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Prior to the coming of the Spanish in the 16th century, northern Chile was under Inca rule while Araucanian Indians (also known as Mapuches) inhabited central and southern Chile. Although Chile declared its independence in 1810, decisive victory over the Spanish was not achieved until 1818. In the War of the Pacific (1879-83), Chile defeated Peru and Bolivia and won its present northern regions. It was not until the 1880s that the Araucanian Indians were completely subjugated.
15-64 years: 68.1% (male 5,751,091/female 5,744,014)
65 years and over: 9.6% (male 680,450/female 944,156) (2011 est.)
conventional short form: Chile
local long form: Republica de Chile
local short form: Chile
geographic coordinates: 33 27 S, 70 40 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins second Sunday in October; ends second Sunday in March
over 3,047 m: 5
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 22
914 to 1,523 m: 30
under 914 m: 24 (2012)
Chile has a market-oriented economy characterized by a high level of foreign trade. During the early 1990s, Chile’s reputation as a role model for economic reform was strengthened when the democratic government of Patricio AYLWIN – which took over from the military in 1990 – deepened the economic reform initiated by the military government. Growth in real GDP averaged 8% during 1991-97, but fell to half that level in 1998 because of tight monetary policies implemented to keep the current account deficit in check and because of lower export earnings – the latter a product of the global financial crisis. A severe drought exacerbated the recession in 1999, reducing crop yields and causing hydroelectric shortfalls and electricity rationing, and Chile experienced negative economic growth for the first time in more than 15 years.
Transnational Issues:Chile rebuffs Bolivia’s reactivated claim to restore the Atacama corridor, ceded to Chile in 1884, offering instead unrestricted but not sovereign maritime access through Chile to Bolivian gas and other commodities; Chile rejects Peru’s unilateral legislation to change its latitudinal maritime boundary with Chile to an equidistance line with a south-western axis favouring Peru; territorial claim in Antarctica (Chilean Antarctic Territory) partially overlaps Argentine and British claims; the joint boundary commission, established by Chile and Argentina in 2001, has yet to map and demarcate the delimited boundary in the inhospitable Andean Southern Ice Field (Campo de Hielo Sur).
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