Buenos Aires Province

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Not to be confused with Argentina's capital city Autonomous City of Buenos Aires.
Buenos Aires
Province
Flag of Buenos Aires
Flag
Coat of arms of Buenos Aires
Coat of arms
Location of Buenos Aires province within Argentina
Location of Buenos Aires province within Argentina
Coordinates: 33°42′S 61°00′W / 33.700°S 61.000°W / -33.700; -61.000Coordinates: 33°42′S 61°00′W / 33.700°S 61.000°W / -33.700; -61.000
Country Argentina
Capital La Plata
Partidos 135
Government
 • Governor Daniel Scioli (PJ)
 • Legislature Chamber of Deputies (92)
Senate (46)
 • National Deputies
70
 • National Senators Aníbal Fernández, María Laura Leguizamón, Jaime Linares
Area
Ranked 1st
 • Total 307,571 km2 (118,754 sq mi)
Population (2010[1])
 • Total 15,625,084
 • Rank 1st
 • Density 51/km2 (130/sq mi)
Demonym bonaerense
Time zone ART (UTC−3)
ISO 3166 code AR-B
Website www.gba.gov.ar

Buenos Aires (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈbwenos ˈaiɾes], Provincia de Buenos Aires) (English: Fair Winds) is the largest and most populous Argentinian province. It takes the name from the city of Buenos Aires, which used to be the provincial capital until it was federalized in 1880. The current capital of the province is the city of La Plata, founded in 1882.

The province borders Entre Ríos to the northeast; Santa Fe to the north; Córdoba to the northwest, La Pampa to the west; and Río Negro to south and west; and the City of Buenos Aires to the northeast and Uruguay is just across the Rio de la Plata to the northeast near the Atlantic Ocean. The entire province is part of the Pampas geographical region.

The province has a population of about 15.6 million people, or 39% of Argentina's total population. Nearly 10 million people live in Greater Buenos Aires, the metropolitan area surrounding the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires. The area of the province, 307,571 km2 (118,754 sq mi), makes it the largest in Argentina with around 11% of the country's total area.

History[edit]

Governor Juan Manuel de Rosas (1841 oil portrait by Cayetano Descalzi) ruled until 1852 with an iron fist and kept the fragile Confederation under the tutelage of Buenos Aires Province.

The inhabitants of the province before the 16th century advent of Spanish colonisation were aboriginal peoples such as the Charrúas and the Querandíes. Their culture was lost over the next 350 years. They were subjected to a virtual genocide from which few survived. The survivors joined other tribes or have been mostly absorbed by Argentina's European ethnic majority.

Pedro de Mendoza founded Santa María del Buen Ayre in 1536. Even though the first contact with the aboriginals was peaceful, it soon became hostile. The city was evacuated in 1541. Juan de Garay re-founded the settlement in 1580 as Santísima Trinidad y Puerto Santa María de los Buenos Aires.

Amidst ongoing conflict with the aboriginals, the cattle farms extended from Buenos Aires, whose port was always the centre of the economy of the territory. Following the creation of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata at the end of the 18th century, the export of meat, leather and their derivatives through the port of Buenos Aires was the basis of the economic development of the region.

Jesuits unsuccessfully tried to peacefully assimilate the aboriginals into the European culture brought by the Spanish conquistadores. A certain balance was found at the end of the 18th century, when the Salado River became the limit between both civilizations, despite frequent malones (aboriginal attacks on border settlements). The end this situation came in 1879 with the Conquest of the Desert (Conquista del Desierto) in which the aboriginals where almost completely exterminated.

After the independence from Spain in 1816, the city and province of Buenos Aires became the focus of an intermittent Argentine Civil War with other provinces. A Federal Pact secured by Governor Juan Manuel de Rosas in 1831 led to the establishment of the Argentine Confederation and to his gaining the sum of public power, which provided a tenuous unity. Ongoing disputes regarding the influence of Buenos Aires, between Federalists and Unitarians, and over the Port of Buenos Aires (the prime source of public revenue at the time) fueled periodic hostilities. The province was declared independent on September 11, 1852, as the State of Buenos Aires. Concessions gained in the 1859 Pact of San José de Flores and a victory at the Battle of Pavón led to its reincorporation into the Argentine Republic on December 17, 1861. Intermittent conflicts with the nation did not truly cease until 1880, when the city of Buenos Aires was formally federalized and, thus, administratively separated from the province.

Period illustration of the 1882 placement of La Plata's foundation stone.

La Plata was founded in 1882 by Governor Dardo Rocha for the purpose of becoming the provincial capital. The equivalent of a billion (1880s) dollars of British investment and pro-development, education and immigration policies pursued at the national level subsequently spurred dramatic economic growth. Driven by European immigration and improved health, the province's population, like Argentina's, nearly doubled to one million by 1895 and doubled again by 1914.[2] Rail lines connected nearly every town and hamlet in the province by 1914; many developed around the new railway stations.

This era of accelerated development was cut short by the Wall Street Crash of 1929, which caused a sharp drop in commodity prices (99% of Argentine exports were agricultural) and led to a halt in the flow of investment funds between nations. The new Concordance and Perón governments funded ambitious lending and public works programs, visible in Buenos Aires Province through the panoply of levees, power plants, water works, paved roads, municipal buildings, and (particularly during Perón's 1946-55 tenure) schools, clinics and massive regional hospitals.

The province's population, after 1930, began to grow disproportionately quickly in the suburban areas of Buenos Aires. These suburbs had grown to include 4 million out of the province's total 7 million people in 1960.[2] Much of the area these new suburbs were developed on (particularly the poorer ones) consisted of wetlands and were prone to flooding. To address this, Governor Oscar Alende initiated the province's most important flood-control project to date, the Roggero Reservoir. Completed a decade later, in 1971, the reservoir and associated electric and water-treatment facilities encouraged still more, and more orderly, development of the Greater Buenos Aires region, which today includes around 10 million people (23 of the provincial population). It did not address worsening pollution resulting from the area's industrial growth, which had made itself evident since around 1920. This problem has been at its worst along the Reconquista River west and north of the city of Buenos Aires; over 4 million people (one in 10 Argentines) today live on the Reconquista's basin.[3] Of these, about a million still live with seriously compromised water quality, despite the province's (sometimes counterproductive) efforts to remedy the issue.[4]

Government House
Legislature
Federal courts

In April 2013, the northeastern section of Buenos Aires Province, particularly its capital, La Plata, experienced several flash floods that claimed the lives of at least 59 people.

Geography[edit]

Buenos Aires province, at 307,571 square kilometres (118,754 sq mi), is slightly bigger than Italy. The landscape is mainly flat, with two low mountain ranges; Sierra de la Ventana (near Bahía Blanca) and Sierra de Tandil (Tandil). The highest point is Cerro Tres Picos (1,239 m (4,065 ft) amsl; 38°8′S 61°58′W / 38.133°S 61.967°W / -38.133; -61.967) and the longest river is Río Salado (700 km (435 mi) long).

As part of The Pampas, the weather of the province is strongly influenced by the ocean, with hot summers and temperate winters. Humidity is high and precipitation is abundant and distributed over the year. The Western and Southwestern regions are dryer.

Administratively, Buenos Aires Province is divided into 134 Departments.

Snow on La Perla beach, Mar del Plata (1991)
Al Este Bodega y Viñedos in Médanos, located in the Southern tip of the Buenos Aires province 40 km (25 mi) away from Bahía Blanca.

Climate[edit]

Lake Gómez, in the north
Rural area near Balcarce, in the south

The climate of the province of Buenos Aires is extremely benign for human activities: it is temperate, with four marked seasons and reliable rainfall on most regions. The province can be divided in four main climatic regions: the southwestern, dryer region, the cool Atlantic region, the northern and eastern humid region, and the Delta region, with the warmest, wettest climate.

The northern region has warm, humid summers, with days between 28 and 32 °C (82 and 90 °F) and nights between 16 and 20 °C (61 and 68 °F), pleasant falls, cool, dryer winters with highs between 13 and 18 °C (55 and 64 °F) and nights between 2 and 5 °C (36 and 41 °F), and windy, variable springs. Heat waves may bring days with temperatures over 38 °C (100 °F), but these do not usually last very long, as cold fronts bring thunderstorms and cooler days, with night temperatures often falling down to 12 °C (54 °F). Winter cold waves may bring days with highs about 8 °C (46 °F), and lows below −4 °C (25 °F), with extremes down to −8 °C (18 °F). Snow is uncommon, but there have been accumulations on several occasions in the past. Precipitation ranges from 750 to 1,100 mm (30 to 43 in) per year.

The Delta region is slightly warmer, especially at night, due to the presence of water and the northerly location. Summer nights tend to be stickier, and winters can be damp and foggy, with most nights between 4 and 8 °C (39 and 46 °F). Frost is still to be expected, but temperatures will almost never fall below −4 °C (25 °F), and snow has fallen only twice in the last century. Precipitation ranges from 1,000 to 1,300 mm (39 to 51 in) and falls throughout the year. The city of Buenos Aires is surrounded by a climate similar to the northern part of the province, but the city itself resembles more the Delta climate, with less frost.

The southwestern region is the driest region, and it experiences a more marked differences in temperatures. Summers are often hot, between 30 and 35 °C (86 and 95 °F), but nights are usually comfortable (14 to 18 °C (57 to 64 °F)). Thunderstorms are less frequent, but can be very violent in nature. Frost can make an appearance as early as March, but usually first comes in April. Winters are cool and dry, with days between 10 and 16 °C (50 and 61 °F) and nights between −1 and 4 °C (30 and 39 °F). Frost occurs on an almost daily basis, with temperatures below −6 °C (21 °F) not uncommon, and down to −12 °C (10 °F) recorded in some areas. Snowfall may occur every once in a while, but accumulations are usually small. Total precipitation ranges from 500 to 750 mm (20 to 30 in), with slightly rainier springs and falls.

The Atlantic region sees very moderate weather: the ocean is cold (17 to 20 °C (63 to 68 °F) in the summer) and sea breezes often bring chilly weather until midsummer. The hottest months average 25 to 27 °C (77 to 81 °F) with nights between 12 and 16 °C (54 and 61 °F), providing a perfect relief for the inhabitants of the hotter interior. Fall is often rainy, and winters can be windy and chilly: temperatures average from 10 to 15 °C (50 to 59 °F), and nights from 1 to 5 °C (34 to 41 °F). There can be long periods of drizzly weather and constant temperatures of about 7 °C (45 °F). Frost is common but temperatures will rarely fall below −5 °C (23 °F), and snow falls sometimes, but accumulations are only to be expected every few years. Precipitation ranges from 700 to 950 mm (28 to 37 in). The Sierras de la Ventana (up to 1,200 metres (3,900 ft)) experience cooler weather, especially at night.

The geography of the province is crossed by occasional west Pampero winds. The southern Sudestada produces storms and temperature drops, most notably the Santa Rosa storm,[5] which takes place every year almost exactly on August 30.

Population[edit]

The Buenos Aires province is the most populated province of the country with 15 million inhabitants (38% of the national population), of which 12 million live in Greater Buenos Aires and 3 million in the rest of the province. Around 33.8% of the inhabitants weren't born in the province, of which 3,918,552 are immigrants from other provinces and 758,640 were born abroad.[6]

Most of its inhabitants are descendants from colonial-era settlers and immigrants from Europe who arrived within the 19th and 20th centuries, mostly Italians, Spaniards and to a lesser extent Germans, French and British. A number of suburbs in the province are also home to a large, predominantly mestizo population that began migrating from the country's northern provinces in the mid-20th century to take advantage of growing employment opportunities. These same communities are also home to considerable numbers of more recent migrants from Paraguay and Bolivia.

Economy[edit]

Port of Bahía Blanca

The province's economy has long been the largest in Argentina, estimated in 2006 to have been US$107.6 billion (more than a third of the national total, which was around US$160 billion in 2011 according to Argentina's economical growing.[clarification needed] Its per capita income of $7,780 (around $10,300 in 2011), though, was somewhat below the national average[7] and it's still slightly below the average nowadays.[when?] The province is the nation's chief exporter, generating nearly $25 billion in exports in 2008 (37% of the nation's total).[8]

Agriculture in the province is renowned around the world for its productivity. The province is Argentina's chief agricultural producer, and accounted for at least $6 billion in export earnings in 2006.[9] This sector adds about 5% to the province's highly diversified economy, however.[10] The province's ranching sector is diversified, and though cattle historically provided the main animal husbandry activity, Buenos Aires is also the top producer of sheep, pork, and chicken meat of the country. Equally important is the dairy industry. Crop harvests are the most diverse in the nation, and have grown to record levels in recent decades. The most important crops include soybean, maize, wheat, sunflower and other oilseeds, like flax. More recently, premium wines have been produced in the Buenos Aires wine region in the south of the province.

Manufacturing accounts for a fourth of the province's output and is about 40% of the entire nation's.[10] The industry of the province is diverse: chemical, pharmaceutical, metallurgic, motor vehicles, machinery, textiles and the food industry are the most notable. Excluding processed agricultural items, the province was responsible for over $10 billion of industrial exports in 2006 and accounted for a third of all Argentine exports.[9][11]

The province's services sector is well-diversified and differs little from national trends. The largest local bank is the public Bank of the Province of Buenos Aires. The institution, the second-largest in Argentina, holds nearly a tenth of the nation's bank deposits.[12]

Tourism[edit]

Tourists, mainly from Buenos Aires, visit the Atlantic coast. There are many cities and towns along the coast line that starts some 250 kilometres (160 mi) from Buenos Aires after the Samborombón Bay. Among them, the biggest and most important is Mar del Plata, followed by the La Costa, Pinamar, Villa Gesell, Miramar and Necochea. The most important summer-related event, the National Sea Festival, is held annually in the city of Mar del Plata. The city's Central Casino and Grand Provincial Hotel are among the nation's largest.

Other destinations include the Ventana Sierras, Tandil, Tigre, the Paraná Delta, Isla Martín García, the Chascomús and Gómez lagoons, and La Plata.

Agritourism in estancias (plantations) has become increasingly popular for foreigners visiting the province in recent years. The province's wine district, centered around Médanos, has also become prominent for visitors touring the Argentina Wine Route.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "República Argentina por provincia o jurisdicción. Densidad de población. Año 2010". Censo 2010 (in Spanish). Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos. Retrieved 2012-08-14. 
  2. ^ a b "Población según los censos nacionales de 1895 a 2001 por provincia ordenadas por la cantidad de población en 2001" (ms xls) (in Spanish). Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos. Retrieved 2012-08-14. 
  3. ^ "Title unknown" (pdf) (in Spanish). [dead link]
  4. ^ "Río Reconquista, un basural acuático" (in Spanish). Argentina Centro de Medios Independientes. 24 July 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-14. 
  5. ^ "Title unknown". monte.gov.ar. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Title unknown" (ms xls). [dead link]
  7. ^ "Instituto Argentino para el Desarrollo de las Economias Regionales" (in Spanish). [not in citation given]
  8. ^ "INDEC" (ms xls) (in Spanish). [dead link]
  9. ^ a b "Exportaciones De La Provincia De Buenos Aires" (pdf) (in Spanish). [dead link]
  10. ^ a b "Dirección Provincial De Estadistica". [dead link]
  11. ^ "INDEC: Foreign trade data" (ms xls) (in Spanish). [dead link]
  12. ^ "Argentine Banking Association: August 2008" (ms xls) (in Spanish). Retrieved 2012-08-14. 

External links[edit]