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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 756,950 square kilometres (slightly smaller than twice the size of Montana) with 16,432,000 citizens.

Interactive map of Chile

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 and 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

Chile Flag Icon

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

SummaryContinent: South America
Neighbours: Peru, Bolivia, Argentina
Capital: Santiago
Size756,950 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 292,260 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly smaller than twice the size of Montana
CurrencyName Peso, Currency Code:CLP
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD).cl
Telephone Country Prefix+56
Mobile Phone Connections16,450,000
Landline Phone Connections3,575,000

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 nameValueWorld Rank
Area756,102 (sq km)38

People and Society

Value nameValueWorld Rank
Population17,216,945 62
Population growth rate0.86 (%)127
Birth rate14.12 (births/1,000 population)141
Death rate5.86 (deaths/1,000 population)170
Net migration rate0.35 (migrant(s)/1,000 population)70
Maternal mortality rate25.00 (deaths/100,000 live births)131
Infant mortality rate7.19 (deaths/1,000 live births)161
Life expectancy at birth78.27 (years)53
Total fertility rate1.85 (children born/woman)148
Health expenditures8.00 (% of GDP)60
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.40 (%)70
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS40,000 61
Obesity - adult prevalence rate29.40 (%)30
Children under the age of 5 years underweight0.50 (%)132
Education expenditures4.20 (% of GDP)104
Unemployment, youth ages 15-2417.50 (%)73


Value nameValueWorld Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity)325,800,000,000 43
GDP - real growth rate5.50 (%)52
GDP - per capita (PPP)18,700 72
Labor force8,231,000 58
Unemployment rate6.40 (%)65
Distribution of family income - Gini index52.10 15
Investment (gross fixed)23.90 (% of GDP)59
Taxes and other revenues22.20 (% of GDP)144
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)1.40 (% of GDP)27
Public debt10.10 (% of GDP)141
Inflation rate (consumer prices)2.80 (%)69
Central bank discount rate0.50 (%)139
Commercial bank prime lending rate9.03 (%)98
Stock of narrow money41,650,000,000 50
Stock of broad money193,200,000,000 41
Stock of domestic credit198,900,000,000 40
Market value of publicly traded shares341,600,000,000 26
Industrial production growth rate6.30 (%)48
Current account balance-9,769,000,000 175
Exports83,660,000,000 46
Imports70,200,000,000 44
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold42,990,000,000 43
Debt - external117,800,000,000 45
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home179,900,000,000 26
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad72,840,000,000 31


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Electricity - production59,750,000,000 (kWh)45
Electricity - consumption53,240,000,000 (kWh)46
Electricity - imports958,000,000 (kWh)67
Electricity - installed generating capacity15,520,000 (kW)45
Electricity - from fossil fuels64.40 (% of total installed capacity)131
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants34.80 (% of total installed capacity)60
Electricity - from other renewable sources0.70 (% of total installed capacity)73
Crude oil - production6,000 (bbl/day)87
Crude oil - imports197,000 (bbl/day)35
Crude oil - proved reserves150,000,000 (bbl)69
Refined petroleum products - production209,600 (bbl/day)54
Refined petroleum products - consumption321,700 (bbl/day)39
Refined petroleum products - exports27,290 (bbl/day)69
Refined petroleum products - imports165,900 (bbl/day)35
Natural gas - production1,779,000,000 (cu m)59
Natural gas - consumption5,318,000,000 (cu m)58
Natural gas - imports3,458,000,000 (cu m)40
Natural gas - proved reserves97,970,000,000 (cu m)55
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy68,760,000 (Mt)49


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Telephones - main lines in use3,366,000 49
Telephones - mobile cellular22,400,000 45
Internet hosts2,152,000 38
Internet users7,009,000 39


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Airports476 16
Railways7,082 (km)28
Roadways77,764 (km)60
Merchant marine42 74


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Military expenditures2.10 (% 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

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 enri ...
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 h ...
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 underground ...