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Population Overview

The population of Chile is over 16 million (July 2008 estimate), with an annual growth rate of 0.97%. This rate is one of the lowest in Latin America, just behind Uruguay and Cuba. The population, however, is expected to reach 20 million by 2025, successfully fulfilling the countries appropriate replacement rate.

Chile’s present-day population is made up mostly of white and mestizo Chileans (30% and 65%, respectively), mixed descendants from European and indigenous Indian cultures. This large number accounts for the relatively homogenous national and ethnic identity, referred to as Chilenidad.

Chilean Europeans came mainly from Spain, specifically Basque and Castilian areas. Additionally, there is French, Italian, Irish, English, Swiss, Croatian, and most significantly, German immigrant presence seen throughout the land. This noteworthy German migration took place in 1848, filling up the provinces of Valdivia, Llanquihue, and Osornmo, creating a German-Chilean community which still stands strong today.

Indigenous peoples make up 4.6% of Chile’s population; the Mapuches, who live in the south, are the largest group (85%), though smaller populations of Aymara, Atacameño, Rapa Nui, and Kawaskhar peoples inhabit the country as well.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Chile: Population,

By Margaret Rode
A self-professed city girl, sassy staff writer Margaret Rode hails from Chicago where she received Bachelor degrees in English Literature and Spanish...
24 Mar 2009

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