Chile (officially the Republic of Chile) is a country in South America that is located between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Here are some interesting facts about Chile.
- Chile borders three different countries; Argentina to the east, Bolivia to the northeast and Peru to the north
- Chile has an unusual ribbon shape. It is 4300 km long and just 175 km wide (on average)
- Forests, grazing land, volcanoes and lakes are all features of southern Chile.
- Chile had to endure a 17 year military dictatorship between 1973-1990 that left more than 3000 people either dead or missing
- It is believed that Native Americans settled in Chile about 10,000 years ago. They settled along the coast as the most fertile land was found there
- Michelle Bachelet Jeria was the first woman president ever in Chile and was elected in January 2006.
- Chile is the world’s 38th largest country. It is about twice the size of Japan
- The population of Chile is expected to be about 20.2 million by 2050
- About 10% of the Chilean population consider themselves indigenous to the region. However, according to the 2002 census, only about half of these people still speak a native language or practice a native culture
- There are an estimated 840,000 Chileans living abroad. More than half of these live in Argentina. 2% of these live in my home country, Australia.
- The most popular sport in Chile is football (soccer to Australians and Americans). The Chilean football team won a bronze medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Tennis is the second most popular sport in Chile, with Fernando González the last Chilean to reach a Grand Slam singles final.
- The two gold medals won by Chile in the Olympic Games come from tennis. They have also won six silver medals (in athletics, equestrian, boxing and shooting) and four bronze medals (in tennis, boxing and football).
- Tourism is growing very quickly in Chile. In 2005, tourism generated more than $US4.5 billion.
- The main language spoken in Chile is Spanish, but there are also many indigenous languages that are spoken by a minority of Chileans.
- Catholicism is the main religion is Chile.
Hope you enjoyed these interesting facts about Chile!