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Updated: 2004-11-11 11:00

Republic of Chile

National flag of Chile

National name: Rep¨²blica de Chile

President: Ricardo Lagos (2000)

Area: 292,258 sq mi (756,950 sq km)

Population (2003 est.): 15,665,216 (growth rate: 1.1%); birth rate: 16.1/1000; infant mortality rate: 8.9/1000; density per sq mi: 54

Capital and largest city (2000 est.): Santiago, 5,400,000 (metro. area)

Other large cities (1996 est.): Concepci¨®n, 356,371; Vi?a del Mar, 326,448; Valpara¨ªso, 282,850; Talcahuano, 265,060; Temuco, 246,304

Monetary unit: Chilean Peso

Language: Spanish

Ethnicity/race: European and European-Indian 95%, Indian 3%, other 2%

Religions: Roman Catholic 89%, Protestant 11%, small Jewish and Muslim populations

Literacy rate: 95% (1992)

Map of Chile

Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2001 est.): $153 billion; per capita $10,000. Real growth rate: 3.1%. Inflation: 3.5%. Unemployment: 10.1%. Arable land: 2.65%. Agriculture: wheat, corn, grapes, beans, sugar beets, potatoes, fruit; beef, poultry, wool; fish; timber. Labor force: 5.9 million (2000 est.); agriculture 14%, industry 27%, services 59% (1997 est.). Industries: copper, other minerals, foodstuffs, fish processing, iron and steel, wood and wood products, transport equipment, cement, textiles. Natural resources: copper, timber, iron ore, nitrates, precious metals, molybdenum, hydropower. Exports: $18.5 billion (f.o.b., 2001): copper, fish, fruits, paper and pulp, chemicals. Imports: $18 billion (f.o.b., 2001): consumer goods, chemicals, motor vehicles, fuels, electrical machinery, heavy industrial machinery, food. Major trading partners: U.S., Japan, UK, Brazil, China, Argentina, China.

Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 2.603 million (1998); mobile cellular: 944,225 (1998). 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 Service Providers (ISPs): 7 (2000). Internet users: 1.75 million (2001).

Transportation: Railways: total: 6,702 km (2000 est.). Highways: total: 79,800 km; paved: 11,012 km; unpaved: 68,788 km (1996). Waterways: 725 km. Ports and harbors: Antofagasta, Arica, Chanaral, Coquimbo, Iquique, Puerto Montt, Punta Arenas, San Antonio, San Vicente, Talcahuano, Valparaiso. Airports: 363 (2001).

International disputes: Bolivia continues to demand a sovereign corridor to the South Pacific Ocean since the Atacama region was lost to Chile in 1884; territorial claim in Antarctica (Chilean Antarctic Territory) partially overlaps Argentine and British claims; dispute with Peru over the economic zone delimited by the maritime boundary.

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