Pursuant to the 2012 Census of Population (preliminary) found at The National Statistics Institute website, Chile has a total population of 16.57 million. There is apparently a strong interest in living in a Mediterranean climate since 8.54 million people (51.5%) live in the metropolitan areas of Santiago and the 5th and 6th regions (see metro areas 1, 2, 5, 11, 16 and 25 below), located in the center of the country. Chile’s twenty-five most populous metropolitan areas are:

1. Santiago metro area [international airport] (6.68 million, 40.3% of the total population)

Second cities: 500,000 to 1,000,000 population
2. Viña del Mar, Valparaíso, Quilpue, Con Con, Villa Alemana metro area (930,217, 5.6% of the total population), less than a two hour drive from Santiago and its airport.
3. Concepción, Talcahuano
, Chiguayante, Penco, Hualpén, San Pedro de la Paz, Tomé, Hualqui metro area  [commercial airport(787,979, 4.8% of the total population).

Third Tier: 300,000 to 500,000 population
4. La Serena, Coquimbo metro area  [commercial airport(412,586, 2.5% of the total population).

5. Rancagua, Machalí, Graneros, Olivar, Doñihue, Requínoa metro area (366,833, 2.2% of the total population), less than a two hour drive from Santiago and its airport.

6. Antofagasta  [commercial airport(346,126, 2.1% of the total population).
7. Temuco, Padre las Casas metro area [commercial airport] (339,664, 2.0% of the total population).

8. Talca, Maule, San Javier, San Clemente, Pencahue metro area (326,850, 2.0% of the total population).

Fourth Tier: 200,000 to 300,000 population
9. Puerto Montt, Puerto Varas, Llanquihue metro area [commercial airport] (282,533, 1.7% of the total population).

10. Iquique, Alto Hospicio metro area [commercial airport] (278,251, 1.7% of the total population).

11. Quillota, La Calera, Limache, La Cruz, Olmué, Nogales, Hijuelas metro “farming” area (253,933, 1.5% of the total population).
12. Curicó, Rauco, Sagrada Familia, Romeral, Teno, Molina metro “farming” area (250,309, 1.5% of the total population).

13. Chillán, Chillán Viejo, Bulnes, San Nicholas (235,501, 1.4% of the total population).
14. Arica [commercial airport] (210,920, 1.3% of the total population).
15. San Fernando, Rengo, San Vicente de Tagua Tagua, Nancagua, Malloa metro “farming” area (206,855, 1.3% of the total population).


Fifth Tier: 150,000 to 200,000 population

16. Los Andes, San Felipe, Riconada, San Esteban, Calle Larga, Santa María metro “farming” area (189,059, 1.1% of the total population).
17. Los Ángeles (187,017, 1.1% of the total population); note: the extended (35 km) agricultural/metro area includes Cabrero, Nacimiento, Yumbel, Negrete, Mulchén, Quilleco, Antuco, Quilaco and Santa Barbara (total 331,804, 2.0% of the total population, which would boost it to the third tier).

18. Copiapó, Tierra Amarilla metro area [commercial airport] (171,945, 1.0% of the total population).
19. Valdivia, Corral metro area [commercial airport] (159,175, 0.9% of the total population).
20. Osorno [commercial airport] (153,797, 0.9% of the total population); note: the extended agricultural/metro area includes Río Bueno, Río Negro, San Pablo, Purranque and La Unión (total 265,186, 1.6% of the total population, which would boost it to the fourth tier).

Sixth Tier: 100,000 to 150,000 population

21. Linares, Longaví, Villa Alegre, Yerba Buena metro “farming” area (148,873, 0.9% of the total population).

22. Calama [commercial airport] (138,109, 0.8% of the total population).

23. Ovalle, Monte Patria metro “farming” area (134,838, 0.8% of the total population).
24. Punta Arenas [commercial airport] (131,067, 0.7% of the total population).

25. San Antonio, Rocas de Santo Domingo, Cartagena metro area (114,330, 0.7% of the total population).

A metropolitan area extends approximately 30 kilometers from the center of the largest city. If this radius were larger, the Los Ángeles and Osorno metro areas would have a considerably higher ranking. Other towns like Parral/Retiro (57,911, 7th Region)Coyhaique (57,830, 11th Regioncommercial airport), Illapel/Salamanca (56,075, 4th Region), La Ligua/Cabildo (52,573, 5th Region)Vallenar (52,147, 3rd Region), San Carlos (51,247, 8th Region)Angol (50,910, 9th Region), Villarrica (50,706, 9th Region), Constitución (41,036, 7th Region), Castro (43,306, 10th Regioncommercial airport), Ancud (40,678, 10th Region), Las Cabras/Pichidegua (40,364, 6th Region) and Cauquenes (40,094, 7th Region) all have between 40,000 and 60,000 inhabitants, and would be next thirteen largest if the above ranking were continued to a seventh tier (cities between 40,000 and 100,000 people). This population map might be of interest (although the new 14th and 15th regions are not designated) as is this relief map

Other significant farming towns of the Metropolitan (13th) Region include San Bernardo (277,225), Colina (113,340), Melipilla (110,132), Lampa (79,397), Buin (78,182), Curacaví (28,167), Talagante (64,490), Peñaflor (86,052), Paine (64,113) and Padre Hurtado (50,599). For statistical purposes, the Chilean government includes each of these towns in the Santiago metro area. Thirty-five other significant farming, lumbering and fishing towns in Chile include Chimbarongo (35,394, 6th Region), Santa Cruz (35,290, 6th Region), Lautaro (34,941, 9th Region), Arauco (34,562, 8th Region)Victoria (32,890, 9th Region), Curanilahue (32,737, 8th Region)Panguipulli (32,617, 14th Region)Calbuco (32,531, 10th Region), Cañete (32,125, 8th Region), Nueva Imperial (30,807, 9th Region), Quintero (27,485, 5th Region), Freire (26,218, 9th Region), Vicuña (26,029, 4th Region)Vilcún (25,701, 9th Region), Quellón (25,496, 10th Region), Coihueco (25,147, 8th Region), Casablanca (24,955, 5th Region), Tocopilla (24,942, 2nd Region), Carahue (24,869, 9th Region), Lebu (23,787, 8th Region), San Francisco de Mostazal (23,371, 6th Region)Collipulli (23,289, 9th Region), Laja (23,140, 8th Region), Loncoche (22,960, 9th Region), Puerto Aysén (22,499, 11th Region), Pitrufquén (22,485, 9th Region), Pucón (21,923, 9th Regioncommercial airport in summer), San José de Mariquina (19,791, 14th Region), Colbún (19,096, 7th Region), Paillaco (19,033, 14th Region), Los Lagos (18,732, 14th Region), Puerto Natales (18,507, 12th Regioncommercial airport in summer), Los Vilos (18,453, 4th Region) and Coltauco (18,296, 6th Region).

The northernmost town in Chile, Visviri (15th Region), has 265 inhabitants (2002) and is nestled in a point between Perú and Bolivia. The southernmost and easternmost town in Chile (besides Antarctica), Puerto Williams (12th Region), has 1,952 inhabitants (2002) [note: easternmost runner up Cerro Sombrero (12th Region) has 687 inhabitants (2002)]. The westernmost towns in Chile (besides islands), Lebu (8th Region) and Ancud (10th Region) have 23,787 and 40,678 inhabitants respectively. Unless one counts the towns in Tierra del Fuego where the Andes range peters out, the only significant Chilean town east of the Andes mountains, Chile Chico (11th Region), has 4,608 inhabitants. Lonquimay (9th Region) has 10,366 inhabitants and is to the east of some of the Andes.


Dr. Cobin’s book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost ever topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service, where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $49. If you have problems getting the book through the Overseasradio.com site, or the SovereignMan.com site, please use the PayPal info noted below.
     Dr. Cobin’s sequel book, Expatriates to Chile: Topics for Living, adds even further depth on important topics to expatriates who either live in Chile already or who have Chile on the short list of countries where they hope to immigrate. The book deals with crucial issues pertaining to urban and rural real estate transactions, natural disasters, issues pertaining to emigration and its urgency, money and the quality of life, medical care and insurance, business opportunities, social manifestations (including welfare state and divorce policy concerns), Chile in the freedom indices, social maladies (lying, cheating, stealing and murder), as well as discussion of a few places worth visiting and some further comments about Santiago. Note: If the link to buy the book at the Overseasradio.com site or the SovereignMan.com site does not appear, just send US$39 by PayPal to jcobin@policyofliberty.net and send an email or PayPal notice that you have completed your order. A download link will be sent to you directly.
     The same website also has Dr. Cobin’s abridged book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19).
Buy Dr. Cobin’s Public Policy books at Amazon.com:
Christian Theology of Public Policy: Highlighting the American Experience (2006)
Bible and Government: Public Policy from a Christian Perspective  (2003)
A Primer on Modern Themes in Free Market Economics and Policy  (2009)