Update 5 to Geopolitical Entities and Codes, the successor to FIPS PUB 10-4, was issued on 2011-08-31. It changes the status of Ciudad de Buenos Aires from district to autonomous city.
Newsletter II-2, an update to the ISO 3166-2 standard, is dated 2010-06-30. The only change for Argentina is to reflect the new formal name for Ciudad de Buenos Aires.
Argentina uses daylight saving time this year (2008-9), but provinces are allowed to opt out of it. I've added a column to the main table to show which provinces are observing it.
Pablo Lujan sent me some URLs for Argentine history. The Argentine Embassy to Spain says that Buenos Aires, the city, was federalized in 1880 under the name "Capital Federal". Spanish Wikipedia agrees with that. The Embassy page also says that La Plata was founded in 1882 as capital of Buenos Aires province.
I've updated the populations to the 2001 census figures. There is also a correction to the area of Ciudad de Buenos Aires. The INDEC says that it has been recomputed using Arc Info, and is 202.9 rather than 200 km.².
Argentina has been an independent country throughout the 20th century. It has maintained its boundaries relatively unchanged during that period. It has had border disputes and adjustments with Chile. Argentina has also claimed the Islas Malvinas, or Falkland Islands, but was unable to enforce its claim in the 1982 war with Great Britain. It has claims in Antarctica which have been held in abeyance by the Antarctic Treaty. Areas and populations are given here without the claims.
Explorers saw that natives had silver objects (Latin argentum: silver).
Argentina is divided into 23 provincias (provinces) and a distrito federal (federal district).
|Buenos Aires||-3~||13,827,203||307,571||118,754||La Plata|
|Catamarca||-3||334,568||102,602||39,615||(San Fernando del Valle de) Catamarca|
|Ciudad de Buenos Aires||-3~||2,776,138||203||78||Buenos Aires|
|Jujuy||-3||611,888||53,219||20,548||(San Salvador de) Jujuy|
|La Pampa||-3||299,294||143,440||55,382||Santa Rosa|
|La Rioja||-3||289,983||89,680||34,626||La Rioja|
|San Juan||-3||620,023||89,651||34,614||San Juan|
|San Luis||-3||367,933||76,748||29,633||San Luis|
|Santa Cruz||-3||196,958||243,943||94,187||Río Gallegos|
|Santa Fe||-3~||3,000,701||133,007||51,354||Santa Fe|
|Santiago del Estero||-3~||804,457||136,351||52,645||Santiago del Estero|
|Tierra del Fuego||-3||101,079||21,571||8,329||Ushuaia|
|Tucumán||-3~||1,338,523||22,524||8,697||(San Miguel de) Tucumán|
In April, 1999, Argentina's postal service opened a new type of postal code to public use. It is called CPA, for Código Postal Argentino. A CPA postal code consists of a letter, four digits, and three more letters. The first letter is a province code. The postal service calls it a "letra de la vieja patente" (letter of the old patent), and it appears to be the same as the ISO 3166-2 code for the province. The four digits are the same as the old postal code. The final three letters are a routing code for an individual block.
See the Departments of Argentina page.
The provinces are further subdivided into departamentos (departments), except for Ciudad de Buenos Aires, which has no internal divisions on this level, and Buenos Aires, which is divided into partidos (parts).
The lowest-level administrative divisions are municipios (municipalities), often called partidos. These vary from province to province. In some provinces there are several classes of municipality. Also, in some provinces there is territory not included in any municipality.
Buenos Aires province includes Isla Martín García, which is surrounded by Uruguayan waters in the Río de la Plata estuary.
Corrientes province includes Isla Apipé, an island separated from the rest of the province by a channel of the Alto Paraná River which belongs to Paraguay.
Tierra del Fuego includes the Argentine section of the island of Tierra del Fuego, as well as several unrecognized claims of Argentina. These claims are to the Islas Malvinas (Falkland Islands), its associated islands (South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands), and a sector of Antarctica. I list the Antarctic claim under Antarctica.
Argentina and Chile have had numerous boundary disputes and border adjustments over the years.
There is a four-corners boundary where the provinces of Mendoza, La Pampa, Neuquén, and Río Negro come together. The borders are defined by the Río Colorado and the meridian of 68° 15' W.
I have found several Web sources for Argentina's change history. To help evaluate their contents, here are some reformatted
excerpts from each page.
The Electronic Government page on the formation of the Argentine state says:
1776: Río de la Plata viceroyalty (virreinato) formed.
1803: Río de la Plata viceroyalty divided into eight intendencies (intendencias) by the Royal Ordinance of Governors (Real Ordenanza de Intendentes). Three of these intendencies correspond to parts of present-day Argentina: Córdoba del Tucumán, Salta del Tucumán, and Buenos Aires.
1816: United Provinces of South America (Provincias Unidas de Sudamérica) declare independence from Spain. In the ensuing period, the General Constitutional Congress (Congreso General Constituyente) drafts a constitution.
1820: General Constitutional Congress dissolved; Buenos Aires council (Cabildo) resumes control of the city and province of Buenos Aires.
1826-12: New constitution drafted for an Argentine Republic, but failed to take effect when ratified only by Banda Oriental.
1831: Federal Pact adopted by Santa Fe, Buenos Aires, and Entre Ríos provinces. Soon the other provinces join, forming an Argentine state, organized as a republic.
1852-04-06: Protocol of Palermo signed by emissaries from Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, Corrientes, and Entre Ríos provinces.
1853-07-09: Constitution for a confederation ratified by all provinces except Buenos Aires.
1859 or 1860: Buenos Aires province joins the confederation.
The Electronic Government page on the history of the Argentine provinces says:
1776-07-27: Río de la Plata viceroyalty provisionally created by King Carlos III. It consisted of seven provinces: Buenos Aires, Tucumán, Cuyo (consisting of territory which is part of modern Argentina), Paraguay, Potosí, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, and Charcas.
1782-01: Viceroyalty divided into eight intendencies (intendencias). The three intendencies comprising parts of modern Argentina included the first fourteen Argentine provinces. Buenos Aires intendency consisted of Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, Entre Ríos, Corrientes, Misiones, and Banda Oriental provinces. Córdoba del Tucumán intendency included Córdoba, Mendoza, San Juan, San Luis, and La Rioja provinces. Salta intendency covered Salta, Jujuy, Tucumán, Santiago del Estero, and Catamarca provinces.
1812-01-13: Buenos Aires province given a separate government.
1813-10: Cuyo province formed. Its capital was Mendoza.
1814-09-10: Provinces of Entre Ríos and Corrientes created.
1814-10-08: Tucumán province split from Salta.
1819-04-12: Peace (treaty?) of San Lorenzo signed, as a result of which Santa Fe province split from Buenos Aires.
1819-11-11: A military mutiny occurs, leading to a new constitution for Tucumán, which declares it an independent republic.
1820-01-17: Córdoba province proclaimed independence.
1820-01-24: La Rioja province split from Córdoba.
1820-02: National government dissolved by the defeat of General José Rondeau, leaving the fourteen provinces independent.
1820-03-01: San Juan province proclaimed its autonomy.
1820-04: Santiago del Estero province split from Tucumán.
1820-09: Entre Ríos Republic formed from Entre Ríos and Corrientes provinces and Misiones territory. It was dissolved later that year or in 1821.
1821: Misiones province formed.
1821-08-25: Catamarca province split from Tucumán.
1821-08-28: Republic of Tucumán falls. Province of Tucumán established to replace it in 1822-05.
~1823: San Luis province created.
1827: Corrientes province annexed Misiones by force.
1834: Jujuy province split from Salta.
1853: Constitution of Argentine Republic adopted.
1862-10: Under law no. 28, all territories not lying within some province as of 1853-05-01 became national territory.
1872: Chaco government (gobierno) created following the War of the Triple Alliance.
1874: Chaco gobierno divided; the territory south of the Bermejo River became Chaco gobernación under law no. 686.
1878: U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes arbitrates territorial dispute between Argentina and Paraguay. Subsequently, the territory north of the Bermejo River (formerly in Chaco gobierno) became Formosa gobernación.
1878-10: Gobernación created in the Patagonian national territories.
1881-12: Borders of Corrientes province established by law no. 1149, leaving part of its former land as national territory.
1884: Law no. 1532 divided national territory into the goverments (gobernaciones) of La Pampa, Río Negro, Neuquén, Chubut, Santa Cruz, Tierra del Fuego, Misiones, Formosa, and Chaco.
1899-03-10: Los Andes territory formed in land ceded to Argentina by Bolivia.
1902: Salta ceded land to Los Andes including the city of San Antonio de los Cobres, which became capital of Los Andes.
1943: Los Andes territory split up among Salta, Catamarca, and Jujuy provinces.
1951-08: Chaco and La Pampa territories changed to provinces under law no. 14037. Capital of La Pampa was Santa Rosa.
1953-12: Missiones territory became a province under law no. 14294.
1955-06: Formosa, Neuquén, and Rio Negro became provinces under law no. 14408. At the same time, the maritime gobernación of Tierra del Fuego and the military gobernación of Comodoro Rivadavia were suppressed, and two more provinces, Chubut and Patagonia, were created for the territories delimited by the same law. The capitals of these provinces, excluding Formosa, were provisionally set as Neuquén, Viedma, Rawson, and Río Gallegos.
~1955: Provisional government of the 1955 revolution divided the territory of Patagonia in two parts. Modifying law no. 14408, it created Santa Cruz province (capital Río Gallegos), with the same land as the old Santa Cruz territory, before the military gobernación of Comodoro Rivadavia was formed. Soon afterward, Tierra del Fuego, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur national territory created by annexing Argentine claims to the Malvinas and Antarctica to Tierra del Fuego.
The Fundación MAPFRE TAVERA, devoted to preservation of historical documents of the Iberoamerican community, says:
1776: La Plata viceroyalty (virreinato) created. Its jurisdiction included the old provinces of Tucumán, Buenos Aires, and Paraguay, the governments (gobiernos) of Upper Peru, and the region of Cuyo, which split from the old Captaincy General of Chile. Its territory corresponds roughly to modern Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, and the eastern part of Uruguay.
1782: The viceroyalty was subdivided into the general superintendency of Buenos Aires and the intendencies of Asunción, Córdoba del Tucumán (Córdoba, la Rioja, and Cuyo), Salta del Tucumán (Salta, Jujuy, Santiago del Estero), Chaves or Chuquisaca, Potosí, Cochabamba, and La Paz.
Ambitoweb, a travel service, says:
1617: Buenos Aires became capital of the Government (Gobierno) of Río de la Plata.
1776: Río de la Plata viceroyalty created.
1816: National independence proclaimed. Buenos Aires declared capital of the United Provinces of Río de la Plata.
1880: Congress constituted a federal state with Buenos Aires as capital.
1887: Buenos Aires (city) separated administratively from Buenos Aires province, whose capital moved to La Plata. Buenos Aires's chief executive was always designated by the National President until the Constitutional Reform of 1994 gave rise to the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires.
Previously known changes:
1776: Río de la Plata viceroyalty (virreinato) formed, with Buenos Aires as capital.
1878-10-11: Patagonia gobernación (territory) created, with Mercedes de Patagones as capital
1879-07-04: Name of capital of Patagonia changed from Mercedes de Patagones to Viedma
1880: City of Buenos Aires split from Buenos Aires province
1884-10-16: Patagonia split into Chubut, Neuquén, Río Negro, Santa Cruz, and Tierra del Fuego gobernaciones. At the same time, the gobernaciones of Chaco, Formosa, La Pampa, and Misiones were created
1904: Ushuaia became the capital of Tierra del Fuego
~1920: Capital of Neuquén moved from Chos Malal to Neuquén
~1935: Capital of La Pampa moved from General Acha to Santa Rosa
1943-09-23: Los Andes territory (capital: San Antonio de los Cobres) divided among Catamarca, Jujuy, and Salta provinces. In the division, Catamarca received the departamento of Antofagasta de la Sierra, about 27,886 sq. km.; Jujuy got Susques departamento, 9,554 sq. km.; and Salta got Pastos Grandes and San Antonio de los Cobres departamentos, 25,200 sq. km.
1946: Comodoro Rivadavia territory split from Chubut, taking approximately the southern half of the territory. They were reunited in 1957.
1950: Chaco territory renamed Presidente Juan Perón
1951-08-10: Status of Presidente Juan Perón and La Pampa changed from territories to provinces
1952-01-29: Name of La Pampa province changed to Eva Perón (unromantically, the two Perón provinces were about 750 km. apart at their closest)
1953: Misiones changed from territory to province
1955-06-15: Chubut, Formosa, Neuquén, and Río Negro changed from territories to provinces; Patagonia province formed by merging Santa Cruz and Tierra del Fuego
1956-04-27: Presidente Juan Perón and Eva Perón provinces renamed Chaco and La Pampa, respectively
1957: Patagonia province split to form Santa Cruz province and Tierra del Fuego national territory, officially named Tierra del Fuego, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur
1991-06-01: The status of Tierra del Fuego was changed from national territory to province (its constitution took effect on this date)
1996-08-06: Under the constitutional reform of 1994, Distrito Federal gained a new constitution. Its official name is now "Ciudad de Buenos Aires" or, with equal standing, "Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires" (Autonomous City of Buenos Aires). The date I have chosen to mark this transition is that when the Chief and Vice-chief of Government assumed their duties. It is also the date of the first issue of the Official Bulletin, reporting appointments made on that date.
The names Distrito Federal and Capital Federal have both been used for this entity. From the documents I have available, it appears that its official name was Distrito Federal when it split from the province of Buenos Aires in 1880. Capital Federal is undoubtedly common in popular use, even under the new constitution, but it doesn't necessarily follow that it is or ever has been the official name. The Statesman's Year-Book calls it "Federal Capital", and has at least since 1957, but this represents an English translation of the name and may not be an indication of the Spanish original. The Rand McNally New International Atlas used the name Distrito Federal at least until 1990. Geographic Report No. 10 (revised), published by the Office of the Geographer, Department of State, on 1968-08-01, says, "the accompanying map [dated 1963-12] lists the Capital Federal. This has been recently changed to the Distrito Federal". The CIA World Factbook used the name Distrito Federal until at least its 2000 edition, but currently calls it "Buenos Aires Capital Federal". I would be grateful if anyone can provide me with documentation proving that the official name was ever Capital Federal, or better yet, specifying the date on which it became official.
There have also been minor boundary adjustments over the years, both external (with Chile) and internal (between adjacent provinces, especially in the north and west).
|Santiago del Estero||161,502||261,678||484,649||538,383||489,000||495,000||652,318||671,988||804,457|
|Tierra del Fuego||2,504||2,300||4,902||7,000||16,000||29,451||69,369||101,079|
(1940 figures are estimated)
|Back to main statoids page||Last updated: 2011-09-17|
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