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Population - Local time - Languages - Religion - Political context - Climate - Tourism - Food


Total population (millions): 16
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Urban population: 87%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Average annual population growth: 1.1%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Surface area (km²) : 756,630

Population origin

Origin of the population% Of the population
Europeans54 %
Africans and half-caste44 %
Other2 %

Main Cities Population
Santiago 5 428 590
Valparaíso 803 683
Concepción 666 381
La Serena 296 253
Antofagasta 285 255
Temuco 260 878

Local time

It is  %T:%M %A  in Santiago (GMT-4 in winter, GMT-3 in summer).
Summer time from October to March

Official language: Spanish
Spoken languages: Indian dialects
Business language: Spanish, English.

Free translation tools

Babel Fish
Free English-Spanish-English translation of texts and web pages

Free French-Spanish-French translation of texts and web pages
Free Spanish-Catalan-English-French Dictionary

Religious practises : Catholics 88.8%
Protestants 11%
Jews 0.2%.

Political context

Chile is a Republic (official name: Republic of Chile) based on parliamentary democracy where President enjoys considerable powers. Chile is one of South America's most stable and prosperous nations.
President is both the chief of state and head of government, and holds the executive powers. President appoints the Cabinet and has the authority to remove the commanders-in-chief of the armed forces. P resident is elected by popular vote for a single four-year term.
The legislature is bicameral. The parliament called National Congress consists of: Senate (the upper house) with its members elected by popular vote to serve eight-year terms, and the Chamber of Deputies (the lower house) with its members elected by popular vote to serve four-year. Chile's congressional elections are governed by a unique binomial system that rewards coalition representations. Each coalition can run two candidates for the two Senate and two Deputy seats apportioned to each electoral district and parties are forced to form wide coalitions. Historically, the two largest coalitions (Concertacion and Alianza) split most of the seats in a district. The citizens of Chile enjoy considerable political rights
Judiciary is independent. The main source of the law is the constitution of 1980 (amended several times). The country's legal system is based on Code of 1857 derived from Spanish law and subsequent codes influenced by French and Austrian law as well as various judicial reviews of the legislative acts by the Supreme Court. Chile has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction. In June 2005, Chile completed overhauled its criminal justice system to adopt a new US-style adversarial system. The judicial language in the country is Spanish.
Chile is ruled by law. Foreign nationals in the country can enjoy treatment at par with the natives from the judiciary, including commercial disputes. Corruption in the country is limited and under control.

Major political parties

The main political parties are: PDC (Christian Democratic Party), PRSD (Radical Social Democratic Party), PS (Socialist Party), PPD (Party for Democracy), RN (National Renewal), UDI (Independent Democratic Union) and PC (Communist Party)

Major political leaders

President: Michelle BACHELET Jeria (since March 2006) – PS, heads center-left Concertacion coalition government.

Next political election dates

Presidential: December 2009
National Congress (both Senate and Chamber of Deputies): December 2009






Number of visitors in Chile 2004 2005 2006 World rank
Number of visitors (1000) 1,785 2,027 2,276
Source : World Tourisme Organization, data available in November 2005


Tourist sites
" Salto del Laja ", famous for the waterfalls.
Another tourist attraction is Puyehne, in the province of Orsano, with its thermal springs, warm water swimming pools, and its lake strewed with beautiful islands.

For more information about tourism in Chile , check out the following web site(s) :
National Chilean Tourism Board
Chilean Tourism Promotion Corporation


Traditional dishes
Cazuela (chicken stew with rices, corn, potatoes), Empanada (sort of doughnut stuffed with meat, poultry or fish with onions, eggs and olives), alpaca's steack (Altiplano), goat, fishes and seafood on the coast, local wines, pisco (brandy), chicha (fermented corn). There are numerous markets where it is possible to eat.

Last modified on December 2006

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