Chile

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

Introduction

Background

Prior to the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century, the Inca ruled northern Chile for nearly a century while an indigenous people, the Mapuche, inhabited central and southern Chile. Although Chile declared its independence in 1810, it did not achieve decisive victory over the Spanish until 1818. Chile has increasingly assumed regional and international leadership roles befitting its status as a stable, democratic nation.

Geography

Area

total: 756,102 sq km

land: 743,812 sq km

water: 12,290 sq km

Climate

temperate; desert in north; Mediterranean in central region; cool and damp in south

Natural resources

copper, timber, iron ore, nitrates, precious metals, molybdenum, hydropower

People and Society

Population

18,430,408 (2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

White and non-Indigenous 88.9%, Mapuche 9.1%, Aymara 0.7%, other Indigenous groups 1% (includes Rapa Nui, Likan Antai, Quechua, Colla, Diaguita, Kawesqar, Yagan or Yamana), unspecified 0.3% (2012 est.)

Languages

Spanish 99.5% (official), English 10.2%, Indigenous 1% (includes Mapudungun, Aymara, Quechua, Rapa Nui), other 2.3%, unspecified 0.2%; note - shares sum to more than 100% because some respondents gave more than one answer on the census (2012 est.)

Religions

Roman Catholic 60%, Evangelical 18%, atheist or agnostic 4%, none 17% (2018 est.)

Population growth rate

0.66% (2022 est.)

Government

Government type

presidential republic

Capital

name: Santiago; note - Valparaiso is the seat of the national legislature

Executive branch

chief of state: President Gabriel BORIC (since 11 March 2022); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Gabriel BORIC (since 11 March 2022)

Legislative branch

description: bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of:
Senate or Senado (50 seats); members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by open party-list proportional representation vote to serve 8-year terms with one-half of the membership renewed every 4 years)
Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (155 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by open party-list proportional representation vote to serve 4-year terms)

Economy

Economic overview

export-driven economy; leading copper producer; though hit by COVID-19, fairly quick rebound from increased liquidity and rapid vaccine rollouts; decreasing poverty but still lingering inequality; public debt rising but still manageable; recent political violence has had negative economic consequences

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$445.88 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$23,300 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

grapes, apples, wheat, sugar beet, milk, potatoes, tomatoes, maize, poultry, pork

Industries

copper, lithium, other minerals, foodstuffs, fish processing, iron and steel, wood and wood products, transport equipment, cement, textiles

Exports

$79.8 billion (2020 est.)

Exports - partners

China 32%, United States 14%, Japan 9%, South Korea 7% (2019)

Exports - commodities

copper, wood pulp, fish fillets, pitted fruits, wine (2019)

Imports

$66.43 billion (2020 est.)

Imports - partners

China 24%, United States 20%, Brazil 8%, Germany 5%, Argentina 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, crude petroleum, cars, broadcasting equipment, delivery trucks (2019)

Exchange rates

Chilean pesos (CLP) per US dollar -


Page last updated: Wednesday, May 11, 2022