Chile, also known as the Republic of Chile, is a nation that is located in the western region of South America. It is the southernmost nation in the globe and the one that is closest to Antarctica. It occupies a long and narrow strip of territory between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean to the east and west, respectively. With a population of 17.5 million people as of 2017, Chile has a land area that spans 756,096 square kilometres (291,930 square miles). It is landlocked and has land boundaries with Peru to the north, Bolivia to the north-east, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage to the extreme south. In addition, Chile maintains jurisdiction of the islands of Juan Fernández, Isla Salas y Gómez, Desventuradas, and Easter Island, all of which are located in the Pacific Ocean. In addition, it lays claim to about 1,250,000 square kilometres (480,000 square miles) of Antarctica as part of its Chilean Antarctic Territory. Santiago is both the nation's capital and its biggest city, and Spanish is the country's official language.
The Inca Empire was supplanted by Spanish conquest and colonisation of the area in the middle of the 16th century. However, Spain was unable to subjugate the fiercely independent Mapuche people who lived in what is now south-central Chile. Chile evolved in the 1830s as a reasonably stable authoritarian republic, having declared its independence from Spain in 1818. In the 19th century, Chile saw tremendous economic and geographical expansion. It put an end to the resistance of the Mapuche people in the 1880s and gained its present northern area in the War of the Pacific (1879–83), which it won by beating Peru and Bolivia. Chile had a period of democracy, fast population expansion and urbanisation, and a growing dependence on exports from copper mining for its economy throughout the 20th century and up to the 1970s. The 1960s and 1970s were a turbulent time in American history, marked by significant political division on the left and right. This progression reached its zenith with the 1973 Chilean coup d'état, which toppled Salvador Allende's democratically elected left-wing government and imposed the right-wing military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, which resulted in the deaths or disappearances of more than 3,000 individuals. A referendum held in 1988 led to the fall of the administration in 1990, and it was followed by a coalition of the centre left, which governed until 2010.
Chile is considered a developed nation despite having a high-income economy, and it is ranked 43rd on the Human Development Index. It leads Latin America in rankings of competitiveness, per capita income, globalisation, state of peace, and economic freedom, and it is one of the most economically and socially stable countries in South America. Chile also boasts a low murder rate, which makes it the second-lowest in the Americas after Canada. Regionally speaking, Chile ranks high in terms of the state's capacity to remain stable and democratic progress. In addition to being a founding member of the United Nations, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and the Pacific Alliance, the country became a member of the OECD in the year 2010.