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Chile by numbers



The Republic of Chile

Capital: Santiago de Chile

Independence: 18 September 1810 (from Spain)

Head of State and Government: President Michelle Bachelet Jeria (since 2006)


Area: 756,626 sq km / 292,058 sq miles

Length of the territory: 4,329km ; average width: 180km; coastline: 4,500km.

Geography: Chile's boundaries are geographically well defined: to the west is the Pacific Ocean; to the east the Andes mountains; to the north is the Atacama desert, the driest in the World; and to the south are the icefields and glaciers of Chilean Patagonia. There are wide variations of soil and climate between these features. Overall the climate is temperate with a desert climate in the north, a Mediterranean climate in the central region and cool and damp in the south.


Population: 16.4 million (July 2008 estimate). Two thirds of the population is concentrated in the central zone.

People: White and mixed European and Amerindian descent 95.4%, Mapuche 4%, other indigenous groups 0.6%. The indigenous community is comprised of the following groups: Mapuche (87.3%), Aymara (7.01%), Atacamenos (3.04%), Quechua, Rapa Nui, Colla, Alacalufe and Yamana.

Languages: The official language is Spanish. The indigenous communities also speak Mapuche, Aymara and Quechua, amongst others.

Religions: Roman Catholic 70%, Evangelical 15.1% , other Christian churches 2.04%, other religions (including Jews and Muslims) 4.55%, and atheists/indifferent 8.3%.

Life expectancy: 76.0 years

Literacy rate: 96%



GDP: $181.5 billion (2008 estimate)

Annual growth: 4.0% (estimate)

GDP composition by sector: agriculture: 5%;  industry: 50%; services: 45%

Unemployment: 7.3% (February 2008)

Industries: copper, other minerals, fresh fruit and vegetables, wine, fish processing, iron and steel, wood and wood products, transport equipment, cement, textiles.

Currency: Peso. Exchange rate March 2009: 611 Chilean pesos to 1 US$.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Chile: Chile Phones, Wiring Money, Banks , Traveler’s Checks, Money & Costs , When to Go to Viña del Mar, Shopping in Santiago, Rock Art, Chilean wine and Chile Internet access, WiFi and Internet cafes.

04 Mar 2009

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