Chile Economy, Population, History and Maps

Chile is a South American country. Located along the west coast, Chile extends over 756 950 km2 , including the adjacent islands. It is bathed to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean and is bordered on the north by Peru and Bolivia and on the east by Argentina. The main cities are Santiago, the capital, with 4 434 900 residents (2004) and 5 408 900 in its metropolitan area, Concepción (220 700 residents), Viña del Mar (307 400 residents), Valparaíso (278 000 residents ), Talcahuano (256 400 residents) And Temuco (250 700 residents). All these data are from 2004.
Chile is the supreme authority on the Juan Fernández archipelago and the volcanic islets of Sala y Gómez, São Félix and São Ambrósio, all of which are located in the South Pacific. Most of the Chilean territory, located in the Andes, is mountainous. In Chile, in addition to extinct volcanoes, there are active volcanoes, such as Mount Guallaitu, 4000 meters above sea level, in northern Chile.

As the country has a great extent in latitude, the climate varies from hot desert, in the north, to cold climate (sub-Antarctic), in the extreme south. In the North is the Atacama Desert, one of the most arid deserts in the world. There are very harsh winters, with storms and floods that alternate with arid summers. It is in the central part, in the temperate region, that the population is concentrated and the largest cities are located, including the capital. The South is covered by forests and, in the flatter and more temperate areas, agriculture based on cereal cultivation is practiced.

Agriculture produces cereals, beets, fruit (grapes, apples, citrus fruits) and wine, with most of the production destined for the domestic market. Given the fish wealth of its extensive maritime area, the country is in the first places in terms of volume of fish catches. In terms of mining and energy resources, Chile has large reserves of copper (1st world producer), iron, molybdenum and nitrates. Minas Gerais production represents about half of the value of exports.
In the industry, the production of cement, cellulose, chemicals and food products deserves special mention. The country’s main trading partners are the United States of America, Japan, Brazil and Argentina.
Environmental indicator: the value of carbon dioxide emissions, per capita(metric tons, 1999), is 4.2.

The population is 16 134 219 residents (2006), which corresponds to a population density of 21.11 residents/km2. The birth and death rates are respectively 15.23% and 5.81%. Average life expectancy is 76.77 years. The value of the Human Development Index (HDI) is 0.831 and the value of the Gender-adjusted Development Index (IDG) is 0.821 (2001). It is estimated that in 2025 the population will be 18,532,000 residents. Ethnically, the residents are distributed among mestizos, Indians and Europeans and are followers of the Christian religion. Chile’s official language is Spanish.

The area now occupied by Chile was originally the land of Araucanian Indians and was invaded by the Incas in the 15th century. In 1541 a Spanish expedition founded Santiago. Chile was subsequently colonized by Spain, which established an agricultural society there, despite the fact that the Indians continued to rise up against the colonizers until the 19th century. He gained independence in 1818 and won the war with Peru and Bolivia, in which he removed a considerable part of their territory.
Much of the history of Chile in the 20th century was made up of party struggles between right and left. The Christian Democrats of Eduardo Frei who were in power between 1964 and 1970 were followed by the leftist coalition led by Salvador Allende, the first democratically elected Marxist Head of State. He nationalized the main industries and copper mines and initiated a social justice policy. His days as ruler were numbered. The United States Central Investigation Agency, the CIA, discovered that Allende was in favor of the Cuban communist regime and encouraged the opposition to bring down the government.
In 1973 the army led by General Augusto Pinochet overthrew the government. Allende was killed or, according to another version, committed suicide. Pinochet became president and his opponents were tortured, taken prisoner or simply disappeared. In 1976 Pinochet proclaimed an authoritarian regime and in 1977 he abolished all political parties and saw his policy approved in a referendum the following year. In 1980 the transition to democracy was announced, but the arrests and tortures continued. In 1983 opposition to Pinochet grew and called for a return to democracy. In 1984 an anti-government bomb campaign broke out, resulting in 90 days of state of emergency followed by 90 days of state of siege. In October 1988 Pinochet proposed to remain ahead of the country’s destinations for another eight years, but his proposal was rejected through a plebiscite. In August 1989, through another referendum, amendments to the Constitution were approved, consecrating the return to a pluralist regime, and in December, Patricio Aylwin, candidate of the Christian Democratic party, was elected president. He dismantled the political police and ordered a government commission to investigate 2000 executions between 1973 and 1978, 500 political crimes and 700 disappearances. In 1991 an official report said that 2279 people had been killed by the political police during Pinochet’s rule. Eduardo Frei replaced Aylwin as president in March 1994. For Chile democracy and rights, please check localbusinessexplorer.

The distribution of wealth continues to generate tensions in Chile. In 1995, half of the national income belonged to 10% of Chileans, while 29% of the population had only 3.7%. The Chilean State budget increased its share (+ 8%); there are less poor but much greater poverty, despite the fact that GDP per capita has tripled in recent years.

  • Offers a full list of airports in the country of Chile, sorted by city location and acronyms.
  • Provides most commonly used abbreviations and initials containing the country name of Chile. Listed by popularity.

Argentina – Ethnologue Map

Reveals the areas where various language families are spoken throughout Argentina and Chile.


Chile –

Find a simple political map of the South American country and an overview of its geography, population and government.


Chile – Infoplease Map

Find key cities and towns scattered throughout this long, narrow-shaped country, expanding along the west coast of South America.


MSN Encarta Maps – Chile

Detailed relief map highlights key towns and cities in this long, skinny-shaped country. Mouse over the map and click on an area to learn more.