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Chile Country Guide

Explore Chile in South America

Chile with the capital city Santiago is located in South America (Southern South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean). It covers some 756,951 square kilometres (slightly smaller than twice the size of Montana) with 16,432,000 citizens.

Map of the area of  in

The landscape offers low coastal mountains with fertile central valley and rugged Andes in east. The average density of population is approximately 22 per km². The notable climate conditions in Chile can be described as temperate with desert in north, Mediterranean in central region, cool and damp in south. Potential threats by nature are severe earthquakes or active volcanism or tsunamis.

To reach someone in Chile dial +56 prior to a number. There are 3,575,000 installed telephones. And there are 16,450,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 1900 Mhz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".cl". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 220V - 50Hz.

About the flag and history of Chile

Two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and red; a blue square the same height as the white band at the hoist-side end of the white band; the square bears a white five-pointed star in the center representing a guide to progress and honor; blue symbolizes the sky, white is for the snow-covered Andes, and red represents the blood spilled to achieve independence
note: design was influenced by the US flag.

Prior to the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century, the Inca ruled northern Chile while the Mapuche inhabited central and southern Chile. Although Chile declared its independence in 1810, decisive victory over the Spanish was not achieved until 1818. In the War of the Pacific (1879-83), Chile defeated Peru and Bolivia and won its present northern regions. It was not until the 1880s that the Mapuche were brought under central government control. After a series of elected governments, the three-year-old Marxist government of Salvador ALLENDE was overthrown in 1973 by a military coup led by Augusto PINOCHET, who ruled until a freely elected president was inaugurated in 1990. Sound economic policies, maintained consistently since the 1980s, have contributed to steady growth, reduced poverty rates by over half, and have helped secure the country's commitment to democratic and representative government. Chile has increasingly assumed regional and international leadership roles befitting its status as a stable, democratic nation.

Geography Quick-Facts

Summary Continent: South America
Neighbours: Peru, Bolivia, Argentina
Capital: Santiago
Size 756,950 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 292,260 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly smaller than twice the size of Montana
Population 16,432,000
Currency Name: Peso, Currency Code: CLP
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD) .cl
Telephone Country Prefix +56
Mobile Phone Connections 16,450,000
Landline Phone Connections 3,575,000

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Value name Value World Rank
Area 756,102 (sq km) 38

People and Society

Value name Value World Rank
Population 17,216,945 62
Population growth rate 0.86 (%) 127
Birth rate 14.12 (births/1,000 population) 141
Death rate 5.86 (deaths/1,000 population) 170
Net migration rate 0.35 (migrant(s)/1,000 population) 70
Maternal mortality rate 25.00 (deaths/100,000 live births) 131
Infant mortality rate 7.19 (deaths/1,000 live births) 161
Life expectancy at birth 78.27 (years) 53
Total fertility rate 1.85 (children born/woman) 148
Health expenditures 8.00 (% of GDP) 60
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 0.40 (%) 70
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 40,000 61
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 29.40 (%) 30
Children under the age of 5 years underweight 0.50 (%) 132
Education expenditures 4.20 (% of GDP) 104
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 17.5 (%) 73


Value name Value World Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity) 325,800,000,000 43
GDP - real growth rate 5.50 (%) 52
GDP - per capita (PPP) 18,700 72
Labor force 8,231,000 58
Unemployment rate 6.40 (%) 65
Distribution of family income - Gini index 52 15
Investment (gross fixed) 23.90 (% of GDP) 59
Taxes and other revenues 22.2 (% of GDP) 144
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 1.40 (% of GDP) 27
Public debt 10.10 (% of GDP) 141
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 2.80 (%) 69
Central bank discount rate 0.50 (%) 139
Commercial bank prime lending rate 9.03 (%) 98
Stock of narrow money 41,650,000,000 50
Stock of broad money 193,200,000,000 41
Stock of domestic credit 198,900,000,000 40
Market value of publicly traded shares 341,600,000,000 26
Industrial production growth rate 6.30 (%) 48
Current account balance -9,769,000,000 175
Exports 83,660,000,000 46
Imports 70,200,000,000 44
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 42,990,000,000 43
Debt - external 117,800,000,000 45
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 179,900,000,000 26
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 72,840,000,000 31


Value name Value World Rank
Electricity - production 59,750,000,000 (kWh) 45
Electricity - consumption 53,240,000,000 (kWh) 46
Electricity - imports 958,000,000 (kWh) 67
Electricity - installed generating capacity 15520000 (kW) 45
Electricity - from fossil fuels 64.4 (% of total installed capacity) 131
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 34.8 (% of total installed capacity) 60
Electricity - from other renewable sources 0.7 (% of total installed capacity) 73
Crude oil - production 6,000 (bbl/day) 87
Crude oil - imports 197,000 (bbl/day) 35
Crude oil - proved reserves 150000000 (bbl) 69
Refined petroleum products - production 209,600 (bbl/day) 54
Refined petroleum products - consumption 321,700 (bbl/day) 39
Refined petroleum products - exports 27,290 (bbl/day) 69
Refined petroleum products - imports 165,900 (bbl/day) 35
Natural gas - production 1,779,000,000 (cu m) 59
Natural gas - consumption 5,318,000,000 (cu m) 58
Natural gas - imports 3,458,000,000 (cu m) 40
Natural gas - proved reserves 97,970,000,000 (cu m) 55
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 68,760,000 (Mt) 49


Value name Value World Rank
Telephones - main lines in use 3,366,000 49
Telephones - mobile cellular 22,400,000 45
Internet hosts 2,152,000 38
Internet users 7,009,000 39


Value name Value World Rank
Airports 476 16
Railways 7,082 (km) 28
Roadways 77,764 (km) 60
Merchant marine 42 74


Value name Value World Rank
Military expenditures 2.10 (% of GDP) 64

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

List of current world heritage sites

Name Since
Churches of Chiloé
The Churches of Chiloé represent a unique example in Latin America of an outstanding form of ecclesiastical wooden architecture. They represent a tradition initiated by the Jesuit Peripatetic Mission in the 17th and 18th centuries, continued and enr ...
Historic Quarter of the Seaport City of Valparaíso
The colonial city of Valparaíso presents an excellent example of late 19th-century urban and architectural development in Latin America. In its natural amphitheatre-like setting, the city is characterized by a vernacular urban fabric adapted to the ...
Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works
Humberstone and Santa Laura works contain over 200 former saltpeter works where workers from Chile, Peru and Bolivia lived in company towns and forged a distinctive communal pampinos culture. That culture is manifest in their rich language, creativit ...
Rapa Nui National Park
Rapa Nui, the indigenous name of Easter Island, bears witness to a unique cultural phenomenon. A society of Polynesian origin that settled there c. A.D. 300 established a powerful, imaginative and original tradition of monumental sculpture and archit ...
Sewell Mining Town
Situated at 2,000 m in the Andes, 60 km to the east of Rancagua, in an environment marked by extremes of climate, Sewell Mining Town was built by the Braden Copper company in 1905 to house workers at what was to become the world’s largest undergrou ...