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Area: 756,945 sq. km. (302,778 sq. mi.); nearly twice the size of California.
Cities: Capital--Santiago (metropolitan area est. 6 million). Other cities--Concepcion-Talcahuano (840,000), Vina del Mar-Valparaiso (800,000), Antofagasta (245,000), Temuco (230,000).
Terrain: Desert in north; fertile central valley; volcanoes and lakes toward the south, giving way to rugged and complex coastline; Andes Mountains on the eastern border.
Climate: Arid in north, Mediterranean in the central portion, cool and damp in south.

Nationality: Noun and adjective--Chilean(s).
Population (2003): 15.1 million.
Annual population growth rate: 1.2%.
Ethnic groups: Spanish-Native-American (mestizo), European, Native-American.
Religions: Roman Catholic 69.9%; Protestant 15%.
Language: Spanish.
Education: Years compulsory--12. Attendance--3 million. Adult literacy rate--95.8%.
Health: Infant mortality rate--8.9/1,000. Life expectancy--79 yrs.
Work force (6.0 million); employed 5.5 million: Community, social and individual services--26%; industry--14.4%; commerce--17.6%; agriculture, forestry, and fishing--13.9%; construction--7.1%; financial services--7.5%; transportation and communication--8.0%; electricity, gas and water--0.5%; mining--1.2%.

Type: Republic.
Independence: September 18, 1810.
Constitution: Promulgated September 11, 1980; effective March 11, 1981; amended in 1989, 1993, and 1997.
Branches: Executive--president. Legislative--bicameral legislature. Judicial--Constitutional Tribunal, Supreme Court, court of appeals, military courts.
Administrative subdivisions: 12 numbered regions, plus Santiago metropolitan region, administered by appointed "intendentes," regions are divided into provinces, administered by appointed governors; provinces are divided into municipalities administered by elected mayors.
Political parties: Major parties are grouped into two large coalitions: 1) the center-left "Concertacion", which includes the Christian Democrat Party, the Socialist Party, the Party for Democracy, and the Radical Social Democratic Party; and 2) the center-right "Alliance for Chile", which includes the National Renewal Party and the Independent Democratic Union. The Communist Party joined the Humanistic Party and a number of smaller parties to form the "Together We Can" coalition in 2004, but none of these leftist parties have recently elected congressional representatives.
Suffrage: Universal at 18, including foreigners legally resident for more than 5 years.

Economy (2004)
GDP: $94.1 billion.
Annual real growth rate: 6.1%.
Per capita GDP: $6,000.
Forestry, agriculture, and fisheries (6% of GDP): Products--wheat, potatoes, corn, sugar beets, onions, beans, fruits, livestock, fish.
Commerce (8% of GDP): Sales, restaurants, hotels.
Manufacturing (17% of GDP): Types--mineral refining, metal manufacturing, food processing, fish processing, paper and wood products, finished textiles.
Electricity, gas, and water: 3% of GDP.
Transportation and communication: 7% of GDP.
Construction: 8% of GDP.
Financial services (12% of GDP): Insurance, leasing, consulting.
Mining (13% of GDP): Copper, iron ore, nitrates, precious metals, and molybdenum.
Trade: Exports--$32 billion: copper, fishmeal, fruits, wood products, paper products, fish, wine. Major markets--U.S. 17.3%, EU 23.9%, Japan 11.7%, China 10%, Korea 5.5%, Mexico 4%, Brazil 4.2%. Imports--$23 billion: consumer goods, chemicals, motor vehicles, fuels, electrical machinery, heavy industrial machinery, food. Major suppliers--EU 16.3%, Argentina 16%, U.S. 14.6%, Brazil 10.9%, China 7.6%, Korea 3.8%, Japan 3.1 %.

Adapted from material published in the CIA World Factbook.
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