Chile (GPS: 30 00 S, 71 00 W) is located in Southern South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean, between Argentina and Peru. The country’s area measurements are total: 756,102 sq km; land: 743,812 sq km, water: 12,290 sq km. This sovereign state is slightly smaller than twice the size of Montana. The total irrigated land is 11,100 sq km (2012).
One of Chile’s important features: The longest north-south trending country in the world, extending across 39 degrees of latitude. Strategic location is relative to sea lanes between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans (Strait of Magellan, Beagle Channel, Drake Passage). Chile is one of the countries along the Ring of Fire, a belt of active volcanoes and earthquake epicenters bordering the Pacific Ocean. Up to 90% of the world’s earthquakes and some 75% of the world’s volcanoes occur within the Ring of Fire. The Atacama Desert – the driest desert in the world – spreads across the country’s northern part. Ojos del Salado (6,893 m) in the Atacama Desert is the highest active volcano globally, Chile’s tallest mountain, and the second-highest in the Western Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere – its small crater lake (at 6,390 m) is the world’s highest lake.
It’s significant, and at the same time, the principal city, Santiago’s GPS coordinates are 33 27 S 70 40 W. Santiago’s local time is 2 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC-3.
Before the Spanish’s arrival in the 16th century, the Inca ruled northern Chile for nearly a century while an indigenous people, the Mapuche, inhabited central and southern Chile. Although Chile declared its independence in 1810, it did not achieve a decisive victory over the Spanish until 1818. In the Pacific (1879-83), Chile defeated Peru and Bolivia to win its present northern regions. In the 1880s, the Chilean central government gained control over the central and southern regions inhabited by the Mapuche.
After a series of elected governments, the three-year-old Marxist government of Salvador ALLENDE was overthrown in 1973 by a military coup led by General Augusto PINOCHET. He ruled until a democratically-elected president was inaugurated in 1990. Economic reforms, maintained consistently since the 1980s, contributed to steady growth, reduced poverty rates by over half, and helped secure the country’s commitment to democratic and representative government. Chile has increasingly assumed regional and international leadership roles befitting its status as a stable, democratic nation.
Chile’s names conventional long form: the Republic of Chile, conventional short form: Chile, local long form: Republica de Chile, local short form: Chile, etymology: derivation of the name is unclear, but it may come from the Mapuche word “chilli” meaning “limit of the earth” or from the Quechua “chiri” meaning “cold.” Derivation of the name is unclear, but it may come from the Mapuche word “chilli,” meaning “limit of the earth,” or from the Quechua “chiri,” meaning “cold.”
Chile’s terrain is typically low coastal mountains, fertile central valley, the rugged Andes in the east. The country’s mean elevation: 1,871 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m, highest point: Nevado Ojos del Salado 6,880 m.
The country’s general climate is temperate: a desert in the north: the Mediterranean in the central region: cool and dam he in the south.
The total number of border countries is 3, Argentina 6,691 km, Bolivia 942 km, Peru 168 km are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. Chile’s coastline is 6,435 km, while its marital claims are: territorial sea: 12 nautical miles, contiguous zone: 24 nautical miles, exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles, continental shelf: 200/350 nautical miles. Waterways: N/A. Land use: agricultural land: 21.1%; arable land 1.7%; permanent crops 0.6%; permanent pasture 18.8%; forest: 21.9%; other: 57% (2011 estimate).
The population in Chile 17,925,262 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 89.5% of total population (2015), major urban area’s population: SANTIAGO (capital) 6.507 million; Valparaiso 907,000; Concepcion 816,000 (2015), while Chile has 90% of the population is located in the middle third of the country around the capital of Santiago; the far north (anchored by the Atacama Desert) and the extreme south are relatively underpopulated. Their spoken languages are: Spanish 99.5% (official language), English 10.2%, indigenous 1% (includes Mapudungun, Aymara, Quechua, Rapa Nui), other 2.3%, unspecified 0.2%. Note shares sum to more than 100% because some respondents gave more than one answer on the census (2012 estimate).
Main religions in Chile are Roman Catholic 66.7%, Evangelical or Protestant 16.4%, Jehovah’s Witnesses 1%, other 3.4%, none 11.5%, unspecified 1.1% (2012 estimate). The nation uses civil law system influenced by several West European civil legal systems; judicial review of legislative acts by the Constitutional Tribunal. It is a(n) presidential republic, National holiday(s) Independence Day, 18 September (1810).
Economic overview for the country: Chile has a market-oriented economy characterized by a high level of foreign trade and a reputation for strong financial institutions and sound policy that have given it the strongest sovereign bond rating in South America. Exports of goods and services account for approximately one-third of GDP, with commodities making up some 60% of total exports. Copper is Chile’s top export and provides 20% of government revenue. From 2003 through 2013, real growth averaged almost 5% per year, despite a slight contraction in 2009 that resulted from the global financial crisis. Growth slowed to an estimated 1.4% in 2017.
A continued drop in copper prices prompted Chile to experience its third consecutive year of slow growth. Chile deepened its longstanding commitment to trade liberalization by signing a free trade agreement with the US, effective 1 January 2004. Chile has 26 trade agreements covering 60 countries, including agreements with the EU, Mercosur, China, India, South Korea, and Mexico. In May 2010, Chile signed the OECD Convention, becoming the first South American country to join the OECD. In October 2015, Chile signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, which was finalized as the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and signed at a ceremony in Chile in March 2018.
The Chilean Government has generally followed a countercyclical fiscal policy. It accumulates surpluses in sovereign wealth funds during periods of high copper prices and economic growth and generally allows deficit spending only during periods of low copper prices and growth. As of 31 October 2016, those sovereign wealth funds – kept mostly outside the country and separate from Central Bank reserves – amounted to more than $23.5 billion. Chile used these funds to finance fiscal stimulus packages during the 2009 economic downturn. In 2014, then-President Michelle BACHELET introduced tax reforms to deliver her campaign promise to fight inequality and provide access to education and health care. The reforms are expected to generate additional tax revenues equal to 3% of Chile’s GDP, mostly by increasing corporate tax rates to OECD averages.
Natural resources of Chile: copper, timber, iron ore, nitrates, precious metals, molybdenum, hydropower.
Main export partners for Chile, South America are China 26.3%, US 13.2%, Japan 8.5%, South Korea 6.5%, Brazil 4.9% (2015) for copper, fruit, fish products, paper and pulp, chemicals, wine, while the main import partners for the country are: China 23.4%, US 18.8%, Brazil 7.8%, Argentina 4% (2015) for petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, electrical and telecommunications equipment, industrial machinery, vehicles, natural gas.
When you visit this country in South America, consider the natural hazards in Chile: Severe earthquakes, active volcanism, tsunamisvolcanism: significant volcanic activity due to more than three-dozen active volcanoes along the Andes Mountains, Lascar (elevation 5,592 m), which last erupted in 2007, is the most active volcano in the northern Chilean Andes, Llaima (elevation 3,125 m) in central Chile, which last erupted in 2009, is another of the country’s most active, Chaiten’s 2008 eruption forced major evacuations, other notable historically active volcanoes include Cerro Hudson, Calbuco, Copahue, Guallatiri, Llullaillaco, Nevados de Chillan, Puyehue, San Pedro, and Villarrica, while infectious diseases are N/A.
Also, note that Chile faces the following environmental issues: Air pollution from industrial and vehicle emissions, water pollution from raw sewage, Noise pollution, Improper garbage disposal, Soil degradation, widespread deforestation, and mining threaten the environment, wildlife conservation.
You may also be interested in Chile’s surrounding countries around its total 7,801 km border, like Argentina, Bolivia, Peru.