Population growth and ongoing expansion in Santiago puts enormous pressure on the environment: agricultural land is being transformed into built-up areas, while the share of green space dwindles. Suburban construction produces long-term environmental impacts such as higher imperviousness of land surfaces. Demographic and land-use change are major drivers of urban growth. The simultaneous processes of increase and decline of population and expansion of built-up areas into the suburban area are studied for the 34 municipalities of the Metropolitan Area of Santiago de Chile (MAS), subdivided into 22 central urban municipalities and 12 suburban municipalities. Land-use dynamics occur as a result of population and economic growth, and the subsequent increase in transportation infrastructure. Population growth and socio-spatial differentiation increase housing demands to satisfy both basic and higher accommodation requirements. Identifying the principal features of land-use change is an important task and findings provide information on time, space and quantity. Changes in the demographic dynamics of MAS will be analysed as major drivers of environmental quality and quality of life. Environmental quality is described as a complex multi-dimensional set of abiotic, biotic and human characteristics localised in place and time. Human beings highly influence the urban environment through various constructions modified and perceived as components of their surroundings which impact their social circumstances, health and well-being.In order to investigate population change as a driving force for urban growth, use was made of urban and regional statistics taken from census data. Using census data and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), the number of inhabitants per municipality was determined. Investigations of population dynamics made on two spatial levels comprise the MAS in total and the subdivision of the urban and suburban municipalities. The analysis of population dynamics was made for the time period 1992-2002-2006-2009 to establish the spatial distribution of the population and the changes over time, and to identify growing, declining or stagnating municipalities in the MAS with respect to the spatial indicators of environmental quality.Land-use classifications and changes were calculated based on remotely sensed data for four time steps (1993, 2002, 2005 and 2009). They indicate urban growth by delineating built-up areas, and transformation from agricultural use and other open spaces in the MAS showing the increasing amount of built-up areas for each of the years under investigation and the direction and pace of urban growth. The increase in built-up areas shows how settlement expansion rises from 500km² to 575km²(=15%)between 1993 and 2009. Selected source and performance indicators are analysed to assess the impact of human settlements on the ambient environmental conditions towards environmental health and well-being.