Form of Government: Republic
Area: 756 096 sq km
Population: 17 574 003 inhab. (census 2017)
Density: 23.24 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 17° - 56° S; long. 76° - 66° W
Capital: Santiago (administrative capital) 6 310 000 inhab. (2017); Santiago 7 112 808 inhab. (2017), urban agglomeration; Valparaíso (legislative capital) 296 655 inhab. (2017);
Currency: Chilean peso (100 centavos)
Human development index: 0.847 (rank: 38)
President and head of government: Sebastián Piñera (National Renewal), elected 17 December 2017, in office since 11 March 2018
Chamber of Deputies: seats based on the elections of 19 November 2017: Chile Vamos (centre-right coalition), 72; The Force of the Majority (centre-left coalition), 43; Broad Front (left coalition), 20; others, 20
Internet: www.ine.cl (Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas)
Member of APEC, Mercosur associated, OAS, OECD, UN, UNASUR, WTO

Chile

Chile, República de Chile
Useful information

International license plate code RCH
International dialling code 0056
Travel vaccinations requirement none
Electricity (Voltage) 220
Driving side rigth
Internet code .cl

GMT  -4
DST  -3
DST duration (start-end) mid October (Sunday 12)-mid March (Sunday 9)

Annual average temperature (°C) Santiago 14.7; Antofagasta 16.3; Punta Arenas 6.6
Average temperature in January/July (°C) Santiago 20.5/9; Antofagasta 20/13; Punta Arenas 10.5/1.5
Daily sunshine hours in June/December (average) Santiago 4/11; Antofagasta 6/9; Punta Arenas 3/8
Annual average precipitation (mm) Santiago 355; Antofagasta 8; Punta Arenas 450
Days of rainfall (annual average) Santiago 31; Antofagasta 0; Punta Arenas 75

Politics and current affairs

On 17 December 2017, Sebastián Piñera of the centre-right coalition was elected president for a second term with 54.6% of the votes, previously filling the role from 2010 to 2014.

Geography.
Chile is bordered by Peru to the north, Bolivia to the north-east and Argentina to the east (the border follows the line of the Andes Mountain Chain). The South Pacific Ocean lies off its west coast. The country forms a long, thin strip (4300 km), with an average width of 175 km, between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean. The mountains, the highest peaks of which are Mount Aconcagua (6962 m) and Mount Ojos del Salado (6893 m), occupy about one third of the land. The main rivers are the Loa and the Biobío.
The climate varies in different parts of the country. In the north, the climate is hot and dry, in the centre the climate is Mediterranean while, in the south, there is a cold, temperate oceanic climate. Chile also owns the Desventuradas Islands (part of the Atacama region, 3.33 km², and including San Felix 1.6 km², San Ambrosio 1.5 km² and Gonzales 0.2 km²) and the Juan Fernández Islands (part of the Valparaíso region, 185 km², population 509, and including Robinson Crusoe Island, formerly Más a Tierra, 95 km², Alejandro Selkirk, formerly Más Afuera, 85 km², and Santa Clara, 5 km². Chile has also been granted sovereignty over the islands of Picton, Nueva and Lennox, in the Beagle Channel.

Government


Chile became independent from Spain on 18 September 1818. In the 1925 Constitution, Chile assumed the character of a western-style democracy. During the following decades, Chile enjoyed a certain amount of political and social stability until 11 September 1973, when the left-wing government of Salvador Allende (in power since 1970) was toppled by a coup supported by the United States.
The military junta of General Augusto Pinochet closed down Parliament, dissolved the political parties, abolished the Constitution, abolished civil liberties and proceeded to install a regime based on ruthless repression. The first signs of a return to democracy appeared in 1980, when a popular vote approved a new Constitution (which came into force on 11 March 1981 and was altered again in a referendum on 30 July 1989). On 8 October 1988, the committee governing elections rejected General Pinochet’s bid to stay in power for another eight years and at the subsequent 1989 elections the candidate for the united opposition, Christian Democrat Patricio Aylwin, was elected President of the Republic, putting an end to the long authoritarian regime.
The President of the Republic, who is elected by direct suffrage, is also head of the government.
The new Constitution, which came into force on 17 September 2005, reduced the presidential mandate from six years to four; it cannot be renewed. Legislative power lies in the hands of the National Congress, which comprises the Chamber of Deputies (155 members, elected for four years) and the Senate (43 members, who stay in office for eight years, half being renewed every four years). In 2015 an electoral reform was approved, increasing the representation of lesser parties and which will bring the number of members of the House to 150 and those of the Senate to 50. The Congress has been headquartered in Valparaíso since 1987.


Defence.
Military service is almost completely voluntary. It lasts for one year in the army and for 22 months in the navy and the air force.


Justice.
The legal system is based on Spanish Law.
Divorce became legal in Chile in 2004.

Defence
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Air force12%2015
Army58.5%2015
Justice
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Crimes489per 100 000 pop.2016
Homicides5.7per 100 000 pop.2016
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Administrative division

Administrative divisions
Cities
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Santiago6 310 000inhab.2017
Puente Alto568 106inhab.2017
Urban agglomerations
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Santiago7 112 808inhab.2017
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Population

Population by age and gender (% - 2017)
75+
60-74
45-59
30-44
15-29
0-14
MALEAGEFEMALE
Demographic statistics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Birth rate13.32016
Death rate6.12016
Ethnic groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
mestizo72%2002
white22%2002


Religions
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Catholic66.7%2012
Protestant16.4%2012


Languages
DESCRIPTION
Amerindian languages
Spanish (official)
Population by selected age groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
0-14 years20.1%2017
15-29 years23.3%2017


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Economy


Economic situation.
The economy’s growth, one of the most developed in South America, is supported above all by revenue from exports, particularly copper, which are partially stored in a sovereign fund used to finance the deficit in difficult periods. Foreign investments play a significant role. The tax burden was redistributed in order to weigh primarily on higher incomes and companies in an attempt to reduce the substantial social disparity.

Economy - General data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)113.51index2016
Balance of trade3 144M US$2017
Economy - Employment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Active population8 867 641units2017
Active population, Females41.3%2017
Economy - Unemployment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Unemployment rate6.7%2017
Unemployment rate, Females44.6%2017
Economy - State budget
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenses38 642 015M LCU2017
Revenues37 250 683M LCU2017
Employment by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture9.3%2017
industry22.7%2017
GDP by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture4.3%2016
industry31.3%2016
Financial data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Currency in circulation8 970.3BN LCU2017
International reserves38 981.5M US$2017
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Agriculture


Primary sector
Agriculture.
Most of the large commercial estates, which constitute about three-quarters of the cultivated land and produce mainly for export, lie in the centre of Chile. In the north, smallholdings predominate, based on subsistence farming (growing legumes and cereals).
The most important sectors for export are fruit and vegetables (grapes, apples, kiwifruit, pears, plums, peaches and tomatoes), sugar beet and wine, a sector where quality is constantly on the increase. Although cereal crops are very important (wheat, barley, oats, maize and rice), harvests are not enough to meet the country’s requirements.
Forests.
Forests are located in the south of the country and include several southern species of beech, including the Nothofagus obliqua and some conifers, e.g. the prized larch (Fitzroya cupressoides), as well as poplars and eucalyptus.
Livestock.
Livestock farming is practised extensively; llama and alpaca are kept on the plateaux for their highly-prized wool.
Fishing.
Fishing plays a vital role in the Chilean economy and fuels a fish oil and fish-flour industry. Anchovies, sardines, cod, mackerel and seafood are among the species fished the most. Fish farming produces salmon, sole, trout and shellfish.

Land use
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
arable land2.38%2015
forests23.85%2015
Agriculture - products - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley108.2681000 t2016
cereals, total3 872.4021000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes1 166.0241000 t2016
roots and tubers, total1 181.7391000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
artichokes11.3631000 t2016
asparagus10.7951000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry18.0231000 t2016
beans, green39.4851000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grapes2 473.5881000 t2016
raisins641000 t2006
Agriculture - products - Olive
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
olives111.4811000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
rapeseed212.0161000 t2016
soybeans01000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar beet1 646.681000 t2016
tobacco7.5611000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Flax
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
flax fibre and tow3.0951000 t2016
linseed1.3471000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Fiber plants
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
hemp tow waste4.2411000 t2016
hempseed1.5071000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples1 759.4211000 t2016
apricots8.9671000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Nuts
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
almonds31.9381000 t2016
hazelnuts16.1731000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits349.8041000 t2016
grapefruits0.9481000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Tropical fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
avocados137.3651000 t2016
papayas2.7121000 t2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley18.331000 ha2016
maize101.741000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes53.4851000 ha2016
sweet potatoes1.3741000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
artichokes1.4981000 ha2016
cabbages1.7191000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry11.1741000 ha2016
beans, green2.4751000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grape203.1271000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Olive
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
olive20.3431000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
rapeseed53.3521000 ha2016
soybeans01000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar beet17.1121000 ha2016
tobacco2.4021000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Flax
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
flax fibre and tow2.7771000 ha2016
linseed2.8091000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fiber plants
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
hemp tow waste4.4841000 ha2016
hempseed2.2151000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples36.0631000 ha2016
apricots0.8871000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Nuts
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
almonds8.1131000 ha2016
hazelnuts13.1091000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits17.8581000 ha2016
grapefruits0.2191000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Tropical fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
avocados29.9331000 ha2016
papayas0.1641000 ha2016
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Forests-Livestock-Fishing

Forestry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
timber60 676 7892016
Livestock - Cattle
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cattle4 322.6231000 heads2016
cattle and buffaloes4 322.6231000 heads2016
Livestock - Pigs
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
pigs5 409.4221000 heads2016
Livestock - Sheep
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sheep4 098.8331000 heads2016
Livestock - Goats
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
goats738.0631000 heads2016
Livestock - Equines
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
asses14.421000 heads2016
asses and mules21.1111000 heads2016
Livestock - Poultry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
birds138 2321000 heads2016
Livestock - Beekeeping
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
honey111000 t2013
Livestock - Livestock products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
butter21.8741000 t2014
cheese88.7051000 t2014
Fishing
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
crustaceans and molluscs573 728t2016
freshwater fishes915t2016
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Minerals


Secondary sector
Minerals.
The main mineral produced is copper (with deposits at El Salvador, El Teniente, Chuquicamata and Andina, which have smelting and refining plants close by). Copper-processing generates various by-products including arsenic, molybdenum, rhenium and selenium.
Other important minerals are gold (deposits at Andacollo and Marga Marga), silver (at La Serena, Taltal and Caracoles) and sulfur (on the slopes of Aucanquilcha). Molybdenum is mined at Valparaíso, Vallenar, Santiago and Coquimbo.
Iron is mined at El Laco (Antofagasta), Carmen, Las Adrianitas, Cerro Imán, Bandurrias, Boquerón-Chañar, El Algarrobo (Atacama), El Pleito, El Romeral and El Dorado (Coquimbo). Deposits of nitrates (Chile saltpetre) are found in northern Chile (at Iquique, Antofagasta, Tocopilla and Taltal). By-products of sodium nitrate include borax (at Ascotán, Chilcaya and Pedernal) and iodine.
Oil is extracted in the south of the country (at Cerro Manantiales in Tierra del Fuego). A 72-km pipeline long takes the crude oil to the port at Caleta Clarencia. Refineries are in operation at Concón, near Valparaíso, Hualpén, near Concepción, and at San Gregorio, in Patagonia. There are natural gas reserves at Pampa Larga, Punta Delgada and Chanarcillo, but most of the demand is satisfied by import. Coal is mined in the provinces of Arauco and Magallanes.
Energy and industry.
Much of the electrical energy produced in Chile comes from hydro-electric schemes (power-plants on the rivers Biobío, Melado, Raja, Rapel and near Colbún Lake). Re-gasification plants are located at Mejillones and Quintero. In particular, industrial activities are linked to the processing of the raw materials obtained from mining, farming and forestry. In addition to copper-working (at Chuquicamata, El Teniente-Caletones, Potrerillos, El Salvador, Paipote, Las Ventanas, Chagres and Antofagasta), iron and steel is important (at Huachipato, Talcahuano and Corral). The chemical industry produces caustic soda, sulfuric acid and nitrogenous fertilizers. At Calama explosives are made for the mining industry. At Santiago there are pharmaceutical plants.
One of the main segments of the economy is textiles, using Chilean wool (at Tomé, Concepción, Valparaíso and Santiago) and imported cotton. There are rayon production plants at Llolleo and Quillota. Synthetic fibres are produced at San Joaquín and Santiago. There are tanneries and footwear factories at Valdivia, Santiago, Valparaíso, Concepción and Chillán. In the food-processing segment, the most important sectors are fish, frozen meat and conserves (at Punta Arenas, Ancud, Osorno, Valparaíso, Coquimbo, Antofagasta and Iquique), as well as sugar refining (at Chillán, Curicó, Linares, Los Ángeles) and beer.
The engineering and electro-mechanical industry consists almost exclusively of vehicle assembly workshops (at Arica). The paper industry is concentrated at Santiago, Valdivia and Talca. Cigarettes, tyres and cement are also produced (near Santiago, Valparaíso, Concepción, and at San Antonio, Curicó, Puerto Montt).

Mineral resources - Energy minerals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coal2 061.81000 t2017
coal, total2 061.81000 t2017
Mineral resources - Metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
copper5 3301000 t2017
iron ore9 1481000 t2015
Mineral resources - Non-metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barite0.81000 t2007
boron5201000 t2017
Mineral resources - Rocks
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
diatomite26.21000 t2015
kaolin601000 t2015
Mineral resources - Precious metals and stones
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
gold42 501kg2015
silver1 200 000kg2017
Mineral resources - Other minerals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
arsenic101000 t2014
iodine20 000t2017
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Energy

Electric energy - Generated
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- thermal39 964.1M kWh2015
- hydro23 403M kWh2015
Electric energy - Installed capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- thermal13 1501000 kW2015
- hydro6 4981000 kW2015
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
total net generation72 332.1M kWh2015
total installed capacity21 6391000 kW2015
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Industry

Industry - Iron and Steel, Metallurgy
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coke, metall.4501000 t2015
copper2 6881000 t2015
Industry - Machinery and transport equipment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
bikes8 000no.2010
tractors298no.2008
Industry - Precision and optical instruments
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
watches and clocks3 098no.2014
Industry - Electrical and electronics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
air conditioners980no.2015
computers1 130no.2012
Industry - Petrochemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
bitumen4501000 t2006
petrol3 947.71000 t2014
Industry - Chemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
caustic soda133.21000 t2015
nitrogen fertilizers6201000 t2015
Industry - Textiles
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
carpets1 371.51000 m²2015
cotton fabrics - m7.05M m2015
Industry - Clothing and footwear
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
footwear1 734 258pairs2015
Industry - Food and beverages
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beer of barley7001000 t2014
cottonseed oil0.91000 t2014
Industry - Tobacco
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cigarettes20 141.7M units2011
cigars and cigarettes20 141.7M units2011
Industry - Paper and wood products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chemical pulp4 859.61000 t2016
chemi-mechanical pulp5 145.41000 t2016
Industry - Glass and other non-metallic mineral products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cement4 8001000 t2015
sheet glass81000 m²2015
Industry - Various
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chemicals production2 924.2M US$2013
food, beverages and tobacco production9 265M US$2013
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Trade


Tertiary sector
Foreign trade.
Chile’s main trading partners are China, the USA, Brazil, Japan, South Korea and Argentina. Chile has signed free-trade agreements with the USA, China and many other countries and international organizations, including the EU and Mercosur.


Main exports (M US$ - 2017) refined copper 17 799, copper ores 17 404, fresh and preserved fruit 6 033, fresh and preserved fish 5 585, wood pulp 2 614, timber 2 233, chemicals 2 116, wine 2 018, molybdenum 986, iron ores 983, gold and silver 932, meat 813, vehicles and parts thereof 798, machinery 673, fruit & vegetable juices and preserves 610, fertilizers 565, iron and steel 535, paper 480, plastics 461, petroleum products 445, electric and electronic equipment 412


Finance
and banking.
The Banco Central de Chile acts as Chile’s central bank. The main bank is the Banco del Estado, which is state-owned. There is a stock exchange at Santiago.

Composition of goods exports
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
ores and metals51.319% of goods exports2016
food products26.443% of goods exports2016
International trade by country - Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
China19 091M US$2017
United States9 997M US$2017
International trade by country - Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
China15 505M US$2017
United States11 742M US$2017
Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
201768 306.076M US$ -
201660 597.337M US$ -
Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
201765 162.081M US$ -
201658 829.398M US$ -
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Tourism


Tourism. The main attractions for tourists are the Andean ski resorts, its beaches, Tierra del Fuego and Easter Island.

International Tourism
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenditures2 715M US$2016
Number of arrivals5 641 000units2016
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Communications


Transport.
The most important road in Chile is the Pan-American Highway (3369 km) between Arica and Puerto Montt. The Trans-Andean Highway, which connects Chile to Argentina, is very important for trade.
The railway network is based on Santiago; four lines cross the Andes (to Argentina and Bolivia) but are little used.
The port and airport networks are highly developed.

Communication - Transport
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Civil aviation, km flown136 400 000km flown2009
Civil aviation, passengers carried17 641.11000 units2017
Communication - Media and telecommunication
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Broadband subscribers169.428per 1000 pop.2017
Computers141.1per 1000 pop.2005
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Social and welfare


Education and research.
With the approval of a law in 2013, pre-school education became mandatory and free of charge for children over 2 years, bringing the overall duration of mandatory education to 13 years.


Social security.
The social security system (which dates from 1981) provides free hospital care for all citizens over the age of 60. The pension system was privatized in 1980 and reformed in 2008 to cover more people.

Social statistics - Education
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expected years of schooling16.4years2016
Gradautes, percentage22.5%2016
Social statistics - Students and Teachers by level
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Teachers, primary level80 398units2015
Teachers, secondary level79 536units2015
Social statistics - Social protection
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Social protection spending25.5% of total expenses2016
Social protection spending11.2% of GDP2015
Social statistics - Health
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Hospital beds2.1per 1000 pop.2016
Physicians2.4per 1000 pop.2017
Social statistics - Diseases
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
HIV0.5% of adults2016
HIV, total0.1%2001
Museums
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Museums27units2014
Museums, visitors1 836 608units2014
Research
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Research and development spending0.37% of GDP2016
Other social indicators
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking92.28%2016
Access to electricity100%2016
Household consumption expenditure
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
clothing, footwear4.4%2011-13
education7.9%2011-13
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