The city of Mendoza is the district with the best quality of life in Argentina, according to a study published by the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (Conicet), which ranked the quality of life in 528 districts around the country.
“Mendoza has a really high percentage of university graduates [22.85%, national record], a very low population without a toilet [0.94%], and a low infant mortality rate [9.16 per 1,000],” explained Guillermo Velázquez, the coordinator of the research. Mendozans’ access to recreational facilities and the large number of parks and outdoor spaces in the city also contributed to its top ranking.
Following Mendoza in the top five were Vicente López (Greater Buenos Aires), Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego), San Isidro (Greater Buenos Aires), and Lago Argentino (Santa Cruz).
The study correlated 23 different variables including environmental problems (landfills, noise), natural leisure facilities (outdoor spaces, water spots), and social and cultural recreational facilities (cultural and sports centres). It also compared environmental, educational, housing, and health factors.
Velázquez went on to say that the quality of life on the whole has improved dramatically in Argentina over the last decade: “The transformations experienced by Argentina during the first decade of the 21st century show undoubtable achievements regarding the living conditions of the population, although there are some contradictions between different regions.”
At the bottom of the ranking was Ramón Lista in Formosa, where just 1.28% of the inhabitants are university graduates, 42.87% lack a toilet, and the infant mortality rate is 20.08 per 1,000.
Penultimate was Figueroa in Santiago del Estero, where 65% of the population live in shacks, 66% still cook with wood they have gathered, and 40% lack a refrigerator. Additionally, 90% of the population don’t have access to running water or a toilet, despite the fact that the district saw the inauguration of reservoir ‘Néstor Kirchner’ in 2011, reconstruction of which cost more than $700m.
The three other districts in the bottom five were also in Argentina’s north – including Formosa’s Matacos and Bermejo, and Salta’s Rivadavia – showing the sharp disparity between the country’s south/centre and north.