Background: The three-year rule of a Marxist government was replaced in 1973 by the military dictatorship of Augusto PINOCHET, the end of which was marked by free presidential elections in 1990. The sound economic policy initiated by the Pinochet dictatorship led to unprecedented economic growth in 1991- 97 years and helped ensure the country’s smooth transition to democratic rule. Economic growth slowed down in 1998-99 but picked up again in 2000. See areacodesexplorer.com to know more about Chile History.
Location: South of South America, coast of the South Atlantic Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean, between Argentina and Peru.
Geographical coordinates: 30° 00′ S. latitude, 71° 00’W
Reference map: South America.
Area: total: 756,950 km2; land surface area: 748,800 km2; water surface area: 8,150 km2; note: includes Easter Island and Sala y Gómez Island.
Comparative area: slightly less than twice the area of the state of Montana.
Land borders: total: 6,171 km; with neighboring states: with Argentina 5,150 km, with Bolivia 861 km, with Peru 160 km.
Coastline: 6,435 km.
Maritime claims: neutral waters: 24 nautical miles; continental shelf: 200-350 nautical miles; exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles; territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: temperate; deserted in the north; Mediterranean in the central region; cool and damp in the south.
Terrain: low mountains near the coast; fertile valley in the center; Andes in the east.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m; highest point: Mount Ojos del Salado 6,880 m.
Natural resources: copper, timber, iron ore, nitrates, precious metals, molybdenum, hydropower.
Land use: arable land: 5%; cultivated land: 0%; pastures: 18%; forests and plantations: 22%; others: 55% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 12,650 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural hazards: destructive earthquakes; volcanic activity; tsunami.
Actual problems of the environment: air pollution by emissions from industrial enterprises and transport; water pollution by sewage.
International agreements on environmental protection: party to: Antarctica – Environmental Protection Protocol, Conservation of Marine Life in Antarctica, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Change, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Pollution, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling; signed but not ratified: Kyoto Protocol, Nuclear Test Ban.
Note to the section “Geography”: strategic position along the sea coast between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans (Strait of Magellan, Drake Strait); The Atacama Desert is one of the most arid regions in the world.
Population: 15,328,467 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 27.25% (male 2,135,755; female 2,041,52); 15 to 64 years old: 65.39% (male 4,993,416; female 5,029,739); over 65: 7.36% (male 467,477; female 660,528) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 1.13% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 16.8 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 5.55 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: 0 people /1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male/female; under 15: 1.05 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 0.99 male/female; over 65: 0.71 male/female; ‘4tl’ for the general population: 0.98 male/female. (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 9.36 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 75.94 years; men: 72.63 years; women: 79.42 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 2.16 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 0.19% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: 15,000 (1999 est.).
AIDS deaths: 1,000 (1999 est.).
Nationality: noun: Chilean; adjective: Chilean.
Ethnic groups: whites and descendants of whites and Indians 95%, Indians 3%, other 2%.
Believers: Catholics 89%, Protestants 11%, a small number of Jews.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 95.2%; men: 95.4%; women: 95% (1995 est.).
conventional long form: Republic of Chile;
conventional short form: Chile; local long form: Republica de Chile local short form: Chile.
State structure: republic.
Administrative divisions: 13 regions: Ai Sen del General Carlos Ibanes del Campo, Antofagasta, Araucania, Atacama, Bio Bio, Valparaiso, Coquimbo, Libertador General Bernardo O’Higgins, Los Lagos, Magallanes y de la Antarctica-Chilena, Maule, Metropolitan Region, Tarapaca; note: US does not recognize claims in Antarctica.
Independence: from September 18, 1810 (until 1810 – a colony of Spain).
National holiday: Independence Day, September 18 (1810).
Constitution: adopted September 11, 1980, entered into force March 11, 1981; amended July 30, 1989 and 1993
Legal system: based on the 1857 code of laws, derived from Spanish law and later legislation influenced by the French and Austrian legal systems; consideration of legislative acts in the Supreme Court is possible; does not accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.
Suffrage: from the age of 18, universal and compulsory.
chief of state: President Ricardo LAGOS Escobar (since 11 March 2000); note – the president is both head of state and head of government;
head of the government: President Ricardo LAGOS Escobar (since March 11, 2000); note – the president is both head of state and head of government;
government: cabinet appointed by the president; elections: the president is elected by popular vote for a six-year term; elections last held 12 December 1999, runoff 16 January 2000 (next to be held in December 2005); election results: Ricardo LAGOS Escobar elected president; percentage of votes cast: Ricardo LAGOS Escobar 51.32%, Joaquin LAVIN 48.68%.
Legislature: the bicameral National Congress consists of the Senate (48 seats, 38 members elected by popular vote and 10 appointed [all former full-term presidents become senators for life]; term of office is 8 years; half are re-elected every four years) and the Chamber of Deputies (120 seats; members are elected by popular vote for a term of 4 years); elections: Senate – last 11 December 1997 (next to be held December 2001); Chamber of Deputies – latest 11 December 1997 (next to come in December 2001); election results: Senate, distribution of votes between parties: NA; distribution of seats among parties: CPD 20 (PDC 14, PS 4, PPD 2), RN 7, UDI 10, UCCP 1, independents 10; Chamber of Deputies, distribution of votes between parties: CPD 50.55% (PDC 22.98%, PS 11.10%, PPD 12.55%, PRSD 3.13%), RN 16.78%, UDI 14.43% ;
Judiciary: Supreme Court, judges are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate from a list of candidates drawn up by the court itself, the president of the Supreme Court is elected by 21 members of the court; Constitutional Tribunal.
Political parties and leaders: Centrist Union-Center Party (UCCP) (Francisco Javier ERRAZURIZ); Christian Democratic Party (PDC) (Ricardo HORMAZABAL [Ricardo HORMAZABAL]); Party Coalition for Democracy (CPD), includes PDC, PS, PPD, PRSD; Independent Democratic Union (UDI) (Pablo LONGUEIRA); National Update (RN) (Alberto CARDEMIL); Party for Democracy (PPD) (Sergio GIRARDI); Radical Social Democratic Party (PRSD) (Anselmo SULE); Socialist Party (PS) (Ricardo NUNEZ).
Political influence groups and their leaders: revitalized student federations at all major universities; Catholic Church; The United Workers’ Center (CUT) brings together union representatives from the five largest workers’ confederations in the country.
Participation in international organizations: ARES, CCC, ECLAC, FAO, G-11, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur (associate), NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMIBH, UNMOGIP, UNTAET, UNTSO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO.
Diplomatic representation in the USA: Head of Mission: Ambassador Andres BIANCHI; office: 1140 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036; phone:  (202) 785-1746; fax: [\) (202) 887-5579; consulates general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico).
US Mission: Chief of Mission: Ambassador John O’LEARY; embassy: Avenida Andres Bello 2800, Santiago; mailing address: ARO AA 34033; phone:  (2) 232-2600; fax:  (2) 330-3710.
Description of the flag: two equal horizontal stripes of white (top) and red, a blue square in the upper left corner of the flag, the same height as the white stripe; in the center of the square is a white five-pointed star; The flag of the United States served as a model.