Chile - geography
The vast majority of Chile's population and the country's economic activity
are concentrated in central Chile around the capital, while large areas in the
northern and southern parts of the country are largely uninhabited.
Chile has a significant mining sector and the country is the world's largest
producer of copper.
The majority of the population is mestizer, descendants of Indians and
Europeans, mainly Spaniards. Several of the European immigrant groups can still
be found in ethnically concentrated communities. South of the Bío-Bío River,
German, French, Italian and Swiss peasants settled in the mid-1800's, and it is
not uncommon to hear German on the streets in cities such as Valdivia, Osorno,
Puerto Varas and Puerto Montt, where live approximately 50,000 descendants of
Do you know how many people there are in Chile? Check this site to see
population pyramid and resident density about this country.
In the late 1800's. Serbian, Croatian and British emigrants settled in the
southern provinces of the country, where they settled on sheep
breeding. However, the Spanish element is quite prevalent, and Spanish is the
The indigenous people of Chile include Mapuche. These Indians
stopped the conquest of the Incas down the country a century before the arrival
of the Spaniards. The majority of the Mapuche Indians now live in the woodland
around Temuco; their number is estimated at approximately 1 mio. including the Huilliche Indians,
who live on and around the island of Chiloé. Of other Native American peoples,
approximately 15,000 aymará in the northern Andes and 3,000 rapa nui on Easter
The Indians have been at the bottom of the social ladder since colonial
times. The position worsened under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, as the
culture and whole existence of the Indians was denied. It was a criminal offense
to speak Native American languages in public or to express Native American
culture at all.
Much of the Native American cultural heritage has been lost, nor has written
language been developed for the various Native American languages. After the end
of the dictatorship, Native American groups have formed a political party to
work for Native American interests.
90% of the population lives in the central region, which is also by far the
most affluent. To the south, there is a scattered population of sheep farmers,
just as the oil fields on the Strait of Magellan and the coal fields south
of Concepción give rise to some settlement. In the northern provinces lies
the Atacama Desert, and here is largely only settlement in connection with
mining and the associated transport and service.
Chile is heavily urbanized. The cities are growing as many Chileans leave the
agricultural regions to seek paid work. In 1992, 85% of the population lived in
cities. Neither housing construction nor the labor market can keep up with the
large migration. Slums are found around the major cities and are especially
around Santiago grown into entire neighborhoods.
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song lyrics and singer about this country.
Just over a third of the population is in the labor force; of which one third
Agriculture employs 13.6% of the working population, but the sector
has less impact on the economy. Only just over 2% of the area is arable, by far
the most in the fertile Central Region. Under the favorable climate and soil
conditions here, e.g. wheat, corn, wine, fruit and vegetables. To the south,
potatoes, cereals and beans in particular are important crops next to grass,
which is the basis for significant cattle and sheep breeding.
Fishing. With its long coastline, Chile, together
with Peru, accounts for a large part of South America's fisheries. The
cold Humboldt current mixes with warmer water off the coast and forms the basis
for a rich fishery, especially for anchovies. The majority of the catch is
processed into fishmeal and exported.
Chile is the world's largest producer and exporter of fishmeal. Under Augusto
Pinochet's regime, this currency - creating business was stimulated with
overfishing. Several fish species are now endangered; this also applies to the
valuable loco mussel, which has its only occurrence off the southern coasts of
Chile. Sea urchins, cod and seaweed are also threatened by predation, and quota
schemes have been implemented.
The industrial sector employs 23.4% of the working population and
contributes almost 50% of GDP. Even before World War II, a fairly extensive
industry based on consumer goods developed. The light industry is mainly located
in and around Santiago, which also houses the majority of the machinery and
In the 1980's, there was a growth in the export-oriented industry and in the
heavy industry. The large industrial complex San Vicente in the
Concepción area has been built since 1950 and includes iron and steel works, oil
refinery and petrochemical industry. The country's third significant industrial
area, Valparaíso, also has a petrochemical industry in addition to the consumer
goods industry. Finally, there is the paper industry around the Bío-Bío River.
Mining. 2% of the workforce is employed in mining; it is more than
in almost any other country. In northern Chile, 40% of the world's copper
reserves are found, and copper often accounts for up to half of
exports. Furthermore, there are rich deposits of nitrates (for fertilizers,
Chilean nitrates), iron, coal, sulfur, gold, silver and manganese. Most of the
world's iodine production comes from Chile.
Oil production is negligible, but there are significant natural gas deposits
on Tierra del Fuego in the far south. Here is also coal production.
Like other industries, the mining sector is hampered by the country's
enormous distances and limited infrastructure. The main route through the
country is the Panamerican Highway, which from Peru connects Puerto Montt in the
south with Arica in the north and continues to Peru.
The railway network is built in different gauge; it is heavily worn and
exploited only in the Santiago area and south. South of Puerto Montt, only air
and sea traffic connect the cities.
Chile is everywhere characterized by the cold ocean currents in the Pacific
Ocean to the west and the Andes Mountains to the east. In ancient times, a
valley ran through the whole country between the Andean chain and the western
coastal mountain range. North of Santiago, the two chains have grown together,
but south of and all the way to Puerto Montt, this elongated valley runs over
Even further south, sea level rise and geological dynamics have drowned the
valley, which is now seen as the large archipelago coast of southern Chile with
a myriad of fjords, islands, canals and skerries. In this area, the prevailing
westerly winds carry large amounts of moisture from the Pacific Ocean, which is
released over the two west-facing slopes of the mountain ranges.
The climate naturally varies greatly in the elongated
country. Common to the long stretch, however, is the damping effect of the
Humboldt current on the temperature: to the north it rarely gets extremely hot
and to the south rarely bitterly cold.
The northernmost region, from Peru to Copiapó, is dominated by the Atacama
Desert with extreme drought and large temperature fluctuations. South of this is
a belt with sparse winter rain (May-July). Here, too, large areas are completely
devoid of vegetation, but there are cultivated valleys with irrigation. This
entire northern area is located in the subtropical climate zone.
The mainland of Chile is located between Illapel and Concepción. The soil is
fertile and the climate is mild with winter rains. Here are large farmsteads and
Further south, down to Puerto Montt, the climate is mildly temperate,
rainfall is rising, and the landscape is forested with clearings for
agriculture. It is a lush mountain landscape with large lakes and volcanoes. The
precipitation is usually very heavy and falls most of the year. South of
Valdivia, annual precipitation reaches sizes that are otherwise found only in
Chile's Patagonia is the 1600 km stretch from Puerto Montt to Cape
Horn. Here the climate is temperate, stormy and characterized by enormous
amounts of rain. The landscape is wooded and largely uninhabited; only a few per
cent. can be cultivated.
The eastern side of the Andes Mountains as well as the Chilean part of Tierra
del Fuego are called Atlantic Chile. Here, the soothing effect of the Pacific
Ocean is less, and the climate is humid polar climate.
The rivers are short, flowing from the Andes to the west and are
especially in the southern water kingdoms. In the north, they barely reach the
sea, and the water for the cities in the Atacama Desert must be fetched by the
Andes' rivers. Measured per population, Chile is assumed to have the world's
largest hydropower resources; they are exploited in several places, on the
country's largest river, the Bío-Bío, and hydropower covers a significant part
of energy consumption.
Chile - language
The official language is Spanish. In addition, the Arabic language Mapuche is
spoken by a few hundred thousand Indians in southern Chile. In the northern part
of the country, a very small percentage of the population speaks the Inca
languages Quechua and Aymará.
Chile - religion
Ca. 80% of the population belong to the Roman Catholic Church. From the
middle of the 1500's. Dominicans, Franciscans, and Jesuits ran missions, and a
diocese was established in Santiago. 1833-1925 Chile had a Catholic state
church, but from 1865 the state also recognized other denominations. From this
time various Protestant denominations established themselves, such as
Presbyterians from the United States and Lutherans from Germany, later followed
the Methodists, and in the 1900's. a domestic Pentecostal movement has reached an
estimated prevalence of 10% of the population.
Under Salvadore Allende's rule, a polarization arose among Catholics. The
Christian Democratic Party was against his rule, and in 1971 the Christian Party
was founded for Socialism to support him, inspired by
the theology of liberation. This polarization continued under Pinochet's
rule. The Church set up a central body, the Vicaria de la Solidaridad,
to defend victims of human rights abuses.