Oficial name : Republic of Chile

Location : Chile is located on the extreme southwestern coast of South America. It is bound by the Pacific Ocean to the west, Argentina to the east, Bolivia to the northeast and Peru to the northwest.

Area : Chile is a long and narrow country 4,200 km long (2620 miles) and 250 km wide in average. Its surface area represents 756.945 square kilometers (291,930 sq miles).

Territory : Politically, Chile is divided in 15 regions, including the Antarctic territory, plus the metropolitan region headed by the capital, Santiago. The country exercises sovereignty over a number of islands off the coast, including the Juan Fernández Islands and Easter Island.

Climate : Chile has a variety of climatic conditions ranging from subtropical to temperate and near polar due to its extension from north to south. Chile can be divided into three climatic zones, the north which includes the Atacama Desert which is characterized by arid and dry conditions. The central region of Chile which has a Mediterranean climate with mild wet winters and long dry summers and the south which is cold and wet with prevailing winds of gale intensity. Rainfall increases from almost nothing in the Atacama Desert in the north to 2.820 mm in the south. See the weather in Chile, other.

Government : Chile has a democratic government, with elections held every four years to select the President (the principal figure of the Executive Branch), senators and representatives, and members of Congress and the Legislative Branch.

Population: According to the World Bank, Chile has a population of 16,970,265 distributed throughout a nation that celebrated 200 years of Independence in September 2010. The Chileans of the 21st century are the product of a blending of European heritage beginning with the Spanish conquistadors and the area's native peoples. About 93.4% of the population is mestizo, while 6.6% identify as members of the original peoples. Most of the blend is a result of the Spanish and European immigration that took place during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. The Mapuche and Aymara peoples were the area's original inhabitants.

Concentrated in the country's central regions – which are home to the cities of Santiago, Concepción, Temuco and Valparaiso/Viña del Mar. Link to the Chilean government

People : The principal ethnic majority are the Mestizos who account for 90% of the population and are of mixed European and AmerIndian roots. Whites account for 2% of the population while AmerIndians account for 8% (mostly Mapuche or Araucanians, but also 0.5 % Aymara and 0,2% Rapa nui).

Chileans' most distinctive physical attributes are brown skin tones, medium heights (1.6 meters for women, 1.7 meters for men), black hair and medium to thick builds.

Language : The official language of Chile is Spanish. However, there is an idiomatic tendency to "Chileanize" the language, creating new words and usages. Other languages spoken in Chile include Mapudungún (the language of the Mapuches), Aymara (in the northern Andean region of the country) and Rapa Nui (on the Polynesian locale of Easter Island).

Literacy : Chileans have an average of 10 years of education, and the country's illiteracy rate is one of the lowest on the continent (3.9%). 

Religion: According to the 2002 census, 7,853,428 of Chileans (or 69.96%) aged 15 or older identify as Catholic. According to the same source, 15.14% of Chileans identify as members of Evangelical Christian groups, 1.06% as Jehovah's Witnesses, 0.92% as Mormons and 0.13% as Jewish. Meanwhile, 8.3% identify as atheist or agnostic, and 4.39% identify as belonging to another religion.

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