History


The following historical outline about statistics in Argentina is divided in three important periods:


The pre-statistical period: from the conquest and colonization of the Río de la Plata up to 1868. Only fragmented pieces of information about this period are available, this is the reason why researchers and historians have organized this information to clarify the emerging socio-economic structure of the country.

1573 

The first statistical records of Argentina are the registers created by Juan de Garay, founder of the City of Santa Fe, on which soldiers and families were counted. Similarly, in 1577, Don Lorenzo Juárez de Figueroa conducted the distribution of the plots in the City of Córdoba.

1586 

After the second foundation of the City of Buenos Aires in 1580 by Don Juan de Garay, several customs registers providing information about the development of the volume and the value of the exports, imports, and fiscal performances, were established.

1744 

The first registration of residency in the surrounding area of the Río de la Plata is carried out. The operative is limited to the Province of Buenos Aires that, at that time, included part of what is now the province of Santa Fe.

1776 

The Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata is created; and in 1778 a population census known as "Vértiz Census" (in reference to the Viceroy then in office) is carried out under the orders of Carlos III.

1822 

The first major advance in the organization of statistical information in the country takes place with the creation of the Statistical Register of the province of Buenos Aires.

1853 

The Argentine Confederation Constitution, enacted to unify the national territory, stipulated a General Census. Buenos Aires remained separated form the rest of the provinces until 1862. There were Statistics Bureaus operating independently in each of the territorial fractions.

1855 

The Central Statistical Office of the Argentine Confederation is organized. It operated until 1860.

1858 

The Confederation Census is carried out.

1864 

The National Statistical Office, dependent on the Ministry of Internal Affairs, is created. It has the responsibility to carry out the first National Census.

The second period: from 1869, when the First Census of the Argentine Republic was carried out, up to 1967. The Census constitutes the starting point, in the area of statistical analysis, of this second period characterized by a government participation that has been continuously increasing and organizing itself over time.

1869 

First Census of the Argentine Republic under the presidency of Domingo Faustino Sarmiento. The objective was the registration of residency of the population and the researches were very elementary.

1888 

First Census on Agriculture and Livestock. It is considered to be "the first serious research" related to the subject that was conducted in the country. It provided the basis for a clear understanding of the situation of the country.

1894 

Creation of the General Statistics Office of the Argentine Republic, dependent on the Ministry of Finance (Argentine Law No. 3 180).

1895 

Second Census of the Argentine Republic under the presidency of José Evaristo Uriburu. It includes information regarding demography, agriculture, and economy. Compared with the previous Census, the coverage is greater considering that is was carried out after the territorial unification of the country. The Industrial Census was part of the previously mentioned Second National Census and it is considered to be the first economic census of national coverage.

1908 

National Agricultural Census. Agricultural industries were surveyed. It was the second time that women were employed for compilation (the first time was during the Census of the City of Buenos Aires in 1904.)

1914 

Third National Census. It was carried out during the presidency of Victorino de la Plaza. It includes information regarding demography, agriculture, and economy. Compared with the first two national censuses, the scope of action of each census taker was reduced, which permitted a greater control. Indigenous peoples were not counted. The Industries Census was included in this operative.

1922 

National Livestock Census. It was conducted by the General Rural Economy and Statistics Office and it constituted the basis for the registration of residency of producers.

1930 

National Livestock Census. The information started to be processed mechanically.

1935 

Industrial Census. It was an economic census conducted independently from the population census. It covered manufacturing and mining activities and excluded trading activities. Similar surveys were carried out for those areas every two years until 1943. This census constituted the basis for a process of registration of residency of industrial establishments which resulted in the creation of the Industrial Permanent Record.

1937 

The General Agricultural Census constitutes a turning point in relation to the quantity and quality of the information provided. "Holleritz" mechanical equipment was used to process the information. By drilling the forms with the information contained in the book of the Census, a great number of data classifications and combinations were obtained.

1937-1943 

Industrial Statistics. Argentine Law No. 12 104, when referring to the 1935 Industrial Census, established that "a permanent statistic shall be maintained on the basis of this census, and it shall be published before April 30th of each year." The obligation of the annual survey was not fulfilled, but some surveys were achieved: in 1937, 1939, 1941, 1943, and, after the 1947 Industrial Census, in 1948 and 1950.

1943 

The General Statistics Office became known as the General Statistics and Censuses Office, still dependent on the Ministry of Finance (Argentine Decree-Law No. 10 785).

1944 

The General Statistics and Censuses Office became known as the National Council of Statistics and Censuses dependent on the Ministry of Internal Affairs (Argentine Law No. 13 940).

1946 

The National Council of Statistics and Censuses became known as the National Office of Research, Statistics, and Censuses dependent on the National Defense Council (Ministry of Internal Affairs) and on the Technical Secretariat of the Presidency (Argentine Executive Order No. 7 182).

1947 

Fourth General Census of the Nation. It was carried out during the presidency of Juan Domingo Perón. It includes information regarding demography, agriculture, and economy. It constitutes a break with the three previous general censuses considering that it includes the family as an observation unit. Referring to the economic aspect, the coverage is extended by including a building census and a survey on the capitalization and savings companies and on the financial sector.

1950 

The National Council of Statistics and Censuses became known as the General Statistical System Office belonging to the National Office of Technical Services of the Government dependent on the Ministry of Technical Affairs (Argentine Executive Order No. 5 240).

1952 

National Agricultural Census. It was a decentralized operative: each provincial or territorial government was responsible for their work in their respective jurisdictions. The operations base was the primary school, center of the survey. In addition, the General Statistical Service Office became known as the National Office of Statistical Service, simultaneously depending on the Ministry of Technical Affairs and on the Ministry of Finance (Argentine Executive Order No. 853).

1954 

Mining, Industrial, and Trade Census. It was carried out independently from the population census. It covered manufacturing, trade, mining, social and personal services, and services provided to businesses. Activities related to the banking, insurance, real estate, and transportation sectors were not included on this census.

1956 

Creation of the National Office of Statistics and Censuses dependent on the Ministry of Finance (Argentine Executive Order No. 4 220).

1960 

Population, Housing, and Agriculture National Census. It was carried out during the presidency of Arturo Frondizi. It constitutes a break with the legalistic nature of previous censuses due to the fact that it incorporated to the marital status the concept of "non-matrimonial or free unions". The unit of analysis "family" was replaced by "home". The system of data entry to mechanical forms was used for the compilation of the information.

1964 

Economic National Census. It incorporated the "services" sector which included the following areas: manufacturing, mining and quarrying, construction companies, utilities (electricity, natural gas, water), sanitation services, trade, commercial services, among others.

The following historical outline about statistics in Argentina is divided in three important periods:

1968 

Creation of the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INDEC) dependent on the National Development Council (CONADE, in its Spanish acronym) within the scope of the Argentine Executive Power (Argentine Law No. 17 622).

1969 

National Agricultural Census: It showed serious difficulties in the data processing, so it was only possible to publish a limited number of variables. The consequence was that the basic information available resulted really limited and imprecise for almost three decades.

1970 

Population, Families, and Housing National Census: de facto government, conducted by Roberto Levingston. For the first time, the frequency (10 years) established by the National Constitution was observed. It is the first census carried out by the INDEC. Computers were used for the data processing. The final results were not immediately published due to difficulties with the use of optical readers; they were finally published after 1977.

1971 

INDEC depends on the Planning and Governmental Management Department (Executive Power).

1973 

INDEC belongs to the Department of Planning and Economic Coordination within the scope of the Ministry of Economy.

1974 

National Economic Census. Several sectors of the economic activity were included: industry, trade, accommodation services, restaurants and the like, services related to transportation, repairing, among others. In addition, a National Agricultural Registration of Residency and a Livestock Census were carried out throughout the country.

1980 

Population and Housing National Census, de facto government under the presidency of Jorge Rafael Videla. Sampling techniques were used for the first time in the most populated provinces and cities.

1981 

INDEC depends on the Under-Secretariat of Economic Planning (Ministry of Economy).

1982 

INDEC belongs to the Department of Finance (Ministry of Economy).

1984 

INDEC depends on the Department of Planning within the scope of the Executive.

1985 

National Economic Census. It collected data related to manufacturing, trade, and services. Equipment of recording-verification was used to process the information.

1988 

National Agricultural Census. It collected data related to a wide group of subjects (agricultural, livestock, and forest activities) and it changed the situation of the evident lack of information about those subjects. INDEC began to participate actively in the coordination of statistics on the agricultural sector: it incorporated the Division of Primary Sector Statistics to the organizational structure of the Institute.

1991 

Population and Housing National Census, under the presidency of Carlos Saúl Menem. Some of the most important changes incorporated to this Census, is the population health coverage and pension situation. INDEC depends on the Department of Economic Planning (Ministry of Economy and Public Works and Services).

1994 

National Economic Census. Its major achievement was to provide information about sectors that were not considered in previous economic censuses or that, even surveyed, the results obtained were not satisfactory so they were not published (oil and gas extraction, other mining operations, financial intermediation, and several social services).

2001 

Population, Households, and Housing National Census, under the presidency of Fernando De La Rúa. New subjects were added: indigenous peoples and disability.

2002 

National Agricultural Census. Recommendations of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) about the maintenance of the intercensal and international comparability were incorporated to the design of this survey.

2004-2005 

National Economic Census. Unlike previous censuses, this census was carried out in two stages where a complete territorial coverage and a set of special operatives and economic sample surveys met.

2008 

National Agricultural Census.

2009 

INDEC depends on the Ministry of Economy and Public Finances.

2010 

Population, Households, and Housing National Census, under the presidency of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. New subjects were incorporated, such as Afro-descendants and the use of computers. Unlike the previous census, questions about indigenous peoples and disability were asked to each of the household's members. In observance to the Equal Marriage Act (whereby same sex couples acquired their right to marry lawfully), the consistency rule that prevented the registration of same sex couples was eliminated. On October 27th, the day the Census was being carried out, the former Argentine President, Néstor Kirchner, passed away.

2015 

In December,the constitutional change in National Administration marked the beginning of a new INDEC management.

2016 

A process of restoration of the public statistics system of the INDEC began, within a context of Administrative Emergency decreed by the National Executive Power (Executive Order 55/2016), until the completion of the publication of all historical indicators of periodic release.


Institutional History

1894
Legal regulation: Argentine Law N° 3.180
Name: General Statistics Office
Dependent on: Ministry of Finance

1943
Legal regulation: Argentine Decree-Law N° 10.785
Name: General Statistics and Censuses Office
Dependent on: Ministry of Finance

1944
Legal regulation: Argentine Law N° 13.940
Name: National Council of Statistics and Censuses
Dependent on: Ministry of Internal Affairs

1946
Legal regulation: Argentine Executive Order 7182
Name: National Office of Research, Statistics, and Censuses
Dependent on: National Defense Council (Ministry of Internal Affairs) and on the Technical Secretariat of the Presidency.

1950
Legal regulation: Argentine Executive Order 5240
Name: General Statistical Service Office
Dependent on: Ministry of Technical Affairs (as member of the National Office of Technical Services of the Government)

1952
Legal regulation: Argentine Executive Order 853
Name: National Office of the Statistical Service
Dependent on: Ministry of Technical Affairs and under the administrative control of the Ministry of Finance.

1956
Legal regulation: Argentine Executive 4220
Name: National Office of Statistics and Censuses
Dependent on: Ministry of Finance

1968
Legal regulation: Argentine Law N° 17.622
Name: National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INDEC)
Dependent on: National Development Council within the scope of the Argentine Executive Power. At present, INDEC depends on the Ministry of Economy and Public Finances.


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