Aisén Province (Spanish: Provincia de Aisén) is one of four provinces of the Chilean region of Aisen (XI). Its capital is Puerto Aisén.
The province had a 2002 population of 23,498 according to the census by the National Statistics Institute. Of these, 16,180 (68.9%) lived in urban areas and 13,451 (57.2%) in rural areas. Between the 1992 and 2002 censuses, the population fell by 20.7% ( persons). The census also yielded a surface area of 46,588.8 km2 (17,988 sq mi), the largest in the region and fifth largest province in the country, though it is the tenth least populated in the country.
As a province, Palena is a second-level administrative division, administered by a presidentially appointed governor. Manuel Ortiz Torres was appointed by president Sebastián Piñera.
The province comprises three communes, each governed by a municipality, headed by an alcalde: Aisén, Cisnes, and Guaitecas.
Origin of name
The name Aisén is from the English sailor expression for the icy "end of the world". Many of the region's people are of British and German descent, although the majority of inhabitants are Chileans of mestizo Spanish origins. The province was recently developed in the early 20th century by Chilean government officials to place thousands of transplanted settlers from the Central Valley.