Have you been outside Barrio Norte, Palermo, the micro center and Recoleta? If not you are living in an expat bubble - nothing wrong with that as long as you know that it is a bubble. After all, who wants to live in a slum here or anywhere else? Most of BA is extremely depressed and often highly dangerous. Go out to suburbs in the Province of Buenos Aires, especially those in the southern area, and you will come across some very scary areas. As for a comparison with the US, you should keep in mind that in general Americans have "voted with their feet" , i.e. they have left the cities for the suburbs precisely because major parts of most American cities have deteriorated so badly. A large part of the professional class here has done the same. Take a look at the gated community phenomenon here. It's nothing less than an imitation of the suburban American way of life.