The Regions of Chile

Santiago is one of several regions in Chile.
Santiago is one of several regions in Chile.
  • Chile's regional division has changed throughout its history, and it is now composed of 15 administrative regions.
  • Regions are further divided into provinces, and these provinces are then divided into communes and municipalities.
  • The Santiago Metropolitan Region is the largest region by population.

Chile declared its sovereignty on February 12, 1818, and since then, it has changed its administrative divisions a few times. Chile's territorial division possesses the features of a unitary state. State administration is both geographically and functionally decentralized as appropriate for every authority as spelled out in the law. Chile's territory has been broken down into 15 regions and subsequently into provinces and communes.

Regions Of Chile


Chile's administrative divisions were introduced in 1974 and limited to only 13 regions. This limitation was done away with in 2005 through constitutional reform. Previously, the Republic was made up of 25 provinces which were broken down into departments and then communes. The new administrative structure took effect in phases, and some initial regions began to operate in 1974. The project was extended on January 1, 1976, to the rest of the regions. The Santiago Metropolitan Region commenced its formal operations in April 1980. The XV Arica and Parinacota Region were founded in December 2006 after the two northernmost provinces of the Tarapacá Region were merged. The Los Rios Region was unveiled in the same period by dividing the Los Lagos Region. The two regions began operating in October 2007.


Every region is assigned a Roman numeral followed by its name. When the regional organization was introduced, Roman numerals were given in ascending format from north to south. The northernmost region was thus noted as I while the southernmost was XII (twelfth). The Santiago Metropolitan Region, situated in Central Chile has not given a Roman numeral but rather the initials RM representing Región Metropolitana or Metropolitan Region. The metropolitan region has Chile's capital Santiago. The north-south Roman numeral organization was broken in 2007 with the founding of XV in the north and XIV in the south.


The Santiago Metropolitan Region has the largest population of all other parts at 7,009,092. It is Chile's lone landlocked administrative region, and it is recognized as the nation's administrative and commercial hub. VIII Biobío region has a population of 2,042,044, and its capital is Concepción. The region's provinces are Ñuble, Bío Bío, Arauco, and Concepción. V Valparaíso Region boasts a population of 1,790,460 settled in an area of 6,331 square miles. It is the second most densely populated Chilean region. The region's capital is Valparaíso. The VII Maule Region has a population of 1,017,965, and it is named after the Maule River. Its capital is Talca. The IX Araucanía Region has a population of 968,430 and two provinces namely Cautín and Malleco. Its capital is Temuco. The O'Higgins Region features three provinces, and it has a population of 899,261. The X Los Lagos Region has four provinces namely Palena, Osorno, Chiloé, and Llanquihue. The region's population is 844,187, and its capital is Puerto Montt. The IV Coquimbo Region has a population of 738,492, and its capital is La Serena. The Antofagasta and Los Ríos regions have populations of 562,488 and 367, 984 respectively. Other areas of chile and their population are Arica and Parinacota (171,569); Tarapacá (315,445); Atacama (277,540); Aisén (101,368); Magallanes (149,894).

Provinces And Communes

The regions of Chile are further divided into provinces headed by a governor. The governor receives information from the regional attendant who oversees the regions. The provinces have numerous communes, each of which is administered by the municipality. Chile has 346 communes and a further 345 municipalities.

Regions of Chile

1Arica and Parinacota171,569
12Los Ríos367,984
13Los Lagos844,187

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