Geography & Population

Chile The Chilean coast is some 2600 miles long, stretching from Lat. 18°S to Lat 55°S, almost straight down to Long. 74°W.

Due to this geography, Chile’s climate just about covers the full scope. The North is very dry and predominantly warm, without being tropical. Its main features are the Atacama Desert (which is considered to be the driest desert in the world) and its mineral resources. The Centre of the country enjoys a Mediterranean climate and is the main fruit-growing, as well as the main wine-producing, area; its other main activities are tourism and services. Towards the South, the weather becomes colder and wetter, allowing for large forest areas, which provide the material for logs, chips, woodpulp, boards, etc. It also has an extensive lake district; many lakes are used for salmon farming. In the extreme South, the weather is the worst, to the extent the trees grow at an angle and with branches only on one side. This is a region of sheep farming and, for a few years, extraction of oil.

The official language is Spanish and the currency is the Chilean Peso, the symbol of which is "$", which can cause some confusion. The population is slightly above 14 million people.

The country is defined as a Republic and its Head of State is a President. For administrative purposes, the country is divided into 12 regions running from North to South, plus the Metropolitan Region (which includes Greater Santiago). The Legal and Legislative powers are separate from the executive power.

 

 
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