Blog #2

18-06-2019 10:06

Is it better to be tall and thin or tall and plumb? When you are talking about people you would say tall and thin, but what if you are talking about countries? What if you were talking about Chile and Argentina? Chile is tall and thin and Argentina is tall and plumb. Which is better? If you are a foodie, another question you might ask is who has better empanadas? Both are traditional regional foods. An empanada is a hand-sized stuffed dough. The filling might be meat, cheese corn, or other ingredients. It literally means “embreaded.” The foodies will have to wait to hear who has better empanadas, Chile, or Argentina. First, we will explore other aspects that make the countries similar or different.

Chile and Argentina have similar absolute regions with Argentina being to the west of Chile. Absolute location for Chile is 35.6751º S, 71.5430º W and absolute location for Argentina is 38.4161º S, 63.6167º W. Chile is located in both the western and southern part of South America. Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru border it. It is also on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. The capital is Santiago. Argentina is also in the western and southern part of South America. It is bordered by Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil, Uruguay, and the Atlantic Ocean. The capital of Argentina is Buenos Argentina. You can see both countries on the map below from the Vidiani website,

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Physically, Chile is a long stretch of land. It is one of the longest and narrowest countries in the world with a very diverse natural terrain. Chile is known for its ancient glaciers and snow-white salt plains, but also the driest desert on the planet. Chile also has many forests, lakes, and many active volcanoes. Only about a fifth of the surface of Chile is flat because of all the mountains that surround the terrain of Chile. Mountains cover eighty percent of the land in Chile.

Argentina borders the Atlantic Ocean and has a fertile plain in the Pampas. The winter is known to be damp and chilly with rain that falls throughout the whole year. It is almost as long a Chile, but it is also more extensive. Both countries are south of the Equator; summer is January through February, which is the opposite of the United States. Both countries also share the Andes Mountain range. The Andes is the world’s largest mountain range. You can learn more about the beautiful Andes on the Live Science website,

Chile has a population of about 17.46 million, and about 1/3 of the population of Chile lived in Santiago, which is the capital of Chile. Ninety percent of the population lives in either Santiago or other larger cities or towns compared to rural communities. In contrast to the other South American countries, Chile is known for its low cost of living but also its excellent quality of life.

The culture of Chile is a mix of Spanish from colonial times with some indigenous cultures. For almost three centuries, it was a Spanish colony with very little population growth. Chile’s folk culture is based around the Huasos, who brought in native music and traditional dances to Central Chile. However, Chile is also very diverse as the northern and southern regions both have their own type of music and dance because of the many different immigrants that settled there. Immigration primarily came from Europe. Today there is more immigration from its neighboring countries. Because of Chile’s location, along the coastline, their cuisine uses many different products. It is a fusion of traditional ingredients from the original Spanish culture and is also heavily based on seafood.

Chile is a model for Latin America as it is one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America which has resulted in reducing its poverty. Chile’s economy includes mining, manufacturing products, and many different agricultural techniques.

Argentina has a population of 41.76 million, so it is about two and a half times the size of Chile. The most populated city is Buenos Aires, the capital. The official language is Spanish, like most countries in South America. There are many varieties of culture throughout Argentina from different ethnic groups and immigrants that settled there. Because of the European background, the majority of Argentina is Roman Catholic. People in Argentina dress very fashion-forward compared to other South American countries. Today, Argentina has the highest level of immigration of all of the Latin American Countries.

The main economic activities in Argentia include agriculture, livestock, fishing, industry, mining power, and transportation and communications. These patterns are from the colonial times of Argentina from the early decades of the 20th century.

You can read more comparing the two countries side by side based geography, demographics, government, economy, energy, telecommunications, transportation, military and transnational issues on the Index Mundi website, .

Even though Chile is considered not a very populated country, its people still affect the environment. In parts of Chile, the environment is heavily affected because of the mining of natural minerals, metal, and oils that are found below ground. Many people use firewood to heat homes and for cooking, but it releases toxic fumes that are affecting air pollution. The air pollution in Chile costs the health sector roughly $670 million each year because of the use of firewood as a heating mechanism. Another problem that occurs in Chile is deforestation. Between 1990 and 2005, Chile lost 9.8% of its forest.

Humans can also have a positive effect on the environment. For instance, Doug and Kris Tompkins, over the last twenty years, have purchased land in Chile and restored and preserved it. They have created many national parks. Recently, they turned 10 million acres of land back to the Chilean government to create five national parks. Their work had a massive impact on protecting the country’s rainforests, grasslands, and other terrains. You can read more about the amazing work of Doug and Kris Tompkins and their conservation efforts on their foundation website Tompkins Conservation, You can see an image of one of the national parks they created, Parque Pumalin below from the Parque Pumalin website at,

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In Argentina, the major environmental issues are pollution and loss of agricultural land. The soil is also threatened by erosion, salinization, and deforestation. The chemical agents cause air pollution from industrial sources. The dumping of toxins threatens the water supply. Only 77% of the people living in cities have clean drinking water.

The many diversities of Chile’s climate and natural surroundings are a significant impact to many Chileans. Chile has experienced many earthquakes. The most recent was in 2010, which did up to $30 billion of damages. Not only does Chile experience many earthquakes, but they are also in a central tsunami zone. After the 2010 earthquake, because of the vertical movement of the ocean floor from the earthquake, it caused a tsunami that resulted in even more damage to the Chileans.

Chile is very cold and rainy on the Southside, which allows for the opportunity to have freshwater fish, such as salmon. Another resource that Chileans use in their favor is the active volcanoes to help produce heat and energy. Chile’s greatest natural resource is its abundance of copper, and it also has the world’s largest deposits of nitrate. Both which are mined.

Argentina has many fertile plains in the pampas. Similar to Chile, it also has many natural resources, such as lead, zinc, copper, iron ore, manganese, petroleum, and uranium.

The Andes Mountain ranges impact the living style in both countries with the communities living higher in the mountain range having a harder lifestyle. There are five altitudinal zones in the Andes, and the colder the climate zone, the harsher the conditions for people who live in those zones. For example, the people who live in the higher zones have to adapt to the thinner air, so people’s lungs then to grow bigger to make room for more oxygen. You can see the different altitudinal zones on the chart below from the website Smore,

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Chileans use taxis, commuter rail, subway, and bus as their primary modes of transportation in the larger cities. In the forested region of Patagonia, much of the road was unpaved. More recently, greater parts of the road through this region is being paved. Most goods are imported and exported through Chile by planes, boats, and trucks. Chile’s main exports are copper, salmon filets, wood products, and wine which is exported to many places, one including the United States. Chile has many resources such as copper, forests, arable land, water resources, coal, natural gas and oil, beautiful landscapes, and management of natural resources in Chile. You can see Chile’s top exports in 2014 in the pie chart below from the website Descartes Datamyne,

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Since email and social media has taken a huge part in today’s society, it is the main resource of how ideas are shared between Chile and other countries. In the salmon industry, technology has allowed Chile to grow and build it globally. It has helped lead to an expansion of their products as well as allowed Chile to increase in each industry. Technology has also helped grow Chile’s service sectors as it has allowed to reinforce the development of communication and education.

Argentinians use transportation routes to get from one place to another. Most of the major routes go through of Buenos Aires as well as the main national and international airlines too. Their waterways are vital to Argentineans as a major role in their transportation. There are ports in harbors in cities like Bahia Blanca and La Plata, which allow both travel and import/export of goods. The country also has a large amount of access to energy resources through fossil fuels and hydroelectric generation. For a long time, it was a petroleum exporter. Other than natural gas, other mineral reserves are not used for exportation. Argentina has a large agricultural business, and one of its larger exports is meat, in contrast to Chile, which has a main export of salmon. The tremendous growth of the beef industry also resulted in the large leather industry as a by-product. You can see a composition of Argentina’s exports by major category in 2015 from the website Doing Business in Argentina,

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Argentina is not known for its technological innovations. They have strong oversight and support and the national level, but Argentina underinvests in technological innovations comparatively. This is due to weak connections between government, education, and private businesses. In terms of day to day access to technology and world ideas, there are 42 main TV channels and access to the internet, so Argentinians have access to global news and ideas.

People tend to think of Chile and Argentina as a similar general region both culturally and physically because they are both located in the south western part of South America.  In Chile there are 16 main regions which are then divided into provinces which have their own governor. The 56 provinces are then divided into communes which have municipal councils. If you were a traveler you would not think of Chile in terms of its governing regions. You might think of them in geographical area such as Greater Santiago, The Central Coast, El Norte Chico, The Far North, The Atacama Desert, The Lake District, Chiloe, Northern Patagonia, Southern Patagonia, and Easter Island.

From a governing perspective, Argentina has 23 provinces and then the federal capital with is Buenos Aires. All have their own constitution, but all exist under the federal system. Geographically, Argentina has nine regions which include Argentine Northwest, Gran Chaco, Mesopotamia, Cuyo, Pampas Humid, Pampas Dry, Patagonia, Argentine Antarctica.

The GDP in Chile is 277 USD billion and has sharply increased since 2000, but it is only .45 % of the world’s economy. By contrast, the GDP in Argentina was worth 637.59 billion US dollars in 2017 when it was at its all time high. While significantly higher than Chile’s GDP, it is only 1.03% of the world’s economy. You can see a graph of Chile’s and Argentina’s GDP growth since 1960 on the chart below from the World Bank at the Google website, and…0.0..0.136.1218.1j10……0….1..gws-wiz…….0i71.H_mI6pUdPtA.

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The birth rate of Chile is 14.7 births/1,000 population. The death rate is 5.7 deaths/1,000 population. The rate of population has been declining since 1990 due to the decreasing numbers of birth rates.

The birth rate for Argentina is 17.75 births/1,000 population, and the death rate is 7.39 deaths/1,000 population. Argentina has one of South America’s lowest birth rates, which resulted in a very low population growth rate.

The fertility rate in Chile is 1.89 children born/women. In Argentina, the fertility rate is 2.29 Children born/women. Argentina had a major fertility decline compared to other countries in South America, which occurred between 1950 and the early 20th century.

The rate of natural increase in Chile was recorded in 2015 at 7.37 persons per thousand population. It fell gradually from 22.28 persons per thousand population in 1996. In Argentina, in 2015, the rate of natural increase was 9.70 persons per thousand population. This was a gradual change from 13.61 persons per thousand population in 1966.

So is it better to be tall and thin or tall and plumb? If you look at the quality of life in Chile versus Argentina, it is almost identical. The quality of life index in Chile is 124 versus 120 in Argentina. So it really does not matter if you are tall and thin or tall and plumb based quality of life in these two countries. You can see more detail about the different aspects that make up the quality of life in each country on the chart below from the website Numbeo,

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As for who has the best empanadas, I have been to both countries, and I found the empanadas in Argentina to be much better than in Chile. The empanadas in Chile have much more dough and less savory fillings compared to the empanadas in Argentina. Although if you go to Argentina and eat too many empanada, you might find yourself a little plump just like the shape of the country.

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