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indicator value unit
Population 18.7 mil.
Visitors per year 3.6 mil.
Renewable energy 24.1 %

How’s Life?

Chile has made tremendous progress over the last decade in terms of improving the quality of life of its citizens. Since the 1990s, the country has seen a track record of robust growth and poverty reduction. Notwithstanding, relative to other countries in the Better Life Index, Chile  underperforms the average in income, jobs, education, environmental quality, social connections, civic engagement, safety and life satisfaction. These assessments are based on available selected data.

Money, while it cannot buy happiness, is an important means to achieving higher living standards. In Chile, the average household net-adjusted disposable income per capita is USD much less than the OECD average of USD 30 490 a year.

In terms of employment, about 56% of people aged 15 to 64 in Chile have a paid job, below the OECD employment average of 66%. Some 65% of men are in paid work, compared with 47% of women. In Chile, 8% of employees work very long hours in paid work, below the OECD average of 10%, with 10% of men working very long hours in paid work compared with 5% of women.

Good education and skills are important requisites for finding a job. In Chile, 67% of adults aged 25-64 have completed upper secondary education, lower than the OECD average of 79%. Completion varies slightly between men and women: 67% of men have successfully completed high school compared with 68% of women. In terms of the quality of the education system, the average student scored 438 in reading literacy, maths and science in the OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). This score is lower than the OECD average of 488. On average in Chile, girls outperformed boys by 3 points, below the average OECD gap of 5 points.

In terms of health, life expectancy at birth in Chile is around 81 years, the same as the OECD average. Life expectancy for women is 83 years, compared with 78 for men. The level of atmospheric PM2.5 – tiny air pollutant particles small enough to enter and cause damage to the lungs – is 23.4 micrograms per cubic meter, above the OECD average of 14 micrograms per cubic meter. In Chile, 62% of people say they are satisfied with the quality of their water, much lower than the OECD average of 84%.

Concerning the public sphere, there is a moderate sense of community and moderate levels of civic participation in Chile, where 88% of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need, less than the OECD average of 91%. Voter turnout, a measure of citizens' participation in the political process, was 47% during recent elections, much lower than the OECD average of 69%. Social and economic status can affect voting rates; voter turnout for the top 20% of the population is an estimated 56% and for the bottom 20% it is an estimated 45%.

When asked to rate their general satisfaction with life on a scale from 0 to 10, Chileans gave it a 6.2 grade on average, lower than the OECD average of 6.7.


For more information on estimates and years of reference, see FAQ section and BLI database.




OECD in Action

OECD Economic Surveys: Chile

OECD’s periodic surveys of the Chilean economy. Each edition surveys the major challenges faced by the country, evaluates the short-term outlook, and makes specific policy recommendations. Special chapters take a more detailed look at specific challenges. Extensive statistical information is included in charts and graphs.

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Chile in Detail