Chile Population, Main Cities and Geography

By | January 27, 2023

Chile: population and cities



According to Countryaah website, Chile has around 18 million residents.

Population density

If you take a closer look at the population density of Chile, you will find that a large part of the Chileans live in the greater Santiago de Chile area. 6.5 million people have settled in the capital, which corresponds to about 1/3 of all Chileans.

If you move south or north in the country, you will notice that the population density continues to decrease. This is due, among other things, to the desert areas in the north and the rougher areas of the south, which are plagued by storms, which make life and work considerably more difficult.


The Chilean population is characterized by a high degree of homogeneity. The Chileans with European ancestry and the mestizos make up around 90% of the population. The rest – about 10% is made up of the indigenous population.

This is divided into 93% Mapuche, 5% Aymara and 2% Rapanui. There are around 600,000 Germans and people of German origin in the country.


There is no state religion in the country, but Chile is very strongly Catholic, in which the separation of state and church was not made until 1925. The influence of the church on the legal system, social life, culture and the media has remained quite strong.

In addition to about 70% Catholics (see Christianity) there are 15% Protestants, about 1% Jehovah’s Witnesses, 0.1% Mormons and some Jews in Chile. About 8.5% say they are agnostic. Many of Chile’s natives are also professing Indian shamanism.

National languages Even if Spanish is the official language in Chile, every visitor who is used to school Spanish will quickly notice that a strong dialect is used in Chile, which pulls the individual words together and thus makes it difficult to understand when the respective words start and when they end.

English alone will not get you very far in the country, because the language is only taught in a few selected (private) schools. In the south of Chile, with a bit of luck, you can certainly encounter the German language.

Furthermore, indigenous languages such as Mapudungun, Aymara and Rapanui are common in the country.

Capital and other cities

The capital of Chile is Santiago de Chile where around 6.5 million people live. Santiago de Chile is the center of Chile in many ways: geographically, demographically, politically, economically and culturally. The capital of Chile is located in the middle of the long country, about 100 kilometers from the Pacific Ocean at the foot of the Andes. More than a third of the Chilean population lives in the city. This is where the political power, the most important companies, the big banks and the country’s stock exchange are located. According to Abbreviation Finder, CHL stands for Chile in English. Click to see other meanings of this 3-letter acronym.

Other larger or important cities are:

Concepción with around 350,000 residents

Viña del Mar with around 322,000 residents

Valparaiso with around 282,000 residents

Talcahuano with around 291,000 residents

Teniuco with around 240,000 residents

Chile: geography, map

Chile is located in western South America. It is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, Peru to the north, and Bolivia and Argentina to the east. The country extends over a length of around 4,330 km and an average width of around 200 km in north-south direction. Check topmbadirectory for politics, flags, famous people, animals and plants of Chile.


Area and national borders

Chile covers an area of 756,626 km². Thereof:

  • ForestAround 22% of the country is forested.
  • Meadow/pasture landAround 14% of the land is used as meadow or pasture land.
  • Arable land and fieldsAround 7% of the land is used as arable land or fields.
  • DesertThe north of the country is one of the driest areas on earth, and there is often no precipitation here for years. The desert that is certainly very well known is the Atacama Desert.

Chile shares a border with the following three countries:

  • Argentina with a length of the border of around 5,150 km
  • Bolivia with a length of the border of around 860 km
  • Peru with a length of the border of around 160 km.


Chile has a coastline on the Pacific Ocean with a length of around 6,435 km.

Longitude and latitude

Chile extends over the following geographical latitude (abbreviation Δφ) and geographical longitude (abbreviation Δλ):

Δφ = from 17 ° 15 ‘S to 56 ° S Δλ = from 67 ° W to 76 ° W

You can find detailed information on this subject under Longitude and Latitude.

Legal time

For Chile, the following value applies to Central European Time (CET), i.e. the time (without summer time). A minus sign means that it is earlier there and a plus sign that it is later than CET.

Δt (CET) = – 5 h

Further and detailed explanations of the time can be found under Time zones, time.

The highest point of the sun in Santiago

Santiago, the capital of Chile, lies at a southern latitude of around φ = 33.5 °. If the sun is at the tropic, i.e. at δ = -23.5 °, summer starts in Chile, this is December 21st. Then, for the highest position of the sun at noon, according to Eq. 1 (see position of the sun).

– 33.5 ° = – (90 ° – h) + -23.5 °


H = 80 °

The highest level the sun reaches during a year is on December 21st and is 80 °. It should be noted that, unlike in Europe, for example, the sun moves from east to north to west. At noon, the sun in Santiago de Chile is therefore always in the north.


Ojos del Salado

The highest mountain in the country is the inactive volcano Ojos del Salado with a height of 6,863 m. In total there are around 3,000 volcanoes in the country, of which around 80 are more or less active.

Other high mountains are:

  • The Cerro Hudson, also known as Volcán Hudson, is an active stratovolcano 1,905 m high. During the last eruption from August to October 1991 approx. 7.6 km³ of volcanic ash rock was thrown into the air, and parts of the glaciers melted so that a huge mudslide poured into the valleys. No people were harmed because the residents were evacuated beforehand. The ash spread over large areas from Chile, Argentina to the Falkland Islands. In addition, the Chilean cities of Chile Chico and Puerto Ingeniero Ibáñez were covered with a large amount of ash. The volcano is located around 65 km north-northwest of Lake General Carrera in Patagonia.
  • The volcano Llullaillaco with a height of 6,740 m – it is the third highest volcano in the world after Monte Pissis in Argentina and Ojos del Salado – and is located on the border between Chile and Argentina,
  • The Parinacota volcano with a height of 6,348 m
  • The Tupungato volcano on the border between Chile and Argentina with an altitude of 5,550 m
  • The inactive Licancabur volcano on the border between Chile and Bolivia with a height of 5,916 m.
  • The Puyehue-Cordón Caulle is a volcanic complex in the southern Chilean Andes with a height of 2,235 m. The volcanic complex is located in the Región de Los Ríos – in the Puyehue National Park. It is located at a latitude of 40 ° 35`. The complex consists of the Puyehue volcanoes, the Cordón Caulle – a mountain with eruption fissures – and the Carrán-Los Venados group. On June 4, 2011, there was a serious outbreak that even obstructed air traffic in Australia. For example, around 600 truckloads of volcanic ash had to be removed from the Argentine airport of San Carlos de Bariloches – in the province of Río Negro.


The rivers of Chile are relatively short, mostly originating in the glaciers of the Andes and flowing into the Pacific.

Rio Lao

The longest river in the country is the Rio Lao with a length of around 445 km.

Other rivers in the country are:

  • the Rio Bio Bio with a length of around 380 km
  • the Rio Maipo with a length of around 250 km
  • the Rio Maule with a length of around 240 km
  • the Rio Elqui with a length of around 170 km
  • the Río Copiapó with a length of around 160 km
  • the Rio Aconcagua with a length of around 145 km
  • the Rio Imperial with a length of around 50 km.


Lago General Carrera

The largest lake in Chile is Lago General Carrera. The elongated lake covers an area of 970 km² over Chile and 881 km² over Argentina in Patagonia. Its maximum depth is around 590 m. In Chile the lake is called Lago General Carrera and in Argentina Lago Buenos Aires. The eroded marble coast surrounds much of the lake, with the most impressive spots in Chile. The glacial ice and the water of the lake have created many spectacular marble caves that can be visited. Other larger lakes are:

  • Lago Llanquihue with an area of around 860 km²
  • Lago Ranco with an area of around 400 km²
  • Lago Rupanco with an area of around 223 km²
  • Lago Villarica with an area of around 176 km²
  • Lago Puyehue with an area of around 156 km²
  • Lago Calafquén with an area of around 120 km²


The following islands are in front of the country or belong to the state elsewhere:

the Juan Fernández archipelago with an area of around 90 km²; the largest of this group of islands is Isla Robinson Crusoe with an area of around 47 km²

Isla Sala y Gómez with an area of only 0.15 km²

Islas de los Desventuradas with an area of around 4 km²

the Easter Island in the South Pacific about 3,000 km away from Chile – km² with an area of approximately 165 and 2,000 residents – are among Chile.

Cape Horn

On the island of Isla Hornos off the island of Tierra del Fuego with an area of around 11 km² is Cape Horn , the southernmost point of Chile. There are numerous true and half-true seafaring stories about Cape Horn. Cape Horn is considered to be one of the stormiest and most dangerous passages on earth. It is estimated that over time more than 1,000 ships with over 10,000 seafarers who were killed in the process, broke up there. Until the completion of the Panama Canal in 1914, all ships had to circumnavigate Cape Horn to get from the Atlantic to the Pacific and vice versa

The Pacific

The elongated country of Chile borders in the west on the Pacific, the largest and deepest ocean in the world (also known as the Pacific, Stiller or Great Ocean). It stretches between the Arctic, North, Central and South America as well as the Antarctic, Australia, Oceania and Asia. It has a gigantic area of 166.24 million km² (excluding secondary seas) or 181.5 million km² with its secondary seas and thus covers about 35% of the entire surface of the earth. Its total water content is around 714.5 million km³.

Chile Population