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ARGENTINA | 16-01-2024 17:44

Venezuelans now third-biggest immigrant community in Argentina

Behind Paraguayans and Bolivians, Venezuelans now make up 8.4% of Argentina’s immigrant population, according to the INDEC national statistics bureau.

Venezuelans are now Argentina’s third-largest immigrant community, behind Paraguayans and Bolivians, making up nearly 8.4 percent of foreign-born residents.

New data published by the INDEC national statistics bureau indicates that with a total of 522,598 individuals, Paraguayans are the biggest foreign community in Argentina, accounting for 27 percent of all immigrants. 

The second-largest community is made up of 338,299 Bolivians (around 17.5 percent), followed by the 161,495 Venezuelans who complete the podium.

The data, which comes from the 2022 National Census, reveals that Argentina has some 1.93 million foreign residents, accounting for 4.2 percent of its total population. That is the lowest rate since records began being kept in 1869.

“In Venezuela, I would work and couldn’t afford anything. Here at least I can feed my two children, aged six and 11, and I can afford a home,” said 30-year-old Patricia Rondón, the employee of a traditional Venezuelan food business in Buenos Aires.

Rondón is one of the 7.7 million people who, since 2014, have left Venezuela, an oil-rich country which has been in the grip of a deep political, economic and social crisis for years. In a decade, its GDP decreased by 80 percent, with a quarter of the population seeking new horizons outside the country, according to United Nations data.

Argentina has attracted immigrants from Latin America for years – the nation is also home to many Peruvians (156,251 people), Chileans (149,082) and Uruguayans (95,384).

More than half of the migrants residing in Argentina live in Buenos Aires Province, while just under 22 percent live in Buenos Aires City – in total, the two districts are home to 73.1 of the foreign-bon population

Over a century ago, in 1914, almost 30 percent of Argentina’s population was born foreign-born, due to the migratory wave arriving mainly from European countries. 

“The declining trend of the non-native population’s proportion of the population residing in private dwellings is thus confirmed, a constant feature of this third millennium,” INDEC said.

While inhabitants arriving from non-bordering countries (24.5 percent) have doubled in a decade, the number of European immigrants arriving has fallen by half (8.3 percent of the total). For example, Italy now stands seventh, with just over 68,000, followed by Spain in ninth (48,492). 

In terms of English-speaking nations, the United States is 12th with 13,986 US citizens living here, followed by the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland in 25th place (1,840) and Canada in 29th (1,377).

As an immigrant, Rondón described the same problems of lack of housing existing in Buenos Aires, where the supply of leases was reduced to a minimum and historically very high prices.

“You can’t rent if you have children, most landlords don’t take kids, and that doesn’t just apply to Venezuelans either,” said the woman, who lives with a family in a studio flat with four children.


– TIMES/AFP
 

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