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Ethnic groups in Chile

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Ethnic groups in Chile

Demographics of Chile
Population pyramid of Chile, 2008
Population 17,094,270 (2010)[1]
Growth rate 0.9% (2010)
Birth rate 14.7 births/1,000 population (2010)
Death rate 5.7 deaths/1,000 population (2010)
Life expectancy 77.53 years
 • male 74.26 years
 • female 80.96 years (2010)
Fertility rate 1.89 children born/woman (2010)
Infant mortality rate 7.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2010)[2]
Age structure
0-14 years 23.2% (male 1,966,017/female 1,877,963)
15-64 years 67.8% (male 5,625,963/female 5,628,146)
65-over 9.1% (male 627,746/female 875,872) (2010)
Sex ratio
Total 0.98 male(s)/female (2010)
At birth 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years 1 male(s)/female
65-over 0.72 male(s)/female
Nationality
Nationality Chilean
Major ethnic European 70%[3]
Minor ethnic Mestizo 25% and Mapuche 4%, other indigenous groups 0.6% (2002 census)
Language
Official Spanish (de facto)

This article is about the demographic features of Chile, including population density, ethnicity, economic status and other aspects of the population.

Chile's 2002 census reported a population of 15,116,435 people. Its rate of population growth has been decreasing since 1990, due to a declining birth rate.[4] By 2050 the population is expected to reach approximately 20.2 million people.[5] About 85% of the country's population lives in urban areas, with 40% living in Greater Santiago. The largest agglomerations according to the 2002 census are Greater Santiago with 5.6 million people, Greater Concepción with 861,000 and Greater Valparaíso with 824,000.[6]

Population

According to the 2010 revison of the World Population Prospects the total population was 17,114,000 in 2010, compared to only 6,082,000 in 1950. The proportion of children below the age of 15 in 2010 was 22.1%, 68.6% was between 15 and 65 years of age, while 9.3% was 65 years or older .[7]

Total population
(x 1000)
Proportion
aged 0–14
(%)
Proportion
aged 15–64
(%)
Proportion
aged 65+
(%)
1950 6 082 36.7 59.0 4.3
1955 6 768 38.1 57.4 4.5
1960 7 652 39.4 55.8 4.8
1965 8 656 40.4 54.5 5.0
1970 9 578 39.6 55.2 5.2
1975 10 419 36.9 57.7 5.4
1980 11 179 33.0 61.4 5.7
1985 12 107 30.9 63.3 5.9
1990 13 188 29.9 63.9 6.2
1995 14 409 29.6 63.7 6.6
2000 15 420 27.8 65.0 7.3
2005 16 302 24.9 67.0 8.1
2010 17 114 22.1 68.6 9.3

Ethnic structure

Main article: Chilean people

Chile is a multiethnic society In 2011, Chile had an estimated population of 17,500,000, of which approximately 9.1 million or 52.7% are of European descent, with mestizos estimated at 44%.[8] Other studies found a white majority measured at 64% to 90% of the Chilean population.[9][10][11][12] Chile's various waves of immigrants consisted Spanish, Italians, Irish, French, Greeks, Germans, English, Scots, Croats, and Palestinian arrivals.

European and, to a lesser extent, Middle Eastern emigration to Chile, chiefly during the second half of the 19th century and throughout the twentieth, was the most important in Latin America after emigrations to the Atlantic Coast of the Southern Cone (that is, to Argentina and southern Brazil).[13][14][15]

The Afro-Chilean population has always been tiny, reaching a high of 2,500 people during the colonial period; their current percentage of the population is less than 0.1%.[16] According to the 2002 Census, 4.6% of the Chilean population considered themselves indigenous.[17]

European immigration


The largest contingent of people to have arrived in post-independence Chile came from Spain and the Basque country, a region divided between northern Spain and southern France. Estimates of the number Chileans who can trace at least some descent from Basques range from 10% (1,600,000) to as high as 27% (4,500,000).[18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25]

Chile's various waves of non-Spanish immigrants include Italians, Irish, French, Greeks, Germans, English, Scots, and Croats.

In 1848 an important and substantial German immigration took place, laying the foundation for the German-Chilean community.[26][27] Sponsored by the Chilean government for the colonization of the southern region, the Germans (including German-speaking Swiss, Silesians, Alsatians and Austrians), strongly influenced the cultural and racial composition of the southern provinces of Chile. It is difficult to count the number of descendants of Germans in Chile, given the great amount of time. Because many areas of southern Chile were sparsely populated, the traces of German immigration that are quite noticeable. But the Consulate of Chile in Germany estimated that between 500,000 to 600,000 Chileans of German descent.[28]

Other historically significant immigrant groups included Croats, whose descendants today are estimated at 380,000 persons, or 2.4% of the Chilean population[29][30] Some authors claim that close to 4.6% of the Chilean population must have some Croatian ancestry.[31] Over 700,000 Chileans (4.5% of the Chilean population) may have British (English, Scottish or Welsh) forebears.[32] Chileans of Greek descent are estimated to number between 90,000 and 120,000;[33] most live in or near either Santiago or Antofagasta, and Chile is one of the five countries in the world most populated with descendants of Greeks.[34] The descendants of Swiss immigrants add 90,000,[35] and it is estimated that about 5% of the Chilean population has some French ancestry.[36] Between 600.000 to 800.000 Chileans descend from Italian immigrants. Other groups of Europeans have followed but are found in smaller numbers, as the descendants of Austrians[37] and Dutchmen it is currently estimated at about 50,000.[38][39] Altogether, these immigrants with their descendants, they have transformed the country culturally, economically and politically.

Indigenous communities

The 1907 census reported 101,118 Indians, or 3.1% of the total country population. Only those that practiced their native culture or spoke their native language were considered, irrespective of their "racial purity."[40]

According to the 2002 census, only indigenous people that still practiced a native culture or spoke a native language were surveyed, and 4.6% of the population (692,192 people) fit that description. Of that 4.6%, 87.3% declared themselves Mapuche.[41] Most of the indigenous population show varying degrees of mixed ancestry.[17]

Chile is one of the twenty-two countries to have signed and ratified the only binding international law concerning indigenous peoples, Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989.[42] It was adopted in 1989 as the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 169. Chile ratified the convention in 2008. In November 2009, a court decision in Chile, considered to be a landmark ruling in indigenous rights concerns, made use of the ILO convention 169. The Supreme Court decision on Aymara water rights upholds rulings by both the Pozo Almonte tribunal and the Iquique Court of Appeals, and marks the first judicial application of ILO Convention 169 in Chile.[43]

Those belonging to recognised indigenous communities (2002)
Alacaluf 2,622 0.02% Mapuche 604,349 4.00%
Atacameño 21,015 0.14% Quechua 6,175 0.04%
Aymara 48,501 0.32% Rapanui 4,647 0.03%
Colla 3,198 0.02% Yámana 1,685 0.01%

Other ethnic groups

It is estimated that about 5% of the population (800,000) is descendant of Asian immigrants, chiefly from the Middle East (i.e. Palestinians, Syrians, Lebanese and Middle East Armenians, see Arab Chileans).[44][45] (This may include Israelis, both Jewish and non-Jewish citizens of the nation of Israel.) Chile is also home to a large population of immigrants, mostly Christian, from the Levant.[46] Roughly 500,000 Palestinian descendants are believed to reside in Chile.[47][48][49][50][51][52]

In recent years, Chile has had a growing East Asian population, mainly from China (see Chinese Chilean), but also from Japan (see Japanese Chilean) and South Korea (see Koreans in Chile). The earliest wave of East Asian immigration took place in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, mainly Chinese and Japanese contract laborers.

Chile administers Easter Island a territory 4,100 km west of the mainland. The Rapa Nui people are native to the island and are Polynesian in origin. About 3,500 live on the island,[53] but around 10,000 came to the mainland in the 20th century.[54]

There is a sizable population of Roma people in Chile. They are widely and easily recognized, and continue to hold on to their traditions and language, and many continue to live semi-nomadic lifestyles traveling from city to city and living in small tented communities.

Recent immigration

Main article: Immigration to Chile

Since the reestablishment of democracy in Chile, the former tendency for emigrants from the country to outnumber immigrants to it has reversed. Chile now is one of the two countries in Latin American with a positive migration rate.[55]

Today, the principal immigrant groups correspond to the countries bordering Chile. Argentines constitute the largest group, followed by Peruvians. One of the main factors contributing to such immigration has been the growth of the Chilean economy during the past few decades. Immigration from other Latin American countries has also occurred.

According to the 2012 report of the International Organization for Migration, more than 50,000 people from the United States have emigrated to Chile. Most of these arrived in Chile initially to work for multinational corporations. Most possess professional degrees, and most are well situated economically.[56]

Languages

Main article: Languages of Chile

The Spanish spoken in Chile is distinctively accented and quite unlike that of neighbouring South American countries because final syllables and "s" sounds are dropped, and some consonants have a soft pronunciation. Accent varies only very slightly from north to south; more noticeable are the small differences in accent based on social class or whether one lives in the city or the country. That the Chilean population was largely formed in a small section at the center of the country and then migrated in modest numbers to the north and south helps explain this relative lack of differentiation, which was maintained by the national reach of radio, and now television, which also helps to diffuse and homogenize colloquial expressions.[57]

There are several indigenous languages spoken in Chile: Mapudungun, Quechua, Aymara and Rapa Nui. After the Spanish invasion, Spanish took over as the lingua franca and the indigenous languages have become minority languages, with some now extinct or close to extinction.[58]

German is spoken to a great extent in southern Chile,[59] either in small countryside pockets or as a second language among the communities of larger cities.

Through initiatives such as the English Opens Doors program, the government made English mandatory for students in fifth-grade and above in public schools. Most private schools in Chile start teaching English from kindergarten.[60] Common English words have been absorbed and appropriated into everyday Spanish speech.[61] Since 2010, all students from 3rd grade in secondary school have been tested on listening and reading comprehension for English language. The evaluation is compulsory and the instrument is TOIEC Bridge, developed by Educational Testing Service.

Religion

Main article: Religion in Chile
Religious background in Chile
Religion Percent
Roman Catholic
  
69.9%
Protestant
  
15.1%
None
  
8.3%
Other
  
4.4%
Mormon
  
3.3%
Jehovah Witness
  
1.0%

In the most recent census (2002), 70 percent of the population over age 14 identified as Roman Catholic and 15.1 percent as evangelical. In the census, the term "evangelical" referred to all non-Catholic Christian churches with the exception of the Orthodox Church (Greek, Persian, Serbian, Ukrainian, and Armenian), the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), Seventh-day Adventists, and Jehovah's Witnesses. Approximately 90 percent of evangelicals are Pentecostal. Wesleyan, Lutheran, Reformed Evangelical, Presbyterian, Anglican, Episcopalian, Baptist and Methodist churches are also present.[62] Non-religious people, atheists and agnostics, account for around 8% of the population.

Vital statistics

Official statistics[63]

Average population (x 1000) Live births Deaths Natural change Crude birth rate (per 1000) Crude death rate (per 1000) Natural change (per 1000) Total fertility rate
1985 12 047 261 978 73 534 188 444 21.7 6.1 15.6
1986 12 248 272 997 72 209 200 788 22.3 5.9 16.4
1987 12 454 279 762 70 559 209 203 22.5 5.7 16.8
1988 12 667 296 581 74 435 222 146 23.4 5.9 17.5
1989 12 883 303 798 75 453 228 345 23.6 5.9 17.7
1990 13 179 307 522 78 434 229 118 23.3 6.0 17.3
1991 13 422 299 456 74 862 224 594 22.3 5.6 16.7
1992 13 665 293 787 74 090 219 697 21.5 5.4 16.1 2.36
1993 13 908 290 438 76 261 214 177 20.9 5.5 15.4 2.32
1994 14 152 288 175 75 445 212 730 20.4 5.3 15.1 2.28
1995 14 395 279 928 78 517 201 411 19.4 5.5 13.9 2.20
1996 14 596 278 729 79 123 199 606 19.1 5.4 13.7 2.18
1997 14 796 273 641 78 472 195 169 18.5 5.3 13.2 2.13
1998 14 997 270 637 80 257 190 380 18.0 5.4 12.6 2.10
1999 15 197 263 867 81 984 181 883 17.4 5.4 12.0 2.04
2000 15 398 261 993 78 814 183 179 17.0 5.1 11.9 2.00
2001 15 572 259 069 81 871 177 198 16.6 5.3 11.3 1.98
2002 15 746 251 559 81 080 170 479 16.0 5.1 10.9 1.92
2003 15 919 246 827 83 672 163 155 15.5 5.3 10.2 1.87
2004 16 093 242 476 86 138 156 338 15.1 5.4 9.7 1.83
2005 16 267 242 980 86 102 156 878 14.9 5.3 9.6 1.82
2006 16 433 243 561 85 639 157 922 14.8 5.2 9.6 1.81
2007 16 598 242 054 93 000 149 054 14.6 5.6 9.0 1.87
2008 16 763 248 366 90 168 158 198 14.8 5.4 9.4 1.90
2009 16 929 253 584 91 965 161 619 15.0 5.4 9.6 1.92
2010 17 094 251 199 97 930 153 269 14.7 5.7 9.0 1,89
2011 17 2481

1This estimate and those of previous years were made before the 2012 census results were known.

United Nations estimates

The Population Departement of the United Nations prepared the following estimates. [7]

Period Live births
per year
Deaths
per year
Natural change
per year
CBR* CDR* NC* TFR* IMR* Life expectancy
total
Life expectancy
males
Life expectancy
females
1950-1955 232 000 87 000 145 000 36.1 13.5 22.6 4.95 120 54.9 52.9 56.8
1955-1960 280 000 96 000 184 000 38.9 13.2 25.6 5.49 118 56.2 53.8 58.7
1960-1965 307 000 99 000 208 000 37.7 12.2 25.4 5.44 109 58.1 55.3 61.0
1965-1970 285 000 94 000 191 000 31.3 10.3 20.9 4.44 89 60.8 57.7 63.9
1970-1975 273 000 88 000 185 000 27.3 8.8 18.4 3.63 69 63.7 60.6 67.0
1975-1980 248 000 79 000 169 000 22.9 7.4 15.6 2.80 45 67.4 64.0 70.8
1980-1985 272 000 74 000 198 000 23.3 6.4 17.0 2.67 24 70.9 67.4 74.4
1985-1990 298 000 74 000 224 000 23.6 5.9 17.7 2.65 18 72.8 69.6 76.0
1990-1995 301 000 76 000 225 000 21.9 5.5 16.4 2.55 14 74.5 71.5 77.4
1995-2000 269 000 79 000 190 000 18.0 5.3 12.7 2.21 12 75.9 72.8 78.9
2000-2005 249 000 80 000 169 000 15.7 5.0 10.7 2.00 8 77.9 74.8 80.9
2005-2010 251 000 90 000 161 000 14.7 5.3 9.4 1.90 7 78.6 75.5 81.7
* CBR = crude birth rate (per 1000); CDR = crude death rate (per 1000); NC = natural change (per 1000); IMR = infant mortality rate per 1000 births; TFR = total fertility rate (number of children per woman)

2012 Census

According to the Chilean census held in 2012, the population of Chile was 16,634,603.[64]

The methodology used for the census was questioned by advisors to the National Statistics Institute (INE), however, which led to an investigation and the resignation of its director, Francisco Labbé, in April 2013. At the same time, the Chilean government ruled out doing the census over again.[64][65]

Largest cities

This list includes conurbations and cities with over 150,000 inhabitants. Information is from the 2002 census. (Note: The population given is limited to the city area and is not the population in the whole commune.)[66]

Graphs and maps

References

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