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Chile is a republic whose territory extends to the west and southwest of South America; bordered on the north by Peru, on the east by Bolivia and Argentina, and on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean, with a total area of 756,626 km2. From north to south it has an approximate length of 4,300 km and a width whose average is 177 km, so, it is essentially an elongate state, but it also possesses a series of archipelagos and isolated islands such as the Juan Fernández Islands and the Desventuradas Islands which are close to the pacific coast of the continental portion of Chile, and  Salas y Gómez Island and Easter Island, both situated in the Polynesian region. Chile also possesses a historical sovereignty in the Antarctic, between the 53º and the 90º of West length. Its capital and main city is Santiago, with a population of 4.628.320 inhabitants. In the case of Chile, the country is in the third stage of the demographic transition, that is, the death rate has decreased, but the crude birth has not decreased enough to stabilize the demographic line. The population pyramid reflects the aging process of the country. Over the last 30 years there has been a gradual but persistent increase in the number of adults, as well as a decrease in the number of young people. The crude birth rate is 15.0 per thousand and the crude mortality rate is 5.4 per thousand with a natural population growth of 9.6 per thousand. Then, Chile´s population pyramid no longer corresponds to that of a young country (expansive pyramid) as it was in 1960, to become a pyramid in transition towards an adult country (stable pyramid). Many human made causes have provoked this transition. One of them has been the improvement in the Chilean economy which, along with the improvement of the education, civil organization and planning, and other factors, has provoked the decrease in the crude death rate. Also the implementation of mechanisms to responses, interactions, and feedbacks by the country based upon A-M-P possibilities to eliminate, reduce, or offset undesirables outcomes, not only during geological natural hazards, so common in the country, but also during other natural or human made threats, has helped to reduce the crude death rate. On the other hand, the increase of the standard of living of the population, the education, and the improvement in the personal economy planning; have brought about the decreased in the crude birth rate. During the second half of the 19th century and the first of the 20th, European and Middle Eastern immigration, along with that of the Atlantic coasts of the Southern Cone, was the most significant in Latin America. According to the 2002 census, the number of foreigners living in Chile amounted to 184,664, that is, 1.2% of the total population. On the other hand, although emigration has declined during the last years, in 2005 it was determined that 487 174 Chileans resided outside Chile (about 3% of the total population of the country in that year). Therefore, the net migration rate (immigrant-emigrants) is negative, which means that more people leave the country than those who come to reside in it. Within the country, the mobility of the population has increased during the last decades causing a massive migration from the countryside to the great cities of the country. This is caused, as explained below in this paper, by the shift in the Chilean economy, from an economy of the primary sector, which basically focuses on the extraction of resources directly from the land (typical in preindustrial societies) to a secondary sector economy (industrial societies) which transforms raw materials into manufactured goods and even, at some levels, to a tertiary sector economy (post industrial societies) which is based in services, scientific development, etc.

Tag(s) : #Geography, #Chile, #South America, #Santiago, #economy, #hazards
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