indigenous peoples in Argentina, made up of 600 329 individuals (457 363 who recognize themselves as belonging to some aboriginal people plus 142 966 who do not belong but are descendants in the first generation of a people) equivalent to approximately 1.6% of the total population. [n 3] This is without prejudice to the fact that just over half of the population has at least one indigenous ancestor, although in most cases the family memory of that belonging has been lost.

In relation to the original groups, in the Chaco area there are communities of Tobas, Pilagás, Wichí, Chorotes, Mocovíes, Chanés, Chulupíes and Guaraníes from the Chiriguanos and Tapieté groups. In the Andean areas of the northwestern region of the country live different towns currently included in the denomination of collas, in addition to diaguitas. In the Patagonian and Pampean regions there are communities of Mapuches, Rankulches and Tehuelches. The province of Misiones has Mbyá Guaraní communities and smaller groups of Chiripás and Paí Tavyterá, also members of the Guaraní people.

The original peoples that formed the basis of miscegenation in colonial times were divided into three large groups: those belonging to the Andean civilization group, mainly Diaguitas, Sanavirones and Comechingones; those belonging to the Chaco-Mesopotamian group, mainly the Guaraní civilization, the Guaycurúes and the Wichí people; and the hunter-gatherer peoples of the south, mainly the Ranquel, Tehuelche and Mapuche peoples. The reform of the Constitution carried out in 1994 recognized “the ethnic and cultural pre-existence of the Argentine indigenous peoples”, as well as respect for their identity and the right to a bilingual and intercultural education.

Argentine Ethnic Groups