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Facts and Information About Chile

Population and Demographics of Chile:

As of 2015 Chile has a population of about 18 million people. About 85% of the population lives in urban areas of Chile. 40% of the total population in Chile lives in the greater Santiago area (5.6 million people).  Following Santiago, the greater Concepcion area has 861,000 people and the greater Valparaiso area has 824,000 people.  This leaves a lot of Chile sparsely inhabited with beautiful scenery and clean air.

2015 Population Estimate of Chile: 18,006,407

Population Density (2012): 61 people per square mile

Nationality: Chilean

Major Ethnic Group: European and Mestizo (approximately 95% of the population)

Minor Ethnic Group: Mapuche and other indigenous Indians (5%)

Population Growth Rate: 0.9%

Birth Rate: 14.7/1000 people (2010)

Death Rate: 5.7/1000 people (2010)

Life Expectancy: Male - 74.26 Years and Female - 80.96 Years

 

Language:

 

The official language of Chile is Spanish with 99% of the population speaking it.  It is different than almost any other Spanish in that there are a lot of Chilean slang terms, and it is spoken very fast.  Chilean Spanish is the fastest-spoken Spanish in the world.

 

Official Language: Spanish

Percentage of Spanish Speakers: 99.5%

Percentage of English Speakers: 10.2%

Percentage of indigenous: 1% (includes Mapudungun, Aymara, Quechua, Rapa Nui)

Percentage of Other Languages Spoken: 2%

 

Religions in Chile:

 

The major religion in Chile is Roman Catholic, but there are various other religions throughout the country.

 

Roman Catholic: 66.7%

Evangelical or Protestant: 16.4%

Jehovah's Witnesses: 1%

Other: 3.4%

None: 11.5%

 

Access to Sanitation Facilities:

 

Urban Areas of Chile: 100%

Rural Areas of Chile: 90.9%

Total: 99.1% of the population

 

Literacy:

 

97.5% of the total population over 15 years of age.

 

Government:

 

Official Country Name: Republic of Chile

Local Country Name: Republica de Chile

Government Type: Republic

Capital: Santiago (Valparaiso is the seat of the national legislature)

Administrative Regions: Aysen, Antofagasta, Araucania, Arica y Parinacota, Atacama, Biobio, Coquimbo, Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins, Los Lagos, Los Rios, Magallanes y de la Antartica Chilena, Maule, Region Metropolitana (Santiago), Tarapaca, and Valparaiso. *Note: Regions in Chile are similar to states in the U.S.

Independence Day: September 18th, 1810 (from Spain)

Last Adopted Constitution: 1980.  This constitution has been amended many times since then.  The last amendment was made in 2011.

Current President of Chile: Sebastian Pinera.

National Symbols: Huemul, Andean condor; National colors: red, white, blue.

 

Geography:

 

Chile is located in South America.  The long country is bordered by Argentina to the East, Peru to the North, South Pacific Ocean to the West and the South Pacific Ocean/Antartica to the South.  Chile is the longest country in the world.  The country has over 6,000 km of coastline. 

 

Total Area: 756,102 sq km

Terrain: Chile's terrain really varies since it is such a long country. You have small coastal mountains, flat desert, fertile valleys, rugged Andes and anything in between.

Lowest Point: 0 Meters (Pacific Ocean)

Highest Point: Nevado Ojos del Salado 6,880 meters

Natural Resources: Probably the most profitable natural resource Chile has is Copper. It makes up 60% of exports and 20% of the national GDP. The other natural resources Chile has are timber, iron ore, nitrates, precious metals, and hydropower.  Timber is a major business in Chile since the trees grow rapidly in the temperate climate.

Land Use: Agriculture (21%), Forest (21%), Other (57%)

Natural Hazards: Earthquakes, Volcanos, and Tsunamis

 

Transportation:

 

Number of airports with paved runways: 90

Number of airports with unpaved runways: 391

Total kilometers of roadways: 77,764 km

 

Military:

 

Military Branches in Chile: Chilean Army, Chilean Navy (Armada de Chile), Chilean Air Force (Fuerza Aerea de Chile, FACh)

Ages eligible for military service in Chile: Voluntary- 18-45, compulsory recruitment of males 18-45.  Although Chile does have the draft, it almost never gets used since there are plenty of Chileans that are voluntarily going into the Chilean military.