Teaching Module

Love & Authority in Argentina (19th c)

School Population in Buenos Aires, Argentina [Quantitative Evidence]


This chart demonstrates the fluctuating attendance rates of school aged children in a select number of schools in Buenos Aires between 1815 and 1831. This is not a complete list of the port city’s schools; it represents schools that maintained the most complete attendance records. By 1815, Buenos Aires had 13 elementary schools with 1,200 students, which only accounted for approximately five percent of the city’s school aged children. Clearly, these children were not attending public educational institutions in large numbers.

By the end of the late 19th century, these numbers improved, but only marginally. During the 1870s, for instance, there were 107 public schools in Buenos Aires (along with 120 private schools), which taught more than 7,700 students. This meant that only 22 percent of all of the city’s school aged children attended classes on a regular basis. Thus, Argentina (and Buenos Aires in particular) had not yet succeeded in extending public education to all.


Chart of "Changes in Population in Public Primary Schools, 1815–1831." El Censor, April 24, 1817; Archivo General de la Nación, X-6-1-1, Instrucción Pública, 1812–35; and Archivo General de la Nación, Sala X, División Gobierno Nacional, Censos, 1813–61. Reprinted in Szuchman, Mark D. Order, Family, and Community in Buenos Aires, 1810–1860. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1988. Annotated by Jesse Hingson.

Primary Source Text

Quantitative Evidence, School Population in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Population Net Percentage Change
School 1815 1817 1829 1831 1815-31
Cathedral 150 147 90 148 0.0
Montserrat 114 144 85 123 +7.9
Concepción 59 65 82 89 +50.8
San Nicolás 130 113 73 81 -37.7
Piedad 130 143 83 11 -14.6
Hospicio 59 62 52 55 -6.8
San Telmo -- 176 93 119 --
Socorro 69 150 -- 140 +102.9

How to Cite This Source

"Love & Authority in Argentina (19th c)," in Children and Youth in History, Item #60, https://cyh.rrchnm.org/items/show/60 (accessed August 10, 2021).