Argentina Emigration and Immigration

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How to Find the Records[edit | edit source]

Online Records[edit | edit source]

Cultural Groups[edit | edit source]

National Archives[edit | edit source]

People desiring to leave Argentina were required to request permission from the government. These records are available for research in the National Archives of Argentina. Records of genealogical value at national archives include: protocols of scribes (including wills, powers, titles of land, etc.), probate courts, censuses, data and titles of lands, church records, civil records, court records, military records, emigration lists, land records, colonial records, and more.

General Archive of the Nation (Archivo General de la Nación)
Av. Leandro N. Alem 246
C1003AAP Buenos Aires
Telephone: 00 54 11) 4331-5531

This centre houses the Registro de Entrada de pasajeros al Puerto de Buenos Aires between 1821 and 1869. This entry register contains several details about immigrants, such as their name, surname, place of origin and the name of the ship. The archive includes the Censo Nacional de Población y Económico-Social. This census records the name, surnames, sex, age, nationality, profession, religion, marital status and number of children. After the 1895 National Census, details on economic and social activities were also included.
The Administración Nacional de Seguridad Social, Expedientes de Jubilaciones y pensiones series (mid 19th century to 1956) can provide interesting information for Spanish applicants.
The Contaduría Nacional series keeps passenger lists (1874-1916).
The Consejo Nacional de Educación series contains the school censuses, also of interest for exploring school attendance of the children of Spanish immigrants.

Centro de Estudios Migratorios Latinoamericanos - CEMLA

This is an online database where users can search for passengers and immigrants landing in the port of Buenos Aires between 1882-1932, 1938-1945, 1947, 1948, 1949 and 1950. The details provided are: Name, surname, birthplace (from 1923), marital status, age, profession, religion, port of departure, ship name and date of arrival.

Dirección Nacional de Migraciones

This houses the registration books of passenger arrivals by sea from 1881 to 1951. It also keeps the entry/departure books for riverboat passengers from 1907 to 1937.

Museo Hotel de Inmigrantes:

Opened in 1911. It holds the same database as the CEMLA, concerning passengers entering through the Port of Buenos Aires. Users have the option of running a search by surname and date window. Information can be requested by e-mail, museodelainmigració

Other Records of Departure[edit | edit source]

Other records that might have information on immigrants include:

  • Permissions to emigrate.
  • Newspaper announcements.
  • Probates of relatives who stayed.
  • Church records (annotations).
  • Police Lists/ Registrations.
  • Passports.
  • Court Records.

Finding the Town of Origin in Argentina[edit | edit source]

If you are using emigration/immigration records to find the name of your ancestors' town in Argentina, see Argentina Finding Town of Origin for additional research strategies.

Argentina Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

"Emigration" means moving out of a country. "Immigration" means moving into a country. (See Immigration into Argentina.)
Emigration and immigration sources list the names of people leaving (emigrating) or arriving (immigrating) in the country. These sources may be passenger lists, permissions to emigrate, or records of passports issued. The information in these records may include the emigrants’ names, ages, occupations, destinations, and places of origin or birthplaces. Sometimes they also show family groups.

Immigration into Argentina[edit | edit source]

Dark thin font green pin Version 4.png After this general history, you will find specific record links and background information for the major immigrant groups, organized by country:

  • Argentina is considered a country of immigrants. Argentines usually refer to the country as a crisol de razas (crucible of races, or melting pot).
  • In colonial times, the ethnic composition of Argentina was the result of the interaction of the pre-Columbian indigenous population with a colonizing population of Spanish origin and with sub-Saharan African slaves.
  • Between 1857 and 1950, Argentina was the country with the second biggest immigration wave in the world, at 6.6 million, second only to the United States. *However, immigration did not have the same impact in the whole country. According to the 1914 national census, 30% of Argentina's population was foreign-born, including 50% of the people in the city of Buenos Aires, but foreigners were only 2% in the provinces of Catamarca and La Rioja (North West region).
  • Most Argentines are descended from the 19th- and 20th-century immigrants of the great immigration wave to Argentina (1850–1955), with a great majority coming from European countries, particularly Italy and Spain.
  • Argentina is home to a significant Arab population; including those with partial descent, Arab Argentines number 1.3 to 3.5 million, mostly of Syrian and Lebanese origin. As in the United States, they are considered white. The majority of Arab Argentines are Christians belonging to the Maronite Church, Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Rite Catholic Churches.
  • The Asian population in the country numbers around 180,000 individuals, most of whom are of Chinese and Korean descent, although an older Japanese community originating from the early 20th century still exists.[282]
  • From the 1970s, immigration has mostly been coming from Bolivia, Paraguay and Peru, with smaller numbers from the Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Romania.[1]

History[edit | edit source]

  • After independence was won, the government encouraged immigration. Free land, tools and animals were given to these new colonists if they would work on the land for five years.
  • In 1824, the Commission of Immigration began advertising to attract European immigrants to create new agriculture communities in the vast open lands outside the great Buenos Aires. One of the first groups sponsored came from the British Isles in Feb 1825, departing from Glasgow and Liverpool. Some of the first Irish settled in these outskirts Buenos Aires and south of Santa Fe.
  • Starting around 1853, the project to colonize took force. Immigrants with contracts settled in the provinces of Santa Fe, Chaco, and Entre Rios. In 1857, these contracts brought families from Switzerland, the Piedmont area in Argentina, and the Haute–Savoie and Savoie departments in France. Russians and Germans also began coming at this time.
  • Until 1876, Santa Fe and Entre Rios were at the head of the new colonization movement.
  • After this wave of contracted immigrants, other independent immigrants came.
  • By 1875, 68,277 new immigrants had entered Argentina. From 1870–1890, a million and half more came. In the latter part of this period, hundreds of Russian Jewish Refugees came and settled the province of Entre Rios.
  • The Welsh came and settled the southern zone of the country.
  • The latest of the new arrivals were Koreans, Chinese, Taiwanese, and the Africans.
  • Most immigrants to Argentina arrived at the port of Buenos Aires or crossed the Uruguay border from Montevideo.

French Argentinians[edit | edit source]

French Online Records[edit | edit source]

French Background[edit | edit source]

  • French Argentines form one of the largest ancestry groups after Italian Argentines and Spanish Argentines.
  • Between 1857 and 1946, 261,020 French people immigrated to Argentina.
  • Besides immigration from continental France, Argentina also received, as early as the 1840s, immigrants with French background from neighboring countries, notably Uruguay.
  • In 2006, it was estimated that around 6 million Argentines had some degree of French ancestry, up to 17% of the total population.[4]
  • During the first half of the 19th century, most French immigrants to the New World settled in the United States and in Uruguay. 13,922 Frenchmen, most of them from the Basque Country and Béarn, left for Uruguay between 1833 and 1842.
  • In 1852, Argentina overtook Uruguay and became the main pole of attraction for French immigrants in Latin America.
  • From the second half of the 19th century to the first half of the 20th century, Argentina received the second largest group of French immigrants worldwide, second only to the United States. Between 1857 and 1946 Argentina received 239,503 French immigrants - out of which 105,537 permanently settled in the country.
  • French immigration to Argentina can be divided in three main periods, as follows:
  • France was the third source of immigration to Argentina before 1890, constituting over 10% of immigrants, only surpassed by Italians and Spaniards. During the first period (1852–1890), French immigration was similar, in numbers and in features, to that of Italians and Spaniards. It belonged to a larger movement of emigration of Basque people, from both sides of the Pyrenees.
  • from 1890 to 1914, immigration from France, although reduced, was still significant;
  • lastly, after WWI, the flow of French immigrants was minimal and only grew again after WWII to finally stop in the 1950s.[2]

German Argentinians[edit | edit source]

German Online Records[edit | edit source]

German Background[edit | edit source]

German immigration to Argentina occurred during five main time periods: pre–1870, 1870–1914, 1918–1933, 1933–1940 and post–1945.

  • In the first period numbers were generally low; of note are the colonias alemanas, first founded in the province of Buenos Aires in 1827.
  • During the second period, Argentina experienced a boom in immigration due to massive economic expansion in the port of Buenos Aires and the wheat and beef producing Pampas.
  • During the third period, after a pause due to World War I, immigration to Argentina resumed and German speakers came in their largest numbers. This can be attributed to increased immigration restrictions in the United States and Brazil as well as the deteriorating conditions in post-World War I Europe. The two largest years of German immigration to Argentina were 1923 and 1924, with approximately 10,000 each year. Though found throughout Argentina, over 80% of these were located in Buenos Aires, Misiones, or Entre Ríos in 1933.
  • During the penultimate period, from 1933 to 1940, Argentina experienced another surge in German immigration. The majority were German Jews although other German opponents of Nazism also arrived. Half of the 45,000 German speakers who immigrated at this time settled in Buenos Aires. They comprised 28% of total immigration to the country, as mass migration to Argentina was slowing.
  • The final period of German immigration to Argentina occurred between 1946 and 1950 when President Juan Perón ordered the creation of a ratline for prominent Nazis, collaborators and other fascists from Europe. During this period, Argentine diplomats and intelligence officers, on Perón's instructions, vigorously encouraged these groups to make their home in Argentina.
  • The country received 12,000 immigrants from Germany between 1946 and 1952, a smaller number than in previous periods. [3]
Volga Germans[edit | edit source]
  • Upon the invitation of Catherine the Great, 25,000 Germans immigrated to the Volga valley of Russia to establish 104 German villages from 1764 to 1767. A century after the first Germans had settled in the Volga region, Russia passed legislation that revoked many of the privileges promised to them by Catherine the Great.
  • Several nations in the Americas were attempting to attract settlers by offering inducements reminiscent of those of Catherine the Great. Soon after the military service bill became law, both Protestant and Catholic Volga Germans gathered and chose delegations to journey across the Atlantic to examine settlement conditions in countries like the United States, Argentina, Brazil, and Canada.
  • Many Catholic Volga Germans chose South America as their new homeland because the official religion in Brazil and Argentina was Roman Catholic. The ratio of Catholic to Protestant Volga Germans in South America was 7 to 1.
  • Under the guidance of Andreas Basgall, Volga Germans started to relocate to Argentina from Brazil in December 1877, and in January 1878 they founded the first Volga German colony of Hinojo, in the province of Buenos Aires.
  • Some large groups of Volga Germans on ships destined for Brazil were diverted to Argentina. These people settled in Colonia General Alvear in the province of Entre Ríos. Additional Volga Germans, some from Brazil and others directly from Russia, arrived in Argentina over the next few years. Colonia General Alvear was for many years the main settlement of Volga Germans in Argentina. Nearly 90% of the first Volga Germans who arrived in Argentina settled there.
  • From both starting points of Colonia General Alvear and of Colonia Hinojo they spread in all directions. There are still fifteen villages in Entre Ríos populated by descendants of the original settlers, twelve of them are of Catholic origin, and the remaining three, Protestant. However, most Volga Germans live in small cities like Ramírez, Crespo, Urdinarrain, Galarza, and Maciá where they usually are the majority. Expansion from Colonia Hinojo went westwards comprising south of Buenos Aires and the province of La Pampa; from there they reached Córdoba and Chaco. Catholic settlers in La Pampa came from south of Buenos Aires and Protestants from Entre Ríos. The former founded Santa María and Santa Teresa, the latter Guatraché, San Martín, and Alpachiri.
  • Today the Volga-German population alone in Argentina is well over 2 million.[3]

Irish Argentinians[edit | edit source]

Irish Online Records[edit | edit source]

Irish Background[edit | edit source]

  • Irish emigrants from the Midlands, Wexford and many counties of Ireland arrived in Argentina mainly from 1830 to 1930, with the largest wave taking place in 1850–1870. The modern Irish-Argentine community is composed of some of their descendants, and the total number is estimated at 500,000–1,000,000.
  • Argentina is the home of the fifth largest Irish community in the world, the largest in a non-English speaking nation and the greatest in Latin America.
  • Most of those who left Ireland arrived in Buenos Aires attracted by the possibility of better living conditions, as the economic, social and political conditions in Ireland at the time were quite poor, but the emigrants came from counties and social segments in which the economic conditions were not the worst (Westmeath, Longford, Offaly, Wexford).
  • Others, in turn, left after receiving favorable descriptions of the country from friends and family who had already arrived in Argentina.
  • The real or perceived possibility to becoming landowners in the Río de la Plata region (Argentina and Uruguay) and consequently joining the South American landed gentry, was the most important factor attracting thousands of young men to the area. Others had arrived earlier as merchants, artisans and mercenaries.
  • For Irish immigrants, the new lands of the Southern Cone of South America brought further interest for immigration to purchase large land tracts for bargain prices, working first as labourers, then in "halves" or "thirds" in the sheep-farming business, and finally renting and purchasing land.[4]

Italian Argentinians[edit | edit source]

Italian Online Sources[edit | edit source]

Italian Argentine Background[edit | edit source]

  • Italian settlements in Argentina, along with Spanish settlements, formed the backbone of today's Argentine society. Argentine culture has significant connections with Italian culture in terms of language, customs, and traditions.
  • Italian is the largest ethnic origin of modern Argentines, after the Spanish immigration during the colonial population. It is estimated that up to 30 million Argentines have some degree of Italian ancestry (62.5% of the total population).
  • Italians began arriving in Argentina in large numbers from 1857 to 1940, totaling 44.9% of the entire postcolonial immigrant population, more than from any other country (including Spain, at 31.5%). In 1996, the population of Argentines of partial or full Italian descent numbered 15.8 million when Argentina’s population was approximately 34.5 million, meaning they represented 45.5% of the population. Today, the country has 30 million Argentines with some degree of Italian ancestry in a total population of 40 million.[5]

Spanish Argentinians[edit | edit source]

Spanish Online Records[edit | edit source]

Spanish Argentine Background[edit | edit source]

  • Spanish settlement in Argentina took place first in the period before Argentina's independence from Spain, and again in large numbers during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Between the 15th and 19th centuries, the Spanish Empire was the sole colonial power in the territories that became Argentina after the 1816 Argentine declaration of independence. Thus, before 1850, the vast majority of European settlers in Argentina were from Spain.
  • A substantial Spanish descended Criollo (Latin Americans who are of solely or of mostly Spanish descent) population gradually built up in the new cities, while some mixed with the indigenous populations (Mestizos), with the Black African-descended slave population (Mulattoes) or with other European immigrants.
  • Since a great portion of the immigrants to Argentina before the mid-19th century were of Spanish descent, and a significant part of the late-19th century/early-20th century immigrants to Argentina were Spaniards, the large majority of Argentines are at least partly of Spanish ancestry.
  • In the post-colonial period (1832-1950), there would be a further influx of Spanish immigrants to Argentina from all over Spain during the Great European immigration wave to Argentina, after the creation of the modern Argentine state. Between 1857 and 1960, 2.2 million Spanish people emigrated to Argentina, mostly from Galicia, the Basque Country, Asturias, Cantabria, and Catalonia in northern Spain, while significantly smaller numbers of immigrants also arrived from Andalusia in southern Spain.
  • Galicians make up 70% of the Spanish post-colonial immigrant population in Argentina. The city with the world's second largest number of Galician people is Buenos Aires, where immigration from Galicia was so profound that today all Spaniards, regardless of their origin within Spain, are referred to as gallegos (Galicians) in Argentina.
  • Roughly 10-15% of the Argentine population are descended from Basque people, both Spanish and French, and are described as Basque Argentines. They gather in several Basque cultural centers in most of the large cities in the country. A common practice among Argentinians of Basque origin is to identify themselves "French-Basques". This is because of French culture being considered more "fashionable" than Spanish among the average Argentinian.[6]

Welsh Argentinians[edit | edit source]

In 1865, a group of Wales immigrants settled in Patagonia. They founded a settlement that was named Y Wladfa.

Emigration[edit | edit source]

Dark thin font green pin Version 4.png One option is to look for records about the ancestor in the country of destination, the country they immigrated into. See links to Wiki articles about immigration records for major destination countries below. Additional Wiki articles for other destinations can be found at Category:Emigration and Immigration Records.
  • People from Argentina known as Argentines whom live overseas in communities across the Americas (like Uruguay and Brazil until the 1990s), western Europe (esp. Spain, Italy, Germany, France and the U.K.) and elsewhere (i.e. Israel), mainly are political refugees from the military junta in the late 1970s and 1980s.
  • Some Argentines chose to leave their country during the troubled years of government turmoil in the 1970s and 1980s.
  • Emigrants from Argentina left records documenting their migration in the country they left as well as in the country they moved to.
  • Most Argentinian emigrants left through Buenos Aires or the major cities with international transportation.
  • There are records of departures including emigration lists, passport records, and passenger lists.
  • The information in these lists varies over time but usually includes the emigrants’ names, ages, occupations, and destinations. In addition, relationships and last residence or birthplace may be given.

Records of Argentina Emigrants in Their Destination Nations[edit | edit source]

Argentinians in Brazil[edit | edit source]

Brazil Online Records[edit | edit source]

Brazil Background[edit | edit source]

  • Most Argentines outside Argentina are people who have migrated from the middle and upper middle classes.
  • The first wave of emigration occurred during the military dictatorship between 1976 and 1983, with principally to Spain, USA, Mexico and Venezuela.
  • The last major wave of emigration occurred during the 2001 crisis, mainly to Europe, especially Spain, although there was also an increase in emigration to neighboring countries, particularly Brazil, Chile and Paraguay.[7]

Argentinians in Canada[edit | edit source]

Canada Online Records[edit | edit source]

Canada Background[edit | edit source]

  • The Canadian Immigration Act of 1952 resulted in an increased number of skilled and educated Argentine immigrants to Canada. The majority were fleeing the economic decline and political turmoil following the Revolución Libertadora. An average of 400 Argentines immigrated to Canada annually from 1964 to 1972.
  • Beginning in 1973, increased instability, terrorism and high inflation in Argentina created another wave of immigration to Canada. The rate of immigration increased to more than 1000 persons annually during the mid-1970s. The influx lasted until 1983, coinciding with the progress of Argentine democracy.
  • The highest concentrations of Argentine Canadians are in Toronto, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec.[8]

Argentinians in France[edit | edit source]

France Online Records[edit | edit source]

France Background[edit | edit source]

Argentinians in France in 2012 numbered 11,899 (or up to 15,000).[9]

Argentinians in Israel[edit | edit source]

Israel Online Records[edit | edit source]

Israel Background[edit | edit source]

  • Argentine Jewish immigration to Israel has been, and still is, the largest and most significant migratory flow from South America. This is because Argentina has one of the largest Jewish communities in the world. Because of this, many Jewish Argentines are able to make aliyah and become Israeli citizens through the Law of Return. The Argentine community in Israel is about 50,000 people, although some estimates put the figure at 70,000, making it one of the fastest growing groups in the country.
  • Since the establishment of the State of Israel there has been an Argentine Jewish migratory flow to Israel although this flow has fluctuated over time.
  • Argentina has maintained long and stable relations with Israel. The South American nation was always opened to immigrants, and Jews were no exception to this except for a brief period when Jewish immigration was banned. Despite this, thousand of Jews entered Argentina and made it their home.
  • It was not until the 1976 Argentine coup d'état when a large number of Jews fled the country in search of safety.
  • The number of Argentine Jews emigrating to Israel greatly increased throughout the period of the Dirty War. Many of them settled permanently in Israel while others returned to Argentina after the fall of the junta.
  • Many Jewish Argentines choose Israel as an alternative to settle due to political and economic instability that has rocked Argentina in recent decades.
  • It was during the Argentine crisis of 2001 when Israel saw the largest number of olim from the South American country.
  • The 1992 attack on the Israeli embassy and the 1994 bombing of the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires also helped create an impetus for Jews to emigrate.
  • There is a significant number of non-Jewish Argentines, having, or being married to somebody who has, at least one Jewish grandparent, who choose Israel as their new home, either permanently or temporarily.[10]

Argentinians in Spain[edit | edit source]

Spain Online Records[edit | edit source]

Spain Background[edit | edit source]

  • Between 1857 and 1940, more than 2 million Spanish people emigrated to Argentina, mostly from Galicia, Basque Country, Asturias, Cantabria in northern Spain, Catalonia in northeast Spain, and also from Andalusia in southern Spain.[11]
  • As a result of political, social and economic problems that hit the country in recent decades, many Argentines chose to emigrate, mainly to other countries in the Americas or countries where their parents and/or grandparents came from (mainly Spain and Italy).
  • In 2018, 256,071 Argentines lived in Spain. 18,390 lived in Catalonia, with 13,387 in Barcelona. 12,635 lived in Andalucia, with 6,589 in Málaga. 10,526 lived in Valencia, with 5,510 in Alicante. 9,706 lived in Madrid, and 6,746 lived in the Balearic Islands.
  • The Argentines are the fourth most numerous Latin American community in Spain. [12]

Argentinians in the United States[edit | edit source]

United States Online Records[edit | edit source]

Argentinians in Uruguay[edit | edit source]

Uruguay Online Records[edit | edit source]

Uruguay Background[edit | edit source]

  • Many Argentine-born persons reside in Uruguay, for a number of reasons. Both countries share the same language, culture and ethnicity and their populations bear striking similarities. There is no need for special migration documents, and circulation is relatively easy. Uruguay is a small, quiet country, with wide beaches on the Atlantic Ocean, so many Argentines choose Uruguay as their usual holiday destination, some of them even as permanent residence. Argentine people come to Uruguay in search of a better quality of life.
  • The 2011 Uruguayan census revealed 26,782 people who declared Argentina as their country of birth.[6] In 2013, there were almost 6,000 Argentine citizens registered in the Uruguayan social security.[13]

For Further Reading[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Argentina: Ethnography", in Wkikpedia,, accessed 10 May 2021.
  2. "French Argentines", in Wikipedia,, accessed 12 May 2021.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "German Argentines", in Wikipedia,, accessed 12 May 2021.
  4. "Irish Argentine", in Wikipedia,, accessed 11 May 2021.
  5. "Italian Argentines", in Wikipedia,, accessed 17 April 2021.
  6. "Spanish Argentines", in Wikipedia,, accessed 12 May 2021.
  7. "Argentinian Brazilians", in Wikipedia,, accessed 11 May 2021.
  8. "Argentine Canadians", in Wikipedia,, accessed 11 May 2021.
  9. "Immigration to France", in Wikipedia,, accessed 11 May 2021.
  10. "Argentines in Israel", in Wikipedia,, accessed 11 May 2021.
  11. "Ethnic groups of Argentina", in Wikipedia,, accessed 11 Mat 2021.
  12. "Argentines in Spain", in Wikipedia,, accessed 11 May 2021.
  13. "Argentines in Uruguay", in Wikipedia,, accessed 11 May 2021.