Chile Basic Information

By | July 21, 2022

Basic information about the territory

Chile Basic Information

Subchapters:

  • System of governance and political tendencies in the country
  • Foreign policy of the country
  • Population

The system of governance and political tendencies in the country

Republic of Chile (República de Chile), Chile for short. The territory of Chile is divided into 16 administrative regions. The capital is Santiago de Chile, which has approximately 8 million inhabitants and is also the center of the Metropolitan Region. The order of the regions, ranked geographically from north to south, is as follows: Arica y Parinacota, Tarapacá, Antofagasta, Atacama, Coquimbo, Valparaíso, Metropolitan Region of Santiago, Libertador General Bernardo O’Higgins, Maule, Ñuble, Bío-Bío, Araucanía, Los Ríos, Los Lagos, Aysén del General Carlos Ibáńez del Campo and Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica. Each region has its own governor. Chile is a presidential republic, i.e. the president is the main representative of the country, who holds the executive power in his hands, has extensive powers and is also the head of state. His term of office lasts 4 years and is directly elected. The legislative power is represented by the parliament, consisting of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. From 2018 until March of this year, Sebastián Piñera was the country’s president (for the second time), after the November triumph in the presidential elections, he was replaced by former student leader, now 36-year-old politician Gabriel Boric. The Constitution adopted in 1981, i.e. during the Pinochet regime, is still in force in the country, although it has been amended several times. As a result of violent social unrest that broke out in late 2019, in which citizens demanded better social conditions, a referendum was held in October 2020 in which Chileans voted to draft a new constitution. The new constitution is supposed to change legislative priorities by ensuring the implementation of new laws and financing a new and responsible social agenda. The new constitution is currently being drafted by a total of 155 elected members of the Constituent Assembly and will be submitted to the public for final approval after its completion. The social unrest of 2019, distrust of the Carabineros (Chile’s police) and the government, which is under attack from all sides, and the long-term low popularity of President Piñera have resulted in a strong push for a presidential campaign in recent years, which was aimed more at the left of the political spectrum . The political mood in society was finally manifested in the elections in the fall of 2021 precisely with the triumph of Gabriel Boric, who defeated the conservative right-wing candidate José Antonio Casta by a ratio of 56:44 in the second round. Check diseaseslearning to learn more about Chile political system.

Composition of the government as of 1 May 2022:

Gabriel Boric President and Prime Minister

Izkia Siches (née) Minister of the Interior

Antonia Urrejola (née) Minister of Foreign Affairs

Maya Fernández (PS) Minister of Defense

Mario Marcel (née) Minister of Finance

Giorgio Jackson (RD) Minister – Head of the Office of the President

Camila Vallejo (PC) Minister – Head of the Government Office

Nicolás Grau (CS) Minister of Economy

Jeanette Vega (nee) Minister of Social Development

Marco Ávila (RD) Minister of Education

Marcela Ríos (CS) Minister of Justice

Jeanette Jara (PC) Minister of Labor and Social Affairs

Juan Carlos García (PL) Minister of Public Works

María Begoña Yarza (née) Minister of Health

Carlos Montes (PS) Minister of Housing

Esteban Valenzuela (FRVS) Minister of Agriculture

Juan Carlos Muñoz (née) Minister of Transport

Javiera Toro (COMUNES) Minister of National Assets

Marcela Hernando (PR) Minister of Mining Industry

Claudio Huepe (CS) Minister of Energy

Maisa Rojas (deceased) Minister of the Environment

Alexandra Benado (nee) Minister of Sports

Antonia Orellana (CS) Minister for Gender Issues and Women

Julieta Brodsky (CS) Minister of Culture

Flavio Salazar (PC) Minister of Science and Technology

Foreign policy of the country

Chile is generally considered an open, tolerant and active country in the international community. He strives for good relations with countries in the LA region and in the world, where he wants to achieve respect and a good name. Check themotorcyclers for Chile defense and foreign policy.

Free and integrated markets are a priority of Chile’s foreign policy. Membership of the regional Andean community MERCOSUR and OECD, of which it has been a member since 2010, is considered important. Chile also (as one of the few countries) has a free trade agreement with the USA and an important trade partnership with China. It currently has established diplomatic relations with 171 countries of the world. It has only consular relations with neighboring Bolivia due to a dispute over access to the Pacific Ocean.

During the current mandate of President Piñera, his goal was to make Chile the most important country in at least all of Latin America and thereby strengthen the country’s importance on the international scene. PROSUR (Organization for the Progress and Development of South America) was established in 2019 at the initiative of the president, and UNASUR ceased to exist. In recent years, the Chilean president played an active role in the Lima Group, the Pacific Alliance and participated in a number of summits (ASEAN, APEC, G20, Silk Road, G7 in Biarritz as a representative of the countries of LA and the Caribbean). The cancellation of the APEC summit (in November 2019) and the move of COP25 (December 2019) to Madrid were a major disappointment for the country due to social unrest. The current situation with the pandemic is considered an impetus to improve international cooperation and strengthen free trade as a tool to solve the global economic crisis.

Population

The number of inhabitants is 19,107,216 (June 2019), the density is 25 inhabitants/km2, (one of the LA countries with the least population density).

Chile is a relatively young country. Approximately 70% of the population is under 40, 23% under 15 and only 7% over 65. 84% of the population lives in cities. The average annual increase in population is 0.93% (the last official figure comes from the 2017 census). The birth rate is 12.4/1000 inhabitants and the mortality rate is 6.1/1000 inhabitants. Demographic development in Chile is beginning to resemble other OECD member countries in its parameters. Population growth is stagnating, the average age is increasing, and the population is aging with consequent impacts on the pension system and health care.

Chileans of European origin are mostly descendants of Spaniards, Basques, Germans, Croats, English, French, Irish, Italians; indigenous population: 8% (Mapuche, Aymara), other: 2% (Palestinians, Jews). According to the latest data from the Department of Migration (DEM), 1,251,225 foreigners live in Chile, the most: Venezuelans – 288,233, Peruvians – 223,923, Haitians – 179,338, Colombians – 146,582 and Bolivians – 107,346.

In terms of religion, the Roman Catholic population (67%) predominates, with a strong influence in education and society in general, followed by Protestants (15%) and then Jewish. The official language is Spanish. In some areas, the languages ​​of the original inhabitants are spoken (the Mapudungun language in the south, Aymara in the north near the borders with Bolivia and Peru, the Rapa-Nui language on Easter Island) or the languages ​​of European immigrants (German in the south of the country, Croatian in the enclaves in the south in Punta Arenas and in the north in Antofagasta). Among other foreign languages, the most used are English, Portuguese and French.