According to itypetravel, the Indian population of Chile, before the European conquest, was mainly represented by Araucans; in the southernmost lands lived the Chono and the Fuegians (ona, alakaluf), fishermen peoples who were distinguished from the essentially agricultural Araucans. The resistance that the Araucans opposed to the conquistadors it was paid dearly; in subsequent clashes they were almost entirely destroyed and, later, confined towards the south, beyond the Biobío, which for a long time remained, for the Chileans, a sort of impassable frontier. But contacts with Europeans were pernicious for the Indian survivors: alcoholism and disease decimated them. Before this time, the communities presumably numbered between 600,000 and one million indigenous people. Hardly any trace remains of the Fuegians; of the Araucans only small minorities survive. The population is now essentially made up of mestizos (89.7%), while the Amerindians are 10.1% (mainly Araucanians). The first permanent European settlement was Santiago (1541), which formed the basis for the occupation of the whole middle section of the country; also in the following centuries this part of Chile was the most populated and the best structured. The largest and most unified organization in the country, from Peru to Tierra del Fuego, began to take shape at the beginning of the last century; however, the population was still scarce at the time and began to increase after independence: in 1835 the census registered one million residents, which became 2.7 at the end of the century.
With the imposition of the great exodus from Europe, Chile was also reached in the first decades of this century by emigrants from several countries, attracted by the variety of environmental conditions (for which, for example, Germans and Scandinavians formed colonies especially in the central-southern and southern section, the Italians in the central Mediterranean lands): in 1930 the population was already 4.4 million residents. Subsequently, immigration was gradually decreasing; the natural increase rapidly brought the Chilean population to over 15 million residents in 2002. Following the coup that led to the fall of President Allende and during the long period of the dictatorship, tens of thousands of Chileans were leaving the country – a total of 200,000 people. At the same time the united nations high commissioner for refugees (Following the coup that led to the fall of President Allende and during the long period of the dictatorship, tens of thousands of Chileans – a total of 200,000 people – were leaving the country. At the same time the united nations high commissioner for refugees (Following the coup that led to the fall of President Allende and during the long period of the dictatorship, tens of thousands of Chileans – a total of 200,000 people – were leaving the country. At the same time the united nations high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR) had to intervene in favor of the more than 2,000 people who had obtained refugee status in Chile in the years immediately preceding the coup. Despite the re-establishment of the political situation, in the second half of the 1990s, refugees and asylum seekers of Chilean nationality were still over ten thousand a year, received mainly in Canada and in various countries of the European Union, which dropped to around one thousand only in the new Millennium. Annual population growth has undergone a continuous decline and settled at 1.1% in the period 2000-2005, halving compared to the period 1960-1970; the progressive decrease in mortality and birth rates is due to a change in the structure of society and an improvement in living conditions.
The indigenous population has always claimed the right to settle in traditional rural areas; in the nineteenth century, having reached independence, the colonists attempted to exterminate the original residents and then resolved to confine them to well-defined territories. These reserves were further reduced in extent during the Pinochet dictatorship, when more than 200,000 hectares of forest were taken away from the Mapuche, located south of the Biobío River, with a view to exploiting timber and water resources. The situation, even after the normalization of political life, remains in the balance between the pressures of businesses and large landowners on the one hand and the needs of the natives on the other. In 1993, with the establishment of a special government commission, the case of these minorities acquired a certain relevance: the proposal to introduce other languages (Mapuche, Aymará, etc.) in the educational program of schools was approved, while a ruling by the Court Supreme of Justice recognized the Huilliche the right to use state-owned land against a landowner who intended to exploit it for commercial purposes. However, at the turn of the new millennium, street demonstrations by indigenous communities, especially in the lands of the South, were severely repressed and even serious clashes took place between the police and demonstrators, who were imprisoned and tried as terrorists. International organizations denounce continuous episodes of discrimination against the members of these communities and the failure to recognize their rights in the Constitutional Charter.