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The Region of los Rios is divided in two provinces (Valdivia and Ranco) and 12 comunas (counties), distributed in a total extension of18.429, 5km2. Such a territory represents the 2, 44% of the surface of American and islander Chile. Then, this is one of Chile’s smallest areas, since it only surpasses the surface of the Metropolitana, Valparaíso and General Liberator Bernardo O´Higgins regions.

Its geographical location is between the 39°16C and the 40°412C latitude south and from the 71°35C longitude West until the Pacific Ocean. Its northern boundary is the Region of the Araucania, standing out by the East, the boundary with the Argentinean republic and as milestones the Ronca Point sector and the northern part of the Mehuin river, the Quillen and Tripayante creeks, the Cruces River and the Villarrica volcano. By the East, the boundary with the republic of Argentina and by the West the Pacific Ocean. The southern boundary is the region of the Lagos standing out as reference points the Golgol river, the Puyehue lake and the Piklmaiquen and Bueno rivers.

Administrative organization.

– Province of Valdivia: its surface reaches 10.197,2 km2 and is divided in eight comunas (counties). In only three of them, the rural population surpasses the urban one. The opposite happens at Paillaco, Corral, Lanco, Mafil and Valdivia. The latter is the region’s capital and is located only 15 km afar from the sea and is surrounded by the homonym river. Such geographical characteristic gives Valdivia a strategic location that was noticed already during the Spanish colonization (XVI Century). The following are its eight communities:

  • Valdivia: its surface is 1.015,6 km2. In this area lives the majority of the province’s population and of all the region of los Rios. Accordingly with the 2002 census it has 140.559 inhabitants that are 128.391 persons more than in 19991, in accordance with that year’s censual records. The urban population, at its turn, adds up to 129.952 persons.
  • Panguipulli: is the largest of the comunas (counties) of this region, it stretches out for 3.292, 1 km2. Regarding its population is the second of the province of Valdivia, with 33.272 persons out of which 15.888 belongs to urban population and 17.385 to rural.
  • Los Lagos: it’s the second in the province regarding its surface, for it extends for 1.791,2 km2 and lodges 20.168 inhabitants. Out of this 10.689 lives un rural area and 9.4799 at urban zones.
  • Mariquina: this comuna (county) follows Los Lagos regarding its extension with a surface of 1.320,5 km2. Its urban population reaches the 8.925 while the rural adds up to 9.298. This comuna (county) total inhabitant is 18.223.
  • Paillaco: it comprehends 896 km2 and lives in it 19.237 persons. The rural population’s figure is very similar, 9.264 and 9.973, respectively.
  • Corral: in the 766, 7 km2 of its communal surface lives 56.463 persons. The urban population is 3.670 and the rural is 1.793.
  • Mafil: its total population is 7.213 persons, 3.796 inhabitants at urban areas and 3.417 at rural zones, Its extension is of 582, 7 km2.
  • Lanco: is the smallest comuna (county) of the province (532, 4 km2) and it has 15.107 inhabitants. The urban population uis 10.383 and 4.724 persons the rural one.

– Province of Ranco: when the Region of los Rios was founded, the old province of Valdivia has to be divided in two. Thus, was born the province of Ranco which main urban centre is the La Union city. The following are the four comunas (counties) composing this province:

  • La Union: its surface reaches 2.1436,7 km2 and it has 39.447 inhabitants, which makes this comuna (county) in the second most populated in the Region of los Rios. Most of the population is urban (25.615 inhabitants).
  • Rio Bueno: it has a surface of 2.211,7 km2 and 32.627 inhabitants. The rural and urban population is 17.573 and 15.054 persons, respectively.
  • Futrono: it stretches for 2.120,6 km2 and it has 14.981 inhabitants. The urban population (8.399 persons) surpasses the rural, which are 6.582 persons.
  • Lago Ranco: is the smallest of the four comunas (counties) with 1.76663,3 km2. Its total population is 10.098 persons, being the rural inhabitants (7.8933 persons) far more than the urban (2.205 persons).

Human Geography

Accordingly to the figures delivered by the 2002 census, the inhabitants of the Region of add up to 356.396 which corresponds to the 2, 4 % of Chile’s total population. There is estimation by the Instituto Nacional de Estadisticas (INE) that points out that in 2007 the population had reached 375.193 persons.

The estimated growth rate for this zone of the country is 8% regarding 1992.

The population density is 19,3 inhab/km2 and out of the total of inhabitants of the region of los Rios, the 2002 Census shows that 187.5990 are men and 187.603 are women.

The rural population is 113.057 inhabitants and the urban one is 243.339 persons.

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