Argentina is the American country that retains fewer traces of the ancient indigenous peoples, almost totally replaced by whites. The first residents of today’s Argentina arrived in these lands around 10,000 years ago; given the nature of the territory they were characterized as nomadic peoples, dedicated to hunting, gathering and fishing. When the Spaniards arrived, there were numerous indigenous communities, partly nomadic and partly sedentary, spread over vast areas of the country: in the north, on the border with Paraguay and Brazil, the Guaraní were settled, whom the Jesuits welcomed in the reducciones; in the northwestern areas the diaghites, farmers who had developed modern techniques for irrigation and cultivation; in the Pampas the querandí and puelche, skilled hunters and gatherers; in Patagonia the Tehuelche, also nomadic hunters; in Tierra del Fuego various tribes grouped under the name of fuegini, such as the halakwulùp, the yamanaand the ona, the latter related to the tehuelche. Most of these populations were exterminated by the Spaniards, not without having opposed a strenuous resistance by slowing down the settlement of the conquistadors, who had, among other things, to rebuild the city of Buenos Aires destroyed by the natives. At the beginning of the 2000s there are some minorities of Guaraní in the province of Misiones, of other more archaic groups that once occupied the vast area of the Gran Chaco, such as the wichí, and of Mapuche, Araucan people settled in Patagonia (in the provinces of Neuquén, Río Negro, Chubut). Very active in safeguarding ancient traditions and defending the rights of the natives, the Mapuche have come to clash with governments that have long ignored the indigenous question, refusing to recognize the pre-existence of these peoples compared to those of Europe. 70% of the communities do not own the rights on the land they inhabit but in fact occupy public land with the consent of the government.
The Constitution recognizes the pre-existence of Amerindians and Argentina adheres to ILO treaty 169on the rights of indigenous peoples; the communities and the central government dialogue through the National Office for Indigenous Affairs and some provinces have legislation that is attentive to the requests of the natives. However, much remains to be done for the recognition of collective land rights and the administrative representativeness of tribal assemblies. A land of great attraction also for the climate and the richness of its soils, as a country of South America defined by oxfordastronomy, com, Argentina began to be massively populated only in recent times. In the past it practically constituted a land of outlet for the traffic that led to the mining areas (gold, silver) of the Andes; when the trafficking of precious metals ceased, the Spaniards began to exploit the free spaces of the Pampa, where bovine and equine breeding found ideal conditions. The fortunes of the breeding determined prosperity and well-being which, starting from the second half of the century. XIX, aroused the great European immigration. It continued for decades, peaking in the first decade of the 20th century. In 1869, the Argentine population was 1.7 million. and in 1914 it was already 8 million; the growth continued, albeit soon also supported by the natural increase; in 1936 there were 12 million residents, more than tripled at the end of the twentieth century. At the 2001 census, the Argentines numbered 36,260,130 residents but the 2013 estimates speak of over 42 million. Population growth, as well as the birth rate, however, they recorded a progressive decrease and stabilized at values lower than the South American average (respectively 1% in the period 2000-2005 and 16.9 ‰ in 2012). The ethnic composition in 2012 saw the European element prevail (86.4% of the population), followed by the mestizo one(6.5%); the Amerindians represented 3.4% of the population, the Arabs 3.3% and another 0.4%. The Italians and Spaniards, to a lesser extent Germans, French, Slavs, etc. contributed to the formation of the Argentine people. With the complete cessation of European immigration, the contribution of the migratory movement is represented by a significant flow from the poorest countries of Latin America, directed mainly towards the squalid suburbs of the major cities (villas miserias) and is almost equalized by emigration, according to a repatriation phenomenon that has always been characteristic of Argentina. From the 1980s onwards, the country welcomed several thousand refugees from Asia (Laos, Pakistan, Iraq, Armenia, etc.) and Africa (Nigeria, Congo, Sierra Leone, etc.), while from the end of the 1990s the ‘Argentina received Colombian refugees who poured into other Latin American countries. In the early years of the 21st century, following the severe economic crisis, a massive migratory wave brought about 150,000 Argentines to Italy, Spain and the United States.