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  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January 2002
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2002.

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003

Map of Chile

Legend: Definition Definition Field Listing Field Listing
   Introduction    Chile
Definition Field Listing
A three-year-old Marxist government was overthrown in 1973 by a dictatorial military regime led by Augusto PINOCHET, who ruled until a freely elected president was installed in 1990. Sound economic policies, first implemented by the PINOCHET dictatorship, led to unprecedented growth in 1991-97 and have helped secure the country's commitment to democratic and representative government.
   Geography    Chile
Definition Field Listing
Southern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean and South Pacific Ocean, between Argentina and Peru
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
30 00 S, 71 00 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
South America
Definition Field Listing
total: 756,950 sq km
land: 748,800 sq km
note: includes Easter Island (Isla de Pascua) and Isla Sala y Gomez
water: 8,150 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly smaller than twice the size of Montana
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 6,171 km
border countries: Argentina 5,150 km, Bolivia 861 km, Peru 160 km
Definition Field Listing
6,435 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
contiguous zone: 24 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
continental shelf: 200/350 NM
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
Definition Field Listing
temperate; desert in north; Mediterranean in central region; cool and damp in south
Definition Field Listing
low coastal mountains; fertile central valley; rugged Andes in east
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Nevado Ojos del Salado 6,880 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
copper, timber, iron ore, nitrates, precious metals, molybdenum, hydropower
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 2.65%
permanent crops: 0.42%
other: 96.93% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
18,000 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
severe earthquakes; active volcanism; tsunamis
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
widespread deforestation and mining threaten natural resources; air pollution from industrial and vehicle emissions; water pollution from raw sewage
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Nuclear Test Ban
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
strategic location relative to sea lanes between Atlantic and Pacific Oceans (Strait of Magellan, Beagle Channel, Drake Passage); Atacama Desert is one of world's driest regions
   People    Chile
Definition Field Listing
15,498,930 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 26.9% (male 2,127,696; female 2,033,201)
15-64 years: 65.6% (male 5,070,476; female 5,103,490)
65 years and over: 7.5% (male 482,846; female 681,221) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.09% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing
16.46 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing
5.59 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing
9.12 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing
total population: 76.14 years
female: 79.62 years (2002 est.)
male: 72.83 years
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.13 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.19% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing
15,000 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing
1,000 (1999 est.)
Definition Field Listing
noun: Chilean(s)
adjective: Chilean
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
white and white-Amerindian 95%, Amerindian 3%, other 2%
Definition Field Listing
Roman Catholic 89%, Protestant 11%, Jewish NEGL%
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95.2%
male: 95.4%
female: 95% (1995 est.)
   Government    Chile
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Republic of Chile
conventional short form: Chile
local long form: Republica de Chile
local short form: Chile
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
13 regions (regiones, singular - region); Aisen del General Carlos Ibanez del Campo, Antofagasta, Araucania, Atacama, Bio-Bio, Coquimbo, Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins, Los Lagos, Magallanes y de la Antartica Chilena, Maule, Region Metropolitana (Santiago), Tarapaca, Valparaiso
note: the US does not recognize claims to Antarctica
Definition Field Listing
18 September 1810 (from Spain)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 18 September (1810)
Definition Field Listing
11 September 1980, effective 11 March 1981, amended 30 July 1989, 1993, and 1997
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
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: Chile is in the process of completely overhauling its criminal justice system; a new, US-style adversarial system is being gradually implemented throughout the country
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Ricardo LAGOS Escobar (since 11 March 2000); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Ricardo LAGOS Escobar (since 11 March 2000); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
election results: Ricardo LAGOS Escobar elected president; percent of vote - Ricardo LAGOS Escobar 51.32%, Joaquin LAVIN 48.68%
elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term; election last held 12 December 1999, with runoff election held 16 January 2000 (next to be held NA December 2005)
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of the Senate or Senado (49 seats, 38 elected by popular vote, 9 designated members, and 2 former presidents who serve six-year terms and are senators for life); elected members 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)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - CPD 20 (PDC 12, PS 5, PPD 3), UDI 9, RN 7, independents 2; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CPD 63 (PDC 24, PPD 21, PS 11, PRSD 6,), UDI 35, RN 22, independent 1
elections: Senate - last held 16 December 2001 (next to be held NA December 2005); Chamber of Deputies - last held 16 December 2001 (next to be held NA December 2005)
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
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 by the 21-member court); Constitutional Tribunal
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Center-Center Union Party or UCCP [Francisco Javier ERRAZURIZ]; Christian Democratic Party or PDC [Patricia ALYWIN]; Coalition of Parties for Democracy ("Concertacion") or CPD - including PDC, PS, PPD, PRSD; Independent Democratic Union or UDI [Pablo LONGUEIRA]; National Renewal or RN [Alberto CARDEMIL]; Party for Democracy or PPD [Guido GIRARDI]; Radical Social Democratic Party or PRSD [Anselmo SULE]; Socialist Party or PS [Ricardo NUNEZ]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
revitalized university student federations at all major universities; Roman Catholic Church; United Labor Central or CUT includes trade unionists from the country's five largest labor confederations
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Andres BIANCHI
chancery: 1732 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and San Juan (Puerto Rico)
FAX: [1] (202) 887-5579
telephone: [1] (202) 785-1746
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador William R. BROWNFIELD
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:
Definition Field Listing
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; design was based on the US flag
   Economy    Chile
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Chile has a market-oriented economy characterized by a high level of foreign trade. During the early 1990s, Chile's 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. By the end of 1999, exports and economic activity had begun to recover, and growth rebounded to 5.4% in 2000. Unemployment remains stubbornly high, however, putting pressure on President LAGOS to improve living standards. The Argentine financial meltdown has put pressure on the Chilean peso and is slowing the country's economic growth. Meanwhile, Chile and the US are conducting negotiations for a free trade agreement.
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $153 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
3.1% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $10,000 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 8%
industry: 38%
services: 54% (2000) (2000)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
22% (1998 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 1%
highest 10%: 41% (1998) (1998)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
58 (1996)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing
3.5% (2001 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing
5.9 million (2000 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 14%, industry 27%, services 59% (1997 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing
10.1% (2001) (2001)
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $17 billion
expenditures: $17 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA
Definition Field Listing
copper, other minerals, foodstuffs, fish processing, iron and steel, wood and wood products, transport equipment, cement, textiles
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.5% (2001 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing
39.577 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
Definition Field Listing
fossil fuel: 51%
hydro: 46%
other: 2% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing
37.897 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
1.09 billion kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
wheat, corn, grapes, beans, sugar beets, potatoes, fruit; beef, poultry, wool; fish; timber
Definition Field Listing
$18.5 billion f.o.b. (2001)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
copper, fish, fruits, paper and pulp, chemicals
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 17%, Japan 14%, UK 6%, Brazil 5%, China 5% (2000)
Definition Field Listing
$18 billion f.o.b. (2001)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
consumer goods, chemicals, motor vehicles, fuels, electrical machinery, heavy industrial machinery, food
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 19%, Argentina 16%, Brazil 7%, China 6%, Japan 4% (2000)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing
$39.6 billion (2001) (2001)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
ODA, $40 million (2001 est.)
Definition Field Listing
Chilean peso (CLP)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Chilean pesos per US dollar - 651.90 (January 2002), 618.70 (2001), 535.47 (2000), 508.78 (1999), 460.29 (1998), 419.30 (1997)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Chile
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing
2.603 million (1998)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing
944,225 (1998)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
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: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 180 (eight inactive), FM 64, shortwave 17 (one inactive) (1998)
Definition Field Listing
5.18 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
63 (plus 121 repeaters) (1997)
Definition Field Listing
3.15 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Definition Field Listing
7 (2000)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing
3.1 million (2002)
   Transportation    Chile
Definition Field Listing
total: 6,702 km
broad gauge: 2,831 km 1.676-m gauge (1,317 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 117 km 1.067-m gauge (28 km electrified); 3,754 km 1.000-m gauge (37 km electrified) (2000 est.)
Definition Field Listing
total: 79,800 km
paved: 11,012 km
unpaved: 68,788 km (1996)
Definition Field Listing
725 km
Definition Field Listing
crude oil 755 km; petroleum products 785 km; natural gas 320 km
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Antofagasta, Arica, Chanaral, Coquimbo, Iquique, Puerto Montt, Punta Arenas, San Antonio, San Vicente, Talcahuano, Valparaiso
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 47 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 669,670 GRT/931,647 DWT
ships by type: bulk 11, cargo 4, chemical tanker 10, container 5, liquefied gas 2, passenger 3, petroleum tanker 4, roll on/roll off 5, vehicle carrier 3, includes a foreign-owned ship registered here as a flag of convenience: Netherlands 1 (2002 est.)
Definition Field Listing
363 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 71
over 3,047 m: 6
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 21
914 to 1,523 m: 23
under 914 m: 15 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 292
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 11
914 to 1,523 m: 60
under 914 m: 216 (2002)
   Military    Chile
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Army of the Nation, National Navy (including naval air, coast guard, and marines), Air Force of the Nation, Chilean Carabineros (National Police), Investigations Police
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
19 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 4,104,197 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 3,034,912 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 136,830 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing
$2.5 billion (FY99)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing
3.1% (FY99)
   Transnational Issues    Chile
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
Bolivia continues to demand a sovereign corridor to the South Pacific Ocean since the Atacama region was lost to Chile in 1884; territorial claim in Antarctica (Chilean Antarctic Territory) partially overlaps Argentine and British claims; dispute with Peru over the economic zone delimited by the maritime boundary
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
a growing transshipment country for cocaine destined for the US and Europe; economic prosperity and increasing trade have made Chile more attractive to traffickers seeking to launder drug profits, especially through the Iquique Free Trade Zone; imported precursors passed on to Bolivia; domestic cocaine consumption is rising

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003

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