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Republic of Chile
República de Chile (Spanish)
Motto: "Por la razón o la fuerza"
"By right or might"
and largest city
33°26′S 70°40′W / 33.433°S 70.667°W / -33.433; -70.667
National language Spanish
Ethnic groups White (52,7%), Mestizo (44,1%), Amerindian (3,2%)[1]
Demonym Chilean
Government Unitary presidential republic
 -  President of the Republic Sebastián Piñera (Ind.)4
 -  President of the Senate Camilo Escalona (PS)
 -  President of the Chamber of Deputies Nicolás Monckeberg (RN)
 -  President of the Supreme Court Rubén Ballesteros
Legislature National Congress
 -  Upper house Senate
 -  Lower house Chamber of Deputies
Independence from Spain
 -  First Gov. Junta 18 September 1810 
 -  Declared 12 February 1818 
 -  Recognized 25 April 1844 
 -  Current constitution 11 September 1980 
 -  Total 756,096.3 km2 (38th)
291,930.4 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 1.07²
 -  2012 estimate 16,572,475[2] (62th)
 -  2012 census 16,572,475[3]
 -  Density 23/km2 (194th)
59/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2011 estimate
 -  Total $299.786 billion[4][5] (43rd)
 -  Per capita $17,380[4][5][6] (55th)
GDP (nominal) 2011 estimate
 -  Total $248.602 billion[7] (41st)
 -  Per capita $14,413[7] (49th)
Gini (2009)0.494[8]
Error: Invalid Gini value
HDI (2011)increase 0.805[9]
Error: Invalid HDI value · 44th
Currency Peso (CLP)
Time zone CLT or EAST 3 (UTC−4 to −6)
 -  Summer (DST) CLST or EASST (UTC−3 to −5)
Drives on the right
Calling code +56
Internet TLD .cl
1. The legislature is based in Valparaíso
2. Includes Easter Island and Isla Sala y Gómez; does not include 1250000 km2 of territory claimed in Antarctica
3. The mainland uses UTC−4 (in summer: UTC−3; Easter Island uses UTC−6 (in summer: UTC−5).
4. Piñera quit National Renewal before being sworn in as President of the Republic, following party rules.

Chile, officially the Republic of Chile (Spanish: República de Chile, is a country in South America occupying a long and narrow coastal strip wedged between the Andes mountains and the Pacific Ocean. The Pacific forms the country's entire western border, with Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage at the country's southernmost tip. Chile claims 1,250,000 km² of territory in Antarctica. Easter Island belongs to Chile.

Today, Chile is one of South America's most stable and prosperous nations, a recognized middle power and an emerging economy. It leads Latin American nations in human development, competitiveness, income per capita, globalization, economic freedom, and low perception of corruption. It also ranks high regionally in sustainability of the state, democratic development and state of peace. In May 2010, Chile became the first South American nation to join the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Chile is a founding member of the United Nations, the Union of South American Nations and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.


The Spanish spoken in Chile is distinctively accented and quite unlike that of neighbouring South American countries because final syllables and "s" sounds are dropped, and some consonants have a soft pronunciation.

German is spoken to a great extent in southern Chile,[10] either in small country side pockets or as a second language among the communities of larger cities.

Through initiatives such as the English Opens Doors program, the government made English mandatory for students in fifth-grade and above in public schools. Most private schools in Chile start teaching English from kindergarten.[11] Common English words have been absorbed and appropriated into everyday Spanish speech.[12]

Economy of Chile

The economy of Chile is ranked as an upper income economy by the World Bank,[13] and is one of South America's most stable and prosperous nations,[14] leading Latin American nations in human development, competitiveness, income per capita, globalization, economic freedom, and low perception of corruption.[15]

Ethnic structure

Chile, the current world champion polo team, with President Michelle Bachelet

In 2011, Chile had an estimated population of 17,500,000, of which approximately 9.1 million or 52.7% are of European descent, with Mestizos estimated at 44%.[1] Other studies found a white majority measured at 64% to 90% of the Chilean population.[16][17][18][19] Chile's various waves of immigrants consisted Spanish, Italians, Irish, French, Greeks, Germans, English, Scots, Croats, and Palestinian arrivals.

European and, to a lesser extent, Middle Eastern emigration to Chile, chiefly during the second half of the 19th century and throughout the twentieth, was the most important in Latin America after emigrations to the Atlantic Coast of the Southern Cone (that is, to Argentina and southern Brazil).[20][21][22]


Chileans of European descent

The largest contingent of people to have arrived in post-independence Chile came from Spain and the Basque country, a region divided between northern Spain and southern France. Estimates of the number Chileans who can trace at least some descent from Basques range from 10% (1,600,000) to as high as 27% (4,500,000).[23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30] Chile's various waves of non-Spanish immigrants include Italians, Irish, French, Greeks, Germans, English, Scots, Croats, and Poles.

In 1848 an important and substantial German immigration took place, laying the foundation for the German-Chilean community.[31][32] Sponsored by the Chilean government for the colonization of the southern region, the Germans (including German-speaking Swiss, Silesians, Alsatians and Austrians), strongly influenced the cultural and racial composition of the southern provinces of Chile. It is difficult to count the number of descendants of Germans in Chile, given the great amount of time. Because many areas of southern Chile were sparsely populated, the traces of German immigration that are quite noticeable. But the Consulate of Chile in Germany estimated that between 500,000 to 600,000 Chileans of German descent.[33]

Chilean family of German ancestry

Other historically significant immigrant groups included Croats, whose descendants today are estimated at 380,000 persons, or 2.4% of the Chilean population[34][35] Some authors claim that close to 4.6% of the Chilean population must have some Croatian ancestry.[36] Over 700,000 Chileans (4.5% of the Chilean population) may have British (English, Scottish or Welsh) forebears.[37] Chileans of Greek descent are estimated to number between 90,000 and 120,000;[38] most live in or near either Santiago or Antofagasta, and Chile is one of the five countries in the world most populated with descendants of Greeks.[39] The descendants of Swiss immigrants add 90,000,[40] and it is estimated that about 5% of the Chilean population has some French ancestry.[41] Between 600.000 to 800.000 Chileans descend from Italian immigrants. Other groups of Europeans have followed but are found in smaller numbers, as the descendants of Austrians[42] and Dutchmen it is currently estimated at about 50,000.[43][44]

It is estimated that about 5% of the population (800,000) is descendant of Asian immigrants, chiefly from the Middle East (i.e. Palestinians, Syrians, Lebanese and Middle East Armenians, see Arab Chileans).[45][46] (This may include Israelis, both Jewish and non-Jewish citizens of the nation of Israel.) Chile is also home to a large population of immigrants, mostly Christian, from the Levant.[47] Roughly 500,000 Palestinian descendants are believed to reside in Chile.[48][49][50][51][52][53] Altogether, these immigrants with their descendants, they have transformed the country culturally, economically and politically.


Moon Valley,Chile

Tourism in Chile has experienced sustained growth over the last decades. Chile received about 1.25 million foreign visitors in 2006,[54] up to 2.50 million in 2007 The percentages of foreign tourists arrivals by land, air and sea were, respectively, 55.3%, 40.5% and 4.2% for that year.[54] The two main gateways for international tourists visiting Chile are Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport and Paso Los Libertadores.

Chile has a great diversity of natural landscapes, from the Mars-like landscapes of the hyperarid Atacama Desert to the glacier-fed fjords of the Chilean Patagonia, passing by the winelands backdropped by the Andes of the Central Valley and the old-growth forests of the Lakes District. Easter Island and Juan Fernández Archipelago, including Robinson Crusoe Island, are also major attractions.


  1. 1.0 1.1 (2007) Composición Étnica de las Tres Áreas Culturales del Continente Americano al Comienzo del Siglo XXI. UAEM. ISBN 978-970-757-052-8. 
  2. Población estimada residente de Chile alcanza los 16.572.475 habitantes (Spanish). Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas de Chile. Retrieved on 16 September 2012.
  3. Población estimada residente de Chile alcanza los 16.572.475 habitantes (Spanish). Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas de Chile. Retrieved on 16 September 2012.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Cuentas Nacionales. Evolución de la actividad económica en el año 2011. Central Bank of Chile (March 2012). Retrieved on 17 April 2012. (p. 27)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Implied PPP conversion rate – Chile. World Economic Outlook Database, April 2012. International Monetary Fund. Retrieved on 17 April 2012.
  6. Cuentas Nacionales de Chile 2003–2011 (Referencia 2008). Central Bank of Chile (19 March 2011). Retrieved on 20 March 2011. Note: Used for population data only (p. 60).
  7. 7.0 7.1 Indicadores Macroeconómicos Al cuarto trimestre del 2011 (Spanish). Central Bank of Chile (27 March 2012). Retrieved on 3 April 2012.
  8. Income Distribution – Inequality. OECD.StatExtracts. Retrieved on 5 December 2011. Note: Data refer to Gini coefficient for income distribution "after taxes and transfers" using the "current definition" for the "total population".
  9. Human Development Report 2011. United Nations (2011). Retrieved on 2 November 2011.
  10. Oliver Zoellner. Oliver Zoellner | Generating Samples of Ethnic Minorities in Chile.
  11. Repeat after me: Hello, my name is.
  12. Anglicism in Chilean Spanish.
  13. Chile – World Bank
  14. "Country profile: Chile". BBC News. 2009-12-16. 
  15. Human and income poverty: developing countries. UNDP.
  16. Argentina, como Chile y Uruguay, su población está formada casi exclusivamente por una población blanca e blanca mestiza procedente del sur de Europa, más del 90% E. García Zarza, 1992, 19.
  17. Genetic epidemiology of single gene defects in Chile.
  18. The Chilean population is rather homogeneous with 95.4 % of its population having European ancestors.
  19. Informe Latinobarómetro 2011, Latinobarómetro (p. 58).
  20. Juan Bialet Massé en su informe sobre "El estado de las clases obreras en el interior del país"
  21. SOCIAL IDENTITY Marta Fierro Social Psychologist.
  22. Etnicidad y ciudadanía en América Latina.
  23. Diariovasco.
  24. entrevista al Presidente de la Cámara vasca.
  25. vascos Ainara Madariaga: Autora del estudio "Imaginarios vascos desde Chile La construcción de imaginarios vascos en Chile durante el siglo XX".
  26. Basques au Chili.
  27. Contacto Interlingüístico e intercultural en el mundo hispano.instituto valenciano de lenguas y culturas. Universitat de València Cita: " Un 20% de la población chilena tiene su origen en el País Vasco".
  28. (Spanish) La población chilena con ascendencia vasca bordea entre el 15% y el 20% del total, por lo que es uno de los países con mayor presencia de emigrantes venidos de Euskadi.
  29. El 27% de los chilenos son descendientes de emigrantes vascos. DE LOS VASCOS, OÑATI Y LOS ELORZA Waldo Ayarza Elorza.
  30. (Spanish) Presencia vasca en Chile.
  31. (Spanish) Los colonos
  32. (Spanish) Alemanes en Chile.
  33. Chilean Consulate in Germany
  34. (Spanish) Diaspora Croata.
  35. Splitski osnovnoškolci rođeni u Čileu.
  36. hrvatski.
  37. Historia de Chile, Británicos y Anglosajones en Chile durante el siglo XIX.
  38. (Spanish) Embajada de Grecia en Chile.
  39. (Spanish) Griegos de Chile
  40. 90,000 descendants of Swiss in Chile.
  41. (Spanish) 5% de los chilenos tiene origen frances.
  42. Hoofdstuk XVI Historisch tussenspel
  43. Dutch immigration.
  44. Holando-bóers al sur de Chile.
  45. (Spanish) Arabes de Chile.
  46. (Spanish) En Chile viven unas 700.000 personas de origen árabe y de ellas 500.000 son descendientes de emigrantes palestinos que llegaron a comienzos del siglo pasado y que constituyen la comunidad de ese origen más grande fuera del mundo árabe.
  47. Arab.
  48. Chile: Palestinian refugees arrive to warm welcome.
  49. (Spanish) 500,000 descendientes de primera y segunda generación de palestinos en Chile.
  50. (Spanish)Santiago de Chile es un modelo de convivencia palestino-judía.
  51. Exiling Palestinians to Chile.
  52. (Spanish) Chile tiene la comunidad palestina más grande fuera del mundo árabe, unos 500.000 descendientes.
  53. En detrimento de Israel Acercamiento arabe a America Latina
  54. 54.0 54.1 You must specify archiveurl = and archivedate = when using {{cite web}}.2006 Tourism Report. INE.
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