Buenos Aires, officially Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, is the capital and largest city of Argentina. The city is located on the western shore of the Río de la Plata, on South America's south-eastern coast. "Buenos Aires" can be translated as "fair winds" or "good airs".
The city of Buenos Aires is neither part of Buenos Aires Province nor the Province's capital; rather, it is an autonomous district. In 1880, after decades of political infighting, Buenos Aires was federalised and removed from Buenos Aires Province. The city limits were enlarged to include the towns of Belgrano and Flores; both are now neighbourhoods of the city. The 1994 constitutional amendment granted the city autonomy, hence its formal name of Autonomous City of Buenos Aires. Its citizens first elected a Chief of Government in 1996; previously, the Mayor was directly appointed by the President of Argentina.
The Greater Buenos Aires conurbation, which also includes several Buenos Aires Province districts, constitutes the fourth-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas, with a population of around 15.6 million.
Buenos Aires' quality of life was ranked 91st in the world in 2018, being one of the best in Latin America. In 2012, it was the most visited city in South America, and the second-most visited city of Latin America.
It is known for its preserved eclectic European architecture and rich cultural life. Buenos Aires is a multicultural city that is home to multiple ethnic and religious groups, contributing to its culture as well as to the dialect spoken in the city and in some other parts of the country. This is because since the 19th century, the city, and the country in general, has been a major recipient of millions of immigrants from all over the world, making it a melting pot where several ethnic groups live together. Thus, Buenos Aires is considered one of the most diverse cities of the Americas.
Buenos Aires is the financial, industrial, and commercial hub of Argentina. The economy in the city proper alone, amounts to nearly a quarter of Argentina's as a whole. Metro Buenos Aires, according to one well-quoted study, constitutes the 13th largest economy among the world's cities. The Buenos Aires Human Development Index (0.867 in 2018) is likewise high by international standards.
The port of Buenos Aires is one of the busiest in South America, as navigable rivers by way of the Rio de la Plata connect the port to north-eastern Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay. As a result, it serves as the distribution hub for said vast area of the South American continent. The Port of Buenos Aires handles over 11,000,000 metric tons annually, and Dock Sud, just south of the city proper, handles another 17,000,000 metric tons.
The city's services sector is diversified and well-developed by international standards, and accounts for 76 percent of its economy. Advertising, in particular, plays a prominent role in the export of services at home and abroad. However, the financial and real estate services sector is the largest and contributes to 31 percent of the city's economy. Finance in Buenos Aires is especially important to Argentina's banking system, accounting for nearly half the nation's bank deposits and lending. Nearly 300 hotels and another 300 hostels and bed & breakfasts are licensed for tourism, and nearly half the rooms available were in four-star establishments or higher.
Manufacturing is, nevertheless, still prominent in the city's economy and, concentrated mainly in the southern part of the city. It benefits as much from high local purchasing power and a large local supply of skilled labour as it does from its relationship to massive agriculture and industry just outside the city limits. Construction activity in Buenos Aires has historically been among the most accurate indicators of national economic fortunes, and since 2006 around 3 million square meters of construction has been authorised annually. Meat, dairy, grain, tobacco, wool and leather products are processed or manufactured in the Buenos Aires metro area. Other leading industries are automobile manufacturing, oil refining, metalworking, machine-building, and the production of textiles, chemicals, clothing and beverages.
Buenos Aires is rated Alpha − by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) which evaluates and ranks the relationships between world cities in the context of globalisation. Alpha level cities are linked to major economic states and regions and into the world economy.
Buenos Aires is the #41 city in the world according to the Global Power City Index (GPCI) which evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to their magnetism, or their comprehensive power to attract people, capital, and enterprises from around the world. It does so through measuring six key functions: Economy, Research and Development, Cultural Interaction, Liveability, Environment, and Accessibility.
Buenos Aires is ranked #196 by the Global Urban Competitiveness Report (GUCR) which evaluates and ranks world cities in the context of economic competitiveness. Buenos Aires is rated C+ by the Global Urban Competitiveness Report (GUCR) which evaluates and ranks world cities in the context of economic competitiveness. C+ cities are strong international gateway cities. Buenos Aires has a population of over 2,891,000 people. Buenos Aires also forms part of the Greater Buenos Aires metropolitan area which has a population of over 13,641,973 people.