The majority of Chile's population is mestizo, a result of frequent intermarriage between early Spanish settlers and indigenous inhabitants. Many Chileans are also of German, Italian, Irish, British, or Yugoslav ancestry. Three small indigenous groups are still distinguishable?the Araucanians of central Chile (the largest and long the strongest group), the Changos of N Chile, and the Fuegians of Tierra del Fuego. Chile is predominantly urban, with more than a third of the total population concentrated in and around Santiago and Via Del Mar. Nearly 90% of the people are at least nominally Roman Catholic. Spanish is the country's official language.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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