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General information
Common nameChile
Local name 
MottoPor la razón o la fuerza
"By reason or by force"  
AnthemHimno Nacional de Chile  
Largest citycapital
Official languagesSpanish
GovernmentUnitary presidential republic
President of the RepublicSebastián Piñera
Minister of the Interior and Public SecurityRodrigo Hinzpeter RN
President of the SenateGuido Girardi PPD
President of the Chamber of DeputiesPatricio Melero UDI
President of the Supreme CourtMilton Juica
IndependenceIndependence (from Spain)
DeclaredFebruary 12, 1818
RecognizedApril 25, 1844
Current constitution
September 11, 1980
Total Area292183 sq mi (756754 km2) (38th)
Water %1.072
Population Est.16,888,760 (60th)
Population census15116435 (2002)
Density (pop.)22/km2 (194th) (57/sq mi)
GDP PPP$257.884 billion (2010)
GDP (PPP) per capita$15,002
GDP (nominal)$203.323 billion (2010)
GDP (nominal) per capita$11,828
Other information
Gini52.0 (2006) (high)
HDI(+) 0.783 (2010) (high) (44th)
CurrencyPeso (CLP)
Time zoneCLT or EAST3 (UTC−4 to −6)
- Summer (DST)CLST (UTC−3 to −5)
Drives on theright
Calling code+56

     Home | Country | Chile

Chile c-enaudio=en-us-Chile.oggˈtʃɪliː,

officially the Republic of Chile ( -esreˈpuβlika ðe ˈtʃileRepChile, is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far south. Along with Ecuador, it is one of two countries in South America that do not border Brazil. The Pacific coastline of Chile is 78,563.2 kilometres. Chilean territory includes the Pacific islands of Juan Fernández, Salas y Gómez, Desventuradas and Easter Island. Chile also claims about 1250000 km2 (1.25E+12 m2) of Antarctica, although all claims are suspended under the Antarctic Treaty.

The shape of Chile is a distinctive ribbon of land 4300 km (4300000000 m2) long and on average 175 km (175000000 m2) wide. Its climate varies, ranging from the world's driest desert the Atacama in the north, through a Mediterranean climate in the centre, to a rainy temperate climate in the south. The northern desert contains great mineral wealth, principally copper. The relatively small central area dominates in terms of population and agricultural resources, and is the cultural and political center from which Chile expanded in the late 19th century, when it incorporated its northern and southern regions. Southern Chile is rich in forests and grazing lands and features a string of volcanoes and lakes. The southern coast is a labyrinth of fjords, inlets, canals, twisting peninsulas, and islands.

Prior to the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century, northern Chile was under Inca rule while the indigenous Mapuche inhabited central and southern Chile. Chile declared its independence from Spain on February 12, 1818. In the War of the Pacific (1879 83), Chile defeated Peru and Bolivia and won its current northern territory. It was not until the 1880s that the Mapuche were completely subjugated. Although relatively free of the coups and arbitrary governments that blighted South America, Chile endured the 17-year long military dictatorship (1973 1990) of Augusto Pinochet that left more than 3,000 people dead or missing.

Today, Chile is one of South America's most stable and prosperous nations and a recognized middle power. It leads Latin American nations in human development, competitiveness, income per capita, globalization, economic freedom, low perception of corruption and state of peace. It also ranks high regionally in freedom of the press and democratic development. However, it has a high economic inequality, as measured by the Gini index. In May 2010 Chile became the first South American nation to join the OECD. Chile is a founding member of both the United Nations and the Union of South American Nations.

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