Four out of five Chileans live in cities along the coast. The countryside has seen large exodus of residents looking for a better opportunities in the cities. Most people migrate to Santiago but there are not enough jobs or places to live. They settle around the city and many families live in crowded areas called callampas or mushrooms, here they build small shacks where there is no electricity of running water.
According to Chile’s National Statistics Institute (INE) 40% of the population live in or around the capital Santiago. Santiago is the fifth largest city in South America, it has a population of 7.5 million and is facing most of the problems that megalopolis have. The gap between the rich and the poor is wider in the capital.
Chile’s second largest city is Valparaiso with a population of 803,683 inhabitants. Valparaiso is the country’s second most important seaport in terms of volume and an emergent cultural center in South America.