Prior to the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century, the Inca ruled northern Chile while the Mapuche 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 Mapuche were brought under central government control. 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, who ruled until a freely elected president was inaugurated in 1990. Sound economic policies, 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.



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

Geographic coordinates

30 00 S, 71 00 W

Map references

South America


total: 756,102 sq km
land: 743,812 sq km
water: 12,290 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: 7,801 km
border countries (3): Argentina 6,691 km, Bolivia 942 km, Peru 168 km


6,435 km

Maritime claims

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


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


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


mean elevation: 1,871 m
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

agricultural land: 21.1%
arable land 1.7%; permanent crops 0.6%; permanent pasture 18.8%
forest: 21.9%
other: 57% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

11,100 sq km (2012)

Natural hazards

severe earthquakes; active volcanism; tsunamis
volcanism: significant volcanic activity due to more than three-dozen active volcanoes along the Andes Mountains; Lascar (elev. 5,592 m), which last erupted in 2007, is the most active volcano in the northern Chilean Andes; Llaima (elev. 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

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

the longest north-south trending country in the world, extending across 39 degrees of latitude; strategic location relative to sea lanes between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans (Strait of Magellan, Beagle Channel, Drake Passage); Atacama Desert - the driest desert in the world - spreads across the northern part of the country; the crater lake of Ojos del Salado is the world's highest lake (at 6,390 m)

People and Society


17,650,114 (July 2016 est.)


noun: Chilean(s)
adjective: Chilean

Ethnic groups

white and non-indigenous 88.9%, Mapuche 9.1%, Aymara 0.7%, other indigenous groups 1% (includes Rapa Nui, Likan Antai, Quechua, Colla, Diaguita, Kawesqar, Yagan or Yamana), unspecified 0.3% (2012 est.)


Spanish 99.5% (official), 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 est.)


Roman Catholic 66.7%, Evangelical or Protestant 16.4%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1%, other 3.4%, none 11.5%, unspecified 1.1% (2012 est.)

Demographic profile

Chile is in the advanced stages of demographic transition and is becoming an aging society - with fertility below replacement level, low mortality rates, and life expectancy on par with developed countries. Nevertheless, with its dependency ratio nearing its low point, Chile could benefit from its favorable age structure. It will need to keep its large working-age population productively employed, while preparing to provide for the needs of its growing proportion of elderly people, especially as women - the traditional caregivers - increasingly enter the workforce. Over the last two decades, Chile has made great strides in reducing its poverty rate, which is now lower than most Latin American countries. However, its severe income inequality ranks as the worst among members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Unequal access to quality education perpetuates this uneven income distribution.
Chile has historically been a country of emigration but has slowly become more attractive to immigrants since transitioning to democracy in 1990 and improving its economic stability (other regional destinations have concurrently experienced deteriorating economic and political conditions). Most of Chile's small but growing foreign-born population consists of transplants from other Latin American countries, especially Peru.

Age structure

0-14 years: 20.27% (male 1,825,115/female 1,751,977)
15-24 years: 15.45% (male 1,391,522/female 1,335,933)
25-54 years: 43.17% (male 3,804,037/female 3,816,114)
55-64 years: 10.6% (male 880,014/female 990,969)
65 years and over: 10.51% (male 776,340/female 1,078,093) (2016 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 45.2%
youth dependency ratio: 29.3%
elderly dependency ratio: 16%
potential support ratio: 6.3% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 34 years
male: 32.9 years
female: 35.2 years (2016 est.)

Population growth rate

0.8% (2016 est.)

Birth rate

13.7 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Death rate

6.1 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Net migration rate

0.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Population distribution

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


urban population: 89.5% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 1.09% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

SANTIAGO (capital) 6.507 million; Valparaiso 907,000; Concepcion 816,000 (2015)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.89 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2016 est.)

Child labor - children ages 5-14

total number: 82,882
percentage: 3% (2003 est.)

Maternal mortality rate

22 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 6.7 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 7.2 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 6.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 78.8 years
male: 75.7 years
female: 81.9 years (2016 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.81 children born/woman (2016 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

note: percent of women aged 15-44 (2006)

Health expenditures

7.8% of GDP (2014)

Physicians density

1.02 physicians/1,000 population (2009)

Hospital bed density

2.1 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Drinking water source

urban: 99.7% of population
rural: 93.3% of population
total: 99% of population
urban: 0.3% of population
rural: 6.7% of population
total: 1% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

urban: 100% of population
rural: 90.9% of population
total: 99.1% of population
urban: 0% of population
rural: 9.1% of population
total: 0.9% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

0.27% (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

32,300 (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

400 (2015 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

28.5% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

0.5% (2014)

Education expenditures

4.8% of GDP (2014)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.5%
male: 97.6%
female: 97.4% (2015 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 16 years
male: 16 years
female: 17 years (2014)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 16.1%
male: 13.9%
female: 19.2% (2013 est.)


Country name

conventional long form: 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"

Government type

presidential republic


name: Santiago; note - Valparaiso is the seat of the national legislature
geographic coordinates: 33 27 S, 70 40 W
time difference: UTC-3 (2 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

15 regions (regiones, singular - region); Aysen, Antofagasta, Araucania, Arica y Parinacota, Atacama, Biobio, Coquimbo, Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins, Los Lagos, Los Rios, Magallanes y de la Antartica Chilena, Maule, Region Metropolitana (Santiago), Tarapaca, Valparaiso
note: the US does not recognize claims to Antarctica


18 September 1810 (from Spain)

National holiday

Independence Day, 18 September (1810)


many previous; latest adopted 11 September 1980, effective 11 March 1981; amended many times, last in 2011; note - in late 2015, the Chilean Government initiated a process to reform its constitution (2016)

Legal system

civil law system influenced by several West European civil legal systems; judicial review of legislative acts by the Constitutional Tribunal

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent: yes
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Michelle BACHELET Jeria (since 11 March 2014); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Michelle BACHELET Jeria (since 11 March 2014)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a single 4-year term; election last held on 17 November 2013 with a runoff held on 15 December 2013 (next to be held on 19 November 2017)
election results: Michelle BACHELET Jeria elected president; percent of vote - Michelle BACHELET Jeria (PS) 62.2%; Evelyn Rose MATTHEI Fornet (UDI) 37.8%

Legislative branch

description: bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of the Senate or Senado (38 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by majority vote to serve 8-year terms with one-half of the membership renewed every 4 years) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (120 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by majority vote to serve 4-year terms); note - in both the Senate and Chamber of Deputies, the party winning at least two-thirds of the votes is entitled to 2 seats in the constituency; if it obtains less than two-thirds of the votes, it is entitled to 1 seat with the remaining seat awarded to the next highest winning party
elections: Senate - last held on 17 November 2013 (next to be held on 15 November 2017); Chamber of Deputies - last held on 17 November 2013 (next to be held on 15 November 2017)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - New Majority Coalition (formerly known as Concertacion) 19 (PDC 6, PS 6, PPD 6, MAS 1), Coalition for Change (formerly known as the Alianza coalition) 15 (RN 6, UDI 8, Amplitude Party 1), independents 4; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - New Majority 68 (PDC 21, PS 16, PPD 14, PC 6, PRSD 6, Citizen Left 1, independents 4), Coalition for Change 47 (UDI 29, RN 14, independents 3, EP 1), Liberal Party 1, independents 4
note: In January 2015, the Chilean Congress voted to end the binomial system that was put in place under Gen. Augusto PINOCHET; the Congress also voted to expand its size and establish rules to ensure that there is equitable gender representation; the new electoral system will be put in place in 2017

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (consists of a court president and 20 members or ministros); Constitutional Court (consists of 7 members); Elections Qualifying Court (consists of 5 members)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the president and ratified by the Senate from lists of candidates provided by the court itself; judges appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 70; Constitutional Court members appointed - 3 by the Supreme Court, 1 by the president of the republic, 2 by the National Security Council, and 1 by the Senate; members serve 8-year terms with partial membership replacement every 4 years (the court reviews constitutionality of legislation); Elections Qualifying Court member appointments - 4 by the Supreme Court and 1 - a former president or vice-president of the Senate or Chamber of Deputies - also selected by the Supreme Court; members appointed for 4-year terms
subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; oral criminal tribunals; military tribunals; local police courts; specialized tribunals and courts in matters such as family, labor, customs, taxes, and electoral affairs

Political parties and leaders

Broad Social Movement or MAS [Alejandro NAVARRO Brain]
Citizen Left or IC [Sergio AGUILO]
Coalition for Change or CC (also known as the Alliance for Chile (Alianza) or APC) (including National Renewal or RN [Cristian MONCKEBERG Bruner], and Independent Democratic Union or UDI [Hernan LARRAIN Fernandez]
Coalition of Parties for Democracy (Concertacion) or CPD (including Christian Democratic Party or PDC [Jorge PIZARRO Soto], Party for Democracy or PPD [Jaime Daniel QUINTANA Leal], Radical Social Democratic Party or PRSD [Ernesto VELASCO Rodriguez], and Socialist Party or PS [Isabel ALLENDE Bussi])
Communist Party of Chile (Partido Comunista de Chile) or PC [Guillermo TEILLIER del Valle]
Ecological Green Party [Felix GONZALEZ Gatica]
Equality Party [Guillermo GONZALEZ Castro]
Humanist Party or PH [Octavio GONZALEZ]
Independent Regionalist Party or PRI [Alejandra BRAVO Hidalgo]
Liberal Party (Partido Liberal de Chile) [Vlado MIROSEVIC]
Political Evolution or EP [Felipe KAST]
Progressive Party or PRO [Patricia MORALES]

Political pressure groups and leaders

Roman Catholic Church, particularly conservative groups such as Opus Dei
United Labor Central or CUT (includes trade unionists from the country's five largest labor confederations)
other: university student federations at all major universities

International organization participation

APEC, BIS, CAN (associate), CD, CELAC, FAO, G-15, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA, Mercosur (associate), MIGA, MINUSTAH, NAM, OAS, OECD (Enhanced Engagement, OPANAL, OPCW, Pacific Alliance, PCA, SICA (observer), UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNMOGIP, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Juan Gabriel VALDES Soublette (since 21 May 2014)
chancery: 1732 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 785-1746
FAX: [1] (202) 887-5579
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Michael HAMMER (since April 2014)
embassy: Avenida Andres Bello 2800, Las Condes, Santiago
mailing address: APO AA 34033
telephone: [56] (2) 2330-3000
FAX: [56] (2) 2330-3710, 2330-3160

Flag description

two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and red; 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 represents the blood spilled to achieve independence
note: design was influenced by the US flag

National symbol(s)

huemul (mountain deer), Andean condor; national colors: red, white, blue

National anthem

name: "Himno Nacional de Chile" (National Anthem of Chile)
lyrics/music: Eusebio LILLO Robles and Bernardo DE VERA y Pintado/Ramon CARNICER y Battle
note: music adopted 1828, original lyrics adopted 1818, adapted lyrics adopted 1847; under Augusto PINOCHET"s military rule, a verse glorifying the army was added; however, as a protest, some citizens refused to sing this verse; it was removed when democracy was restored in 1990


Economy - overview

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 a

From 2003 through 2013, real growth averaged almost 5% per year, despite the slight contraction in 2009 that resulted from the global financial crisis. Growth slowed to an estimated 1.7% in 2016. A continued drop in copper prices prompted Chile to experie

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 has 22 trade agreements covering 60 countries including agreements with the EU, Mercosur,

The Chilean Government has generally followed a countercyclical fiscal policy, accumulating surpluses in sovereign wealth funds during periods of high copper prices and economic growth, and generally allowing deficit spending only during periods of low co

In 2014, President Michelle BACHELET introduced tax reforms aimed at delivering her campaign promise to fight inequality and to provide access to education and health care. The reforms are expected to generate additional tax revenues equal to 3% of Chile’

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$436.1 billion (2016 est.)
$428.8 billion (2015 est.)
$419.2 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$234.9 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate

1.7% (2016 est.)
2.3% (2015 est.)
1.8% (2014 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$24,000 (2016 est.)
$23,800 (2015 est.)
$23,500 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars

Gross national saving

20.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
20.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
20.9% of GDP (2014 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 64.9%
government consumption: 14.1%
investment in fixed capital: 22%
investment in inventories: -0.2%
exports of goods and services: 27.7%
imports of goods and services: -28.5% (2016 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 4%
industry: 32.4%
services: 63.6% (2016 est.)

Agriculture - products

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


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

Industrial production growth rate

0.2% (2016 est.)

Labor force

8.777 million (2016 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 13.2%
industry: 23%
services: 63.9% (2005)

Unemployment rate

7% (2016 est.)
6.3% (2015 est.)

Population below poverty line

14.4% (2013)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 1.5%
highest 10%: 42.8% (2009 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index

52.1 (2009)
57.1 (2000)


revenues: $49.52 billion
expenditures: $55.74 billion (2016 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

21.1% of GDP (2016 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-2.6% of GDP (2016 est.)

Public debt

18.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
16.7% of GDP (2015 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

4.1% (2016 est.)
4.3% (2015 est.)

Central bank discount rate

3.12% (31 December 2010)
0.5% (31 December 2009)

Commercial bank prime lending rate

6.1% (31 December 2016 est.)
5.52% (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of narrow money

$45.71 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$39.88 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of broad money

$154.4 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$158 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of domestic credit

$218.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$188.4 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

$190.4 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$233.2 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$265.2 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Current account balance

-$4.55 billion (2016 est.)
-$4.765 billion (2015 est.)


$56.32 billion (2016 est.)
$62.23 billion (2015 est.)

Exports - commodities

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

Exports - partners

China 26.3%, US 13.2%, Japan 8.5%, South Korea 6.5%, Brazil 4.9% (2015)


$56.86 billion (2016 est.)
$58.74 billion (2015 est.)

Imports - commodities

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

Imports - partners

China 23.4%, US 18.8%, Brazil 7.8%, Argentina 4% (2015)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$36.79 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$38.64 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Debt - external

$160 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$156.1 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home

$194.8 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$176.8 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad

$89.23 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$72.81 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Exchange rates

Chilean pesos (CLP) per US dollar -
673.2 (2016 est.)
658.93 (2015 est.)
658.93 (2014 est.)
570.37 (2013 est.)
486.49 (2012 est.)


Electricity - access

population without electricity: 70,600
electrification - total population: 99.6%
electrification - urban areas: 100%
electrification - rural areas: 98% (2012)

Electricity - production

71 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - consumption

66 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - exports

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports

700 million kWh (2011 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity

23 million kW (2014 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels

62.1% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants

33% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources

4.9% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production

6,260 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Crude oil - exports

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Crude oil - imports

165,900 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves

150 million bbl (1 January 2016 es)

Refined petroleum products - production

205,800 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption

340,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports

3,761 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports

152,900 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Natural gas - production

798 million cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - consumption

4.048 billion cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - exports

0 cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - imports

3.5 billion cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves

97.97 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy

76 million Mt (2013 est.)


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 3,445,880
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 20 (July 2015 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular

total: 23.206 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 133 (July 2015 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: privatization began in 1988; most advanced telecommunications infrastructure in South America; modern system based on extensive microwave radio relay facilities; domestic satellite system with 3 earth stations
domestic: number of fixed-line connections have stagnated in recent years as mobile-cellular usage continues to increase, reaching 130 telephones per 100 persons
international: country code - 56; landing points for the Pan American, South America-1, and South American Crossing/Latin America Nautilus submarine cables providing links to the US and to Central and South America; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2011)

Broadcast media

national and local terrestrial TV channels, coupled with extensive cable TV networks; the state-owned Television Nacional de Chile (TVN) network is self-financed through commercial advertising revenues and is not under direct government control; large num (2007)

Internet country code


Internet users

total: 11.256 million
percent of population: 64.3% (July 2015 est.)


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 9
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 173
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 15,006,762
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 1,392.236 million mt-km (2015)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

CC (2016)


481 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 90
over 3,047 m: 5
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 23
914 to 1,523 m: 31
under 914 m: 24 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 391
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 11
914 to 1,523 m: 56
under 914 m: 319 (2013)


1 (2013)


gas 3,160 km; liquid petroleum gas 781 km; oil 985 km; refined products 722 km (2013)


total: 7,281.5 km
broad gauge: 3,428 km 1.676-m gauge (1,691 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 3,853.5 km 1.000-m gauge (2014)


total: 77,764 km
paved: 18,119 km (includes 2,387 km of expressways)
unpaved: 59,645 km (2010)

Merchant marine

total: 42
by type: bulk carrier 13, cargo 5, chemical tanker 7, container 2, liquefied gas 1, passenger 3, passenger/cargo 2, petroleum tanker 8, roll on/roll off 1
foreign-owned: 1 (Norway 1)
registered in other countries: 52 (Argentina 6, Brazil 1, Honduras 1, Isle of Man 9, Liberia 9, Panama 14, Peru 6, Singapore 6) (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Coronel, Huasco, Lirquen, Puerto Ventanas, San Antonio, San Vicente, Valparaiso
LNG terminal(s) (import): Mejillones, Quintero


Military branches

Chilean Army, Chilean Navy (Armada de Chile, includes Naval Aviation, Marine Corps, and Maritime Territory and Merchant Marine Directorate (Directemar)), Chilean Air Force (Fuerza Aerea de Chile, FACh) (2015)

Military service age and obligation

18-45 years of age for voluntary male and female military service, although the right to compulsory recruitment of males 18-45 is retained; service obligation is 12 months for Army and 22 months for Navy and Air Force (2015)

Military expenditures

2.04% of GDP (2012)
2.17% of GDP (2011)
2.04% of GDP (2010)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Chile and Peru rebuff Bolivia's reactivated claim to restore the Atacama corridor, ceded to Chile in 1884, but Chile has offered instead unrestricted but not sovereign maritime access through Chile to Bolivian natural gas; Chile rejects Peru's unilateral legislation to change its latitudinal maritime boundary with Chile to an equidistance line with a southwestern axis favoring Peru; in October 2007, Peru took its maritime complaint with Chile to the ICJ; 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)

Illicit drugs

transshipment country for cocaine destined for Europe and the region; some money laundering activity, especially through the Iquique Free Trade Zone; imported precursors passed on to Bolivia; domestic cocaine consumption is rising, making Chile a significant consumer of cocaine (2008)