Chile Fast Facts

Chile

Population: 17,216,945

Capital City: Santiago

Climate: Temperate; desert in north; Mediterranean in central region; cool and damp in south

Time Zone: GMT -4

Language: Spanish (official)

Modern and efficient, Chile boasts dramatic mountain peaks, sparkling lakes, and abundant wildlife. It has great skiing in the winter and lush alpine valleys in the summer. Chains of islands and charming fishing villages lend character to the south, while wide expanses of desert dominate the north. Its clean cities offer a First-World infrastructure, and the government is one of the best-organized and most stable in the region.

Chile has the lowest level of corruption in Latin America, as well as the strongest economy, highest standard of living, and lowest level of poverty. You can drink water from any tap in the country, and it has modern telephone and cell service, high speed Internet, and cable television. The primary and secondary roads are well-maintained from one end of the country to the other.

And Chile is especially well-suited to North Americans and Europeans, partly due to its clean and honest culture, but also because its seasons are reversed from those in the northern hemisphere; so expats with a second home in Chile can enjoy their favorite seasons twice a year.

Some Interesting Facts About Chile

Location: Chile is in the southern part of South America, between Argentina and Peru. It borders the South Pacific Ocean, and has a small stretch of coastline along the Atlantic Ocean.

Area: 291,932 square miles (756,102 square kilometers). Slightly smaller than twice the size of Montana.

Population: 17,650,114

Capital: Santiago

Geography: From north to south, Chile’s geography and landscape changes dramatically. The northern region is dominated by the Atacama Desert, the world’s driest desert. As you move further south, temperatures cool and land becomes more fertile. The very south of the country is home to fjords and snow-capped mountains.

Climate: Chile has a diverse climate throughout the country. The desert areas of the north are hot and dry; a Mediterranean style climate can be found in the central region; and the southern region is cool and damp.

Currency: The legal currency of Chile is the Chilean Peso (CLP). $1 = 662 CLP (January 2017).

Government: Chile operates under a Representative Democratic Republic.

Head of State and Government: President Michelle Bachelet (since 11 March 2014). The President is directly elected by a majority vote. A presidential term lasts for four years. Perpetual non-consecutive re-election is permitted.

Language: Spanish is the official language of Chile, while Mapudungun, German, and English can also be heard in some parts of the country.

Religions: The majority of the population identify as Roman Catholic (66.7%), followed by Evangelical or Protestant (16.4%), and Jehovah’s Witnesses (1%). Other religions account for 3.4%, while 11.5% of people don’t follow any religion, and 1.1% of people are unspecified.

Time Zone: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time).

International Country Code: +56

Internet Country Code: .cl

Life Expectancy at Birth: 78.8 years (Male = 75.7, Female = 81.9)

Exports: $56.32 billion

Imports: $56.86 billion

Gross Domestic Product (Purchasing Power Parity): $436.1 billion

GDP per Capita: $24,000

Cost of Living in Chile

You can enjoy a low cost of living in Chile. Below is a summary of monthly costs by an expat in Santiago:

ItemU.S. $
Rent$423
Building Fees$95
Electricity$53
Food$95
Staples$80
Alcohol$75
Lunches x 2$75
Dinner$20
Transportation$10
Miscellaneous$70
Monthly total:$939

When you retire to Chile you’ll appreciate the diversity of the country

Retirement in Chile offers you just about everything. Chile is one of the safest, most politically stable countries in South America, with a well-established middle-class, good medical facilities and a well-developed infrastructure.

When you retire to Chile you’ll appreciate the diversity of the country. Watch the penguins play on the glacial fields in the south, head for the sandy beaches along the coast, go to the ski fields high in the Andes or visit the driest desert in the world in the north.

While the country as a whole has a lot to offer, Chile’s coast is one of the most overlooked and undervalued on the planet. From the white-sand beaches of La Serena to the black sands of Pichilemu, you’ll find rocky cliffs, jewel-like coves, wide beaches, world-class surfing, and great places to live. Coastal Chile boasts a diversity and beauty reminiscent of the California shoreline, but without the high property prices.

Expats who live in Chile enjoy a very high standard of living

It’s hard to imagine a country with more to offer than Chile. And when you live in Chile, you’ll enjoy a modern and efficient country which boasts dramatic mountain peaks, sparkling lakes, and abundant wildlife. It has great skiing in the winter and lush alpine valleys in the summer. Chains of islands and charming fishing villages lend character to the south, while wide expanses of desert dominate the north. Its clean cities offer a First-World infrastructure, and the government is one of the best-organized and most stable in the region.

Chile has the lowest level of corruption in Latin America, as well as the strongest economy, highest standard of living, and lowest level of poverty. The primary and secondary roads are well-maintained from one end of the country to the other.

North Americans and Europeans like living in Chile, partly due to its clean and honest culture, but also because its seasons are reversed from those in the northern hemisphere; so expats with a second home in Chile can enjoy their favorite seasons twice a year.

From the Archives of Chile Articles

Falling in Love…With Your Perfect Retirement Haven

Falling in Love…With Your Perfect Retirement Haven

A good friend emailed me the other day to say he was disappointed in me. He’d just visited a Latin American city and had fallen in love with it. He went on for several paragraphs about how it reminded him, not only of one of his favorite mountain towns in Italy, but also of one of the Paris neighborhoods he loves the best.

A Lightweight Laptop and an Income on the Road

A Lightweight Laptop and an Income on the Road

As you walk the narrow streets of Cusco, Peru’s San Blas neighborhood you are touching history. A stone wall might be of Incan origin…or built by the Spanish after the conquest. Old colonial homes are now restaurants, bars, shops, and hotels. Hip college kids texting friends with the latest smartphone walk side-by-side with indigenous women garbed in brightly-colored traditional dress. For South African Idelette Aucamp, it’s just the latest stop on her journey through Latin America. So far, she has spent three months in Colombia and a stretch in Bolivia…traversed the Atacama Desert with a friend…traveled throughout Chile…hitchhiked all the way to Patagonia…and headed into Argentina.

Sunset on the Andes…and an Enriching Overseas Life

Sunset on the Andes…and an Enriching Overseas Life

Living overseas has its benefits…even if you’re not ready to retire yet.The daily commute becomes a cycle to work along a beach path in Portugal…marking essays is not so tedious while sipping mango juice in a bustling cafe in Brazil…the weekly shop for groceries is spiced up immeasurably by a trip to Mercado Central in La Vega, Santiago.

Santiago, Chile: A Cosmopolitan Latin American City

Santiago, Chile: A Cosmopolitan Latin American City

Daily Postcard
By |
August 27, 2014

Cosmopolitan, indeed—as well as comfortable and convenient. In Santiago you’ll find modern skyscrapers, including the tallest building in Latin America. There’s a sleek and efficient subway system. Popular cuisine from around the world is paired with fine Chilean wines in the city’s many upscale restaurants. And opera, ballet, Broadway hits, great museums, and dozens of galleries abound.

Making Pizza in Valparaíso, Chile

Making Pizza in Valparaíso, Chile

When Edward Shelton worked as a journalist, he had no idea how to make a pizza. In fact, it was the furthest thing from his mind in the years when he lived between London and New York. Today, he owns and operates a pizza restaurant and B&B in the coastal Chilean city of Valparaíso, known for its hills, colorful homes, and bohemian vibe.

Getting Paid to Take a Trip of a Lifetime…

Getting Paid to Take a Trip of a Lifetime…

Pucón is wedged between a beautiful lake and a spectacular volcano. Its extreme location combined with its stable weather, have helped make it Chile's adventure tourism capital. Water skiing...snow skiing...backpacking...white water rafting...kayaking...horseback riding...zip line rides...natural hot springs...if it involves excitement and the outdoors, it happens in Pucón.

Video of Puerto Varas: Chile’s Lake Region

Video of Puerto Varas: Chile’s Lake Region

Travel
By |
May 24, 2012

International Living editor Glynna Prentice is in Puerto Varas, a resort town in Chile’s Lake District. Puerto Varas is a popular summer vacation region for Chileans (January and February). Right on the shores of Lake Llanquihue, Puerto Varas looks out on the lake and, beyond it, on two snow-capped volcanoes. The town is about 550 miles south of Santiago and is just half an hour from Puerto Montt, the jumping-off point for Chilean Patagonia.

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