Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Demographics of Chile
Around 95% of Chileans descend from early Spanish colonists, and although the majority possess Native American ancestry in varying degrees - thus deeming them mestizos - very few Chileans would admit their Native American admixture. People of relatively unmixed Spanish ancestry are not uncommon.
Native Americans number around 700,000 and are mostly Mapuche that reside in the south-central area of the country. Aymara and Quechua populations live along the northern border with Peru and Bolivia. There are also some people of Polynesian ancestry who are indigenous to the Chilean territory of Easter Island (Rapanui) in the Pacific.
Chileans descended from non-Spanish European nationalities are not too numerous, but include a small yet influential number of Irish and English immigrants that arrived in Chile during the Spanish colonial period. Government-sponsored immigration from Germany began in 1848, and in time, changed the cultural makeup of the southern provinces of Valdivia, Llanquihue , and Osorno, which still show a strong German influence. Other historically significant immigrant groups include people of Italian, Croatian, French, and Middle Eastern backgrounds.
In the last decade there has been an influx of Koreans who settled in small sections of Santiago. In recent years, the difficult economic situtation in neighbouring Peru has resulted in work-related trans-Andean migration to Chile.
Chile's population distribution is about 85% urban, with 40% of these living in the greater Santiago de Chile area. The relatively small Central Valley, where Santiago is situated, dominates Chile in terms of population, agricultural resources, and political power. The Central Valley represents Chile's historical center from which it expanded during the late 19th century, integrating the northern and southern regions into its sphere of influence.
Population: 15,116,435 (2002 census)
0-14 years: 28% (male 2,137,826; female 2,044,546)
15-64 years: 65% (male 4,919,060; female 4,958,030)
65 years and over: 7% (male 453,234; female 641,101) (2000 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.17% (2000 est.)
Birth rate: 17.19 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)
Death rate: 5.52 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2000 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 9.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 75.74 years
male: 72.43 years
female: 79.22 years (2000 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.2 children born/woman (2000 est.)
Ethnic groups: white and white-Amerindian 95%, Amerindian 3%, other 2%
Religions: Roman Catholic 70%, Protestant 15%, None 8%, Other 4%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1%, Mormon 1%, Jewish, Muslim and Orthodox < 1%
Languages: Spanish, Mapudungun, Aimara, Rapanui
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95.2%
female: 95% (1995 est.)
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