The Library of Congress holds thousands of collection materials about and from Chile. Curated by librarians in the Hispanic Reading Room, this guide is part of a series of Country Guides that provide quick references for countries and regions from the Luso-Hispanic world. The Hispanic Reading Room is the Library’s portal to the Caribbean, Latin America, Spain and Portugal; the indigenous cultures of those areas; and peoples throughout the world historically influenced by Luso-Hispanic heritage, including Latinos in the U.S. This guide offers links to diverse resources on Chile from across the Library, including digitized primary sources, selected books and periodicals, online databases, as well as tips for searching. For specific questions or assistance using the Library’s resources, use the Ask a Librarian service to contact a reference librarian.
Official name: Republic of Chile
Capitol: Santiago (The National Congress of Chile is located in Valparaíso.)
Date of Independence: September 18, 1810
Head of State/Government: President Miguel Juan Sebastián Piñera Echenique / Constitutional republic
Population: 18.05 million people (2017): 88.9% white and mestizo, 9.1% Mapuche, 0.7% Aymara, 1% other indigenous groups, 0.3% unspecified.
Languages: Spanish is the official language. Mapuche is spoken by between 240,000 and 700,000 people in parts of southern Chile and western Argentina. Aymara is spoken by approximately 100,000 people in Chile.
States: Chile is divided into 16 regions: Arica y Parinacota, Tarapacá, Antofogasta, Atacama, Coiquimbo, Valparaíso, Santiago, O'Higgins, Maule, Ñuble, Biobío, Araucanía, Los Ríos, Los Lagos, Aysén, and Magallanes. Easter Island and the uninhabited Isla Sala y Gomez in the South Pacific are under Chilean control, as are Robin Crusoe Island, San Ambrosio Island, San Felix Island, and the Juan Fernández Islands.