Santiago, Chile Population

Population in Urban Area, now

6,831,668
  • World: 57th
  • South America: 6th
  • Chile: 1st

Population in City Area, 2020-05-28

4,837,295
  • World: 44th
  • South America: 6th
  • Chile: 1st

Santiago Urban Area Population Graph

Santiago Population Review

Founded in 1541, Santiago or Santiago de Chile is the capital of and largest city in Chile and is one of the largest cities in the Americas. It is home to 6.8 million people in the Santiago Metropolitan Region and 4.8 million in the city and is the center of Chile’s most densely populated region. It has been the country’s capital city since colonial times and the city’s architecture in the downtown core is reminiscent of several different styles, from 19th century neoclassical to art deco.

Santiago is located entirely in the country’s central valley and spans across 641 square kilometres. Much of the city is 500 to 650 meters above sea level and many stand-alone hills and the Mapocho River shape its cityscape. The Andes Mountains are also visible from several points in the city, which unfortunately contributes to the city’s pollution and smog issues. Santiago is within an hour’s drive of both the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean.

Population growth and population control

Santiago’s population has continued to grow steadily for the past 70 years. Since 1950, the city has added over 5 million residents to its population—and that’s predicted to continue. By 2035, the city’s population is predicted to surpass 7.3 million people. With 85% of the city’s population living in urban areas and the population density of the city nearing 10,000 people per square kilometre, the city confined area is beginning to be overtaxed. Concepts of population control have been introduced; however, many residents are resistant to the idea.

At risk of natural disasters

Because of the city’s precarious location on the Pacific Ring of Fire, Santiago’s residents experience a significant amount of tectonic activity. The first large earthquake recorded in the city’s history was in 1575, just 34 years after the city was founded. The 1647 earthquake absolutely devastated the city and was said to have brought every building to the ground. The 1906 and 1985 earthquakes which both caused damage in Santiago led to the development of stricter building codes to minimise future earthquake damage. This was tested in 2010, when the sixth largest earthquake ever recorded struck the city. There were 525 people killed, 13 of which were in Santiago, and 370,000 homes were damaged. However, even though the earthquake caused an estimated 15 to 30 billion US dollars in damage, the implementation of building codes lessened the intensity of the damage.

Easternmost neighborhoods in Santiago are also prone to landslides, with landslides full of debris flow a significant risk to property and human life.

Demographics of the capital city

In a 2002 census, over 67% of respondents were born in and around the Santiago Metropolitan region. This reflects the city’s generally low immigration rate, and only 2.11% of the city’s residents were born outside of Chile, with most immigrants coming from other Latin American countries such as Peru and Argentina.

Like many people in Chile and in South America, most of the population practices Catholicism. Almost 69% of the city’s population identifies as catholic, with Evangelical Protestants making up 13% of the population. About 10% of the population have no religious affiliation.

Getting around the city

As of 2006, Santiago had 979,000 motorized vehicles. This is over 37% of all the vehicles in the country. Traffic issues in the city in the early 2000s triggered the building of several highways through Santiago to ease traffic issues.

The city also has an extensive public transport system, which gained a bad reputation for too many bus-to-bus transfers and diminished coverage. While the city has altered the way its public transportation works, the bad reputation has continued to cling to the city’s modified public transport. As of 2011, the city continues to struggle with a high far evasion system and in recent years, the city has attempted to expand its cycling paths. However, they remain chronically underused.

Review Updated: November 28, 2020

Santiago Urban Area Population History

1950 1,322,000
1951 1,376,000
1952 1,433,000
1953 1,492,000
1954 1,554,000
1955 1,618,000
1956 1,684,000
1957 1,754,000
1958 1,826,000
1959 1,901,000
1960 1,980,000
1961 2,047,000
1962 2,106,000
1963 2,167,000
1964 2,229,000
1965 2,294,000
1966 2,360,000
1967 2,428,000
1968 2,498,000
1969 2,570,000
1970 2,647,000
1971 2,738,000
1972 2,833,000
1973 2,931,000
1974 3,033,000
1975 3,138,000
1976 3,247,000
1977 3,359,000
1978 3,476,000
1979 3,596,000
1980 3,721,000
1981 3,849,000
1982 3,971,000
1983 4,046,000
1984 4,123,000
1985 4,201,000
1986 4,281,000
1987 4,363,000
1988 4,446,000
1989 4,530,000
1990 4,616,000
1991 4,704,000
1992 4,795,000
1993 4,895,000
1994 4,997,000
1995 5,102,000
1996 5,209,000
1997 5,318,000
1998 5,429,000
1999 5,542,000
2000 5,658,000
2001 5,777,000
2002 5,884,000
2003 5,930,000
2004 5,978,000
2005 6,025,000
2006 6,073,000
2007 6,122,000
2008 6,171,000
2009 6,220,000
2010 6,269,000
2011 6,319,000
2012 6,370,000
2013 6,420,000
2014 6,472,000
2015 6,523,000
2016 6,575,000
2017 6,628,000
2018 6,680,000
2019 6,724,000
2020 6,767,000
2021 6,812,000

Santiago Urban Area Population Projections

2022 6,857,000
2023 6,903,000
2024 6,951,000
2025 6,999,000
2026 7,049,000
2027 7,098,000
2028 7,147,000
2029 7,196,000
2030 7,243,000
2031 7,290,000
2032 7,334,000
2033 7,378,000
2034 7,420,000
2035 7,461,000

Map of Santiago, Chile

All Biggest Cities in Chile