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Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of
South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere at the northern tip of the continent. It can also be described as the souther ...

South America
. It is the southernmost country in the world, and the closest to
Antarctica Antarctica () is Earth's southernmost and least-populated continent. Situated almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle and surrounded by the Southern Ocean, it contains the geographic South Pole. Antarctica is the fifth-largest contine ...

Antarctica
, occupying a long and narrow strip of land between the
Andes The Andes, Andes Mountains or Andean Mountains (; ) are the longest continental mountain range in the world, forming a continuous highland along the western edge of South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western ...

Andes
to the east and the
Pacific Ocean The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's five oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean (or, depending on definition, to Antarctica) in the south, and is bounded by the continen ...

Pacific Ocean
to the west. Chile covers an area of , with a population of 17.5 million as of 2017. It shares land borders with
Peru , image_flag = Flag of Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo nacional del Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the State , other_symbol_type = Seal (emblem), National seal , national_motto = "Fi ...

Peru
to the north,
Bolivia , image_flag = Bandera de Bolivia (Estado).svg , flag_alt = Horizontal tricolor (red, yellow, and green from top to bottom) with the coat of arms of Bolivia in the center , flag_alt2 = 7 × 7 square p ...

Bolivia
to the north-east,
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country in the southern half of South America. Argentina covers an area of , making it the List of South American countries by area, second-largest ...

Argentina
to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far south. Chile also controls the Pacific islands of Juan Fernández, Isla Salas y Gómez, Desventuradas, and in
Oceania Oceania (, , ) is a region, geographical region that includes Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. Spanning the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and Western Hemisphere, Western hemispheres, Oceania is estimated to have a land area of ...

Oceania
. It also claims about of Antarctica under the Chilean Antarctic Territory. The country's capital and largest city is , and its national language is . Spain conquered and colonized the region in the mid-16th century, replacing Inca rule, but failing to conquer the independent who inhabited what is now south-central Chile. In 1818, after declaring independence from Spain, Chile emerged in the 1830s as a relatively stable authoritarian republic. In the 19th century, Chile saw significant economic and territorial growth, ending Mapuche resistance in the 1880s and gaining its current northern territory in the War of the Pacific (1879–83) after defeating Peru and Bolivia. In the 20th century up to the 1970s Chile saw a process of democratization, rapid population growth and
urbanization Urbanization (or urbanisation) refers to the population shift from Rural area, rural to urban areas, the corresponding decrease in the proportion of people living in rural areas, and the ways in which societies adapt to this change. It is predo ...
and increasing reliance on exports from copper mining for its economy. During the 1960s and 1970s, the country experienced severe left-right political polarization and turmoil. This development culminated with the 1973 Chilean coup d'état that overthrew 's democratically elected left-wing government and instituted a 16-year right-wing military dictatorship of that left more than 3,000 people dead or missing. The regime ended in 1990 after a referendum in 1988 and was succeeded by a center-left coalition which ruled until 2010. Chile is a developing country with a high-income economy and ranks 42nd in the
Human Development Index The Human Development Index (HDI) is a statistic composite index of life expectancy, Education Index, education (mean years of schooling completed and expected years of schooling upon entering the Educational system, education system), ...
. It is among the most economically and socially stable nations in South America, leading
Latin America Latin America or * french: Amérique Latine, link=no * ht, Amerik Latin, link=no * pt, América Latina, link=no, name=a, sometimes referred to as LatAm is a large cultural region in the Americas where Romance languages — languages derived f ...

Latin America
in rankings of competitiveness, per capita income,
globalization Globalization, or globalisation ( Commonwealth English; see spelling differences), is the process of interaction and integration among people, companies, and governments worldwide. The term ''globalization'' first appeared in the early 2 ...

globalization
, , and
economic freedom Economic freedom, or economic liberty, is the ability of people of a society to take economic actions. This is a term used in economic and policy debates as well as in the philosophy of economics. One approach to economic freedom comes from the Ec ...
. Chile also ranks high regionally in sustainability of the state, democratic development, and has the lowest homicide rate in the after Canada. It is a founding member of the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization whose stated purposes are to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be ...

United Nations
, the
Community of Latin American and Caribbean States A community is a Level of analysis, social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as place (geography), place, Norm (social), norms, religion, values, Convention (norm), customs, or Identity (social science), identity. Communiti ...

Community of Latin American and Caribbean States
(CELAC) and the , and joined the in 2010.


Etymology

There are various theories about the origin of the word ''Chile''. According to 17th-century Spanish chronicler Diego de Rosales, the called the valley of the
Aconcagua Aconcagua () is a mountain in the Principal Cordillera of the Andes The Andes, Andes Mountains or Andean Mountains (; ) are the longest continental mountain range in the world, forming a continuous highland along the western edge of So ...
''Chili'' by corruption of the name of a Picunche
tribal chief A tribal chief or chieftain is the leader of a tribal society or chiefdom. Tribe The concept of tribe is a broadly applied concept, based on tribal concepts of societies of western Afroeurasia. Tribal societies are sometimes categorized ...
() called ''Tili'', who ruled the area at the time of the Incan conquest in the 15th century. Another theory points to the similarity of the valley of the Aconcagua with that of the Casma Valley in Peru, where there was a town and valley named ''Chili''. Other theories say Chile may derive its name from a Native American word meaning either 'ends of the earth' or 'sea gulls'; from the Mapuche word , which may mean 'where the land ends'" or from the Quechua , 'cold', or , meaning either 'snow' or "the deepest point of the Earth". Another origin attributed to ''chilli'' is the onomatopoeic —the Mapuche imitation of the warble of a bird locally known as trile. The Spanish
conquistadors Conquistadors (, ) or conquistadores (, ; meaning 'conquerors') were the explorer-soldiers of the Spanish Empire, Spanish and Portuguese Empires of the 15th and 16th centuries. During the Age of Discovery, conquistadors sailed beyond Europe to ...
heard about this name from the Incas, and the few survivors of
Diego de Almagro Diego de Almagro (; – July 8, 1538), also known as Adelantado, El Adelantado and El Viejo, was a Spanish conquistador known for his exploits in western South America. He participated with Francisco Pizarro in the Spanish conquest of Peru. ...
's first Spanish expedition south from Peru in 1535–36 called themselves the "men of Chilli". Ultimately, Almagro is credited with the universalization of the name ''Chile'', after naming the Mapocho valley as such. The older spelling "Chili" was in use in English until the early 20th century before switching to "Chile".


History


Early history

Stone tool evidence indicates humans sporadically frequented the
Monte Verde Monte Verde is an archaeological site in the Llanquihue Province in southern Chile, located near Puerto Montt, Zona Sur, Southern Chile, which has been dated to as early as 18,500 cal Before Present, BP (16,500 Before Christ, BC). Previously, th ...
valley area as long as 18,500 years ago. About 10,000 years ago, migrating
Indigenous Peoples Indigenous peoples are culturally distinct ethnic groups whose members are directly descended from the earliest known inhabitants of a particular geographic region and, to some extent, maintain the language and culture of those original people ...
settled in fertile valleys and coastal areas of what is present-day Chile. Settlement sites from very early human habitation include Monte Verde, Cueva del Milodón and the Pali-Aike Crater's
lava tube A lava tube, or pyroduct, is a natural conduit formed by flowing lava from a volcano, volcanic vent that moves beneath the hardened surface of a lava flow. If lava in the tube empties, it will leave a cave. Formation A lava tube is a type o ...
. The Incas briefly extended their empire into what is now northern Chile, but the (or Araucanians as they were known by the Spaniards) successfully resisted many attempts by the
Inca Empire The Inca Empire (also Quechuan and Aymaran spelling shift, known as the Incan Empire and the Inka Empire), called ''Tawantinsuyu'' by its subjects, (Quechuan languages, Quechua for the "Realm of the Four Parts",  "four parts together" ) wa ...
to subjugate them, despite their lack of state organization. They fought against the Sapa Inca Tupac Yupanqui and his army. The result of the bloody three-day confrontation known as the Battle of the Maule was that the Inca conquest of the territories of Chile ended at the
Maule river The Maule river or Río Maule (Mapudungun: ''rainy'') is one of the most important rivers of Chile. It is inextricably linked to the country's pre-Hispanic (Inca) times, the country's conquest, Colonialism, colonial period, Chilean Independence, ...
.


Spanish colonization

In 1520, while attempting to circumnavigate the globe,
Ferdinand Magellan Ferdinand Magellan ( or ; pt, Fernão de Magalhães, ; es, link=no, Fernando de Magallanes, ; 4 February 1480 – 27 April 1521) was a Portuguese people, Portuguese explorer. He is best known for having planned and led the Magellan expeditio ...
discovered the southern passage now named after him (the
Strait of Magellan The Strait of Magellan (), also called the Straits of Magellan, is a navigable sea route in southern Chile separating mainland South America to the north and Tierra del Fuego to the south. The strait is considered the most important natural pass ...
) thus becoming the first European to set foot on what is now Chile. The next Europeans to reach Chile were Diego de Almagro and his band of Spanish conquistadors, who came from
Peru , image_flag = Flag of Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo nacional del Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the State , other_symbol_type = Seal (emblem), National seal , national_motto = "Fi ...

Peru
in 1535 seeking gold. The Spanish encountered various cultures that supported themselves principally through
slash-and-burn Slash-and-burn agriculture is a farming method that involves the cutting and burning of plants in a forest or woodland to create a Field (agriculture), field called a swidden. The method begins by cutting down the trees and woody plants in an ar ...
agriculture and hunting. The conquest of Chile began in earnest in 1540 and was carried out by
Pedro de Valdivia Pedro Gutiérrez de Valdivia or Valdiva (; April 17, 1497 – December 25, 1553) was a Spanish conquistador and the first royal governor of Chile. After serving with the Spanish army in Italy and Flanders, he was sent to South America in 1534, whe ...
, one of
Francisco Pizarro Francisco Pizarro González, Marquess of the Atabillos (; ;  – 26 June 1541) was a Spanish conquistador, best known for his expeditions that led to the Spanish conquest of Peru. Born in Trujillo, Cáceres, Trujillo, Spain to a poor fam ...
's lieutenants, who founded the city of Santiago on 12 February 1541. Although the Spanish did not find the extensive gold and silver they sought, they recognized the agricultural potential of Chile's central valley, and Chile became part of the
Spanish Empire The Spanish Empire ( es, link=no, Imperio español), also known as the Hispanic Monarchy ( es, link=no, Monarquía Hispánica) or the Catholic Monarchy ( es, link=no, Monarquía Católica) was a colonial empire governed by Spain and its History ...
. Conquest took place gradually, and the Europeans suffered repeated setbacks. A massive insurrection that began in 1553 resulted in Valdivia's death and the destruction of many of the colony's principal settlements. Subsequent major insurrections took place in 1598 and in 1655. Each time the Mapuche and other native groups revolted, the southern border of the colony was driven northward. The abolition of
slavery Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave—someone forbidden to quit one's service for an enslaver, and who is treated by the enslaver as property. Slavery typically involves slaves being made to perf ...
by the Spanish crown in 1683 was done in recognition that enslaving the Mapuche intensified resistance rather than cowing them into submission. Despite royal prohibitions, relations remained strained from continual colonialist interference. Cut off to the north by desert, to the south by the Mapuche, to the east by the Andes Mountains, and to the west by the ocean, Chile became one of the most centralized, homogeneous colonies in Spanish America. Serving as a sort of frontier
garrison A garrison (from the French language, French ''garnison'', itself from the verb ''garnir'', "to equip") is any body of troops stationed in a particular location, originally to guard it. The term now often applies to certain facilities that c ...
, the colony found itself with the mission of forestalling encroachment by both the Mapuche and Spain's European enemies, especially the English and the Dutch.
Buccaneer Buccaneers were a kind of privateers or free sailors particular to the Caribbean Sea during the 17th and 18th centuries. First established on northern Hispaniola as early as 1625, their heyday was from Stuart Restoration, the Restoration in 16 ...
s and
pirates Piracy is an act of robbery or criminal violence by ship or boat-borne attackers upon another ship or a coastal area, typically with the goal of stealing cargo and other valuable goods. Those who conduct acts of piracy are called pirates, v ...
menaced the colony in addition to the Mapuche, as was shown by
Sir Francis Drake Sir Francis Drake ( – 28 January 1596) was an English Exploration, explorer, sea captain, Privateering, privateer, Atlantic slave trade, slave trader, Officer (armed forces), naval officer, and politician. Drake is best known for Franci ...
's 1578 raid on Valparaíso, the colony's principal port. Chile hosted one of the largest standing armies in the Americas, making it one of the most militarized of the Spanish possessions, as well as a drain on the treasury of the Viceroyalty of Peru. The first general census was conducted by the government of Agustín de Jáuregui between 1777 and 1778; it indicated that the population consisted of 259,646 inhabitants: 73.5% of European descent, 7.9%
mestizo (; ; fem. ) is a term used for racial classification to refer to a person of mixed Ethnic groups in Europe, European and Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Indigenous American ancestry. In certain regions such as Latin America, it may also r ...
s, 8.6%
indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples are culturally distinct ethnic groups whose members are directly descended from the earliest known inhabitants of a particular geographic region and, to some extent, maintain the language and culture of those original people ...
and 9.8% blacks. Francisco Hurtado, Governor of the province of Chiloé, conducted a census in 1784 and found the population consisted of 26,703 inhabitants, 64.4% of whom were whites and 33.5% of whom were natives. The Diocese of Concepción conducted a census in areas south of the
Maule river The Maule river or Río Maule (Mapudungun: ''rainy'') is one of the most important rivers of Chile. It is inextricably linked to the country's pre-Hispanic (Inca) times, the country's conquest, Colonialism, colonial period, Chilean Independence, ...
in 1812, but did not include the indigenous population or the inhabitants of the province of Chiloé. The population is estimated at 210,567, 86.1% of whom were
Spanish Spanish might refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards are a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language, spoken in Spain and many Latin American countries **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Cana ...
or of European descent, 10% of whom were indigenous and 3.7% of whom were mestizos, blacks and
mulatto (, ) is a Race (human categorization), racial classification to refer to people of mixed Sub-Saharan African, African and Ethnic groups in Europe, European ancestry. Its use is considered outdated and offensive in several languages, including ...
s. A 2021 study by Baten and Llorca-Jaña shows that regions with a relatively high share of North European migrants developed faster in terms of
numeracy Numeracy is the ability to understand, reason with, and to apply simple numerical concepts. The charity National Numeracy states: "Numeracy means understanding how mathematics is used in the real world and being able to apply it to make the bes ...
, even if the overall number of migrants was small. This effect might be related to
externalities In economics, an externality or external cost is an indirect cost or benefit to an uninvolved third party that arises as an effect of another party's (or parties') activity. Externalities can be considered as unpriced goods involved in either co ...
: the surrounding population adopted a similar behavior as the small non-European immigrant group, and new schools were created. Ironically, there might have been positive spillover effects from the educational investment made by migrants, at the same time numeracy might have been reduced by the greater inequality in these regions. However, the positive effects of immigration were apparently stronger.


Independence and nation building

In 1808, Napoleon's enthronement of his brother
Joseph Joseph is a common male given name A given name (also known as a forename or first name) is the part of a personal name quoted in that identifies a person, potentially with a middle name as well, and differentiates that person from the o ...
as the Spanish King precipitated the drive by the colony for independence from Spain. A national junta in the name of Ferdinand – heir to the deposed king – was formed on 18 September 1810. The Government Junta of Chile proclaimed Chile an autonomous republic within the Spanish monarchy (in memory of this day, Chile celebrates its National Day on 18 September each year). After these events, a movement for total independence, under the command of José Miguel Carrera (one of the most renowned patriots) and his two brothers Juan José and Luis Carrera, soon gained a wider following. Spanish attempts to re-impose arbitrary rule during what was called the
Reconquista The ' (Spanish language, Spanish, Portuguese language, Portuguese and Galician language, Galician for "reconquest") is a Historiography, historiographical construction describing the 781-year period in the history of the Iberian Peninsula be ...
led to a prolonged struggle, including infighting from
Bernardo O'Higgins Bernardo O'Higgins Riquelme (; August 20, 1778 – October 24, 1842) was a Chilean independence leader who freed Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America. It is the southernmost co ...
, who challenged Carrera's leadership. Intermittent warfare continued until 1817. With Carrera in prison in Argentina, O'Higgins and anti-Carrera cohort José de San Martín, hero of the
Argentine War of Independence Argentines (also known as Argentinians or Argentineans); in Spanish language, Spanish (Grammatical gender, masculine) or (Grammatical gender, feminine)) are people identified with the country of Argentina. This connection may be residential ...
, led an army that crossed the Andes into Chile and defeated the royalists. On 12 February 1818, Chile was proclaimed an independent republic. The political revolt brought little social change, however, and 19th-century Chilean society preserved the essence of the stratified colonial social structure, which was greatly influenced by family politics and the
Roman Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptized Catholics worldwide . It is among the world's oldest and largest international institutions, and has played a ...
. A strong presidency eventually emerged, but wealthy landowners remained powerful. Bernardo O'Higgins once planned to expand Chile by liberating the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...
from Spain and incorporating the islands. In this regard he tasked the Scottish naval officer, Lord Thomas Cochrane, in a letter dated November 12, 1821, expressing his plan to conquer
Guayaquil , motto = Por Guayaquil Independiente en, For Independent Guayaquil , image_map = , map_caption = , pushpin_map = Ecuador#South America , pushpin_re ...
, the Galapagos Islands, and the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...
. There were preparations, but the plan didn't push through because O' Higgins was exiled. Chile slowly started to expand its influence and to establish its borders. By the Tantauco Treaty, the archipelago of Chiloé was incorporated in 1826. The economy began to boom due to the discovery of silver ore in Chañarcillo, and the growing trade of the port of Valparaíso, which led to conflict over maritime supremacy in the Pacific with Peru. At the same time, attempts were made to strengthen sovereignty in southern Chile intensifying penetration into Araucanía and colonizing Llanquihue with German immigrants in 1848. Through the founding of Fort Bulnes by the Schooner Ancud under the command of
John Williams Wilson John Williams Wilson (1798–1857), also known as Juan Guillermos, was an English-Chilean people, Chilean sailor and politician. Born in Bristol, he entered the newly founded Chilean navy in 1824 and rose to the rank of commander. He was appoint ...
, the
Magallanes region The Magallanes Region (), officially the Magallanes y la Antártica Chilena Region ( es, Región de Magallanes y de la Antártica Chilena), is one of Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South ...
joined the country in 1843, while the
Antofagasta region The Antofagasta Region ( es, Región de Antofagasta, ) is one of Chile's Administrative divisions of Chile, sixteen first-order administrative divisions. The second-largest region of Chile in area, it comprises three provinces, Antofagasta Provi ...
, at the time part of Bolivia, began to fill with people. Toward the end of the 19th century, the government in Santiago consolidated its position in the south by the Occupation of Araucanía. The Boundary treaty of 1881 between Chile and Argentina confirmed Chilean sovereignty over the
Strait of Magellan The Strait of Magellan (), also called the Straits of Magellan, is a navigable sea route in southern Chile separating mainland South America to the north and Tierra del Fuego to the south. The strait is considered the most important natural pass ...
. As a result of the War of the Pacific with Peru and Bolivia (1879–83), Chile expanded its territory northward by almost one-third, eliminating Bolivia's access to the Pacific, and acquired valuable
nitrate Nitrate is a polyatomic ion with the chemical formula . salt (chemistry), Salts containing this ion are called nitrates. Nitrates are common components of fertilizers and explosives. Almost all inorganic nitrates are solubility, soluble in wat ...
deposits, the exploitation of which led to an era of national affluence. Chile had joined the stand as one of the high-income countries in South America by 1870. The
1891 Chilean Civil War The Chilean Civil War of 1891 (also known as Revolution of 1891) was a civil war A civil war or intrastate war is a war between organized groups within the same Sovereign state, state (or country). The aim of one side may be to take co ...
brought about a redistribution of power between the President and Congress, and Chile established a
parliamentary A parliamentary system, or parliamentarian democracy, is a system of democracy, democratic government, governance of a sovereign state, state (or subordinate entity) where the Executive (government), executive derives its democratic legitimacy ...
style democracy. However, the Civil War had also been a contest between those who favored the development of local industries and powerful Chilean banking interests, particularly the House of Edwards which had strong ties to foreign investors. Soon after, the country engaged in a vastly expensive naval arms race with
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country in the southern half of South America. Argentina covers an area of , making it the List of South American countries by area, second-largest ...

Argentina
that nearly led to war.


20th century

The Chilean economy partially degenerated into a system protecting the interests of a ruling
oligarchy Oligarchy (; ) is a conceptual form of power structure in which power rests with a small number of people. These people may or may not be distinguished by one or several characteristics, such as nobility Nobility is a social class foun ...
. By the 1920s, the emerging middle and working classes were powerful enough to elect a reformist president, Arturo Alessandri, whose program was frustrated by a conservative congress. In the 1920s,
Marxist Marxism is a Left-wing politics, left-wing to Far-left politics, far-left method of socioeconomic analysis that uses a Materialism, materialist interpretation of historical development, better known as historical materialism, to understand S ...
groups with strong popular support arose. A military coup led by General Luis Altamirano in 1924 set off a period of political instability that lasted until 1932. Of the ten governments that held power in that period, the longest lasting was that of General Carlos Ibáñez del Campo, who briefly held power in 1925 and then again between 1927 and 1931 in what was a
de facto ''De facto'' ( ; , "in fact") describes practices that exist in reality, whether or not they are officially recognized by laws or other formal norms. It is commonly used to refer to what happens in practice, in contrast with '' de jure'' ("by l ...
dictatorship (although not really comparable in harshness or corruption to the type of military dictatorship that have often bedeviled the rest of Latin America). By relinquishing power to a democratically elected successor, Ibáñez del Campo retained the respect of a large enough segment of the population to remain a viable politician for more than thirty years, in spite of the vague and shifting nature of his ideology. When constitutional rule was restored in 1932, a strong middle-class party, the Radicals, emerged. It became the key force in coalition governments for the next 20 years. During the period of Radical Party dominance (1932–52), the state increased its role in the economy. In 1952, voters returned Ibáñez del Campo to office for another six years.
Jorge Alessandri Jorge Eduardo Alessandri Rodríguez (; 19 May 1896 – 31 August 1986) was the 27th List of Presidents of Chile, President of Chile from 1958 to 1964, and was the candidate of the Chilean Right-wing politics, right in the crucial 1970 Chilea ...
succeeded Ibáñez del Campo in 1958, bringing Chilean conservatism back into power democratically for another term. The 1964 presidential election of
Christian Democrat Christian democracy (sometimes named Centrist democracy) is a political ideology that emerged in 19th-century Europe under the influence of Catholic social teaching and neo-Calvinism. It was conceived as a combination of modern Democracy, d ...
Eduardo Frei Montalva Eduardo Nicanor Frei Montalva (; 16 January 1911 – 22 January 1982) was a Chileans, Chilean political leader. In his long political career, he was Minister of Public Works, president of his Christian Democratic Party (Chile), Christia ...
by an
absolute majority A supermajority, supra-majority, qualified majority, or special majority is a requirement for a proposal to gain a specified level of support which is greater than the threshold of more than one-half used for a simple majority. Supermajority ru ...
initiated a period of major reform. Under the slogan "Revolution in Liberty", the Frei administration embarked on far-reaching social and economic programs, particularly in education, housing, and
agrarian reform Agrarian reform can refer either, narrowly, to government-initiated or government-backed redistribution of agricultural land (see land reform) or, broadly, to an overall redirection of the agrarian system of the country, which often includes land re ...
, including rural unionization of agricultural workers. By 1967, however, Frei encountered increasing opposition from leftists, who charged that his reforms were inadequate, and from conservatives, who found them excessive. At the end of his term, Frei had not fully achieved his party's ambitious goals. In the 1970 election, Senator of the
Socialist Party of Chile The Socialist Party of Chile ( es, Partido Socialista de Chile, or PS) is a centre-left political party founded in 1933. Its historic leader was President of Chile Salvador Allende, who was deposed in a Operation Condor, CIA-backed 1973 Chilean c ...
(then part of the " Popular Unity" coalition which included the Communists, Radicals, Social-Democrats, dissident Christian Democrats, the Popular Unitary Action Movement, and the Independent Popular Action), achieved a partial majority in a plurality of votes in a three-way contest, followed by candidates Radomiro Tomic for the Christian Democrat Party and Jorge Alessandri for the Conservative Party. Allende was not elected with an absolute majority, receiving fewer than 35% of the votes. The
Chilean Congress The National Congress of Chile ( es, Congreso Nacional de Chile) is the legislative branch A legislature is an assembly with the authority to make laws for a political entity such as a country A country is a distinct part of the ...
conducted a runoff vote between the leading candidates, Allende and former president Jorge Alessandri, and, keeping with tradition, chose Allende by a vote of 153 to 35. Frei refused to form an alliance with Alessandri to oppose Allende, on the grounds that the Christian Democrats were a workers' party and could not make common cause with the right wing. An
economic depression An economic depression is a period of carried long-term economical downturn that is result of lowered economic activity in one major or more national economies. Economic depression maybe related to one specific country were there is some economic ...
that began in 1972 was exacerbated by
capital flight Capital flight, in economics, occurs when assets or money rapidly flow out of a country, due to an event of economic consequence or as the result of a political event such as regime change or economic globalization. Such events could be an increas ...
, plummeting private investment, and withdrawal of bank deposits in response to Allende's socialist program. Production fell and unemployment rose. Allende adopted measures including price freezes, wage increases, and tax reforms, to increase consumer spending and redistribute income downward. Joint public-private
public works Public works are a broad category of infrastructure Infrastructure is the set of facilities and systems that serve a country, city, or other area, and encompasses the services and facilities necessary for its economy, households and firms t ...
projects helped reduce unemployment. Much of the banking sector was
nationalized Nationalization (nationalisation in British English) is the process of transforming privately-owned assets into public assets by bringing them under the State ownership, public ownership of a Government, national government or State (polity), ...
. Many enterprises within the
copper Copper is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Cu (from la, cuprum) and atomic number 29. It is a soft, malleable, and ductility, ductile metal with very high thermal conductivity, thermal and electrical conductivity. A fre ...
, coal, iron,
nitrate Nitrate is a polyatomic ion with the chemical formula . salt (chemistry), Salts containing this ion are called nitrates. Nitrates are common components of fertilizers and explosives. Almost all inorganic nitrates are solubility, soluble in wat ...
, and steel industries were expropriated, nationalized, or subjected to state intervention. Industrial output increased sharply and unemployment fell during the Allende administration's first year. Allende's program included advancement of workers' interests, replacing the judicial system with "socialist legality", nationalization of banks and forcing others to bankruptcy, and strengthening "popular militias" known as MIR. Started under former President Frei, the Popular Unity platform also called for nationalization of Chile's major copper mines in the form of a constitutional amendment. The measure was passed unanimously by Congress. As a result, the
Richard Nixon Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913April 22, 1994) was the 37th president of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. A member of the Republican Party (United States), Republican Party, he previously served as a United States House ...
administration organized and inserted secret operatives in Chile, in order to swiftly destabilize Allende's government. In addition, US financial pressure restricted international economic credit to Chile. The economic problems were also exacerbated by Allende's public spending which was financed mostly by printing money and poor credit ratings given by commercial banks. Simultaneously, opposition media, politicians, business guilds and other organizations helped to accelerate a campaign of domestic political and economical destabilization, some of which was backed by the United States. By early 1973, inflation was out of control. On 26 May 1973, Chile's Supreme Court, which was opposed to Allende's government, unanimously denounced Allende's ''disruption of the legality of the nation''. Although illegal under the Chilean constitution, the court supported and strengthened Pinochet's soon-to-be seizure of power.


Pinochet era (1973–1990)

A
military coup A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinct ...
overthrew Allende on 11 September 1973. As the armed forces bombarded the presidential palace, Allende apparently committed suicide. After the coup,
Henry Kissinger Henry Alfred Kissinger (; ; born Heinz Alfred Kissinger, May 27, 1923) is a German-born American politician, diplomat, and Geopolitics, geopolitical consultant who served as United States Secretary of State and National Security Advisor (Unit ...
told
U.S. president The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the Federal government of the United States#Executive branch, executive branch of the Federal gove ...
Richard Nixon Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913April 22, 1994) was the 37th president of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. A member of the Republican Party (United States), Republican Party, he previously served as a United States House ...
that the United States had "helped" the coup. A military junta, led by General , took control of the country. The first years of the regime were marked by human rights violations. Chile actively participated in
Operation Condor Operation Condor ( es, link=no, Operación Cóndor, also known as ''Plan Cóndor''; pt, Operação Condor) was a United States–backed campaign of political repression and state terrorism, state terror involving Intelligence (information gath ...
. In October 1973, at least 72 people were murdered by the
Caravan of Death The Caravan of Death ( es, Caravana de la Muerte) was a Chilean Army death squad that, following the Chilean coup of 1973, flew by helicopters from south to north of Chile between September 30 and October 22, 1973. During this foray, members of t ...
. According to the
Rettig Report The Rettig Report, officially The National Commission for Truth and Reconciliation Report, is a 1991 report by a commission designated by Chilean President Patricio Aylwin (from the ''Concertación'') detailing human rights abuses resulting in dea ...
and Valech Commission, at least 2,115 were killed, and at least 27,265 were tortured (including 88 children younger than 12 years old). In 2011, Chile recognized an additional 9,800 victims, bringing the total number of killed, tortured or imprisoned for political reasons to 40,018. At the national stadium, filled with detainees, one of those tortured and killed was internationally known poet-singer Víctor Jara (see "Music and Dance", below). A new Constitution was approved by a controversial
plebiscite A referendum (plural: referendums or less commonly referenda) is a Direct democracy, direct vote by the Constituency, electorate on a proposal, law, or political issue. This is in contrast to an issue being voted on by a Representative democr ...
on 11 September 1980, and General Pinochet became president of the republic for an eight-year term. After Pinochet obtained rule of the country, several hundred committed Chilean revolutionaries joined the
Sandinista The Sandinista National Liberation Front ( es, Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional, FSLN) is a Socialism, socialist political party in Nicaragua. Its members are called Sandinistas () in both English and Spanish. The party is named after ...
army in
Nicaragua Nicaragua (; ), officially the Republic of Nicaragua (), is the largest Sovereign state, country in Central America, bordered by Honduras to the north, the Caribbean Sea, Caribbean to the east, Costa Rica to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to ...
, guerrilla forces in
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country in the southern half of South America. Argentina covers an area of , making it the List of South American countries by area, second-largest ...

Argentina
or training camps in
Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cuba, links=no ), is an island country comprising the island of Cuba, as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called ...
, Eastern Europe and Northern Africa. In the late 1980s, largely as a result of events such as the 1982 economic collapse and mass
civil resistance Civil resistance is political action that relies on the use of nonviolent resistance by ordinary people to challenge a particular power, force, policy or regime. Civil resistance operates through appeals to the adversary, pressure and coercion: it ...
in 1983–88, the government gradually permitted greater freedom of assembly,
speech Speech is a human vocal communication using language. Each language uses Phonetics, phonetic combinations of vowel and consonant sounds that form the sound of its words (that is, all English words sound different from all French words, even if ...
, and association, to include trade union and political activity. The government launched market-oriented reforms with Hernán Büchi as Minister of Finance. Chile moved toward a
free market economy A market economy is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system of Production (economics), production, resource allocation and Distribution (economics), distribution of goods and services within a society or a giv ...
that saw an increase in domestic and foreign private investment, although the
copper Copper is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Cu (from la, cuprum) and atomic number 29. It is a soft, malleable, and ductility, ductile metal with very high thermal conductivity, thermal and electrical conductivity. A fre ...
industry and other important mineral resources were not opened to competition. In a
plebiscite A referendum (plural: referendums or less commonly referenda) is a Direct democracy, direct vote by the Constituency, electorate on a proposal, law, or political issue. This is in contrast to an issue being voted on by a Representative democr ...
on 5 October 1988, Pinochet was denied a second eight-year term as president (56% against 44%). Chileans elected a new president and the majority of members of a
bicameral Bicameralism is a type of legislature, one divided into two separate Deliberative assembly, assemblies, chambers, or houses, known as a bicameral legislature. Bicameralism is distinguished from unicameralism, in which all members deliberate and ...
congress on 14 December 1989. Christian Democrat
Patricio Aylwin Patricio Aylwin Azócar (; 26 November 1918 – 19 April 2016) was a Chilean politician from the Christian Democratic Party, lawyer, author, professor and former senator. He was the first president of Chile The president of Chile ( es, ...
, the candidate of a coalition of 17 political parties called the '' Concertación'', received an absolute majority of votes (55%). President Aylwin served from 1990 to 1994, in what was considered a transition period.


21st century

In December 1993, Christian Democrat Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle, the son of previous president Eduardo Frei Montalva, led the Concertación coalition to victory with an absolute majority of votes (58%). Frei Ruiz-Tagle was succeeded in 2000 by Socialist
Ricardo Lagos Ricardo Froilán Lagos Escobar (; born 2 March 1938) is a Chilean lawyer, economist and Social democracy, social-democratic politician who served as president of Chile from 2000 to 2006. During the 1980s he was a well-known opponent of the Mil ...
, who won the presidency in an unprecedented
runoff election The two-round system (TRS), also known as runoff voting, second ballot, or ballotage, is a Electoral system, voting method used to elect a single candidate, where voters cast a single vote for their preferred candidate. It generally ensures a ...
against Joaquín Lavín of the rightist Alliance for Chile. In January 2006, Chileans elected their first female president, Michelle Bachelet Jeria, of the Socialist Party, defeating Sebastián Piñera, of the National Renewal party, extending the ''Concertación'' governance for another four years. In January 2010, Chileans
elected Elected may refer to: *Elected (song), "Elected" (song), by Alice Cooper, 1973 *Elected (EP), ''Elected'' (EP), by Ayreon, 2008 *The Elected, an American indie rock band See also

*Election {{disambiguation ...
Sebastián Piñera as the first rightist President in 20 years, defeating former President Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle of the ''Concertación'', for a four-year term succeeding Bachelet. Due to term limits, Sebastián Piñera did not stand for re-election in 2013, and his term expired in March 2014 resulting in
Michelle Bachelet Verónica Michelle Bachelet Jeria (; born 29 September 1951) is a Chilean politician who served as Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 2018 to 2022. She previous ...
returning to office. Sebastián Piñera succeeded Bachelet again in 2018 as the
President of Chile The president of Chile ( es, Presidente de Chile), officially known as the President of the Republic of Chile ( es, Presidente de la República de Chile), is the head of state and head of government of the Republic of Chile. The president is re ...
after winning the December 2017 presidential
election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold Public administration, public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative ...
. On 27 February 2010, Chile was struck by an 8.8
earthquake An earthquake (also known as a quake, tremor or temblor) is the shaking of the surface of the Earth resulting from a sudden release of energy in the Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object ...
, the fifth largest ever recorded at the time. More than 500 people died (most from the ensuing
tsunami A tsunami ( ; from ja, 津波, lit=harbour wave, ) is a series of waves in a water body caused by the displacement of a large volume of water, generally in an ocean or a tsunamis in lakes, large lake. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and othe ...
) and over a million people lost their homes. The earthquake was also followed by multiple aftershocks. Initial damage estimates were in the range of US$15–30 billion, around 10% to 15% of Chile's real gross domestic product. Chile achieved global recognition for the successful rescue of 33 trapped miners in 2010. On 5 August 2010, the access tunnel collapsed at the San José copper and gold mine in the
Atacama Desert The Atacama Desert ( es, Desierto de Atacama) is a desert plateau in South America covering a 1,600 km (990 mi) strip of land on the Pacific Ocean, Pacific coast, west of the Andes Mountains. The Atacama Desert is the driest nonpolar ...
near Copiapó in northern Chile, trapping 33 men below ground. A rescue effort organized by the Chilean government located the miners 17 days later. All 33 men were brought to the surface two months later on 13 October 2010 over a period of almost 24 hours, an effort that was carried on live television around the world. 2019–20 Chilean protests are a series of country-wide protests in response to a rise in the
Santiago Metro The Santiago Metro ( es, Metro de Santiago) is a rapid transit system serving the city of Santiago, the capital of Chile. It currently consists of seven lines (numbered 1-6 and 4A), 136 stations, and of revenue route. The system is managed by th ...
's subway fare, the increased
cost of living Cost of living is the cost of maintaining a certain standard of living Standard of living is the level of income, comforts and services available, generally applied to a society or location, rather than to an individual. Standard of living ...
,
privatization Privatization (also privatisation in British English) can mean several different things, most commonly referring to moving something from the public sector into the private sector. It is also sometimes used as a synonym for deregulation when ...
and inequality prevalent in the country. On 15 November, most of the political parties represented in the National Congress signed an agreement to call a national referendum in April 2020 regarding the creation of a new Constitution, later postponed to October due to the
COVID-19 pandemic The COVID-19 pandemic, also known as the coronavirus pandemic, is an ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The novel virus was first identif ...
. On 25 October 2020, Chileans voted 78.28 per cent in favor of a new constitution, while 21.72 per cent rejected the change. Voter turnout was 51 percent. An
election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold Public administration, public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative ...
for the members of the Constitutional Convention was held in Chile between 15 and 16 May 2021. On 19 December 2021, a leftist candidate, the 35-year-old former student protest leader
Gabriel Boric Gabriel Boric Font (; born 11 February 1986) is a Chilean Left-wing politics, left-wing politician who is the 37th and current president of Chile, serving since 11 March 2022. Boric studied in the Faculty of Law at the University of Chile, and ...
, won Chile's presidential
election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold Public administration, public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative ...
to become the country's youngest ever leader. On 11 March 2022, Boric was sworn in as president to succeed outgoing President Sebastian Pinera. Out of 24 members of Gabriel Boric's female-majority Cabinet, 14 are women. On 4 September 2022, voters rejected overwhelmingly the new constitution in the constitutional referendum, which was put forward by the constitutional convention. The rejected new constitution, supported strongly by president Boric, proved to be too radical and left-leaning for the majority of voters.


Geography

A long and narrow coastal
Southern Cone The Southern Cone ( es, Cono Sur, pt, Cone Sul) is a geographical and cultural subregion composed of the southernmost areas of South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern ...
country on the west side of the
Andes Mountains The Andes, Andes Mountains or Andean Mountains (; ) are the longest continental mountain range in the world, forming a continuous highland along the western edge of South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western ...
, Chile stretches over north to south, but only at its widest point east to west and at its narrowest point east to west, with an average width of . This encompasses a remarkable variety of climates and landscapes. It contains of land area. It is situated within the
Pacific Ring of Fire The Ring of Fire (also known as the Pacific Ring of Fire, the Rim of Fire, the Girdle of Fire or the Circum-Pacific belt) is a region around much of the rim of the Pacific Ocean where many Types of volcanic eruptions, volcanic eruptions and ...
. Excluding its Pacific islands and Antarctic claim, Chile lies between latitudes 17° and 56°S, and longitudes 66° and 75°W. Chile is among the longest north-south countries in the world. If one considers only mainland territory, Chile is unique within this group in its narrowness from east to west, with the other long north–south countries (including Brazil, Russia, Canada, and the United States, among others) all being wider from east to west by a factor of more than 10. Chile also claims of
Antarctica Antarctica () is Earth's southernmost and least-populated continent. Situated almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle and surrounded by the Southern Ocean, it contains the geographic South Pole. Antarctica is the fifth-largest contine ...

Antarctica
as part of its territory ( Chilean Antarctic Territory). However, this latter claim is suspended under the terms of the
Antarctic Treaty The Antarctic Treaty and related agreements, collectively known as the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS), regulate international relations with respect to Antarctica, Earth's only continent without a native human population. It was the first arms co ...
, of which Chile is a signatory. It is the world's southernmost country that is geographically on the mainland. Chile controls and Sala y Gómez Island, the easternmost islands of Polynesia, which it incorporated to its territory in 1888, and the Juan Fernández Islands, more than from the mainland. Also controlled but only temporarily inhabited (by some local fishermen) are the small islands of San Ambrosio and San Felix. These islands are notable because they extend Chile's claim to territorial waters out from its coast into the Pacific Ocean. The northern
Atacama Desert The Atacama Desert ( es, Desierto de Atacama) is a desert plateau in South America covering a 1,600 km (990 mi) strip of land on the Pacific Ocean, Pacific coast, west of the Andes Mountains. The Atacama Desert is the driest nonpolar ...
contains great mineral wealth, primarily
copper Copper is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Cu (from la, cuprum) and atomic number 29. It is a soft, malleable, and ductility, ductile metal with very high thermal conductivity, thermal and electrical conductivity. A fre ...
and
nitrate Nitrate is a polyatomic ion with the chemical formula . salt (chemistry), Salts containing this ion are called nitrates. Nitrates are common components of fertilizers and explosives. Almost all inorganic nitrates are solubility, soluble in wat ...
s. The relatively small Central Valley, which includes Santiago, dominates the country in terms of population and agricultural resources. This area is also the historical center from which Chile expanded in the late 19th century when it integrated the northern and southern regions. Southern Chile is rich in forests, grazing lands, and features a string of volcanoes and lakes. The southern coast is a labyrinth of fjords, inlets, canals, twisting peninsulas, and islands. The Andes Mountains are located on the eastern border.


Topography

Chile is located along a highly
seismic Seismology (; from Ancient Greek σεισμός (''seismós'') meaning "Earthquake, earthquake" and -λογία (''-logía'') meaning "study of") is the scientific study of earthquakes and the propagation of Linear elasticity#Elastic wave, elast ...
and
volcanic A volcano is a rupture in the Crust (geology), crust of a Planet#Planetary-mass objects, planetary-mass object, such as Earth, that allows hot lava, volcanic ash, and volcanic gas, gases to escape from a magma chamber below the surface. On Ear ...
zone, part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, due to the subduction of the Nazca and Antarctic plates in the
South American plate The South American Plate is a major tectonic plate which includes the continent of South America as well as a sizable region of the Atlantic Ocean seabed extending eastward to the African Plate, with which it forms the southern part of the Mid-A ...
. Late
Paleozoic The Paleozoic (or Palaeozoic) Era is the earliest of three era (geology), geologic eras of the Phanerozoic Eon. The name ''Paleozoic'' ( ;) was coined by the British geologist Adam Sedgwick in 1838 by combining the Ancient Greek, Greek words ' ...
, 251 million years ago, Chile belonged to the continental block called
Gondwana Gondwana () was a large landmass, often referred to as a supercontinent, that formed during the late Neoproterozoic (about 550 million years ago) and began to break up during the Jurassic, Jurassic period (about 180 million years ago). The fi ...
. It was just a depression that accumulated marine sediments began to rise at the end of the Mesozoic, 66 million years ago, due to the collision between the Nazca and South American plates, resulting in the Andes. The territory would be shaped over millions of years by the folding of the rocks, forming the current relief. The Chilean relief consists of the central depression, which crosses the country longitudinally, flanked by two mountain ranges that make up about 80% of the territory: the Andes mountains to the east-natural border with
Bolivia , image_flag = Bandera de Bolivia (Estado).svg , flag_alt = Horizontal tricolor (red, yellow, and green from top to bottom) with the coat of arms of Bolivia in the center , flag_alt2 = 7 × 7 square p ...

Bolivia
and
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country in the southern half of South America. Argentina covers an area of , making it the List of South American countries by area, second-largest ...

Argentina
in the region of Atacama and the Coastal Range west-minor height from the Andes. Chile's highest peak is the Nevado Ojos del Salado, at 6891.3 m, which is also the highest volcano in the world. The highest point of the Coastal Range is Vicuña Mackenna, at 3114 meters, located in the Sierra Vicuña Mackenna, the south of
Antofagasta Antofagasta () is a port city in northern Chile, about north of Santiago. It is the capital of Antofagasta Province and Antofagasta Region. According to the 2015 census, the List of cities in Chile, city has a population of 402,669. After t ...
. Among the coastal mountains and the Pacific is a series of coastal plains, of variable length, which allow the settlement of coastal towns and big ports. Some areas of the plains territories encompass territory east of the Andes, and the Patagonian steppes and Magellan, or are high plateaus surrounded by high mountain ranges, such as the Altiplano or Puna de Atacama. The Far North is the area between the northern boundary of the country and the parallel 26° S, covering the first three regions. It is characterized by the presence of the
Atacama desert The Atacama Desert ( es, Desierto de Atacama) is a desert plateau in South America covering a 1,600 km (990 mi) strip of land on the Pacific Ocean, Pacific coast, west of the Andes Mountains. The Atacama Desert is the driest nonpolar ...
, the aridest in the world. The desert is fragmented by streams that originate in the area known as the pampas Tamarugal. The Andes, split in two and whose eastern arm runs through
Bolivia , image_flag = Bandera de Bolivia (Estado).svg , flag_alt = Horizontal tricolor (red, yellow, and green from top to bottom) with the coat of arms of Bolivia in the center , flag_alt2 = 7 × 7 square p ...

Bolivia
, has a high altitude and volcanic activity, which has allowed the formation of the Andean altiplano and salt structures as the
Salar de Atacama Salar de Atacama is the largest Salt pan (geology), salt flat in Chile. It is located south of San Pedro de Atacama, is surrounded by mountains, and has no drainage outlets. In the east it is enclosed by the main chain of the Andes, while to the w ...
, due to the gradual accumulation of sediments over time. To the south is the Norte Chico, extending to the
Aconcagua river The Aconcagua River is a river in Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America. It is the southernmost country in the world, and the closest to Antarctica, occupying a long and narrow s ...
. Los Andes begin to decrease its altitude to the south and closer to the coast, reaching 90 km away at the height of
Illapel Illapel () is a Chilean List of cities in Chile, city, which is the capital of the Choapa Province, Coquimbo Region. It lies along the Illapel River and marks the country's narrowest point along a Parallel (latitude), parallel (94 km). It is ...
, the narrowest part of the Chilean territory. The two mountain ranges intersect, virtually eliminating the intermediate depression. The existence of rivers flowing through the territory allows the formation of transverse valleys, where agriculture has developed strongly in recent times, while the coastal plains begin to expand. The Central area is the most populated region of the country. The coastal plains are wide and allow the establishment of cities and ports along the Pacific. The Andes maintain altitudes above 6000m but descend slowly in height to 4000 meters on average. The intermediate depression reappears becoming a fertile valley that allows agricultural development and human settlement, due to sediment accumulation. To the south, the Cordillera de la Costa reappears in the range of Nahuelbuta while glacial sediments create a series of lakes in the area of La Frontera. Patagonia extends from within Reloncavi, at the height of parallel 41°S, to the south. During the last glaciation, this area was covered by ice that strongly eroded Chilean relief structures. As a result, the intermediate depression sinks in the sea, while the coastal mountains rise to a series of archipelagos, such as Chiloé and the Chonos, disappearing in Taitao peninsula, in the parallel 47°S. The Andes mountain range loses height and erosion caused by the action of glaciers has caused
fjords In physical geography, a fjord or fiord () is a long, narrow inlet with steep sides or cliffs, created by a glacier. Fjords exist on the coasts of Alaska, Antarctica, British Columbia, Chile, Denmark, Germany, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, ...
. East of the Andes, on the continent, or north of it, on the island of Tierra del Fuego are located relatively flat plains, which in the Strait of Magellan cover large areas. The Andes, as he had done previously Cordillera de la Costa, begins to break in the ocean causing a myriad of islands and islets and disappear into it, sinking and reappearing in the Southern Antilles arc and then the Antarctic Peninsula, where it is called Antartandes, in the Chilean Antarctic Territory, lying between the meridians 53°W and 90°W. In the middle of the Pacific, the country has sovereignty over several islands of volcanic origin, collectively known as Insular Chile. Of these, we highlight the archipelago of Juan Fernandez and Easter Island, which is located in the fracture zone between the Nazca plate and the Pacific plate known as East Pacific Rise.


Climate and hydrography

The diverse
climate of Chile The climate of Chile comprises a wide range of weather conditions across a large geographic scale, extending across 38 degrees in latitude, making generalizations difficult. According to the Köppen system, Chile Chile, officially the ...
ranges from the world's driest desert in the north—the
Atacama Desert The Atacama Desert ( es, Desierto de Atacama) is a desert plateau in South America covering a 1,600 km (990 mi) strip of land on the Pacific Ocean, Pacific coast, west of the Andes Mountains. The Atacama Desert is the driest nonpolar ...
—through a
Mediterranean climate A Mediterranean climate (also called a dry summer temperate climate ''Cs'') is a temperate climate sub-type, generally characterized by warm, dry summers and mild, fairly wet winters; these weather conditions are typically experienced in the ...
in the center,
humid subtropical A humid subtropical climate is a zone of climate characterized by hot and humid summers, and cool to mild winters. These climates normally lie on the southeast side of all continents (except Antarctica), generally between latitudes 25° and 40° ...
in Easter Island, to an
oceanic climate An oceanic climate, also known as a marine climate, is the humid temperate climate sub-type in Köppen climate classification, Köppen classification ''Cfb'', typical of west coasts in higher middle latitudes of continents, generally featuring ...
, including
alpine tundra Alpine tundra is a type of natural region or biome that does not contain trees because it is at high elevation, with an associated alpine climate, harsh climate. As the latitude of a location approaches the poles, the threshold elevation for alp ...
and
glaciers A glacier (; ) is a persistent body of dense ice that is constantly moving under its own weight. A glacier forms where the accumulation of snow exceeds its Ablation#Glaciology, ablation over many years, often Century, centuries. It acquires dis ...
in the east and south. According to the Köppen system, Chile within its borders hosts at least ten major climatic subtypes. There are four seasons in most of the country: summer (December to February), autumn (March to May), winter (June to August), and spring (September to November). Due to the characteristics of the territory, Chile is crossed by numerous rivers generally short in length and with low flow rates. They commonly extend from the
Andes The Andes, Andes Mountains or Andean Mountains (; ) are the longest continental mountain range in the world, forming a continuous highland along the western edge of South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western ...
to the Pacific Ocean, flowing from East to West. Because of the
Atacama desert The Atacama Desert ( es, Desierto de Atacama) is a desert plateau in South America covering a 1,600 km (990 mi) strip of land on the Pacific Ocean, Pacific coast, west of the Andes Mountains. The Atacama Desert is the driest nonpolar ...
, in the Norte Grande there are only short
endorheic An endorheic basin (; also spelled endoreic basin or endorreic basin) is a drainage basin that normally retains water and allows no outflow to other external bodies of water, such as rivers or oceans, but drainage converges instead into lakes ...
character streams, except for the
Loa River The Loa River (Spanish language, Spanish: Río Loa) is a U-shaped river in Chile's northern Antofagasta Region. At long, it is the country's longest river and the main watercourse in the Atacama Desert. Course The Loa's sources are located on ...
, the longest in the country 440 km. In the high valleys, wetland areas generate Chungará Lake, located at 4500 meters above sea level. It and the Lauca River are shared with
Bolivia , image_flag = Bandera de Bolivia (Estado).svg , flag_alt = Horizontal tricolor (red, yellow, and green from top to bottom) with the coat of arms of Bolivia in the center , flag_alt2 = 7 × 7 square p ...

Bolivia
, as well as the
Lluta River The Lluta River is a river located in the northern portion of the Arica y Parinacota Region of Chile. Its headwaters are on the western flanks of the Andes of the Parinacota Province, just a few kilometers south of the border with Peru, and emptie ...
. In the center-north of the country, the number of rivers that form valleys of agricultural importance increases. Noteworthy are the Elqui with 75 km long, 142 km Aconcagua, Maipo with 250 km and its tributary, the Mapocho with 110 km, and Maule with 240 km. Their waters mainly flow from Andean snowmelt in the summer and winter rains. The major lakes in this area are the artificial lake Rapel, the Colbun Maule lagoon and the lagoon of La Laja.


Biodiversity

The flora and fauna of Chile are characterized by a high degree of endemism, due to its particular geography. In continental Chile, the
Atacama Desert The Atacama Desert ( es, Desierto de Atacama) is a desert plateau in South America covering a 1,600 km (990 mi) strip of land on the Pacific Ocean, Pacific coast, west of the Andes Mountains. The Atacama Desert is the driest nonpolar ...
in the north and the
Andes mountains The Andes, Andes Mountains or Andean Mountains (; ) are the longest continental mountain range in the world, forming a continuous highland along the western edge of South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western ...
to the east are barriers that have led to the isolation of flora and fauna. Add to that the enormous length of Chile (over ) and this results in a wide range of climates and environments that can be divided into three general zones: the desert provinces of the north, central Chile, and the humid regions of the south. The native flora of Chile consists of relatively fewer species compared to the flora of other South American countries. The northernmost coastal and central region is largely barren of vegetation, approaching the most absolute desert in the world. On the slopes of the Andes, in addition to the scattered tola desert brush, grasses are found. The central valley is characterized by several species of cacti, the hardy espinos, the Chilean pine, the southern beeches and the copihue, a red bell-shaped flower that is Chile's national flower. In southern Chile, south of the Biobío River, heavy precipitation has produced dense forests of laurels, magnolias, and various species of conifers and beeches, which become smaller and more stunted to the south. The cold temperatures and winds of the extreme south preclude heavy forestation. Grassland is found in Atlantic Chile (in Patagonia). Much of the Chilean flora is distinct from that of neighboring Argentina, indicating that the Andean barrier existed during its formation. Some of Chile's flora has an Antarctic origin due to
land bridge In biogeography, a land bridge is an isthmus or wider land connection between otherwise separate areas, over which animals and plant Plants are predominantly Photosynthesis, photosynthetic eukaryotes of the Kingdom (biology), kingdom ...
s which formed during the Cretaceous ice ages, allowing plants to migrate from Antarctica to South America. Chile had a 2018 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 7.37/10, ranking it 43rd globally out of 172 countries. Just over 3,000 species of fungi are recorded in Chile, but this number is far from complete. The true total number of fungal species occurring in Chile is likely to be far higher, given the generally accepted estimate that only about 7 percent of all fungi worldwide have so far been discovered. Although the amount of available information is still very small, a first effort has been made to estimate the number of fungal species endemic to Chile, and 1995 species have been tentatively identified as possible endemics of the country. Chile's geographical isolation has restricted the immigration of faunal life so that only a few of the many distinctive South American animals are found. Among the larger mammals are the puma or cougar, the llama-like
guanaco The guanaco (; ''Lama guanicoe'') is a camelid native to South America, closely related to the llama. Guanacos are one of two wild South American camelids, the other being the vicuña, which lives at higher elevations. Etymology The guanaco g ...
and the fox-like chilla. In the forest region, several types of marsupials and a small deer known as the
pudu The pudus (Mapudungun language, Mapudungun ''püdü'' or ''püdu'', es, pudú, ) are two species of South American deer from the genus ''Pudu'', and are the world's smallest deer. The Chevrotain, chevrotains (mouse-deer; Tragulidae) are smaller ...
are found. There are many species of small birds, but most of the larger common Latin American types are absent. Few freshwater fish are native, but North American trout have been successfully introduced into the Andean lakes. Owing to the vicinity of the Humboldt Current, ocean waters abound with fish and other forms of marine life, which in turn support a rich variety of waterfowl, including several penguins. Whales are abundant, and some six species of seals are found in the area.


Government and politics

The current
Constitution of Chile The Political Constitution of the Republic of Chile of 1980 () is the Constitution, fundamental law in force in Chile. It was approved and promulgated under the Military dictatorship of Chile (1973–1990), military dictatorship headed by August ...
was drafted by Jaime Guzmán in 1980 and subsequently approved via a national
plebiscite A referendum (plural: referendums or less commonly referenda) is a Direct democracy, direct vote by the Constituency, electorate on a proposal, law, or political issue. This is in contrast to an issue being voted on by a Representative democr ...
—regarded as "highly irregular" by some observers—in September of that year, under the military dictatorship of . It entered into force in March 1981. After Pinochet's defeat in the 1988 plebiscite, the constitution was amended to ease provisions for future amendments to the Constitution. In September 2005, President
Ricardo Lagos Ricardo Froilán Lagos Escobar (; born 2 March 1938) is a Chilean lawyer, economist and Social democracy, social-democratic politician who served as president of Chile from 2000 to 2006. During the 1980s he was a well-known opponent of the Mil ...
signed into law several constitutional amendments passed by Congress. These include eliminating the positions of appointed senators and senators for life, granting the President authority to remove the commanders-in-chief of the armed forces, and reducing the presidential term from six to four years. Chile's judiciary is independent and includes a court of appeal, a system of military courts, a constitutional tribunal, and the Supreme Court of Chile. In June 2005, Chile completed a nationwide overhaul of its criminal justice system. The reform has replaced inquisitorial proceedings with an adversarial system with greater similarity to that of common law jurisdictions such as the United States. For parliamentary elections, between 1989 and 2013 the binominal system was used, which promoted the establishment of two majority political blocs - Concertación and
Alliance An alliance is a relationship among people, groups, or sovereign state, states that have joined together for mutual benefit or to achieve some common purpose, whether or not explicit agreement has been worked out among them. Members of an alli ...
- at the expense of the exclusion of non-majority political groups. The opponents of this system approved in 2015 a moderate proportional electoral system that has been in force since the 2017 parliamentary elections, allowing the entry of new parties and coalitions. The
Congress of Chile The National Congress of Chile ( es, Congreso Nacional de Chile) is the Legislature, legislative branch of the government of the Chile, Republic of Chile. The National Congress of Chile was founded on July 4, 1811. It is a Bicameralism, bicamera ...
has a 50-seat
Senate A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house An upper house is one of two Debate chamber, chambers of a bicameralism, bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the lower house.''Bicameralism'' (1997) by George Tseb ...
and a 155-member
Chamber of Deputies The chamber of deputies is the lower house in many bicameral legislatures and the sole house in some unicameral legislatures. Description Historically, French Chamber of Deputies of France, Chamber of Deputies was the lower house of the French Pa ...
. Senators serve for eight years with staggered terms, while deputies are elected every 4 years. The last congressional elections were held on 21 November 2021, concurrently with the presidential election. The Congress is located in the port city of
Valparaíso Valparaíso (; ) is a major city, seaport, naval base, and educational centre in the commune of Valparaíso, Chile. "Greater Valparaíso" is the second largest metropolitan area in the country. Valparaíso is located about northwest of Santiago ...
, about west of the capital, Santiago. The main existing political coalitions in Chile are: Government: * Apruebo Dignidad (''Approve Dignity'') is a
left-wing Left-wing politics describes the range of Ideology#Political%20ideologies, political ideologies that support and seek to achieve social equality and egalitarianism, often in opposition to social hierarchy. Left-wing politics typically in ...
coalition that has its origin in the
2021 Chilean Constitutional Convention election An election for the members of the Constitutional Convention (Chile), Constitutional Convention was held in Chile between 15 and 16 May 2021. This election was called after 78% of voters in the 2020 Chilean national plebiscite, 2020 national pleb ...
. After the success in that election, it held presidential primaries, in which
Gabriel Boric Gabriel Boric Font (; born 11 February 1986) is a Chilean Left-wing politics, left-wing politician who is the 37th and current president of Chile, serving since 11 March 2022. Boric studied in the Faculty of Law at the University of Chile, and ...
( CS, FA) was the winner. It is formed by the coalition Frente Amplio (''Broad Font'') and the coalition Chile Digno (''Worthy Chile'') formed by the
Communist Party of Chile The Communist Party of Chile ( es, Partido Comunista de Chile, ) is a communist party in Chile. It was founded in 1912 as the Socialist Workers' Party () and adopted its current name in 1922. The party established a youth wing, the Communist Youth ...
and others left-wing parties. *
Democratic Socialism Democratic socialism is a Left-wing politics, left-wing political philosophy that supports political democracy and some form of a socially owned economy, with a particular emphasis on economic democracy, workplace democracy, and workers' self- ...
is a
center-left Centre-left politics lean to the left Left may refer to: Music * Left (Hope of the States album), ''Left'' (Hope of the States album), 2006 * Left (Monkey House album), ''Left'' (Monkey House album), 2016 * "Left", a song by Nickelback from ...
coalition, successor of the Constituent Unity, and this of the Concertation -which supported the "NO" option in the 1988 plebiscite and subsequently governed the country from 1990 to 2010-. This pact is formed by the parties
Socialist Socialism is a left-wing Economic ideology, economic philosophy and Political movement, movement encompassing a range of economic systems characterized by the dominance of social ownership of the means of production as opposed to Private prop ...
, for Democracy,
Radical Radical may refer to: Politics and ideology Politics *Radical politics, the political intent of fundamental societal change *Radicalism (historical), the Radical Movement that began in late 18th century Britain and spread to continental Europe and ...
, and Liberal. Opposition: *
Chile Vamos (Spanish for "Let’s go Chile”) is a Centre-right politics, centre-right to Right-wing politics, right-wing political coalition of three political parties in Chile. The coalition was created on 29 January 2015 by the general secretaries of the ...
(''Let’s go Chile'') is a
center-right Centre-right politics lean to the Right-wing politics, right of the Left–right politics, political spectrum, but are closer to the Centrism, centre. From the 1780s to the 1880s, there was a shift in the Western world of social class structure a ...
coalition with roots of liberal conservatism, formed by the parties Renovación Nacional (''National Renewal''), Unión Demócrata Independiente (''Independent Democratic Union'') and Evópoli. It has its origins in the
Alliance An alliance is a relationship among people, groups, or sovereign state, states that have joined together for mutual benefit or to achieve some common purpose, whether or not explicit agreement has been worked out among them. Members of an alli ...
coalition, formed by the main parties that supported the "YES" option in the 1988 plebiscite, although it has used different names since then. It was the ruling coalition during the first and second government of Sebastián Piñera, (2010-2014) and (2018-2022). In the National Congress, Chile Vamos has 52 deputies and 24 senators, while the parliamentary group of Apruebo Dignidad is formed by 37 deputies and 6 senators. Democratic Socialism is the third political force with 30 deputies and 13 senators. The other groups with parliamentary representation are the Republican Party (15 deputies and 1 senator), the Christian Democratic Party (8 deputies and 5 senators), the Party of the People (8 deputies) and the independents outside of a coalition (5 deputies and 1 senator).


Foreign relations

Since the early decades after independence, Chile has always had an active involvement in foreign affairs. In 1837, the country aggressively challenged the dominance of Peru's port of
Callao Callao () is a Peruvian seaside city and region In geography Geography (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , ''geographia''. Combination of Greek words ‘Geo’ (The Earth) and ‘Graphien’ (to describe), literally "earth description") i ...
for preeminence in the Pacific trade routes, defeating the short-lived alliance between Peru and Bolivia, the Peru-Bolivian Confederation (1836–39) in the War of the Confederation. The war dissolved the confederation while distributing power in the Pacific. A second international war, the War of the Pacific (1879–83), further increased Chile's regional role, while adding considerably to its territory. During the 19th century, Chile's commercial ties were primarily with Britain, a nation that had a major influence on the formation of the Chilean navy. The French, influenced Chile's legal and educational systems and had a decisive impact on Chile, through the architecture of the capital in the boom years at the turn of the 20th century. German influence came from the organization and training of the army by
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian: ''Prūsa'' or ''Prūsija'' was a Germans, German state on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. It formed the German Empire under Prussian rule when it united the German states in 1871. It was ''de facto'' dissolved ...
ns. On 26 June 1945, Chile participated as a founding member of the United Nations being among 50 countries that signed the
United Nations Charter The Charter of the United Nations (UN) is the foundational treaty of the UN, an intergovernmental organization. It establishes the purposes, governing structure, and overall framework of the United Nations System, UN system, including its Organ ...
in San Francisco, California. With the military coup of 1973, Chile became isolated politically as a result of widespread human rights abuses. Since its return to democracy in 1990, Chile has been an active participant in the international political arena. Chile completed a two-year non-permanent position on the UN Security Council in January 2005. Jose Miguel Insulza, a Chilean national, was elected Secretary General of the Organization of American States in May 2005 and confirmed in his position, being re-elected in 2009. Chile is currently serving on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors, and the 2007–2008 chair of the board is Chile's ambassador to the IAEA, Milenko E. Skoknic. The country is an active member of the UN family of agencies and participates in UN peacekeeping activities. It was re-elected as a member of the UN Human Rights Council in 2011 for a three-year term. It was also
elected Elected may refer to: *Elected (song), "Elected" (song), by Alice Cooper, 1973 *Elected (EP), ''Elected'' (EP), by Ayreon, 2008 *The Elected, an American indie rock band See also

*Election {{disambiguation ...
to one of five non-permanent seats on the
UN Security Council The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the Organs of the United Nations, six principal organs of the United Nations (UN) and is charged with ensuring international security, international peace and security, recommending the admi ...
in 2013. Chile hosted the Defense Ministerial of the Americas in 2002 and the APEC summit and related meetings in 2004. It also hosted the Community of Democracies ministerial in April 2005 and the Ibero-American Summit in November 2007. An associate member of Mercosur and a full member of APEC, Chile has been a major player in international economic issues and hemispheric free trade.


Military

The Armed Forces of Chile are subject to civilian control exercised by the president through the Minister of Defense. The president has the authority to remove the commanders-in-chief of the armed forces. The commander-in-chief of the
Chilean Army The Chilean Army ( es, Ejército de Chile) is the land arm of the Military of Chile. This 80,000-person army (9,200 of which are conscripts) is organized into six divisions, a special operations brigade and an air brigade. In recent years, and a ...
is
Army General Army general is the highest ranked general officer in many countries that use the General officer#French (Revolutionary) system, French Revolutionary System.  In countries that adopt the general officer four rank system, it is rank of genera ...
Ricardo Martínez Menanteau. The Chilean Army is 45,000 strong and is organized with an Army headquarters in Santiago, six divisions throughout its territory, an Air Brigade in Rancagua, and a Special Forces Command in Colina. The Chilean Army is one of the most professional and technologically advanced armies in Latin America. Admiral Julio Leiva Molina directs the around 25,000-person
Chilean Navy The Chilean Navy ( es, Armada de Chile) is the naval warfare service branch of the Chilean Armed Forces. It is under the Ministry of National Defense (Chile), Ministry of National Defense. Its headquarters are at Edificio Armada de Chile, Valpar ...
, including 2,500 Marines. Of the fleet of 29 surface vessels, only eight are operational major combatants (frigates). Those ships are based in
Valparaíso Valparaíso (; ) is a major city, seaport, naval base, and educational centre in the commune of Valparaíso, Chile. "Greater Valparaíso" is the second largest metropolitan area in the country. Valparaíso is located about northwest of Santiago ...
. The Navy operates its own aircraft for transport and patrol; there are no Navy fighter or bomber aircraft. The Navy also operates four submarines based in
Talcahuano Talcahuano () (From Mapuche language, Mapudungun ''Tralkawenu'', "Thundering Sky") is a port List of cities in Chile, city and Communes of Chile, commune in the Biobío Region of Chile. It is part of the Greater Concepción conurbation. Talcahua ...
. Air Force General (four-star) Jorge Rojas Ávila heads the 12,500-strong
Chilean Air Force "With full speed to the stars" , colours = Indigo White , colours_label = , march = Alte Kameraden , mascot = , anniversaries = 21 Marc ...
. Air assets are distributed among five air brigades headquartered in Iquique, Antofagasta, Santiago, Puerto Montt, and Punta Arenas. The Air Force also operates an airbase on King George Island, Antarctica. The Air Force took delivery of the final two of ten F-16s, all purchased from the U.S., in March 2007 after several decades of U.S. debate and previous refusal to sell. Chile also took delivery in 2007 of a number of reconditioned Block 15 F-16s from the Netherlands, bringing to 18 the total of F-16s purchased from the Dutch. After the military coup in September 1973, the Chilean national police (Carabineros) were incorporated into the Defense Ministry. With the return of democratic government, the police were placed under the operational control of the Interior Ministry but remained under the nominal control of the Defense Ministry. Gen. Gustavo González Jure is the head of the national police force of 40,964 men and women who are responsible for law enforcement, traffic management, narcotics suppression, border control, and counter-terrorism throughout Chile. In 2017, Chile signed the UN treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.


Administrative divisions

In 1978 Chile was administratively divided into
regions In geography, regions, otherwise referred to as zones, lands or territories, are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characteristics (human geography), and the interaction of humanity and t ...
, and in 1979 subdivided into
province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or sovereign state, state. The term derives from the ancient Roman ''Roman province, provincia'', which was the major territorial and administrative unit of the Roman Empire ...
s and these into communes. In total the country has 16 regions, 56 provinces and 348 communes. Each region was designated by a name and a
Roman numeral Roman numerals are a numeral system that originated in ancient Rome and remained the usual way of writing numbers throughout Europe well into the Late Middle Ages. Numbers are written with combinations of letters from the Latin alphabet, eac ...
assigned from north to south, except for the
Santiago Metropolitan Region Santiago Metropolitan Region ( es, link=no, Región Metropolitana de Santiago) is one of Chile's 16 first-order Administrative divisions of Chile, administrative divisions. It is the country's only landlocked administrative Regions of Chile, reg ...
, which did not have a number. The creation of two new regions in 2007, Arica and Parinacota (XV) and Los Ríos (XIV), and a third region in 2018, Ñuble (XVI) made this numbering lose its original order meaning.


National symbols

The national flower is the copihue (''Lapageria rosea'', Chilean bellflower), which grows in the woods of southern Chile. The
coat of arms A coat of arms is a heraldry, heraldic communication design, visual design on an escutcheon (heraldry), escutcheon (i.e., shield), surcoat, or tabard (the latter two being outer garments). The coat of arms on an escutcheon forms the central ele ...
depicts the two national animals: the
condor Condor is the common name for two species of New World vultures, each in a monotypic genus. The name derives from the Quechua language, Quechua ''kuntur''. They are the largest flying land birds in the Western Hemisphere. They are: * The And ...
(''Vultur gryphus'', a very large bird that lives in the mountains) and the huemul (''Hippocamelus bisulcus,'' an endangered white tail deer). It also has the legend ''Por la razón o la fuerza'' (''By reason or by force''). The
flag of Chile A flag is a piece of fabric Textile is an Hyponymy and hypernymy, umbrella term that includes various Fiber, fiber-based materials, including fibers, yarns, Staple (textiles)#Filament fiber, filaments, Thread (yarn), threads, differ ...
consists of two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and red; there is 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 stands for the blood spilled to achieve independence. The flag of Chile is similar to the
Flag of Texas The flag of Texas is the official flag of the U.S. state of Texas. It is well known for its prominent single white star which gives the flag its commonly-used name: "Lone Star Flag". This lone star, in turn, gives rise to the state's nickname: "T ...
, although the Chilean flag is 21 years older. However, like the Texan flag, the flag of Chile is modeled after the
Flag of the United States The national flag of the United States, United States of America, often referred to as the ''American flag'' or the ''U.S. flag'', consists of thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white, with a blue rect ...
.


Economy

The Central Bank of Chile in Santiago serves as the
central bank A central bank, reserve bank, or monetary authority is an institution that manages the currency and monetary policy of a country or monetary union, and oversees their commercial bank, commercial banking system. In contrast to a commercial ba ...
for the country. The Chilean currency is the Chilean peso (CLP). Chile is one of South America's most stable and prosperous nations, leading Latin American nations in
human development Human development may refer to: * Development of the human body * Developmental psychology * Human development (economics) * Human Development Index, an index used to rank countries by level of human development * Human evolution, the prehistoric ...
, competitiveness, globalization, economic freedom, and low perception of corruption. Since July 2013, Chile is considered by the
World Bank The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans and Grant (money), grants to the governments of Least developed countries, low- and Developing country, middle-income countries for the purpose of pursuing capital pro ...
as a " high-income economy". Chile has the highest degree of
economic freedom Economic freedom, or economic liberty, is the ability of people of a society to take economic actions. This is a term used in economic and policy debates as well as in the philosophy of economics. One approach to economic freedom comes from the Ec ...
in South America (ranking 7th worldwide), owing to its independent and efficient judicial system and prudent public finance management. In May 2010 Chile became the first South American country to join the
OECD The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD; french: Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques, ''OCDE'') is an intergovernmental organization, intergovernmental organisation with 38 member countries ...
. In 2006, Chile became the country with the highest nominal GDP per capita in Latin America. As of 2020, Chile ranks third in Latin America (behind Uruguay and Panama) in nominal GDP per capita. Copper mining makes up 20% of Chilean GDP and 60% of exports. Escondida is the largest copper mine in the world, producing over 5% of global supplies. Overall, Chile produces a third of the world's copper. Codelco, the state mining firm, competes with private copper mining companies. Sound economic policies, maintained consistently since the 1980s, have contributed to steady economic growth in Chile and have more than halved poverty rates. Chile began to experience a moderate economic downturn in 1999. The economy remained sluggish until 2003, when it began to show clear signs of recovery, achieving 4.0% GDP growth. The Chilean economy finished 2004 with growth of 6%. Real GDP growth reached 5.7% in 2005 before falling back to 4% in 2006. GDP expanded by 5% in 2007. Faced with the
financial crisis of 2007–2008 Finance is the study and discipline of money, currency and capital assets. It is related to, but not synonymous with economics, the study of Production (economics), production, Distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics) ...
the government announced an economic stimulus plan to spur employment and growth, and despite the
Great Recession The Great Recession was a period of marked general decline, i.e. a recession, observed in national economies globally that occurred from late 2007 into 2009. The scale and timing of the recession varied from country to country (see map). At t ...
, aimed for an expansion of between 2% and 3% of GDP for 2009. Nonetheless, economic analysts disagreed with government estimates and predicted economic growth at a median of 1.5%. Real GDP growth in 2012 was 5.5%. Growth slowed to 4.1% in the first quarter of 2013. The unemployment rate was 6.4% in April 2013. There are reported labor shortages in agriculture, mining, and construction. The percentage of Chileans with per capita household incomes below the poverty line—defined as twice the cost of satisfying a person's minimal nutritional needs—fell from 45.1% in 1987 to 11.5% in 2009, according to government surveys. Critics in Chile, however, argue that true poverty figures are considerably higher than those officially published. Using the relative yardstick favoured in many European countries, 27% of Chileans would be poor, according to Juan Carlos Feres of the ECLAC. , about 11.1 million people (64% of the population) benefit from government welfare programs, via the "Social Protection Card", which includes the population living in poverty and those at a risk of falling into poverty. The privatized national pension system (AFP) has encouraged domestic investment and contributed to an estimated total domestic savings rate of approximately 21% of GDP. Under the compulsory private pension system, most formal sector employees pay 10% of their salaries into privately managed funds. Chile has signed
free trade agreements A free-trade agreement (FTA) or treaty is an agreement according to international law to form a free-trade area between the cooperating state (polity), states. There are two types of trade agreements: Bilateralism, bilateral and Multilateralism, m ...
(FTAs) with a whole network of countries, including an FTA with the United States that was signed in 2003 and implemented in January 2004. Internal Government of Chile figures show that even when factoring out inflation and the recent high price of copper, bilateral trade between the U.S. and Chile has grown over 60% since then. Chile's total trade with China reached US$8.8 billion in 2006, representing nearly 66% of the value of its trade relationship with Asia. Exports to Asia increased from US$15.2 billion in 2005 to US$19.7 billion in 2006, a 29.9% increase. Year-on-year growth of imports was especially strong from a number of countries: Ecuador (123.9%), Thailand (72.1%), South Korea (52.6%), and China (36.9%). Chile's approach to foreign direct investment is codified in the country's Foreign Investment Law. Registration is reported to be simple and transparent, and foreign investors are guaranteed access to the official
foreign exchange market The foreign exchange market (Forex, FX, or currency market) is a global decentralization, decentralized or Over-the-counter (finance), over-the-counter (OTC) Market (economics), market for the trading of currency, currencies. This market d ...
to repatriate their profits and capital. The Chilean Government has formed a Council on Innovation and Competition, hoping to bring in additional FDI to new parts of the economy.
Standard & Poor's S&P Global Ratings (previously Standard & Poor's and informally known as S&P) is an American credit rating agency (CRA) and a division of S&P Global that publishes financial research and analysis on capital stock, stocks, Bond (finance), bonds, ...
gives Chile a
credit rating A credit rating is an evaluation of the credit risk A credit risk is risk of default on a debt that may arise from a borrower failing to make required payments. In the first resort, the risk is that of the lender and includes lost principal an ...
of AA-. The Government of Chile continues to pay down its foreign debt, with public debt only 3.9% of GDP at the end of 2006. The Chilean central government is a net creditor with a net asset position of 7% of GDP at end 2012. The
current account deficit In economics Economics () is the social science that studies the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goods and services. Economics focuses on the be ...
was 4% in the first quarter of 2013, financed mostly by foreign direct investment. 14% of central government revenue came directly from copper in 2012.


Mineral resources

Chile is rich in mineral resources, especially copper and lithium. It is thought that due to the importance of lithium for batteries for electric vehicles and stabilization of electric grids with large proportions of intermittent renewables in the electricity mix, Chile could be strengthened geopolitically. However, this perspective has also been criticized for underestimating the power of economic incentives for expanded production in other parts of the world. The country was, in 2019, the world's largest producer of
copper Copper is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Cu (from la, cuprum) and atomic number 29. It is a soft, malleable, and ductility, ductile metal with very high thermal conductivity, thermal and electrical conductivity. A fre ...
,
iodine Iodine is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol I and atomic number 53. The heaviest of the stable halogens, it exists as a semi-lustrous, non-metallic solid at standard conditions that melts to form a deep violet liquid at , ...
and
rhenium Rhenium is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Re and atomic number 75. It is a silvery-gray, heavy, third-row transition metal in group 7 element, group 7 of the periodic table. With an estimated average concentration of 1 pa ...
, the second largest producer of
lithium Lithium (from el, λίθος, lithos, lit=stone) is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Li and atomic number 3. It is a soft, silvery-white alkali metal. Under standard temperature and pressure, standard conditions, it ...
and
molybdenum Molybdenum is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Mo and atomic number 42 which is located in period 5 and group 6. The name is from New Latin, Neo-Latin ''molybdaenum'', which is based on Ancient Greek ', meaning lead, since i ...
, the sixth largest producer of
silver Silver is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Ag (from the Latin ', derived from the Proto-Indo-European wikt:Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/h₂erǵ-, ''h₂erǵ'': "shiny" or "white") and atomic number 47. A soft, whi ...
, the seventh largest producer of
salt Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of Salt (chemistry), salts; salt in the form of a natural crystallinity, crystalline mineral is known as rock salt or halite. ...
, the eighth largest producer of
potash Potash () includes various mined and manufactured salt (chemistry), salts that contain potassium in water-solute, soluble form.sulfur Sulfur (or sulphur in British English British English (BrE, en-GB, or BE) is, according to Oxford Dictionaries, " English as used in Great Britain, as distinct from that used elsewhere". More narrowly, it can refer specifically to the ...
and the thirteenth producer of
iron ore Iron ores are rock (geology), rocks and minerals from which metallic iron can be economically extracted. The ores are usually rich in iron oxides and vary in color from dark grey, bright yellow, or deep purple to rusty red. The iron is usually ...
in the world. The country also has considerable
gold Gold is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Au (from la, aurum) and atomic number 79. This makes it one of the higher atomic number elements that occur naturally. It is a Brightness, bright, slightly orange-yellow, dense, s ...
production: between 2006 and 2017, the country produced annual amounts ranging from 35.9 tonnes in 2017 to 51.3 tonnes in 2013.


Agriculture

Agriculture Agriculture or farming is the practice of cultivating Plant, plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of Sedentism, sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of Domestication, domesticated species created food ...
in Chile encompasses a wide range of different activities due to its particular
geography Geography (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , ''geographia''. Combination of Greek words ‘Geo’ (The Earth) and ‘Graphien’ (to describe), literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, i ...
,
climate Climate is the long-term weather pattern in an area, typically averaged over 30 years. More rigorously, it is the mean and variability of meteorological variables over a time spanning from months to millions of years. Some of the meteorologi ...
and
geology Geology () is a branch of natural science concerned with Earth and other Astronomical object, astronomical objects, the features or rock (geology), rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which they change over time. Modern geology ...
and human factors. Historically agriculture is one of the bases of Chile's economy. Now agriculture and allied sectors like
forestry Forestry is the science and craft of creating, managing, planting, using, conserving and repairing forests, woodlands, and associated resources for human and environmental benefits. Forestry is practiced in plantations and natural Stand level ...
,
logging Logging is the process of cutting, processing, and moving tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, usually supporting branches and leaves. In some usages, the definition o ...
and
fishing Fishing is the activity of trying to catch fish. Fish are often caught as wildlife from the natural environment, but may also be caught from fish stocking, stocked bodies of water such as fish pond, ponds, canals, park wetlands and reservoirs. ...
account for only 4.9% of the
GDP Gross domestic product (GDP) is a money, monetary Measurement in economics, measure of the market value of all the final goods and services produced and sold (not resold) in a specific time period by countries. Due to its complex and subjec ...
and employ 13.6% of the country's labor force. Chile is one of the 5 largest world producers of
cherry A cherry is the fruit of many plants of the genus ''Prunus'', and is a fleshy drupe (stone fruit). Commercial cherries are obtained from cultivars of several species, such as the sweet ''Prunus avium'' and the sour ''Prunus cerasus''. The nam ...
and
blueberry Blueberries are a widely distributed and widespread group of perennial flowering plants with blue or purple berries. They are classified in the section (botany), section ''Cyanococcus'' within the genus ''Vaccinium''. ''Vaccinium'' also includ ...
, and one of the 10 largest world producers of
grape A grape is a fruit, botanically a berry (botany), berry, of the deciduous woody vines of the flowering plant genus ''Vitis''. Grapes are a non-Climacteric (botany), climacteric type of fruit, generally occurring in clusters. The cultivation of ...
,
apple An apple is an edible fruit produced by an apple tree (''Malus domestica''). Apple fruit tree, trees are agriculture, cultivated worldwide and are the most widely grown species in the genus ''Malus''. The tree originated in Central Asia, wh ...
,
kiwi Kiwi most commonly refers to: * Kiwi (bird) Kiwi ( ) are flightless birds endemism, endemic to New Zealand of the order Apterygiformes. The five extant species fall into the family Apterygidae () and genus ''Apteryx'' (). Approximately the ...
,
peach The peach (''Prunus persica'') is a deciduous tree first domesticated and Agriculture, cultivated in Zhejiang, Zhejiang province of East China, Eastern China. It bears edible juicy fruits with various characteristics, most called peaches and o ...
,
plum A plum is a fruit of some species in Prunus subg. Prunus, ''Prunus'' subg. ''Prunus'.'' Dried plums are called prunes. History Plums may have been one of the first fruits domesticated by humans. Three of the most abundantly cultivated spe ...
and
hazelnut The hazelnut is the nut (fruit), fruit of the hazel, hazel tree and therefore includes any of the nuts deriving from species of the genus ''Corylus'', especially the nuts of the species ''Corylus avellana''. They are also known as cobnuts or ...
, focusing on exporting high-value fruits. Some other major agriculture products of Chile include
pear Pears are fruits produced and consumed around the world, growing on a tree and harvested in the Northern Hemisphere in late summer into October. The pear tree and shrub are a species of genus ''Pyrus'' , in the Family (biology), family Rosacea ...
s,
onion An onion (''Allium cepa'' L., from Latin ''cepa'' meaning "onion"), also known as the bulb onion or common onion, is a vegetable that is the most widely cultivated species of the genus ''Allium''. The shallot is a variety (botany), botanical var ...
s,
wheat Wheat is a Poaceae, grass widely Agriculture, cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain that is a worldwide staple food. The Taxonomy of wheat, many species of wheat together make up the genus ''Triticum'' ; the most widely grown is common wheat ...
,
maize Maize ( ; ''Zea mays'' subsp. ''mays'', from es, maíz after tnq, mahiz), also known as corn (North American English, North American and Australian English), is a cereal grain first domesticated by indigenous peoples of Mexico, indigenous ...
,
oats The oat (''Avena sativa''), sometimes called the common oat, is a species of Cereal, cereal grain grown for its seed, which is known by the same name (usually in the plural, unlike other cereals and pseudocereals). While oats are suitable for h ...
,
garlic Garlic (''Allium sativum'') is a species of bulbous flowering plant in the genus '' Allium''. Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek, chive, Welsh onion and Allium chinense, Chinese onion. It is native to South Asia, Centr ...
,
asparagus Asparagus, or garden asparagus, folk name sparrow grass, scientific name ''Asparagus officinalis'', is a perennial flowering plant species in the genus ''Asparagus (genus), Asparagus''. Its young shoots are used as a spring vegetable. It was ...
,
bean A bean is the seed of several plants in the family Fabaceae The Fabaceae or Leguminosae,beef Beef is the culinary name for meat from cattle (''Bos taurus''). In prehistoric times, humankind hunted aurochs and later domesticated them. Since that time, numerous breeds of cattle have been bred specifically for the quality or quantit ...
,
poultry Poultry () are domestication, domesticated birds kept by humans for their egg (food) , eggs, their meat or their feathers. These birds are most typically members of the Superorder (biology), superorder Fowl, Galloanserae (fowl), especially the ...
,
wool Wool is the textile fibre obtained from sheep and other mammal, mammals, especially goat, goats, rabbit, rabbits, and camelid, camelids. The term may also refer to inorganic materials, such as mineral wool and glass wool, that have properties ...
,
fish Fish are Aquatic animal, aquatic, craniate, gill-bearing animals that lack Limb (anatomy), limbs with Digit (anatomy), digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and Chondrichthyes, cartilaginous and bony fish as we ...
,
timber Lumber is wood that has been processed into dimensional lumber, including Beam (structure), beams and plank (wood), planks or boards, a stage in the process of wood production. Lumber is mainly used for construction framing, as well as fini ...
and
hemp Hemp, or industrial hemp, is a botanical class of ''Cannabis sativa'' cultivars grown specifically for industrial or medicinal use. It can be used to make a wide range of products. Along with bamboo, hemp is among the fastest growing plants o ...
. Due to its geographical isolation and strict customs policies Chile is free from diseases such as
mad cow disease Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease, is an incurable and invariably fatal neurodegenerative disease of cattle. Symptoms include abnormal behavior, trouble walking, and weight loss. Later in the course of t ...
, fruit fly and
Phylloxera Grape phylloxera is an insect pest of commercial vitis, grapevines worldwide, originally native to eastern North America. Grape phylloxera (''Daktulosphaira vitifoliae'' (Fitch 1855) belong to the family Phylloxeridae, within the order Hemipter ...
. This, its location in the Southern Hemisphere, which has quite different harvesting times from the
Northern Hemisphere The Northern Hemisphere is the half of Earth that is north of the Equator. For other planets in the Solar System, north is defined as being in the same celestial hemisphere relative to the invariable plane of the solar system as Earth's North ...
, and its wide range of agriculture conditions are considered Chile's main comparative advantages. However, Chile's mountainous landscape limits the extent and intensity of agriculture so that arable land corresponds only to 2.62% of the total territory. Chile currently utilizes 14,015 Hectares of agricultural land. Chile is the world's second largest producer of
salmon Salmon () is the common name for several list of commercially important fish species, commercially important species of euryhaline ray-finned fish from the family (biology), family Salmonidae, which are native to tributary, tributaries of the ...
, after Norway. In 2019, it was responsible for 26% of the global supply. In
wine Wine is an alcoholic drink typically made from Fermentation in winemaking, fermented grapes. Yeast in winemaking, Yeast consumes the sugar in the grapes and converts it to ethanol and carbon dioxide, releasing heat in the process. Different ...
, Chile is usually among the 10 largest producers in the world. In 2018 it was in 6th place.


Tourism

Tourism in Chile has experienced sustained growth over the last few decades. In 2005, tourism grew by 13.6%, generating more than 4.5 billion dollars of which 1.5 billion was attributed to foreign tourists. According to the National Service of Tourism (Sernatur), 2 million people a year visit the country. Most of these visitors come from other countries in the American continent, mainly
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country in the southern half of South America. Argentina covers an area of , making it the List of South American countries by area, second-largest ...

Argentina
; followed by a growing number from the United States, Europe, and Brazil with a growing number of Asians from
South Korea South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK), is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korea, Korean Peninsula and sharing a Korean Demilitarized Zone, land border with North Korea. Its western border is formed ...
and China. The main attractions for tourists are places of natural beauty situated in the extreme zones of the country:
San Pedro de Atacama San Pedro de Atacama is a Chilean town and Communes of Chile, commune in El Loa Province, Antofagasta Region. It is located east of Antofagasta, some 106 km (60 mi) southeast of Calama, Chile, Calama and the Chuquicamata copper mine, ove ...
, in the north, is very popular with foreign tourists who arrive to admire the Incaic architecture, the altiplano lakes, and the Valley of the Moon. In
Putre Putre is a Chilean List of towns in Chile, town and Communes of Chile, commune, capital of the Parinacota Province in the Arica-Parinacota Region. It is located east of Arica, at an altitude of . The town is backdropped by Taapaca volcanic comple ...
, also in the north, there is the Chungará Lake, as well as the
Parinacota Parinacota (in hispanicized spelling), Parina Quta or Parinaquta (Aymara language, Aymara, ''parina'' flamingo, ''quta'' lake, "flamingo lake", other hispanicized spellings ''Parinaccota, Parinajota'') may refer to: Lakes * Parinaquta (Carabaya), ...
and the Pomerape volcanoes, with altitudes of 6,348 m and 6,282 m, respectively. Throughout the central Andes there are many ski resorts of international repute, including Portillo, Valle Nevado and Termas de Chillán. The main tourist sites in the south are national parks (the most popular is Conguillío National Park in the Araucanía) and the coastal area around Tirúa and Cañete with the Isla Mocha and the
Nahuelbuta National Park Nahuelbuta National Park () is one of the few parks located in La Araucanía Region of Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America. It is the southernmost country in the world, and the ...
, Chiloé Archipelago and
Patagonia Patagonia () refers to a geographical region that encompasses the southern end of South America, governed by Argentina and Chile. The region comprises the southern section of the Andes Mountains with lakes, fjords, Temperate rainforest, tempera ...
, which includes Laguna San Rafael National Park, with its many glaciers, and the
Torres del Paine National Park Torres del Paine National Park ( es, Parque Nacional Torres del Paine) is a national park encompassing mountains, glaciers, lakes, and rivers in southern Chilean Patagonia. The Cordillera del Paine is the centerpiece of the park. It lies in a tr ...
. The central port city of
Valparaíso Valparaíso (; ) is a major city, seaport, naval base, and educational centre in the commune of Valparaíso, Chile. "Greater Valparaíso" is the second largest metropolitan area in the country. Valparaíso is located about northwest of Santiago ...
, which is World Heritage with its unique architecture, is also popular. Finally, Easter Island in the Pacific Ocean is one of the main Chilean tourist destinations. For locals, tourism is concentrated mostly in the summer (December to March), and mainly in the coastal beach towns.
Arica Arica ( ; ) is a Communes of Chile, commune and a port city with a population of 222,619 in the Arica Province of northern Chile's Arica y Parinacota Region. It is Chile's northernmost city, being located only south of the border with Peru. The ...
,
Iquique Iquique () is a port List of cities in Chile, city and Communes of Chile, commune in northern Chile, capital of both the Iquique Province and Tarapacá Region. It lies on the Pacific coast, west of the Pampa del Tamarugal, which is part of the At ...
,
Antofagasta Antofagasta () is a port city in northern Chile, about north of Santiago. It is the capital of Antofagasta Province and Antofagasta Region. According to the 2015 census, the List of cities in Chile, city has a population of 402,669. After t ...
, La Serena and
Coquimbo Coquimbo is a port List of cities in Chile, city, Communes of Chile, commune and Capital city, capital of the Elqui Province, located on the Pan-American Highway, in the Coquimbo Region of Chile. Coquimbo is situated in a valley south of La Seren ...
are the main summer centers in the north, and Pucón on the shores of Lake Villarrica is the main center in the south. Because of its proximity to Santiago, the coast of the Valparaíso Region, with its many beach resorts, receives the largest number of tourists.
Viña del Mar Viña del Mar (; meaning "Vineyard of the Sea") is a List of cities in Chile, city and Communes of Chile, commune on Zona Central, Chile, central Chile's Pacific coast. Often referred to as ("The Garden City"), Viña del Mar is located within ...
, Valparaíso's more affluent northern neighbor, is popular because of its beaches,
casino A casino is a facility for certain types of gambling. Casinos are often built near or combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shopping, cruise ships, and other tourist attractions. Some casinos are also known for hosting live entertai ...
, and its annual song festival, the most important musical event in Latin America. Pichilemu in the
O'Higgins Region The Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins Region ( es, Región del Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins, ), often shortened to O'Higgins Region ( es, Región de O'Higgins), is one of Chile's 16 first order administrative divisions. It is subdi ...
is widely known as South America's "best
surfing Surfing is a list of surface water sports, surface water sport in which an individual, a surfer (or two in Glossary of surfing, tandem surfing), uses a board to ride on the forward section, or face, of a moving wind wave, wave of water, which ...
spot" according to
Fodor's Fodor's is a publisher of English language travel and tourism information. Fodor's Travel and Fodors.com are divisions of Internet Brands. History Founder Eugene Fodor (writer), Eugene Fodor was a keen traveler, but felt that the guidebooks o ...
. In November 2005 the government launched a campaign under the brand "Chile: All Ways Surprising" intended to promote the country internationally for both business and tourism. Museums in Chile such as the Chilean National Museum of Fine Arts built in 1880, feature works by Chilean artists. Chile is home to the world-renowned Patagonian Trail that resides on the border between Argentina and Chile. Chile recently launched a massive scenic route for tourism in hopes of encouraging development based on conservation. The Route of Parks covers and was designed by Tompkin Conservation (founders
Douglas Tompkins Douglas Rainsford Tompkins (March 20, 1943 – December 8, 2015) was an American businessman, conservation movement, conservationist, outdoorsman, philanthropist, filmmaker, and agriculturalist. He co-founded the North Face Inc, Esprit and vario ...
and wife Kristine).


Transport

Due to Chile's topography a functioning transport network is vital to its economy. In 2020, Chile had of
highway A highway is any public or private road or other public way on land. It is used for major roads, but also includes other public roads and public tracks. In some areas of the United States, it is used as an equivalent term to controlled-access ...
s, with paved. In the same year, the country had of duplicated highways, the second largest network in South America, after Brazil. Since the mid-1990s, there has been a significant improvement in the country's roads, through bidding processes that allowed the construction of an efficient road network, with emphasis on the duplication of continuous of the Panamerican Highway ( Chile Route 5) between
Puerto Montt Puerto Montt (Mapuche: Meli Pulli) is a port List of cities in Chile, city and Communes of Chile, commune in southern Chile, located at the northern end of the Reloncaví Sound in the Llanquihue Province, Los Lagos Region, 1,055 km to the sou ...
and
Caldera A caldera ( ) is a large cauldron-like hollow that forms shortly after the emptying of a magma chamber in a volcano eruption. When large volumes of magma are erupted over a short time, structural support for the rock above the magma chamber is ...
(in addition to the planned duplication in the Atacama Desert area), the excerpts in between Santiago, Valparaiso and the Central Coast, and the northern access to Concepción and the large project of the Santiago urban
highway A highway is any public or private road or other public way on land. It is used for major roads, but also includes other public roads and public tracks. In some areas of the United States, it is used as an equivalent term to controlled-access ...
s network, opened between 2004 and 2006. Buses are now the main means of long-distance transportation in Chile, following the decline of its railway network. The bus system covers the entire country, from
Arica Arica ( ; ) is a Communes of Chile, commune and a port city with a population of 222,619 in the Arica Province of northern Chile's Arica y Parinacota Region. It is Chile's northernmost city, being located only south of the border with Peru. The ...
to
Santiago Santiago (, ; ), also known as Santiago de Chile, is the capital (political), capital and largest city of Chile as well as one of the largest cities in the Americas. It is the center of Chile's most densely populated Regions of Chile, region, t ...
(a 30-hour journey) and from Santiago to Punta Arenas (about 40 hours, with a change at Osorno). Chile has a total of 372 runways (62 paved and 310 unpaved). Important airports in Chile include
Chacalluta International Airport Chacalluta International Airport () is an airport serving the city of Arica, Chile, Arica, capital of the Arica Province in the northern Arica y Parinacota Region of Chile. It is northwest of the city and south of the border with Peru, adjacen ...
(
Arica Arica ( ; ) is a Communes of Chile, commune and a port city with a population of 222,619 in the Arica Province of northern Chile's Arica y Parinacota Region. It is Chile's northernmost city, being located only south of the border with Peru. The ...
), Diego Aracena International Airport (
Iquique Iquique () is a port List of cities in Chile, city and Communes of Chile, commune in northern Chile, capital of both the Iquique Province and Tarapacá Region. It lies on the Pacific coast, west of the Pampa del Tamarugal, which is part of the At ...
), Andrés Sabella Gálvez International Airport (
Antofagasta Antofagasta () is a port city in northern Chile, about north of Santiago. It is the capital of Antofagasta Province and Antofagasta Region. According to the 2015 census, the List of cities in Chile, city has a population of 402,669. After t ...
),
Carriel Sur International Airport Carriel Sur International Airport is located in Talcahuano Talcahuano () (From Mapuche language, Mapudungun ''Tralkawenu'', "Thundering Sky") is a port List of cities in Chile, city and Communes of Chile, commune in the Biobío Region of Ch ...
( Concepción), El Tepual International Airport (
Puerto Montt Puerto Montt (Mapuche: Meli Pulli) is a port List of cities in Chile, city and Communes of Chile, commune in southern Chile, located at the northern end of the Reloncaví Sound in the Llanquihue Province, Los Lagos Region, 1,055 km to the sou ...
), Presidente Carlos Ibáñez del Campo International Airport ( Punta Arenas), La Araucanía International Airport ( Temuco),
Mataveri International Airport Mataveri International Airport or Isla de Pascua Airport is at Hanga Roa on Rapa Nui / (Easter Island) (''Isla de Pascua'' in Spanish language, Spanish). The most remote airport in the world (defined as distance to another airport), it is from ...
(), the most remote airport in the world, as defined by distance to another airport, and the Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport () with a traffic of 12,105,524 passengers in 2011. Santiago is headquarters of Latin America's largest
airline An airline is a company that provides civil aviation, air transport services for traveling passengers and freight. Airlines use aircraft to supply these services and may form partnerships or Airline alliance, alliances with other airlines for ...
holding company A holding company is a company whose primary business is holding a controlling interest in the securities of other companies. A holding company usually does not produce goods or services itself. Its purpose is to own shares of other companies ...
and Chilean
flag carrier A flag carrier is a transport company, such as an airline or shipping company, that, being locally registered in a given sovereign state, enjoys preferential rights or privileges accorded by the government for international operations. Hist ...
LATAM Airlines.


Telecommunications

Chile has a telecommunication system which covers much of the country, including Chilean insular and Antarctic bases. Privatization of the telephone system began in 1988; Chile has one of the most advanced telecommunications infrastructure in South America with a modern system based on extensive microwave radio relay facilities and a domestic satellite system with 3 earth stations. In 2012, there were 3.276 million main lines in use and 24.13 million mobile cellular telephone subscribers. According to a 2012 database of the
International Telecommunication Union The International Telecommunication Union is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for many matters related to information and communication technologies. It was established on 17 May 1865 as the International Telegraph Unio ...
(ITU), 61.42% of the Chilean population uses the internet, making Chile the country with the highest internet penetration in South America. The Chilean internet country code is " .cl".


Energy

Chile's total energy supply (TES) was 23.0GJ per capita in 2020. Energy in Chile is dominated by fossil fuels, with coal, oil and gas accounting for 73.4% of the total primary energy. Biofuels and waste account for another 20.5% of primary energy supply, with the rest sourced from hydro and other renewables. Electricity consumption was 68.90 TWh in 2014. Main sources of electricity in Chile are
hydroelectricity Hydroelectricity, or hydroelectric power, is electricity generated from hydropower (water power). Hydropower supplies one sixth of the world's electricity Electricity is the set of physics, physical Phenomenon, phenomena associated w ...
,
gas Gas is one of the four fundamental states of matter In physics, a state of matter is one of the distinct forms in which matter can exist. Four states of matter are observable in everyday life: solid, liquid, gas, and Plasma (physics), pl ...
,
oil An oil is any nonpolar In chemistry, polarity is a separation of electric charge leading to a molecule or its chemical groups having an electric dipole moment, with a negatively charged end and a positively charged end. Polar molecules m ...
and
coal Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock, formed as stratum, rock strata called coal seams. Coal is mostly carbon with variable amounts of other Chemical element, elements, chiefly hydrogen, sulfur, oxygen, and nitrogen ...
.
Renewable energy Renewable energy is energy that is collected from renewable resources that are naturally replenished on a Orders of magnitude (time), human timescale. It includes sources such as Solar power, sunlight, wind power, wind, the movement of Hydropo ...
in the forms of
wind Wind is the natural movement of atmosphere of Earth, air or other gases relative to a planetary surface, planet's surface. Winds occur on a range of scales, from thunderstorm flows lasting tens of minutes, to local breezes generated by heating ...
and
solar energy Solar energy is solar irradiance, radiant sunlight, light and heat from the Sun that is harnessed using a range of technologies such as solar power to generate electricity, solar thermal energy (including solar water heating), and solar arc ...
are also coming into use, encouraged by collaboration since 2009 with the
United States Department of Energy The United States Department of Energy (DOE) is an United States federal executive departments, executive department of the Federal government of the United States, U.S. federal government that oversees U.S. national energy policy and manages t ...
. The electricity industry is privatized with ENDESA as the largest company in the field. In 2021, Chile had, in terms of installed renewable electricity, 6,807 MW in hydropower (28th largest in the world), 3,137 MW in wind power (28th largest in the world), 4,468 MW in solar (22nd largest in the world), and 375 MW in biomass. As the Atacama Desert has the highest solar irradiation in the world, and Chile has always had problems obtaining oil, gas and coal (the country basically does not produce them, so it has to import them), renewable energy is seen as the solution for the country's shortcomings in the energy field.


Demographics

Chile's 2017 census reported a population of 17,574,003. Its rate of population growth has been decreasing since 1990, due to a declining
birth rate The birth rate for a given period is the total number of live human births per 1,000 population divided by the length of the period in years. The number of live births is normally taken from a universal registration system for births; populati ...
. By 2050 the population is expected to reach approximately 20.2 million people.


Ancestry and ethnicity

Mexican professor Francisco Lizcano, of the
National Autonomous University of Mexico The National Autonomous University of Mexico ( es, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM) is a public university, public research university in Mexico. It is consistently ranked as one of the best universities in Latin America, where i ...
, estimated that 52.7% of
Chileans Chileans ( es, Chilenos) are people identified with the country of Chile, whose connection may be residential, legal, historical, ethnic, or cultural. For most Chileans, several or all of these connections exist and are collectively the source ...
were white, 39.3% were
mestizo (; ; fem. ) is a term used for racial classification to refer to a person of mixed Ethnic groups in Europe, European and Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Indigenous American ancestry. In certain regions such as Latin America, it may also r ...
, and 8% were
Amerindian The Indigenous peoples of the Americas are the inhabitants of the Americas before the arrival of the European colonization of the Americas, European settlers in the 15th century, and the ethnic groups who now identify themselves with those peopl ...
. In 1984, a study called ''Sociogenetic Reference Framework for Public Health Studies in Chile'', from the Revista de Pediatría de Chile determined an ancestry of 67.9% European, and 32.1% Native American. In 1994, a biological study determined that the Chilean composition was 64% European and 35% Amerindian. The recent study in the Candela Project establishes that the genetic composition of Chile is 52% of European origin, with 44% of the genome coming from Native Americans (Amerindians), and 4% coming from Africa, making Chile a primarily mestizo country with traces of African descent present in half of the population. Another genetic study conducted by the University of Brasilia in several American countries shows a similar genetic composition for Chile, with a European contribution of 51.6%, an Amerindian contribution of 42.1%, and an African contribution of 6.3%. In 2015 another study established genetic composition in 57% European, 38% Native American, and 2.5% African. A public health booklet from the
University of Chile The University of Chile ( es, Universidad de Chile) is a public university, public research university in Santiago, Chile. It was founded on November 19, 1842, and inaugurated on September 17, 1843.
states that 64% of the population is of Caucasian origin; "predominantly White" Mestizos are estimated to amount to a total of 35%, while Native Americans (Amerindians) comprise the remaining 5%.
Main page
)
Despite the genetic considerations, many Chileans, if asked, would self-identify as White. The 2011 Latinobarómetro survey asked respondents in Chile what race they considered themselves to belong to. Most answered "White" (59%), while 25% said "Mestizo" and 8% self-classified as "indigenous". A 2002 national poll revealed that a majority of Chileans believed they possessed some (43.4%) or much (8.3%) "indigenous blood", while 40.3% responded that they had none. The 1907 census reported 101,118 Natives or 3.1% of the total population. Only those that practiced their native culture or spoke their native language were considered to be Natives, irrespective of their "racial purity". In 2002 a census took place, directly asking the public whether they considered themselves as part of any of the eight Chilean ethnic groups, regardless of whether or not they maintained their culture, traditions and language, and 4.6% of the population (692,192 people) fitted that description of
indigenous peoples in Chile Indigenous peoples in Chile or Native Chileans form about 10% of the Demographics of Chile, total population of Chile. According to the 2012 census, 2,000,000 people declare having Indigenous peoples of South America, indigenous origins. Most Chi ...
. Of that number, 87.3% declared themselves Mapuche. Most of the indigenous population shows varying degrees of mixed ancestry. Chile is one of 22 countries to have signed and ratified the only binding international law concerning indigenous peoples, the
Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 The Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 is an International Labour Organization List of International Labour Organization Conventions, Convention, also known as ILO-convention 169, ILO Convention 169, or C169. It is the major Contract ...
. It was adopted in 1989 as the
International Labour Organization The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a United Nations agency whose mandate is to advance social and economic justice by setting international labour standards. Founded in October 1919 under the League of Nations, it is the first and ol ...
(ILO) Convention 169. Chile ratified it in 2008. A Chilean court decision in November 2009, considered to be a landmark ruling on indigenous rights, made use of the convention. The Supreme Court decision on Aymara water rights upheld rulings by both the Pozo Almonte tribunal and the Iquique Court of Appeals and marks the first judicial application of ILO Convention 169 in Chile. The earliest European immigrants were Spanish colonisers who arrived in the 16th century. The Amerindian population of central Chile was absorbed into the
Spanish Spanish might refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards are a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language, spoken in Spain and many Latin American countries **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Cana ...
settler population in the beginning of the colonial period to form the large
mestizo (; ; fem. ) is a term used for racial classification to refer to a person of mixed Ethnic groups in Europe, European and Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Indigenous American ancestry. In certain regions such as Latin America, it may also r ...
population that exists in Chile today; mestizos create modern middle and lower classes. In the 18th and 19th centuries, many
Basques The Basques ( or ; eu, euskaldunak ; es, vascos ; french: basques ) are a Southwestern European ethnic group, characterised by the Basque language, a Basque culture, common culture and shared genetic ancestry to the ancient Vascones and Aquit ...
came to Chile where they integrated into the existing elites of Castilian origin. Postcolonial Chile was never a particularly attractive destination for migrants, owing to its remoteness and distance from Europe. Europeans preferred to stay in countries closer to their homelands instead of taking the long journey through the Straits of Magellan or crossing the Andes. European migration did not result in a significant change in the ethnic composition of Chile, except in the region of Magellan. Spaniards were the only major European migrant group to Chile, and there was never large-scale immigration such as that to Argentina or Brazil. Between 1851 and 1924, Chile only received 0.5% of European immigration to Latin America, compared to 46% to Argentina, 33% to Brazil, 14% to Cuba, and 4% to Uruguay. However, it is undeniable that immigrants have played a significant role in Chilean society. Most of the immigrants to Chile during the 19th and 20th centuries came from France,
Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of , it is the largest of the British Isles, the List of European islands by area, largest European island and the List of is ...
, Germany, and
Croatia , image_flag = Flag of Croatia.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Croatia.svg , anthem = " Lijepa naša domovino"("Our Beautiful Homeland") , image_map = , map_caption = , capi ...
, among others. Descendants of different
European ethnic groups Europeans are the focus of European ethnology, the field of anthropology related to the various ethnic groups that reside in the List of sovereign states and dependent territories in Europe, states of Europe. Groups may be defined by common gen ...
often intermarried in Chile. This intermarriage and mixture of cultures and races have helped to shape the present society and culture of the Chilean middle and upper classes. Also, roughly 500,000 of Chile's population is of full or partial Palestinian origin, and 800,000 Arab descents. Chile currently has 1.5 million of Latin American immigrants, mainly from
Venezuela Venezuela (; ), officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela ( es, link=no, República Bolivariana de Venezuela), is a country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a continental landmass and many Federal Dependencies of V ...
,
Peru , image_flag = Flag of Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo nacional del Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the State , other_symbol_type = Seal (emblem), National seal , national_motto = "Fi ...

Peru
,
Haiti Haiti (; ht, Ayiti ; French: ), officially the Republic of Haiti (); ) and formerly known as Hayti, is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean Sea, east of Cuba and Jamaica, and ...
,
Colombia Colombia (, ; ), officially the Republic of Colombia, is a country in South America with insular regions in North America—near Nicaragua's Caribbean coast—as well as in the Pacific Ocean. The Colombian mainland is bordered by the Cari ...
,
Bolivia , image_flag = Bandera de Bolivia (Estado).svg , flag_alt = Horizontal tricolor (red, yellow, and green from top to bottom) with the coat of arms of Bolivia in the center , flag_alt2 = 7 × 7 square p ...

Bolivia
and
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country in the southern half of South America. Argentina covers an area of , making it the List of South American countries by area, second-largest ...

Argentina
; 8% of the total population in 2019, without counting descendants.Estimación de Población Extranjera en Chile, al 31 de diciembre de 2019
, del Departamento de Extranjería y Migración (DEM) del Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas de Chile (INE), pp. 21. Retrieved 29 Juny 2020.
According to the 2002 national census, Chile's foreign-born population has increased by 75% since 1992. As of November 2021, numbers of people entering Chile from elsewhere in Latin America have grown swiftly in the last decade, tripling in the last three years to 1.5 million, with arrivals stemming from humanitarian crises in Haiti (ca. 180,000) and Venezuela (ca 460,000).


Urbanization

About 85% of the country's population lives in urban areas, with 40% living in Greater Santiago. The largest agglomerations according to the 2002 census are Greater Santiago with 5.6 million people, Greater Concepción with 861,000 and Greater Valparaíso with 824,000.


Religion

, 66.6% of Chilean population over 15 years of age claimed to adhere to the Roman Catholic church, a decrease from the 70% reported in the 2002 census. In the same census of 2012, 17% of Chileans reported adherence to an Evangelical church ("Evangelical" in the census referred to all Christian denominations other than the Roman Catholic and Orthodox—Greek, Persian, Serbian, Ukrainian, and Armenian—churches,
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, informally known as the LDS Church or Mormon Church, is a Nontrinitarianism, nontrinitarian Christianity, Christian church that considers itself to be the Restorationism, restoration of the ...
or
Mormons Mormons are a Religious denomination, religious and cultural group related to Mormonism, the principal branch of the Latter Day Saint movement started by Joseph Smith in upstate New York during the 1820s. After Smith's death in 1844, the mov ...
,
Seventh-day Adventists The Seventh-day Adventist Church is an Adventism, Adventist Protestantism, Protestant Christian denomination which is distinguished by its observance of Saturday, the Names of the days of the week#Numbered days of the week, seventh day of the ...
, and
Jehovah's Witnesses Jehovah's Witnesses is a Millenarianism, millenarian Restorationism, restorationist Christian denomination with Nontrinitarianism, nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. The group reports a worldwide membership of appr ...
: essentially, those denominations generally still termed "
Protestant Protestantism is a branch of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Na ...
" in most English-speaking lands, although
Adventism Adventism is a branch of Protestant Christianity that believes in the imminent Second Coming of Christ, Second Coming (or the "Second Advent") of Jesus Christ. It originated in the 1830s in the United States during the Second Great Awakening wh ...
is often considered an Evangelical denomination as well). Approximately 90% of Evangelical Christians are
Pentecostal Pentecostalism or classical Pentecostalism is a Protestantism, Protestant Charismatic Christianity, Charismatic Christian movementWesleyan Wesleyan theology, otherwise known as Wesleyan–Arminianism, Arminian theology, or Methodist theology, is a Christian theology, theological tradition in Protestant Christianity based upon the Christian ministry, ministry of the 18th-century eva ...
,
Lutheran Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism, identifying primarily with the theology of Martin Luther, the 16th-century German monk and Protestant Reformers, reformer whose efforts to reform the theology and practice of the Cathol ...
,
Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is the State religion, established List of Christian denominations, ...
, Episcopalian,
Presbyterian Presbyterianism is a part of the Reformed tradition within Protestantism that broke from the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland by John Knox, who was a priest at St. Giles Cathedral (Church of Scotland). Presbyterian churches derive their nam ...
, other Reformed,
Baptist Baptists form a major branch of Protestantism distinguished by baptizing professing Christianity, Christian believers only (believer's baptism), and doing so by complete Immersion baptism, immersion. Baptist churches also generally subscribe ...
, and
Methodist church Methodism, also called the Methodist movement, is a group of historically related Christian denomination, denominations of Protestantism, Protestant Christianity whose origins, doctrine and practice derive from the life and teachings of John W ...
es also are present amongst Chilean Evangelical churches. Irreligious people, atheists, and agnostics account for around 12% of the population. By 2015, the major religion in Chile remained Christianity (68%), with an estimated 55% of Chileans belonging to the Roman Catholic church, 13% to various Evangelical churches, and just 7% adhering to any other religion. Agnostics and atheist were estimated at 25% of the population. Chile has a Baháʼí religious community, and is home to the Baháʼí mother temple, or continental
House of Worship A place of worship is a specially designed structure or space where individuals or a group of people such as a wikt:congregation, congregation come to perform acts of devotion, veneration, or religious study. A building constructed or used for th ...
, for Latin America. Completed in 2016, it serves as a space for people of all religions and backgrounds to gather, meditate, reflect, and worship. It is formed from cast glass and translucent marble and has been described as innovative in its architectural style. The Constitution guarantees the right to
freedom of religion Freedom of religion or religious liberty is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance. It also includes the freedom ...
, and other laws and policies contribute to generally free religious practice. The law at all levels fully protects this right against abuse by either governmental or private actors. Church and state are officially separate in Chile. A 1999 law on religion prohibits
religious discrimination Religious discrimination is treating a person or group differently because of the particular beliefs which they hold about a religion. This includes instances when adherents of different religions, religious denomination, denominations or irrel ...
. However, the Roman Catholic church for mostly historical and social reasons enjoys a privileged status and occasionally receives preferential treatment. Government officials attend Roman Catholic events as well as major Evangelical and Jewish ceremonies. The Chilean government treats the religious holidays of Christmas,
Good Friday Good Friday is a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary. It is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum. It is also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, Great and Holy Friday (also Holy ...
, the Feast of the Virgin of Carmen, the
Feast of Saints Peter and Paul The Feast of Saints Peter and Paul or Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul is a liturgical feast in honor, of the martyrdom in Rome of the Apostles in the New Testament, apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul, which is observed on 29 June. The cel ...
, the
Feast of the Assumption The Assumption of Mary is one of the four Catholic_Mariology#Dogmatic_teachings, Marian dogmas of the Catholic Church. Pope Pius XII defined it in 1950 in his apostolic constitution ''Munificentissimus Deus'' as follows: We proclaim and d ...
,
All Saints' Day All Saints' Day, also known as All Hallows' Day, the Feast of All Saints, the Feast of All Hallows, the Solemnity of All Saints, and Hallowmas, is a Christianity, Christian solemnity celebrated in honour of all the saints of the church, whether ...
, and the
Feast of the Immaculate Conception The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, also called Immaculate Conception Day, celebrates the sin, sinless lifespan and Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary on 8 December, pregnancy, nine months before the feast of the Nativity of ...
as national holidays. Recently, the government declared 31 October,
Reformation Day Reformation Day is a Protestant Christianity, Christian religious holiday celebrated on 31 October, alongside All Hallows' Eve (Halloween) during the triduum of Allhallowtide, in remembrance of the onset of the Reformation. According to Philip ...
, to be an additional national holiday, in honor of the Evangelical churches of the country. The
patron saint A patron saint, patroness saint, patron hallow or heavenly protector is a saint who in Catholic Church, Catholicism, Anglicanism, or Eastern Orthodoxy is regarded as the heavenly advocacy, advocate of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, ...
s of Chile are
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Our Lady of Mount Carmel, or Virgin of Carmel, is the title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary in her role as patron saint, patroness of the Carmelites, Carmelite Order, particularly within the Catholic Church. The first Carmelites were Christian h ...
and Saint James the Greater (''Santiago''). In 2005,
Pope Benedict XVI Pope Benedict XVI ( la, Benedictus XVI; it, Benedetto XVI; german: link=no, Benedikt XVI.; born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, , on 16 April 1927) is a retired prelate of the Catholic church who served as the head of the Church and the sovereign ...
canonized Alberto Hurtado, who became the country's second native Roman Catholic saint after Teresa de los Andes.


Languages

The Spanish spoken in Chile is distinctively accented and quite unlike that of neighboring South American countries because final syllables are often dropped, and some consonants have a soft pronunciation. Accent varies only very slightly from north to south; more noticeable are the differences in accent based on social class or whether one lives in the city or the country. That the Chilean population was largely formed in a small section at the center of the country and then migrated in modest numbers to the north and south helps explain this relative lack of differentiation, which was maintained by the national reach of radio, and now television, which also helps to diffuse and homogenize colloquial expressions. There are several indigenous languages spoken in Chile:
Mapudungun Mapuche (, Mapuche & Spanish: , or Mapudungun; from ' 'land' and ' 'speak, speech') is an Araucanian languages, Araucanian language related to Huilliche language, Huilliche spoken in south-central Chile and west-central Argentina by the Mapuc ...
, Aymara,
Rapa Nui Easter Island ( rap, Rapa Nui; es, Isla de Pascua) is an island and special territory of Chile in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the southeasternmost point of the Polynesian Triangle in Oceania. The island is most famous for its nearly ...
, Chilean Sign Language and (barely surviving) Qawasqar and Yaghan, along with non-indigenous German, Italian, English, Greek and Quechua. After the Spanish conquest, Spanish took over as the
lingua franca A lingua franca (; ; for plurals see ), also known as a bridge language, common language, trade language, auxiliary language, vehicular language, or link language, is a Natural language, language systematically used to make communication possib ...
and the indigenous languages have become minority languages, with some now extinct or close to extinction. German is still spoken to some extent in southern Chile, either in small countryside 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. Common English words have been absorbed and appropriated into everyday Spanish speech.


Education

In Chile, education begins with
preschool A preschool, also known as nursery school, pre-primary school, or play school or creche, is an school, educational establishment or learning space offering early childhood education to children before they begin compulsory education at primary ...
until the age of 5.
Primary school A primary school (in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and South Africa), junior school (in Australia), elementary school or grade school (in North America and the Philippines) is a school for primary ed ...
is provided for children between ages 6 and 13. Students then attend
secondary school A secondary school describes an institution that provides secondary education and also usually includes the building where this takes place. Some secondary schools provide both '' secondary education, lower secondary education'' (ages 11 to 14) ...
until graduation at age 17. Secondary education is divided into two parts: During the first two years, students receive a general education. Then, they choose a branch: scientific humanistic education, artistic education, or technical and professional education. Secondary school ends two years later on the acquirement of a certificate (licencia de enseñanza media). Chilean education is segregated by wealth in a three-tiered system – the quality of the schools reflects socioeconomic backgrounds: * city schools (colegios municipales) that are mostly free and have the worst education results, mostly attended by poor students; * subsidized schools that receive some money from the government which can be supplemented by fees paid by the student's family, which are attended by mid-income students and typically get mid-level results; and * entirely private schools that consistently get the best results. Many private schools charge attendance fees of 0,5 to 1 median household income. Upon successful graduation of secondary school, students may continue into
higher education Higher education is tertiary education leading to award of an academic degree. Higher education, also called post-secondary education, third-level or tertiary education, is an optional final stage of formal learning that occurs after completio ...
. The higher education schools in Chile consist of Chilean Traditional Universities and are divided into
public universities A public university or public college is a university A university () is an educational institution, institution of higher education, higher (or Tertiary education, tertiary) education and research which awards academic degrees in several Di ...
or private universities. There are medical schools and both the
Universidad de Chile The University of Chile ( es, Universidad de Chile) is a public university, public research university in Santiago, Chile. It was founded on November 19, 1842, and inaugurated on September 17, 1843.
and Universidad Diego Portales offer law schools in a partnership with
Yale University Yale University is a Private university, private research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Established in 1701 as the Collegiate School, it is the List of Colonial Colleges, third-oldest institution of higher education in the United Sta ...
.


Health

The Ministry of Health (''Minsal'') is the cabinet-level administrative office in charge of planning, directing, coordinating, executing, controlling and informing the public health policies formulated by the President of Chile. The National Health Fund (''Fonasa''), created in 1979, is the financial entity entrusted to collect, manage and distribute state funds for health in Chile. It is funded by the public. All employees pay 7% of their monthly income to the fund. Fonasa is part of the NHSS and has executive power through the Ministry of Health (Chile). Its headquarters are in
Santiago Santiago (, ; ), also known as Santiago de Chile, is the capital (political), capital and largest city of Chile as well as one of the largest cities in the Americas. It is the center of Chile's most densely populated Regions of Chile, region, t ...
and decentralized public service is conducted by various Regional Offices. More than 12 million beneficiaries benefit from Fonasa. Beneficiaries can also opt for more costly private insurance through Isapre.


Culture

From the period between early agricultural settlements and up to the late pre-Columbian period, northern Chile was a region of Andean culture that was influenced by altiplano traditions spreading to the coastal valleys of the north, while southern regions were areas of Mapuche cultural activities. Throughout the colonial period following the conquest, and during the early Republican period, the country's culture was dominated by the Spanish. Other European influences, primarily English, French, and German began in the 19th century and have continued to this day. German migrants influenced the Bavarian style rural architecture and cuisine in the south of Chile in cities such as
Valdivia Valdivia (; Mapuche language, Mapuche: Ainil) is a List of cities in Chile, city and Communes of Chile, commune in Southern Chile, southern Chile, administered by the Municipality of Valdivia. The city is named after its founder Pedro de Valdivia ...
,
Frutillar Frutillar is a List of cities in Chile, city and Communes of Chile, commune located in southern Chile, Chilean Patagonia, in Llanquihue Province, within the Los Lagos Region, the lake district. The bay of Frutillar is placed on the banks of Lake L ...
,
Puerto Varas Puerto Varas, also known as "La ciudad de las rosas" or “the city of roses”, is a List of cities in Chile, city and Communes of Chile, commune located in the southern Chilean province of Llanquihue Province, Llanquihue, in the Los Lagos Region ...
, Osorno, Temuco,
Puerto Octay Puerto Octay is a List of towns in Chile, town and Communes of Chile, commune in Osorno Province located on the north shore of Llanquihue Lake in Los Lagos Region in the south of Chile. It was settled by German people, German colonists in 1852. P ...
, Llanquihue, Faja Maisan, Pitrufquén, Victoria, Pucón and
Puerto Montt Puerto Montt (Mapuche: Meli Pulli) is a port List of cities in Chile, city and Communes of Chile, commune in southern Chile, located at the northern end of the Reloncaví Sound in the Llanquihue Province, Los Lagos Region, 1,055 km to the sou ...
.


Music and dance

Music in Chile ranges from folkloric, popular and classical music. Its large geography generates different musical styles in the north, center and south of the country, including also Easter Island and Mapuche music. The national dance is the
cueca Cueca () is a family of musical styles and associated dances from Chile, Argentina, and Bolivia. In Chile, the cueca holds the status of national dance, where it was officially declared as such by the Military dictatorship of Chile (1973–1990) ...
. Another form of traditional Chilean song, though not a dance, is the tonada. Arising from music imported by the Spanish colonists, it is distinguished from the cueca by an intermediate melodic section and a more prominent melody. Between 1950 and 1970 appears a rebirth in folk music leading by groups such as Los de Ramón, Los Cuatro Huasos and Los Huasos Quincheros, among others with composers such as Raúl de Ramón,
Violeta Parra Violeta del Carmen Parra Sandoval (; 4 October 1917 – 5 February 1967) was a Chilean composer, singer-songwriter, folklorist Folklore studies, less often known as folkloristics, and occasionally tradition studies or folk life studies in th ...
and others. In the mid-1960s native musical forms were revitalized by the
Parra family {{no footnotes, date=January 2010 The Parra family is a Chilean family known for its many artists. Members of the Parra family are noted contributors to Chilean culture with almost every member being a distinguished national artist. The family is n ...
with the Nueva canción Chilena, which was associated with political activists and reformers such as Víctor Jara,
Inti-Illimani Inti-Illimani (; from Quechuan ''Inti INTI International University & Colleges are private university colleges located in Malaysia. The main campus was initially known as INTI University College until 31 May 2010 when the Higher Education ...
, and Quilapayún. Other important
folk Folk or Folks may refer to: Sociology *Nation *People * Folklore ** Folk art ** Folk dance ** Folk hero ** Folk music *** Folk metal *** Folk punk *** Folk rock ** Folk religion * Folk taxonomy Arts, entertainment, and media * Folk Plus or Folk ...
singer and researcher on
folklore Folklore is shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the traditions common to that culture, subculture or group. This includes oral traditions such as Narrative, tales, legends, proverbs and jokes. They include material culture, r ...
and Chilean
ethnography Ethnography (from Greek ''ethnos'' "folk, people, nation" and ''grapho'' "I write") is a branch of anthropology Anthropology is the scientific study of humanity, concerned with human behavior, human biology, cultures, societies ...
, is Margot Loyola. Also, many Chilean rock bands like
Los Jaivas Los Jaivas is a Chilean musical group who perform in folk, rock, psychedelic, and progressive rock styles formed in 1963 in Viña Del Mar, Chile. They are considered one of the most important and influential artists of all time in Latin America. ...
, Los Prisioneros, La Ley, and Los Tres have reached international success. In February, annual music festivals are held in
Viña del Mar Viña del Mar (; meaning "Vineyard of the Sea") is a List of cities in Chile, city and Communes of Chile, commune on Zona Central, Chile, central Chile's Pacific coast. Often referred to as ("The Garden City"), Viña del Mar is located within ...
.


Literature

Chile is a ''country of poets''. Gabriela Mistral was the first Latin American to receive a
Nobel Prize in Literature ) , image = Nobel Prize.png , caption = , awarded_for = Outstanding contributions in literature , presenter = Swedish Academy , holder = Annie Ernaux (2022) , location = Stockholm, Sweden , year = 1901 , ...
(1945). Chile's most famous poet is
Pablo Neruda Ricardo Eliécer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto (12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973), better known by his pen name and, later, legal name Pablo Neruda (; ), was a Chilean poet-diplomat and politician who won the 1971 Nobel Prize in Literature. Neruda ...
, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature (1971) and is world-renowned for his extensive library of works on romance, nature, and politics. His three highly personalized homes in
Isla Negra Isla Negra is a coastal area in El Quisco commune in central Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America. It is the southernmost country in the world, and the closest to Antarctica, o ...
, Santiago and Valparaíso are popular tourist destinations. Among the list of other Chilean poets are Carlos Pezoa Véliz, Vicente Huidobro, Gonzalo Rojas,
Pablo de Rokha Pablo de Rokha (born Carlos Ignacio Díaz Loyola; 17 October 1894 – 10 September 1968) was a Chilean poet A poet is a person who studies and creates poetry. Poets may describe themselves as such or be described as such by others. A poet ...
, Nicanor Parra, Ivonne Coñuecar and Raúl Zurita. Isabel Allende is the best-selling Chilean novelist, with 51 million of her novels sold worldwide. Novelist José Donoso's novel '' The Obscene Bird of Night'' is considered by critic
Harold Bloom Harold Bloom (July 11, 1930 – October 14, 2019) was an American literary critic and the Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University. In 2017, Bloom was described as "probably the most famous literary critic in the English-speaking worl ...
to be one of the canonical works of 20th-century Western literature. Another internationally recognized Chilean novelist and poet is Roberto Bolaño whose translations into English have had an excellent reception from the critics.


Cuisine

Chilean cuisine Chilean cuisine stems mainly from the combination of traditional Spanish cuisine, Chilean Indigenous peoples in Chile, Mapuche culture and local ingredients, with later important influences from other European cuisines, particularly from Germa ...
is a reflection of the country's topographical variety, featuring an assortment of seafood, beef, fruits, and vegetables. Traditional recipes include
asado ' () is the technique and the social event of having or attending a barbecue in various South America, South American countries, especially Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay where it is also a traditional event. An ''asado'' usually consis ...
,
cazuela Cazuela ( or ) is the common name given to a variety of dish (food), dishes, especially from South America. It receives its name from the ''cazuela'' (Spanish for cooking pot) – traditionally, an often shallow pot made of Ceramic glaze, unglaz ...
,
empanada An empanada is a type of baked or fried turnover (food), turnover consisting of pastry and stuffing, filling, common in Culture of Spain, Spanish, other Southern European, Latin American culture, Latin American, and Iberian-influenced cultures ...
s,
humita Humita (from Quechuan languages, Quechua ''humint'a'') is a Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Native South American dish from pre-Hispanic times, a traditional food from the Andes and it can be found in Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, and Northw ...
s, pastel de choclo, pastel de papas, curanto, and sopaipillas. Crudos is an example of the mixture of culinary contributions from the various ethnic influences in Chile. The raw minced
llama The llama (; ) (''Lama glama'') is a domesticated South American camelid, widely used as a List of meat animals, meat and pack animal by Inca empire, Andean cultures since the Pre-Columbian era. Llamas are social animals and live with othe ...
, heavy use of shellfish, and rice bread were taken from native Quechua Andean cuisine, (although beef, brought to Chile by Europeans, is also used in place of the llama meat), lemon and onions were brought by the Spanish colonists, and the use of
mayonnaise Mayonnaise (; ), colloquially referred to as "mayo" , is a thick, cold, and creamy sauce or salad dressing, dressing commonly used on sandwiches, hamburgers, Salad#Bound salads, composed salads, and French fries. It also forms the base for vari ...
and
yogurt Yogurt (; , from tr, yoğurt, also spelled yoghurt, yogourt or yoghourt) is a food produced by bacterial Fermentation (food), fermentation of milk. The bacteria used to make yogurt are known as ''yogurt cultures''. Fermentation of sugars in t ...
was introduced by German immigrants, as was
beer Beer is one of the oldest and the most widely consumed type of alcoholic drink in the world, and the third most popular drink overall after water and tea. It is produced by the brewing and Fermentation (food), fermentation of starches, mainl ...
.


Folklore

The folklore of Chile, cultural and demographic characteristics of the country, is the result of the mixture of Spanish and Amerindian elements that occurred during the colonial period. Due to cultural and historical reasons, they are classified and distinguished four major areas in the country: northern areas, central, southern and south. Most of the traditions of the culture of Chile have a festive purpose, but some, such as dances and ceremonies, have religious components. Chilean mythology is the mythology and beliefs of the Folklore of Chile. This includes Chilote mythology,
Rapa Nui mythology Rapa Nui mythology, also known as Pascuense mythology or Easter Island mythology, refers to the Polynesian narrative, native myths, legends, and Religious belief, beliefs of the Rapa Nui people of Easter Island in the south eastern Pacific Ocean. ...
and Mapuche mythology.


Sports

Chile's most popular sport is
association football Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of 11 Football player, players who primarily use their feet to propel the Ball (association football), ball around a rectangular field ca ...
. Chile has appeared in nine FIFA World Cups which includes hosting the
1962 FIFA World Cup The 1962 FIFA World Cup was the seventh edition of the FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international Association football, football championship for senior men's national teams. It was held from 30 May to 17 June 1962 in Chile. The 1962 FIFA Wor ...
where the national football team finished third. Other results achieved by the national football team include two Copa América titles (2015 and
2016 File:2016 Events Collage.png, From top left, clockwise: Bombed-out buildings in Ankara following the 2016 Turkish coup d'état attempt; the Impeachment of Dilma Rousseff, impeachment trial of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff; Damaged houses duri ...
), two runners-up positions, one silver and two bronze medals at the
Pan American Games The Pan American Games (also known colloquially as the Pan Am Games) is a Continent, continental multi-sport event in the Americas featuring summer sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a multi-sport event, variety of competiti ...
, a bronze medal at the
2000 Summer Olympics The 2000 Summer Olympics, officially the Games of the XXVII Olympiad and also known as Sydney 2000 ( Dharug: ''Gadigal 2000''), the Millennium Olympic Games or the Games of the New Millennium, was an international multi-sport event held from ...
and two third places finishes in the FIFA under-17 and under-20 youth tournaments. The top league in the Chilean football league system is the Chilean Primera División, which is named by the
IFFHS The International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) is an organisation that chronicles the history and records of association football. It was founded in 1984 by Alfredo Pöge in Leipzig. The IFFHS was based in Abu Dhabi for so ...
as the ninth strongest national football league in the world. The main football clubs are
Colo-Colo Club Social y Deportivo Colo-Colo () is a Chilean professional Association football, football club based in Macul, Santiago. Founded in 1925 by David Arellano they play in the Chilean Primera División, from which they have List of unrelegated a ...
,
Universidad de Chile The University of Chile ( es, Universidad de Chile) is a public university, public research university in Santiago, Chile. It was founded on November 19, 1842, and inaugurated on September 17, 1843.
and Universidad Católica. Colo-Colo is the country's most successful football club, having both the most national and international championships, including the coveted
Copa Libertadores The CONMEBOL Libertadores, also known as the Copa Libertadores de América ( pt, Copa Libertadores da América), is an annual international club football competition organized by CONMEBOL since 1960. It is the highest level of competition in S ...
South American club tournament. Universidad de Chile was the last international champion (
Copa Sudamericana The CONMEBOL Sudamericana, named as ''Copa Sudamericana'' (; pt, Copa Sul-Americana ), is an annual international club association football, football competition organized by CONMEBOL since 2002. It is the second-most prestigious club competitio ...
2011). Tennis is Chile's most successful sport. Its national team won the
World Team Cup The World Team Cup was the international men's team championship of the Association of Tennis Professionals The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) is the governing body of the men's professional tennis circuits – the ATP Tour, t ...
clay tournament twice (2003 & 2004), and played the
Davis Cup The Davis Cup is the premier international team event in men's tennis. It is run by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and is contested annually between teams from competing countries in a Single-elimination tournament, knock-out format. ...
final against Italy in 1976. At the
2004 Summer Olympics The 2004 Summer Olympics ( el, Θερινοί Ολυμπιακοί Αγώνες 2004, ), officially the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad ( el, Αγώνες της 28ης Ολυμπιάδας, ) and also known as Athens 2004 ( el, Αθήνα 2004), ...
the country captured gold and bronze in men's singles and gold in men's doubles ( Nicolás Massú obtained two gold medals).
Marcelo Ríos Marcelo Andrés Ríos Mayorga (; born 26 December 1975) is a Chilean former List of ATP number 1 ranked players, world No. 1 tennis player. Nicknamed ''"El Chino"'' ("The Chinese") and ''"El zurdo de Vitacura"'' ("The Lefty from Vitacura"), he ...
became the first Latin American man to reach the number one spot in the ATP singles rankings in 1998. Anita Lizana won the US Open in 1937, becoming the first woman from Latin America to win a Grand Slam tournament. Luis Ayala was twice a runner-up at the French Open and both Ríos and Fernando González reached the Australian Open men's singles finals. González also won a silver medal in singles at the
2008 Summer Olympics The 2008 Summer Olympics (), officially the Games of the XXIX Olympiad () and also known as Beijing 2008 (), were an international multisport event held from 8 to 24 August 2008, in Beijing, China. A total of 10,942 athletes from 204 Nati ...
in Beijing. At the Summer Olympic Games Chile boasts a total of two gold medals (tennis), seven silver medals (athletics, equestrian,
boxing Boxing (also known as "Western boxing" or "pugilism") is a combat sport in which two people, usually wearing protective gloves and other protective equipment such as hand wraps and mouthguards, throw punches at each other for a predetermine ...
, shooting and tennis) and four bronze medals (tennis, boxing and football). In 2012, Chile won its first Paralympic Games medal (gold in Athletics).
Rodeo Rodeo () is a competitive equestrian sport that arose out of the working practices of cattle herding in Spain and Mexico, expanding throughout the Americas and to other nations. It was originally based on the skills required of the working vaq ...
is the country's
national sport A national sport is considered to be an intrinsic part of the culture of a nation. Some sports are ''de facto'' (not established by law) national sports, as sumo is in Japan and Gaelic games are in Republic of Ireland, Ireland and field hockey in ...
and is practiced in the more rural areas of the nation. A sport similar to
hockey Hockey is a term used to denote a family of various types of both summer and winter team sports which originated on either an outdoor field, sheet of ice, or dry floor such as in a gymnasium. While these sports vary in specific rules, numbers o ...
called '' chueca'' was played by the Mapuche people during the Spanish conquest.
Skiing Skiing is the use of skis to glide on snow. Variations of purpose include basic transport, a recreational activity, or a competitive winter sport. Many types of competitive skiing events are recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IO ...
and
snowboarding Snowboarding is a recreational and competitive activity that involves descending a snow-covered surface while standing on a snowboard that is almost always attached to a rider's feet. It features in the Winter Olympic Games and Winter Paralympic ...
are practiced at ski centers located in the Central Andes, and in southern ski centers near to cities as Osorno, Puerto Varas, Temuco and Punta Arenas.
Surfing Surfing is a list of surface water sports, surface water sport in which an individual, a surfer (or two in Glossary of surfing, tandem surfing), uses a board to ride on the forward section, or face, of a moving wind wave, wave of water, which ...
is popular at some coastal towns.
Polo Polo is a ball game played on horseback, a traditional field sport and one of the world's oldest known team sports. The game is played by two opposing teams with the objective of score (game), scoring using a long-handled wooden mallet to hit ...
is professionally practiced within Chile, with the country achieving top prize in the 2008 and 2015 World Polo Championship.
Basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court, compete with the primary objective of shooting a basketball (approximately in diameter) through the defender' ...
is a popular sport in which Chile earned a bronze medal in the first men's
FIBA World Championship The FIBA Basketball World Cup, also known as the FIBA World Cup of Basketball or simply the FIBA World Cup, between 1950 and 2010 known as the FIBA World Championship, is an international basketball competition contested by the senior List of me ...
held in 1950 and won a second bronze medal when Chile hosted the
1959 FIBA World Championship The 1959 FIBA World Championship was the 3rd FIBA Basketball World Cup, FIBA World Championship, the international basketball world championship for men's teams. It was hosted by Chile from 16 to 31 January 1959. Amaury Pasos, Amaury Antônio Pas ...
. Chile hosted the first FIBA World Championship for Women in 1953 finishing the tournament with the silver medal.
San Pedro de Atacama San Pedro de Atacama is a Chilean town and Communes of Chile, commune in El Loa Province, Antofagasta Region. It is located east of Antofagasta, some 106 km (60 mi) southeast of Calama, Chile, Calama and the Chuquicamata copper mine, ove ...
is host to the annual "Atacama Crossing", a six-stage, footrace which annually attracts about 150 competitors from 35 countries. The
Dakar Rally The Dakar Rally (or simply "The Dakar"; formerly known as the "Paris–Dakar Rally") is an annual rally raid organised by the Amaury Sport Organisation. Most events since the inception in 1978 were staged from Paris, France, to Dakar, Senegal, ...
off-road automobile race has been held in both Chile and
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country in the southern half of South America. Argentina covers an area of , making it the List of South American countries by area, second-largest ...

Argentina
since 2009.


Cultural heritage

The
cultural heritage Cultural heritage is the heritage of tangible and intangible heritage assets of a group or society that is inherited from past generations. Not all heritages of past generations are "heritage"; rather, heritage is a product of selection by soci ...
of Chile consists, first, of its intangible heritage, composed of various cultural events and activities, such as visual arts, crafts, dances, holidays, cuisine, games, music and traditions. Secondly, its tangible heritage consists of those buildings, objects and sites of archaeological, architectural, traditional, artistic, ethnographic, folkloric, historical, religious or technological significance scattered through Chilean territory. Among them, some are declared
World Heritage Sites A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the UNESCO, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNES ...
by
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a List of specialized agencies of the United Nations, specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) aimed at promoting world peace and security through international coope ...
, in accordance with the provisions of the Convention concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage of 1972, ratified by Chile in 1980. These cultural sites are the
Rapa Nui National Park Rapa Nui National Park ( es, Parque nacional Rapa Nui) is a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site located on Easter Island, Chile. Rapa Nui is the Polynesian name of Easter Island; its Spanish name is Isla de Pascua. The island is located ...
(1995), the Churches of Chiloé (2000), the historical district of the port city of Valparaíso (2003), Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (2005) and the mining city Sewell (2006). In 1999 ''Cultural Heritage Day'' was established as a way to honour and commemorate Chile's cultural heritage. It is an official national event celebrated in May every year.


See also

* Index of Chile-related articles * Outline of Chile *
COVID-19 pandemic in Chile The COVID-19 pandemic, worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 () caused by SARS-CoV-2, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 () severely affected Chile. The virus was confirmed to have reached Chile on 3 March 2020. Initial ca ...


References


Notes


Citations


Further reading

* Christian Balteum: ''The Strip. A Marxist critique of a semicomparador economy'', University of Vermont Press, 2018 * Simon Collier and William F. Sater, ''A History of Chile, 1808–1894'', Cambridge University Press, 1996 * Paul W. Drake, and others., ''Chile: A Country Study'', Library of Congress, 1994 * Luis Galdames, ''A History of Chile'', University of North Carolina Press, 1941 * * Brian Lovemen, ''Chile: The Legacy of Hispanic Capitalism'', 3rd ed., Oxford University Press, 2001 * John L. Rector, ''The History of Chile'', Greenwood Press, 2003


External links


Official Chile Government websiteThisIsChile Tourism & Commerce Website

Chile
''
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''.
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.
Chile
from ''UCB Libraries GovPubs'' *
Chile profile
from the
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Road maps of Chile, interactiveWorld Bank Summary Trade Statistics Chile
* *
Key Development Forecasts for Chile
from
International Futures International Futures (IFs) is a global integrated assessment model designed to help with thinking strategically and systematically about key global systems (economic, demographic, education, health, environment, technology, domestic governance, ...

Chile Cultural Society
{{Authority control G15 nations Former Spanish colonies Republics States and territories established in 1818 Spanish-speaking countries and territories Countries in South America Member states of the United Nations 1818 establishments in South America Southern Cone countries 1818 establishments in Chile Transcontinental countries OECD members