Chile

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Introduction - Chile:

Country

Chile

Background

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

Location - Chile:

Location

Southern South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean, between Argentina and Peru

Geographic coordinates

30 00 S, 71 00 W

Map references

South America

Area

total: 756,950 sq km
land: 748,800 sq km
water: 8,150 sq km
note: includes Easter Island (Isla de Pascua) and Isla Sala y Gomez

Area comparative

slightly smaller than twice the size of Montana

Land boundaries

total: 6,339 km
border countries: Argentina 5,308 km, Bolivia 860 km, Peru 171 km

Coastline

6,435 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200/350 nm

Climate

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

Terrain

low coastal mountains; fertile central valley; rugged Andes in east

Elevation extremes

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Nevado Ojos del Salado 6,880 m

Natural resources

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

Land use

arable land: 2.62%
permanent crops: 0.43%
other: 96.95% (2005)

Irrigated land

19,000 sq km (2003)

Natural hazards

severe earthquakes; active volcanism; tsunamis

Environment current issues

widespread deforestation and mining threaten natural resources; air pollution from industrial and vehicle emissions; water pollution from raw sewage

Environment international agreements

party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography note

strategic location relative to sea lanes between Atlantic and Pacific Oceans (Strait of Magellan, Beagle Channel, Drake Passage); Atacama Desert is one of worlds driest regions

People - Chile:

Population

16,284,741 (July 2007 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 24.1% (male 2,010,576/female 1,920,951)
15-64 years: 67.4% (male 5,480,703/female 5,492,988)
65 years and over: 8.5% (male 576,698/female 802,825) (2007 est.)

Median age

total: 30.7 years
male: 29.8 years
female: 31.7 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate

0.916% (2007 est.)

Birth rate

15.03 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate

5.87 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.047 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.998 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.718 male(s)/female
total population: 0.982 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 8.36 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 9.09 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 7.59 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 76.96 years
male: 73.69 years
female: 80.4 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.97 children born/woman (2007 est.)

Hiv aids adult prevalence rate

0.3% (2003 est.)

Hiv aids people living with hiv aids

26,000 (2003 est.)

Hiv aids deaths

1,400 (2003 est.)

Nationality

noun: Chilean(s)
adjective: Chilean

Ethnic groups

white and white-Amerindian 95%, Amerindian 3%, other 2%

Religions

Roman Catholic 70%, Evangelical 15.1%, Jehovahs Witness 1.1%, other Christian 1%, other 4.6%, none 8.3% (2002 census)

Languages

Spanish

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95.7%
male: 95.8%
female: 95.6% (2002 census)

Government - Chile:

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Chile
conventional short form: Chile
local long form: Republica de Chile
local short form: Chile

Government type

republic

Capital

name: Santiago
geographic coordinates: 33 27 S, 70 40 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins second Sunday in October; ends second Sunday in March

Administrative divisions

13 regions (regiones, singular - region); Aisen del General Carlos Ibanez del Campo, Antofagasta, Araucania, Atacama, Biobio, Coquimbo, Libertador General Bernardo OHiggins, Los Lagos, Magallanes y de la Antartica Chilena, Maule, Region Metropolitana (Santiago), Tarapaca, Valparaiso
note: the US does not recognize claims to Antarctica

Independence

18 September 1810 (from Spain)

National holiday

Independence Day, 18 September (1810)

Constitution

11 September 1980, effective 11 March 1981; amended 1989, 1991, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003, and 2005

Legal system

based on Code of 1857 derived from Spanish law and subsequent codes influenced by French and Austrian law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; note - in June 2005, Chile completed overhaul of its criminal justice system to a new, US-style adversarial system

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch

chief of state: President Michelle BACHELET Jeria (since 11 March 2006); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Michelle BACHELET Jeria (since 11 March 2006)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a single four-year term; election last held 11 December 2005, with runoff election held 15 January 2006 (next to be held in December 2009)
election results: Michelle BACHELET Jeria elected president; percent of vote - Michelle BACHELET Jeria 53.5%; Sebastian PINERA Echenique 46.5%

Legislative branch

bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of the Senate or Senado (38 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve eight-year terms; one-half elected every four years) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (120 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held 11 December 2005 (next to be held in December 2009); Chamber of Deputies - last held 11 December 2005 (next to be held in December 2009)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CPD 20 (PDC 6, PS 8, PPD 3, PRSD 3), APC 17 (UDI 9, RN 8), independent 1; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CPD 65 (PDC 21, PPD 22, PS 15, PRSD 7), APC 54 (UDI 34, RN 20), independent 1

Judicial branch

Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (judges are appointed by the president and ratified by the Senate from lists of candidates provided by the court itself; the president of the Supreme Court is elected every three years by the 20-member court); Constitutional Tribunal

Political parties and leaders

Alliance for Chile (Alianza) or APC (including National Renewal or RN [Carlos LARRAIN Pena] and Independent Democratic Union or UDI [Hernan LARRAIN Fernandez]); Coalition of Parties for Democracy (Concertacion) or CPD (including Christian Democratic Party or PDC [Soledad ALVEAR], Socialist Party or PS [Camilo ESCALONA], Party for Democracy or PPD [Sergio BITAR Chacra], Radical Social Democratic Party or PRSD [Jose Antonio GOMEZ Urrutia]); Communist Party or PC [Guillermo TEILLIER]

Political pressure groups and leaders

revitalized university student federations at all major universities; Roman Catholic Church; United Labor Central or CUT includes trade unionists from the countrys five largest labor confederations

International organization participation

ABEDA, APEC, BIS, CAN (associate), CSN, FAO, G-15, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur (associate), MIGA, MINUSTAH, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNMOGIP, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the us

chief of mission: Ambassador Mariano FERNANDEZ
chancery: 1732 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 530-4104, 530-4106, 530-4107
FAX: [1] (202) 887-5579
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico)

Diplomatic representation from the us

chief of mission: Ambassador Craig A. KELLY
embassy: Avenida Andres Bello 2800, Las Condes, Santiago
mailing address: APO AA 34033
telephone: [56] (2) 232-2600
FAX: [56] (2) 330-3710

Flag description

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; design was influenced by the US flag

Economy - Chile:

Economy overview

Chile has a market-oriented economy characterized by a high level of foreign trade. During the early 1990s, Chiles reputation as a role model for economic reform was strengthened when the democratic government of Patricio AYLWIN - which took over from the military in 1990 - deepened the economic reform initiated by the military government. Growth in real GDP averaged 8% during 1991-97, but fell to half that level in 1998 because of tight monetary policies implemented to keep the current account deficit in check and because of lower export earnings - the latter a product of the global financial crisis. A severe drought exacerbated the recession in 1999, reducing crop yields and causing hydroelectric shortfalls and electricity rationing, and Chile experienced negative economic growth for the first time in more than 15 years. Despite the effects of the recession, Chile maintained its reputation for strong financial institutions and sound policy that have given it the strongest sovereign bond rating in South America. Between 2000 and 2006 growth ranged between 2%-6%. Throughout these years Chile maintained a low rate of inflation with GDP growth coming from high copper prices, solid export earnings (particularly forestry, fishing, and mining), and growing domestic consumption. Chile continues to attract foreign direct investment, but most foreign investment goes into gas, water, electricity and mining. Unemployment has exhibited a downward trend over the past year, dropping to 7.8% at the end of 2006. Chile deepened its longstanding commitment to trade liberalization with the signing of a free trade agreement with the US, which took effect on 1 January 2004. Chile signed or ratified a number of trade agreements in 2006, including with China and India. Chile claims to have more bilateral or regional trade agreements than any other country. It has 57 such agreements (not all of them full free trade agreements), including with the European Union, Mercosur, South Korea, and Mexico.

Gdp purchasing power parity

$202.7 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp official exchange rate

$111.8 billion (2006)

Gdp real growth rate

4.2% (2006 est.)

Gdp per capita ppp

$12,700 (2006 est.)

Gdp composition by sector

agriculture: 5.9%
industry: 49.3%
services: 44.7% (2006 est.)

Labor force

6.94 million (2006 est.)

Labor force by occupation

agriculture: 13.6%
industry: 23.4%
services: 63% (2003)

Unemployment rate

7.8% (2006)

Population below poverty line

18.2% (2005)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 1.2%
highest 10%: 47% (2000)

Distribution of family income gini index

53.8 (2003)

Inflation rate consumer prices

2.6% (2006)

Investment gross fixed

21% of GDP (2006 est.)

Budget

revenues: $36.71 billion
expenditures: $26.68 billion; including capital expenditures of $3.33 billion (2006 est.)

Public debt

3.9% of GDP (2006 est.)

Agriculture products

grapes, apples, pears, onions, wheat, corn, oats, peaches, garlic, asparagus, beans; beef, poultry, wool; fish; timber

Industries

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

Industrial production growth rate

3.1% (2006)

Electricity production

47.6 billion kWh (2006)

Electricity consumption

48.52 billion kWh (2006)

Electricity exports

0 kWh (2004)

Electricity imports

1.744 billion kWh (2004)

Oil production

15,100 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Oil consumption

238,000 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Oil exports

31,510 bbl/day (2004)

Oil imports

222,900 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Oil proved reserves

150 million bbl (1 January 2006)

Natural gas production

1.09 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas consumption

8.29 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas exports

7.2 million cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas imports

7.2 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas proved reserves

97.98 billion cu m (1 January 2005 est.)

Current account balance

$5.063 billion (2006 est.)

Exports

$58.21 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Exports commodities

copper, fruit, fish products, paper and pulp, chemicals, wine

Exports partners

US 15.6%, Japan 10.5%, China 8.6%, Netherlands 6.7%, South Korea 5.9%, Italy 4.9%, Brazil 4.8%, France 4.2% (2006)

Imports

$35.37 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Imports commodities

petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, electrical and telecommunications equipment, industrial machinery, vehicles, natural gas

Imports partners

US 15.6%, Argentina 12.6%, Brazil 11.8%, China 9.7% (2006)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$17.16 billion (November 2006 est.)

Debt external

$47.6 billion (30 June 2006 est.)

Economic aid recipient

$0 (2006)

Currency code

Chilean peso (CLP)

Exchange rates

Chilean pesos per US dollar - 530.29 (2006), 560.09 (2005), 609.37 (2004), 691.43 (2003), 688.94 (2002)

Communications - Chile:

Fiscal year

calendar year

Telephones main lines in use

3.326 million (2006)

Telephones mobile cellular

12.451 million (2006)

Telephone system

general assessment: modern system based on extensive microwave radio relay facilities
domestic: extensive microwave radio relay links; domestic satellite system with 3 earth stations
international: country code - 56; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 180 (8 inactive), FM 64, shortwave 17 (1 inactive) (1998)

Television broadcast stations

63 (plus 121 repeaters) (1997)

Internet country code

.cl

Internet hosts

506,055 (2006)

Internet users

4.156 million (2006)

Transportation - Chile:

Airports

363 (2006)

Airports with paved runways

total: 73
over 3,047 m: 5
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 22
914 to 1,523 m: 22
under 914 m: 17 (2006)

Airports with unpaved runways

total: 290
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 11
914 to 1,523 m: 58
under 914 m: 216 (2006)

Pipelines

gas 2,567 km; gas/liquid petroleum gas 42 km; liquid petroleum gas 539 km; oil 1,003 km; refined products 757 km; unknown (oil/water) 97 km (2006)

Railways

total: 6,585 km
broad gauge: 2,831 km 1.676-m gauge (1,317 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 3,754 km 1.000-m gauge (2006)

Roadways

total: 79,605 km
paved: 16,080 km (includes 407 km of expressways)
unpaved: 63,525 km (2001)

Merchant marine

total: 46 ships (1000 GRT or over) 649,091 GRT/898,110 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 10, cargo 6, chemical tanker 10, container 1, liquefied gas 2, passenger 4, passenger/cargo 2, petroleum tanker 7, roll on/roll off 1, vehicle carrier 3
foreign-owned: 1 (Argentina 1)
registered in other countries: 17 (Argentina 6, Brazil 1, Marshall Islands 1, Panama 9) (2006)

Ports and terminals

Antofagasta, Arica, Huasco, Iquique, Lirquen, San Antonio, San Vicente, Valparaiso

Military - Chile:

Military branches

Army of the Nation, Chilean Navy (Armada de Chile, includes naval air, marine corps, and Maritime Territory and Merchant Marine Directorate (Directemar)), Chilean Air Force (Fuerza Aerea de Chile, FACh), Chilean Carabineros (National Police) (2007)

Military service age and obligation

18-45 years of age for voluntary military service; service obligation - 12 months for Army, 22 months for Navy and Air Force (2006)

Manpower available for military service

males age 18-49: 3,815,761
females age 18-49: 3,780,864 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military service

males age 18-49: 3,123,281
females age 18-49: 3,128,277 (2005 est.)

Manpower reaching military service age annually

males age 18-49: 140,084
females age 18-49: 134,518 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures percent of gdp

2.7% (2006)

Disputes international

Chile rebuffs Bolivias reactivated claim to restore the Atacama corridor, ceded to Chile in 1884, offering instead unrestricted but not sovereign maritime access through Chile to Bolivian gas and other commodities; Chile rejects Perus unilateral legislation to change its latitudinal maritime boundary with Chile to an equidistance line with a southwestern axis favoring Peru; territorial claim in Antarctica (Chilean Antarctic Territory) partially overlaps Argentine and British claims; the joint boundary commission, established by Chile and Argentina in 2001, has yet to map and demarcate the delimited boundary in the inhospitable Andean Southern Ice Field (Campo de Hielo Sur)

This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>


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