Low coastal mountains; fertile central valley; rugged Andes in east
Temperate; desert in north; Mediterranean in central region; cool and damp in south
Population: 17,216,945 (July 2013 est.)
Languages: Spanish 99.5% (official), English 10.2%, indigenous 1% (includes Mapudungun, Aymara, Quechua, Rapa Nui), other 2.3%, unspecified 0.2%
Roman Catholic 66.7%, Evangelical or Protestant 16.4%, Jehovah’s Witnesses 1%, other 3.4%, none 11.5%, unspecified 1.1% (2012 est.)
Chile has a market-oriented economy characterized by a high level of foreign trade and a reputation for strong financial institutions and sound policy that have given it the strongest sovereign bond rating in South America. Exports of goods and services account for approximately one-third of GDP, with commodities making up some three-quarters of total exports. Copper alone provides 19% of government revenue.
Many families in Chile's wealthy landowning class own ranches. Often they will also have a summer home in the Valparaíso-Viña del Mar coastal resort area. Poor city dwellers (pobladores) live in crowded shantytowns, especially in Santiago. They often live in a type of squatter's home made from any material at hand, such as zinc and bits of wood and brick.
US Military Presence/Support