CIA World Fact Book, 2004/Chile

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Introduction Chile
Background: 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, maintained consistently since the 1980s, have contributed to steady growth and have 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.
 
Geography 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
note: includes Easter Island (Isla de Pascua) and Isla Sala y Gomez
water: 8,150 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than twice the size of Montana
Land boundaries: total: 6,171 km
border countries: Argentina 5,150 km, Bolivia 861 km, Peru 160 km
Coastline: 6,435 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: 200/350 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 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: 2.65%
permanent crops: 0.42%
other: 96.93% (2001)
Irrigated land: 18,000 sq km (1998 est.)
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 world's driest regions
 
People Chile
Population: 15,823,957 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 25.8% (male 2,090,165; female 1,996,972)
15-64 years: 66.3% (male 5,235,061; female 5,261,820)
65 years and over: 7.8% (male 515,698; female 724,241) (2004 est.)
Median age: total: 29.8 years
male: 28.9 years
female: 30.7 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.01% (2004 est.)
Birth rate: 15.77 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate: 5.71 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 9.05 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 8.25 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
male: 9.81 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 76.38 years
male: 73.09 years
female: 79.82 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.06 children born/woman (2004 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 89%, Protestant 11%, Jewish negligible
Languages: Spanish
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.2%
male: 96.4%
female: 96.1% (2003 est.)
 
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: Santiago
Administrative divisions: 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
Independence: 18 September 1810 (from Spain)
National holiday: Independence Day, 18 September (1810)
Constitution: 11 September 1980, effective 11 March 1981, amended 30 July 1989, 1993, and 1997
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: 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 with the final stage of implementation in the Santiago metropolitan region expected in June 2005
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branch: 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: bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of the Senate or Senado (48 seats, 38 elected by popular vote, 9 designated members, and 1 former president who has served a full six-year term and is senator 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), APC 16 (UDI 9, RN 7), independents 2; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CPD 62 (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: 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: Alliance for Chile ("Alianza") or APC - including RN and UDI; Christian Democratic Party or PDC [Adolfo ZALDIVAR]; Coalition of Parties for Democracy ("Concertacion") or CPD - including PDC, PS, PPD, PRSD; Communist Party or PC [Gladys MARIN]; Independent Democratic Union or UDI [Pablo LONGUEIRA]; National Renewal or RN [Sebastian PINERA]; Party for Democracy or PPD [Victor BARRUETO]; Radical Social Democratic Party or PRSD [Orlando CANTUARIAS]; Socialist Party or PS [Gonzalo MARTNER]
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 country's five largest labor confederations
International organization participation: APEC, BIS, FAO, G-15, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur (associate), MIGA, MINUSTAH, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIK, UNMOGIP, UNTSO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US: 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: 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, 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 4.2% in 2000. Growth fell back to 3.1% in 2001 and 2.1% in 2002, largely due to lackluster global growth and the devaluation of the Argentine peso, but recovered to 3.2% in 2003. Unemployment, although declining over the past year, remains stubbornly high, putting pressure on President LAGOS to improve living standards. One bright spot was the signing of a free trade agreement with the US, which took effect on 1 January 2004. In 2004, GDP growth is set to accelerate to more than 4% as copper prices rise, export earnings grow, and foreign direct investment picks up.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $154.7 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3.3% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $9,900 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 6.4%
industry: 38.6%
services: 55.1% (2003 est.)
Investment (gross fixed): 21.2% of GDP (2003)
Population below poverty line: 20.6% (2000 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 3.7%
highest 10%: 41% (2000)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 56.7 (2000)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.8% (2003 est.)
Labor force: 6 million (2003 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 13.6%, industry 23.4%, services 63% (2003 est.)
Unemployment rate: 8.5% (2003 est.)
Budget: revenues: $15.44 billion
expenditures: $16.02 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2003 est.)
Public debt: 14.8% of GDP (2003)
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: 1.5% (2003 est.)
Electricity - production: 41.66 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - consumption: 40.13 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports: 1.386 billion kWh (2001)
Oil - production: 13,640 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption: 241,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports: NA (2001)
Oil - imports: NA (2001)
Oil - proved reserves: 81.05 million bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production: 1.2 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 6.47 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 5.27 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 67.78 billion cu m (1 January 2002)
Current account balance: $-594 million (2003)
Exports: $20.44 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Exports - commodities: copper, fish, fruits, paper and pulp, chemicals, wine
Exports - partners: US 16.2%, Japan 10.5%, China 8.6%, South Korea 4.7%, Mexico 4.3%, Italy 4.2% (2003)
Imports: $17.4 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports - commodities: consumer goods, chemicals, motor vehicles, fuels, electrical machinery, heavy industrial machinery, food
Imports - partners: Argentina 19.4%, US 13%, Brazil 10.4%, China 6.6% (2003)
Reserves of foreign exchange & gold: $15.84 billion (2003)
Debt - external: $43.15 billion (2003)
Economic aid - recipient: ODA, $40 million (2001 est.)
Currency: Chilean peso (CLP)
Currency code: CLP
Exchange rates: Chilean pesos per US dollar - 691.433 (2003), 688.936 (2002), 634.938 (2001), 535.466 (2000), 508.777 (1999)
Fiscal year: calendar year
 
Communications Chile
Telephones - main lines in use: 3.467 million (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 6,445,700 (2002)
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 (eight inactive), FM 64, shortwave 17 (one inactive) (1998)
Radios: 5.18 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 63 (plus 121 repeaters) (1997)
Televisions: 3.15 million (1997)
Internet country code: .cl
Internet hosts: 202,429 (2003)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 7 (2000)
Internet users: 3.575 million (2002)
 
Transportation Chile
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 (2003)
Highways: total: 79,814 km
paved: 15,484 km (including 294 km of expressways)
unpaved: 64,330 km (2000)
Pipelines: gas 2,583 km; gas/lpg 42 km; liquid petroleum gas 539 km; oil 1,003 km; refined products 757 km (2004)
Ports and harbors: Antofagasta, Arica, Chanaral, Coquimbo, Iquique, Puerto Montt, Punta Arenas, San Antonio, San Vicente, Talcahuano, Valparaiso
Merchant marine: total: 47 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 725,216 GRT/954,519 DWT
by type: bulk 10, cargo 5, chemical tanker 9, container 3, liquefied gas 1, passenger 3, petroleum tanker 7, roll on/roll off 4, short-sea/passenger 1, vehicle carrier 4
foreign-owned: Argentina 1
registered in other countries: 28 (2004 est.)
Airports: 363 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways: 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 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 293
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: 217 (2004 est.)
 
Military Chile
Military branches: Army of the Nation, National Navy (including Naval Air, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps), Air Force of the Nation, Chilean Carabineros (National Police)
Military manpower - military age and obligation: 18 years of age for compulsory military service; all citizens 18-45 are obligated to perform military service; conscript service obligation - 12 months for Army, 24 months for Navy and Air Force (2004)
Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 4,207,066 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service: males age 15-49: 3,107,454 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually: males: 131,283 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure: $2,839.6 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 4% (2003)
This page was last updated on 1 January 2003



This is a snapshot of the CIA World Fact Book as it existed on 26 March 2005