Chile has one of the highest average incomes in the world, and the nation’s GDP is about 4 times the size of the US, according to a new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
The EIU’s latest study, Chile: A Case Study, examines the country’s wealth, poverty and inequality and finds that the country is also one of Latin America’s fastest growing economies.
“Chile’s economy has grown by more than five times the global average since 2000, a remarkable turnaround in a country whose GDP was barely 10 per cent of the global total in 2015,” the EIU said in a statement.
The ESU said the country has the world’s third-largest private sector in terms of assets and employs over 7m people, the second-largest in Latin America behind Argentina.
It added that Chile’s GDP grew by 4.4 per cent between 2015 and 2020.
Chile is home to a large number of foreign companies, including Apple, Amazon, Amazon.com and Uber, while the country also boasts a robust infrastructure that includes the countrys first two high-speed railway lines.
However, the country suffers from high inequality, poverty, and unemployment rates.
“We have high levels of income inequality, which has not improved in Chile since 2000,” the report said.
The report also found that there is an overall drop in average annual real GDP per capita between 2010 and 2020 from US$17,200 to US$15,600, with the lowest-ranked OECD countries Chile and Colombia being the only countries to see GDP per person increase from US $20,000 to US $25,000.
In terms of average annual income, Chile was ranked as the poorest country in the Americas, with a median annual income of US$11,800.
The country’s GDP per adult grew by just over 1 per cent from 2010 to 2020.
However this was the largest increase in Chile’s annual growth rate in over three decades, as the economy has been growing at nearly 5 per cent a year.
The economy is also heavily reliant on foreign investment, as most Chileans do not have access to financial resources outside of the country.
In 2018, Chile ranked as one of 10 countries where more than one-third of the workforce were unemployed.
The economic situation has worsened since the financial crisis in 2008, with unemployment reaching 18.5 per cent in 2021, according the EU.
According to the EUI, Chile is ranked as having one of six countries in Latin American where inequality is “strongly” or “very” elevated.
The study said that inequality is a “major driver of inequality in Chile”.
The country also ranked as a “developing economy” according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index, with just 3.4 million people living in poverty in 2017.
Chile has the third-highest percentage of children living in absolute poverty, behind only Honduras and Peru, according EIU.