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Chile, Population

Compared with other South American countries, Chile has a population that is relatively homogeneous. The early Spanish settlers intermarried with the Native Americans, notably the Araucanian. Mestizos, persons of mixed Spanish and Native American ancestry, constitute 93 percent of the current population. European immigration has not been as important in Chile as in other countries of the Americas; immigration was only mildly encouraged in the 19th century. German immigrants have, however, been an important influence in the Valdivia-Puerto Montt area. Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Britain, the former Yugoslavia, and France have also made significant contributions to the population. Today less than 2 percent of the country’s population is of unmixed European stock. Only 3 percent of the population is pure Native American, mainly Araucanians who are concentrated in the southern region.

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