Prevalence of Psychologists in Argentina

A 2008 study found that Argentina has 145 psychologists per 100,000 citizens. That is the highest rate in the world. The Wall Street Journal reports the following numbers (from 2005 – the number of psychologists in Argentina has increased since that time):

“Per Capita: Argentina topped a world ranking of psychologists per capita compiled by the World Health Organization in 2005:

Psychologists per 100,000 inhabitants

Argentina: 121.2
Denmark: 85
Finland: 79
Switzerland: 76
Norway: 68
Germany: 51.5
Canada: 35
Brazil: 31.8
USA: 31.1
Ecuador: 29.1

Also: In 2008, Argentina had 145 psychologists per 100,000 inhabitants; the capital, Buenos Aires, 789, according to a report by Modesto Alonso and Paula Gago. A 2009 national survey conducted by TNS Argentina found that 32% of respondents had at some time made a psychological consultation. That was an increase from 2006, when 26% said they had.”

Does anyone know why Argentina has much higher rates of psychologists than other countries? Buenos Aires particularly has a very high concentration of psychologists. What is further interesting is that many of the psychologists – at least inferred from the article – have a psychodynamic background.

So why does Argentina have a high concentration of psychologists? When looking at the list of countries with rates higher than the United States there are a number of possible explanations. One is that psychology is valued more in those countries than it is in the United States. Maybe the people are more trusting of psychologists and open to psychotherapy. Another possible explanation is that people in those countries are more depressed or anxious or have other psychopathology. They also could have fewer other resources to which they can turn for support (e.g., family or clergy or friends). Another possible answer is that there is something about the countries that make psychologists more prevalent. It could be political (maybe more turmoil or less stable governments), criminal (higher rates of crime), or some other psychosocial factor. It’s possible that higher rates of psychologists is related to prevalence of socialistic philosophy. Maybe psychologists in those countries are paid better than they are in countries with lower numbers per capita of psychologists. There could be any number of reasons why there is a higher prevalence of psychologists in Argentina (and other countries for that matter). Any additional thoughts?

5 Replies to “Prevalence of Psychologists in Argentina”

  1. It is mostly a cultural thing. Psychology is very prevalent and open here. In many other countries and cultures it is a taboo thing and so people suffer with self esteem, relationship difficulties, anger management and so on without getting help. In Argentina it is ok to talk about things and in fact it is a very positive thing to do so. As a result of this forward thinking they have some of the best schools and professionals anywhere.
    Of course the government has embraced it as well and most benefit plans offer x number of sessions a year.

  2. Because underneath the couture, they are all crazy. The formerly recessive cuckoo gene has spread and in now dominant.

  3. The hottest and initial strategy is the questioning and observing the patient. Abraham Maslow identified traits of self-actualized people that are similar to the character strengths identified and found in some positive psychology interventions.

  4. Creo que no tiene que ver con la policita, ni la economia, ya que la payoria de los casos o patologias son dentro del seno familiar. Yo no soy psicologo pero siempre me atrajo leer el comportamiento ajeno, saber porque actua de tal forma. Creo que indudablemente esta ligado a como pais, sentir la necesidad de buscarle un porque a todo, de que todo tiene un porque, y creo que es algo cultural, en el pais sabemos que nada es porque si… somos una cultura muy extrovertida por lo general en la parte centro y sur del pais… y eso creo que tambien es merito de tener una mente que continuamente evalua todo el comportamiento de uno, y por lo general la conclusion es que “hay que ser como nuestro sentido nos marque, si culpas..”

  5. Y agrego algo, cuando hablo de cultura hablo de que el argentino, siempre busca hacer responsable de sus errores a otros, quizas a su pasado, a algun familiar, etc, y si no lo encontramos, hay que buscar un psicologo, para que nos ayude a indagar mas a fondo…. quizas esa sea unde las cuestiones…

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