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This map does not reflect a position by UNICEF on the legal status of any country or territory or the delimitation of any frontiers.

Although Chile enjoys a growing economy, spending on social programmes that might benefit children has not kept pace. The inequities between the richest and poorest segments of society are a central topic of public debate.

Issues facing children in Chile

  • Good immunization coverage and widely available health care has resulted in low infant mortality rates.
  • Overall school enrolment has made dramatic gains since 1990, but disadvantaged children do not receive the same quality of education enjoyed by middle-income and wealthy children.

Activities and results for children

  • A new program known as ‘Chile Crece Contigo’ (‘Chile Grows with You’) offers aid in education, maternity care, and health services for all children, emphasizing free access to day care centres and pre-schools for the poor.
  • UNICEF and the Ministry of Health have launched a programme to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS.
  • With UNICEF support, the national poverty-reduction programme is helping families with young children develop their parenting skills.  
  • Posters and leaflets in every Chilean health-care centre promote the importance of breastfeeding.
  • In 2005, UNICEF launched an intensive three-year pilot project to improve learning achievements in 20 schools located in Conchali municipality, a low-income area of Santiago.   
  • The Ministry of Education has partnered with UNICEF in an effort to return 1,300 vulnerable children to school. Most of these students dropped out due to extreme poverty.
  • Family involvement in schools is being strongly encouraged. New school councils have been established in almost every school throughout Chile.
  • Approved after two years of advocacy from UNICEF, the new Law on Criminal Liability of Adolescents establishes greater protections for children whose rights have been violated.  
  • UNICEF supported training for the judges and judicial staff assigned to new Family Tribunals, which will handle family issues such as divorce, custody, alimony and domestic violence. In addition, 300 police officers were trained to more effectively handle cases of child abuse, domestic violence and sexual exploitation. 
  • Seventeen new Rights Protection Offices were opened in 2005 to advocate for children at the local level.



Basic Indicators

Under-5 mortality rank


Under-5 mortality rate (U5MR), 1990


Under-5 mortality rate (U5MR), 2012


U5MR by sex 2012, male


U5MR by sex 2012, female


Infant mortality rate (under 1), 1990


Infant mortality rate (under 1), 2012


Neonatal mortality rate 2012


Total population (thousands) 2012


Annual no. of births (thousands) 2012


Annual no. of under-5 deaths (thousands) 2012


GNI per capita (US$) 2012


Life expectancy at birth (years) 2012


Total adult literacy rate (%) 2008-2012*


Primary school net enrolment ratio (%) 2008-2011*


Definitions and data sources [popup]

Source: The State of the World's Children

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