Chile 2003Chile

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Chile - Introduction 2003
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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 first implemented by the PINOCHET dictatorship led to unprecedented growth in 1991-97 and have helped secure the country's commitment to democratic and representative government.

Chile - Geography 2003
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Location: Southern South America bordering the South Pacific Ocean between Argentina and Peru

Geographic coordinates: 30 00 S 71 00 W

Map referenceSouth America

Total: 756,950 km²
Land: 748,800 km²
Note: includes Easter Island (Isla de Pascua) and Isla Sala y Gomez
Water: 8,150 km²
Comparative: slightly smaller than twice the size of Montana

Land boundaries
Total: 6,171 km
Border countries: (3) Argentina 5,150 km; , Bolivia 861 km; , Peru 160 km

Coastline: 6,435 km

Maritime claims
Contiguous zone: 24 NM
Territorial sea: 12 NM
Continental shelf: 200/350 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

Extremes lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
Extremes highest point: Nevado Ojos del Salado 6,880 m

Natural resources: copper timber iron ore nitrates precious metals molybdenum hydropower
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 2.65%
Permanent crops: 0.42%
Other: 96.93% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land: 18,000 km² (1998 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: severe earthquakes; active volcanism; tsunamis

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

Chile - People 2003
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Population: 15,665,216 (July 2003 est.)
Growth rate: 1.05% (2003 est.)
Below poverty line: 21% (1998 est.)

Noun: Chilean
Adjective: Chilean

Ethnic groups: white and white-Amerindian 95% Amerindian 3% other 2%

Languages: Spanish

Religions: Roman Catholic 89% Protestant 11% Jewish NEGL%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 26.4% (male 2,112,251; female 2,018,099)
15-64 years: 66% (male 5,151,551; female 5,180,607)
65 years and over: 7.7% (male 499,441; female 703,267) (2003 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age
Total: 29.5 years
Male: 28.6 years
Female: 30.4 years (2002)

Population growth rate: 1.05% (2003 est.)

Birth rate: 16.1 births/1000 population (2003 est.)

Death rate: 5.63 deaths/1000 population (2003 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1000 population (2003 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: widespread deforestation and mining threaten natural resources; air pollution from industrial and vehicle emissions; water pollution from raw sewage
International agreements party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
International agreements signed but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Nuclear Test Ban

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male/female
Under 15 years: 1.05 male/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male/female
65 years and over: 0.71 male/female
Total population: 0.98 male/female (2003 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate
Total: 8.88 deaths/1000 live births
Female: 8.04 deaths/1000 live births (2003 est.)
Male: 9.68 deaths/1000 live births

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 76.35 years
Male: 73.04 years
Female: 79.82 years (2003 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.09 children born/woman (2003 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access

Adult prevalence rate: 0.3% (2001 est.)
People living with hivaids: 20,000 (2001 est.)
Deaths: 220 (2001 est.)

Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 96.2%
Male: 96.4%
Female: 96.1% (2003 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Chile - Government 2003
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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
Note: the US does not recognize claims to Antarctica

Dependent areas

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
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

International law organization participation


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
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 [Guido GIRARDI]; Radical Social Democratic Party or PRSD [Orlando CANTUARIAS]; Socialist Party or PS [Camilo ESCALONA]


Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador Andres BIANCHI
In the us chancery: 1732 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20,036
In the us consulates general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and San Juan (Puerto Rico)
In the us fax: [1] (202) 887-5,579
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 785-1746
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador William R. BROWNFIELD
From the us embassy: Avenida Andres Bello 2,800, Las Condes, Santiago
From the us mailing address: APO AA 34,033
From the us telephone: [56] (2) 232-2,600
From the us fax: [56] (2) 330-3,710

Flag descriptionflag of Chile: 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

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Chile - Economy 2003
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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 4.4% in 2000. Growth fell back to 2.8% in 2001 and 1.8% in 2002 largely due to lackluster global growth and the devaluation of the Argentine peso. Unemployment 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 will take effect on 1 January 2004.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 2.1% (2002 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin
Agriculture: 11%
Industry: 34%
Services: 56% (2001)

Agriculture products: wheat corn grapes beans sugar beets potatoes fruit; 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% (2002 est.)

Labor force: 5.9 million (2000 est.)
By occupation agriculture: 14%
By occupation industry: 27%
By occupation services: 59% (1997 est.)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 9.2% (2002)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: 21% (1998 est.)

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10: 1.3%
Highest 10: 45.6% (1998)

Distribution of family income gini index: 56.7 (1998)

Revenues: $17 billion
Expenditures: $17 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices: 2.5% (2002 est.)

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $17.8 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Commodities: copper fish fruits paper and pulp chemicals
Partners: US 19.1% Japan 10.5% China 6.7% Mexico 5% Italy 4.7% UK 4.4% (2002)

Imports: $15.6 billion f.o.b. (2002)
Commodities: consumer goods chemicals motor vehicles fuels electrical machinery heavy industrial machinery food
Partners: Argentina 18% US 14.9% Brazil 9.5% China 6.5% Germany 4.3% (2002)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $40.4 billion (2002)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Chilean pesos per US dollar - 688.95 (2002) 634.94 (2001) 535.47 (2000) 508.78 (1999) 460.29 (1998)

Chile - Energy 2003
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 41.66 billion kWh (2001)
By source fossil fuel: 47%
By source hydro: 51.5%
By source other: 1.4% (2001)
By source nuclear: 0%

Electricity consumption: 40.13 billion kWh (2001)

Electricity exports: 0 kWh (2001)

Electricity imports: 1.386 billion kWh (2001)

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas
Production: 1.2 billion m³ (2001 est.)
Consumption: 6.47 billion m³ (2001 est.)
Exports: 0 m³ (2001 est.)
Imports: 5.27 billion m³ (2001 est.)
Proved reserves: 67.78 billion m³ (37,257)

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Chile - Communication 2003
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular: 944,225 (1998)

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: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Broadcast media

Internet country code: .cl

Internet users: 3.1 million (2002)

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Chile - Military 2003
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $2.5 billion (FY99)
Percent of gdp: 3.1% (FY99)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Chile - Transportation 2003
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 363 (2002)
With paved runways total: 71
With paved runways over 3047 m: 6
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 6
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 21
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 23
With paved runways under 914 m: 15 (2002)
With unpaved runways total: 292
With unpaved runways over 3047 m: 1
With unpaved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 4
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 11
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 60
With unpaved runways under 914 m: 216 (2002)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 71
Over 3047 m: 6
2438 to 3047 m: 6
15-24 to 2437 m: 21
914 to 1523 m: 23
Under 914 m: 15 (2002)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 292
Over 3047 m: 1
2438 to 3047 m: 4
15-24 to 2437 m: 11
914 to 1523 m: 60
Under 914 m: 216 (2002)


Pipelines: gas 2,267 km; gas/liquid petroleum gas 42 km; liquid petroleum gas 531 km; oil 983 km; refined products 545 km (2003)

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 (2002)


Waterways: 725 km

Merchant marine
Total: 50 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 696,202 GRT/900,317 DWT
Ships by type: bulk 9, cargo 6, chemical tanker 9, container 4, liquefied gas 2, passenger 4, petroleum tanker 6, roll on/roll off 6, vehicle carrier 4
Note: includes a foreign-owned ship registered here as a flag of convenience: Netherlands 1 (2002 est.)

Ports and terminals

Chile - Transnational issues 2003
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Disputes international: Bolivia continues to press Chile and Peru to restore the Atacama corridor ceded to Chile in 1884; dispute with Peru over the economic zone delimited by the maritime boundary; Chile demands water rights to Bolivia's Rio Lauca and Silala Spring; Beagle Channel islands dispute resolved through Papal mediation in 1984 but armed incidents persist since 1992 oil discovery; territorial claim in Antarctica (Chilean Antarctic Territory) partially overlaps Argentine and British claims

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: a growing transshipment country for cocaine destined for the US and Europe; economic prosperity and increasing trade have made Chile more attractive to traffickers seeking to launder drug profits especially through the Iquique Free Trade Zone; imported precursors passed on to Bolivia; domestic cocaine consumption is rising

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