What is “rural” Chile?
As stated in the previous section, the current definition defining rural areas in Chile would benefit from a revision. This section aims to assess the main characteristic of rural areas in Chile using alternative measures, including the OECD taxonomy, from the proposed revision and analysing data from comunas.
According to the OECD definition of rural areas (e.g. defining municipalities with less than 150 inhabitants per km2, Figure 1.20), 92% of the territory in Chile is rural and it hosted 6.21 million inhabitants in 2012, representing 36% of the national population. In comparison to OECD countries, Chile has a higher share of population living in rural regions than the OECD average (25%), and a similar share as Greece, Iceland, Mexico and the United States. The share of Chilean population living in predominantly rural regions has remained fairly stable since 1990 (35%).
Figure 1.20. Share of national population living in predominantly rural regions, 2012
Source: OECD (2013), OECD Regions at a Glance 2013, OECD Publishing, Paris,