Chile's populationThe population of Chile is estimated to be around 19.46 million, as of 2020. Its population growth rate has been increasing over the last few years in spite of a declining fertility rate which is below the replacement level. The country is predominantly urban with almost all of its population living in urban areas, making it one of the most urbanized nations in the world. The largest of Chile’s urban areas in terms of population is Santiago, which is also the county’s capital.
The burden of inequality and copper dependencyWhile Chile's economy has been historically strong, GDP decreased slightly between 2014 and 2016, and again in 2020, due to falling growth rates. Around the same time, other economic indicators showed a decline, even if only slightly. Chile produces far more than copper than any other nation, but production faltered a bit in 2016 and 2017. From 2014 through 2016, the inflation rate rose more than usual, and after returning to normal, it is it is projected to grow again the foreseeable future.
Chile’s trade balance is quite unstable; it was in the red in 2012 and 2013, as well as in 2015, but in 2016, it returned to a surplus once again. China and the United States are Chile’s most important trade partners for both imports and exports. Services generate the largest share of the economy, followed by industry, while a small share pertains to agriculture. The distribution of employment by economic sector almost mirrors that of the distribution of GDP, except a larger share of employment comes from the agricultural sector accompanied by a considerable reduction in employment in the industrial sector. GDP per capita was estimated at 12,993 U.S. dollars in 2020 and is expected to increase over the next few years.
Chile was ranked as the Latin American country with the 11th biggest inequality in income based on the Gini index in 2018. In order to remain a stable and prosperous nation, this problem needs to be addressed. Additionally, diversifying its economic base beyond copper could also help stabilize the economy further, even though Chile is the world's largest producer now.