Provinces of Argentina

Argentina is subdivided into twenty-three provinces (Spanish: provincias, singular provincia) and one autonomous city (ciudad autónoma), Buenos Aires, which is the federal capital of the nation (Spanish: Capital Federal) as decided by Congress.[2] The provinces and the capital have their own constitutions, but exist under a federal system.

Provinces of Argentina
A clickable map of the 23 provinces of Argentina
CategoryFederated state
LocationArgentine Republic
Number23 Provinces
1 Autonomous city (as of 2014)
Populations(Provinces only): 126,190 (Tierra del Fuego, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur) – 15,594,428 (Buenos Aires[1]
Areas(Provinces only): 21,263 km2 (8,210 sq mi) (Tierra del Fuego, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur) – 307,571 km2 (118,754 sq mi) (Buenos Aires)
GovernmentProvincial government
Buenos Aires City:Commune15
Buenos Aires Province:Partido135
Other provinces:Department378
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During the War of Independence the main cities and their surrounding countrysides became provinces though the intervention of their cabildos. The Anarchy of the Year XX completed this process, shaping the original thirteen provinces. Jujuy seceded from Salta in 1834, and the thirteen provinces became fourteen. After seceding for a decade, Buenos Aires Province accepted the 1853 Constitution of Argentina in 1861, and its capital city was made a federal territory in 1880.[3]

A law from 1862 designated as national territories those under federal control but outside the frontiers of the provinces. In 1884 they served as bases for the establishment of the governorates of Misiones, Formosa, Chaco, La Pampa, Neuquén, Río Negro, Chubut, Santa Cruz and Tierra del Fuego.[4] The agreement about a frontier dispute with Chile in 1900 created the National Territory of Los Andes; its lands were incorporated into Jujuy, Salta and Catamarca in 1943.[3] La Pampa and Chaco became provinces in 1951. Misiones did so in 1953, and Formosa, Neuquén, Río Negro, Chubut and Santa Cruz, in 1955. The last national territory, Tierra del Fuego, became the Tierra del Fuego, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur Province in 1990.[3]

Political organization

Argentina is a federation of twenty-three provinces and one autonomous city, Buenos Aires. Provinces are divided for administration purposes into departments and municipalities, except for Buenos Aires Province, which is divided into partidos and localidades. Buenos Aires City itself is divided into communes (comuna) and non-official neighbourhoods (barrios).

Provinces hold all the power that they chose not to delegate to the federal government;[5] they must be representative commonwealths and must not contradict the Constitution.[6] Beyond this they are fully autonomous: they enact their own constitutions,[7] freely organize their local governments,[8] and own and manage their natural and financial resources.[9] Thus, each province has its own set of provincial laws and justice system, a supreme court, a governor, an autonomous police force, and a congress; in eight provinces, this legislature is bicameral, comprising an upper chamber (the Senate) and a lower chamber (the House of Deputies), while in the remaining fifteen provinces and in Buenos Aires City, it is unicameral.[10][upper-alpha 1]

In case of sedition, insurrection, territorial invasion or any other emergent against the laws of the Nation on any province or the federal capital, the Congress has the authority to declare a federal intervention on the compromised district,[12] even in the absence of a formal request by the affected part.[13] When Congress is in recess and thus unable to decide, the President is entitled to decree such intervention, but this executive order is subject to Congressional override upon the Houses' immediate reassembly.[14] Once intervention is declared the compromised district's government is immediately dissolved—in whole or in part depending on Congressional decision—and the President appoints a representative or intervenor, who will serve for a short time until the emergency is solved. Since 1983 four provinces were intervened, namely Catamarca, Corrientes (twice), Santiago del Estero (twice) and Tucumán.[15]

During the 20th century, some provinces have had governments traditionally controlled by a single family (i.e. the Saadi family in Catamarca, or the Sapag family in Neuquén); in one case, it is still the situation as of 2009: the Province of San Luis was ruled almost without a break by the Rodríguez Saá family since December 1983.[16]

Article 61 of the Constitution of the city of Buenos Aires states that "Suffrage is free, equal, secret, universal, compulsory and not accumulative. The foreign residents enjoy this right, with the correlative obligations, on equal terms with Argentine citizens registered in this district, in the terms established by the law."[17]

List of provinces

Provinces of Argentina[18]
Flag Province Capital HASC subdivision code Population[1] Estimate (2018) [19] Area
Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires CA 2,891,082 3,068,043 203 km2
(78 sq mi)
Buenos Aires La Plata BA 15,594,428 17,196,396 307,571 km2
(118,754 sq mi)
Catamarca (San Fernando del Valle de) Catamarca CT 367,820 408,152 102,602 km2
(39,615 sq mi)
Chaco Resistencia CC 1,053,466 1,180,477 99,633 km2
(38,469 sq mi)
Chubut Rawson CH 506,668 598,380 224,686 km2
(86,752 sq mi)
Córdoba Córdoba CB 3,304,825 3,683,937 165,321 km2
(63,831 sq mi)
Corrientes Corrientes CN 993,338 1,101,084 88,199 km2
(34,054 sq mi)
Entre Ríos Paraná ER 1,236,300 1,360,443 78,781 km2
(30,418 sq mi)
Formosa Formosa FM 527,895 595,129 72,066 km2
(27,825 sq mi)
Jujuy (San Salvador de) Jujuy JY 672,260 753,891 53,219 km2
(20,548 sq mi)
La Pampa Santa Rosa LP 316,940 352,378 143,440 km2
(55,380 sq mi)
La Rioja La Rioja LR 331,847 383,220 89,680 km2
(34,630 sq mi)
Mendoza Mendoza MZ 1,741,610 1,949,293 148,827 km2
(57,462 sq mi)
Misiones Posadas MN 1,097,829 1,233,177 29,801 km2
(11,506 sq mi)
Neuquén Neuquén NQ 550,334 646,784 94,078 km2
(36,324 sq mi)
Río Negro Viedma RN 633,374 728,403 203,013 km2
(78,384 sq mi)
Salta Salta SA 1,215,207 1,388,532 155,488 km2
(60,034 sq mi)
San Juan San Juan SJ 680,427 764,464 89,651 km2
(34,614 sq mi)
San Luis San Luis SL 431,588 495,629 76,748 km2
(29,633 sq mi)
Santa Cruz Río Gallegos SC 272,524 347,593 243,943 km2
(94,187 sq mi)
Santa Fe Santa Fe SF 3,200,736 3,481,514 133,007 km2
(51,354 sq mi)
Santiago del Estero Santiago del Estero SE 896,461 958,251 136,351 km2
(52,645 sq mi)
Tierra del Fuego Ushuaia TF 126,190a 164,944 21,263 km2
(8,210 sq mi)a
Tucumán (San Miguel de) Tucumán TM 1,448,200 1,654,388 22,524 km2
(8,697 sq mi)

See also


  1. The City of Buenos Aires is an autonomous city, but its local organization has similarities with the provinces: it has its own constitution, an elected mayor, a congress and representatives to the Senate and Deputy chambers.[11]


  1. "2010 Census provisional results". Archived from the original on 2012-09-01. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
  2. Constitution of Argentina, art. 3.
  3. Rey Balmaceda 1995, p. 19.
  4. Rock 1987, p. 155.
  5. Constitution of Argentina, art. 121.
  6. Constitution of Argentina, arts. 5, 6.
  7. Constitution of Argentina, art. 123.
  8. Constitution of Argentina, art. 122.
  9. Constitution of Argentina, arts. 124, 125.
  10. "Legislaturas de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires y provinciales – República Argentina" (in Spanish). Universidad del Salvador. Archived from the original on 2013-05-15. Retrieved 2009-09-19.
  11. Constitution of Argentina, art. 129.
  12. Constitution of Argentina, art. 6.
  13. Constitution of Argentina, art. 75 inc. 31.
  14. Constitution of Argentina, art. 99 inc. 20.
  15. "Intervenciones en la historia". La Nación (in Spanish). 11 April 2004. Archived from the original on 11 October 2012.
  16. "Archivo Histórico – Gobernadores provinciales de la República Argentina 1983–2007" (in Spanish). Ministerio del Interior – Presidencia de la Nación. Archived from the original on 8 June 2009. Retrieved 8 June 2009.
  17. "Constitución de la Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires" (in Spanish). Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires. October 1, 1996. Archived from the original on 2007-11-22. Retrieved 2007-12-13.
  18. Gwillim Law (30 May 2015). "Provinces of Argentina". Statoids. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  19. "WebINDEC - Proyecciones nacionales". December 2013. Retrieved 10 April 2018.


Legal documents
  • Rey Balmaceda, Raúl (1995). Mi país, la Argentina (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: Arte Gráfico Editorial Argentino. ISBN 84-599-3442-X.
  • Rock, David (1987). Argentina, 1516-1987: From Spanish Colonization to the Falklands War. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0520061781.
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