12.9 million

40.5 million

FOUNDED: 1536, by Spanish explorers.

MAIN INDUSTRIES: Food processing, motor vehicles, consumer products, textiles, chemicals and petrochemicals, printing, metallurgy, steel and agriculture.

LEATHER INDUSTRY: More than 100 working companies; about 60,000 employees; exports of $900 million a year over the last five years.

TOP ARGENTINE FASHION FIRMS: Jazmin Chebar, Rapsodia, Wanama, Pablo Ramirez, Paula Cahen D’anvers, Maria Cher, Laurencio Adot, Trosman, Tramando, Mariano Toledo.

TOP SHOPPING DISTRICTS: Palermo Soho, Florida Street and Recoleta.

AVERAGE TEMPERATURES: January, 84 degrees; July, 57 degrees.

LANGUAGE: Rioplatense Spanish, a dialect mainly spoken in areas in and around the Rio de la Plata basin, in Argentina and Uruguay.

MASS TRANSIT: The 33.4-mile-long underground metro, created in 1913, was the first in the Southern Hemisphere. Known for murals and art works in its stations, it offers a museum throughout its system that is considered the cultural heritage of the city. Buses feature hand-painted drawings. A fleet of 40,000 black-and-yellow taxis is available all hours.

SOURCES: National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INDEC), Buenos Aires Government, National Secretariat of Tourism,, National Institute of Industrial Technology (INTI), Subterraneos de Buenos Aires S.E., The Language of Linguistics

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