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Argentina has always been hailed as the “jewel” of Latin America, characterized by an abundance of natural resources, as well as a large and highly educated population. Argentina is a strong supporter of its poor neighbors due to their economic problems which affect migration patterns in Latin America. In past years, Argentina has attracted one of the largest amounts of migrators, more than half coming from Latin America. These migratory patterns are creating higher unemployment rates in Argentina, currently around twenty percent. As a result of this high unemployment and the countries recent economic, political and social instability, many Argentines are moving away from Argentina. In the past two years, Argentina has defaulted on $141 billion in foreign debt, unemployment has risen to 21.5 percent, and an estimated 55 percent of the population of 37 million has fallen below the poverty line. The average industrial wage fell by almost 8 percent from 2001 to 2002, and within the past couple of years, the homeless population has doubled. Argentina, for most of its time, has been an immigration magnet, drawing its biggest groups of migrators from European countries such as Italy and Spain.
Large numbers of Argentines are heading for Italy and Spain, where they can claim citizenship due to their ancestral ties. Generally speaking, Argentines are seen as “preferred” immigrants for allowance into these two countries due to their high skill levels, similar cultures, and somewhat common language. Large numbers of Argentines have started to seek residence in more distant countries. Recent developments, both political and economic, may help raise the number of Argentine immigration in the next few years. “In May 2003, the swearing-in of Nestor Kirchner made him the first elected president to hold office since de la Rua’s 2001 resignation, and brought an end to a succession of “interim” presidents.” Kirchner’s efforts to repeal the corrupt military, government and judicial branch officials of the government have won him popular support from his people. Hopefully, his campaign leads to greater political stability, then the Argentines may find staying home more bearable than times before.
The latest economic indicators suggest that Argentina’s economy is improving, which may convince many of the people living within Argentina today to say put living by these incentives. We are not sure how these signs of political and economic stability will affect future migration trends. Flows may continue to rise in fear of another economic collapse or fall, yet we will stay alarmed to retrieve a rebound. They may also plateau as immigration to more developed countries becomes an attractive option, as they will have more to offer the immigrants economically and financially.
However, as public support for the government rises and economic conditions improve, the urge to migrate, may soon pass by, and many Argentines will feel comfortable living in their home, Argentina.
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