La Serena (Spanish pronunciation: [la seˈɾena]) is a city and commune in northern Chile, capital of the Coquimbo Region. Founded in 1544, it is the country's second oldest city after the national capital, Santiago, located 471 km (293 miles) to the south. It has a communal population of 198,164 (2012 census, and 400,000 for the Greater La Serena) area, the country's fourth largest conurbation (pop. 300,000, 2002 census), which includes nearby Coquimbo with an area of 1,892.80 square kilometres (730.81 sq mi). It is one of the fastest-growing areas of Chile, witnessing a population increase of 32.6% between 1992 and 2002.