Since the late 1980s, the country's economic prosperity and sociopolitical stability have attracted an increasing number of immigrants from Korea and from other Latin American countries (largely from Peru, Argentina, and Cuba). The official language of Chile is Spanish ( castellano as Chileans call it), which is spoken by practically all the country's inhabitants.
On Chiloé Island also in the south, a distinct chilote culture emerged over the centuries from a relatively harmonious blending of Indian and Spanish backgrounds; this culture is characterized by rich traditions of music, dance, and mythological tales.Some two thousand miles off the coast of Chile lies the remote Eastern Island, which is inhabited by twenty-eight hundred native islanders who still keep alive many of their Polynesian cultural traditions.Almost six million people live in the metropolitan region of Santiago, while the northern and southern regions are sparsely populated.Most Chileans (84 percent) reside in urban areas, while the rest live in an increasingly urbanized rural environment.In the northern provinces near Bolivia, Aymará Indians have been able to preserve many aspects of their Andean culture.
In the southern region the Mapuche Indians are a large cultural group who strongly contributed to the formation of Chilean culture.
Chile is administratively divided in twelve regions (subdivided in thirty-one provinces) and a metropolitan region that includes the capital city. Chile has a population of 15,017,800 inhabitants (from a June 1999 estimate) with an annual growth rate of 1.8 percent.
The national population density is 46.5 persons per square mile.
Since the late nineteenth century, Chilean culture has also been nurtured by the arrival of a large group of immigrants, mainly Germans, British, French, Italians, Croatians, Palestinians, and Jews.
Today they fill leading positions in academic and cultural circles as well as within the country's political leadership.
This is in dramatic contrast with the country's average width, which does not exceed 221 miles (356 kilometers).