Chile Population 2012
The last official census took place in Chile back in 2002. A a further nationwide survey is to be held in 2012 but as the official results won’t be available for a while, we have to rely on the 2002 and any subsequent estimates to establish the current population of Chile.
At the 2002 census, it was confirmed that there were 15,116,435 people living in South America’s longest and thinnest country. It was suggested at the time that the population of Chile was in severe decline due to an alarming fall in the birth rate. However, that suggestion is at odds with the latest estimate from the Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas (Chile’s National Statistics Institute), which claimed that Chile’s population in 2011 had grown to 17,248,450.
If the latest estimate is true, then Chile is now the 60th most populous country in the world (and the 6th largest country by population in South America).
Largest cities in Chile
The only city in Chile with a population of over 1 million people is its capital, Santiago. The Santiago Metropolis had a population of 5,428,590 at the time of the 2002 census. Other major cities in Chile include Greater Concepcion (pop: 803,683) and Greater Valparaiso (pop: 666,381).
However some harsh geography, typified by the Andes mountain range, means that Chile is a relatively sparsely populated country. For every square kilometre of land there is an average of 23 people (59 per square mile), which makes Chile only 152nd most densely populated country on earth (out of 192 countries).
In 2010, figures were released in relation to the birth and death rates within Chile. They pointed to an overall natural growth figure of 0.856%. This figure was calculated using statistics of 14.46 births per 1000 of the population and 5.9 deaths per 1000.
This is still growth in every sense of the word but it is considerably diminished in comparison to increases recorded in the past.
The decline in population growth is also caused to some extent by a relatively high life expectancy in Chile compared to the rest of the world. The overall expectancy is 77.53 years and this is divided between male (74.26 years) and female (80.96 years).
As far as demographics are concerned, based on the 2011 estimate of a Chile population of around 17.25 million, 52.7% were of European descent, while mestizos were estimated at 44%. The remainder were made up from Afro Chilean and other, smaller ethnic groups.
Population growth may be slowing but Chile continues to see growth nevertheless. It is estimated that by 2050, there will be 20.2 million people here and as far as the Chile population in 2012 is concerned, it is likely to be around the 17.5 million mark.