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By Entry Pages > Visit Detail > Country Facts for Peru
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Map of Peru
IntroductionTop
Background:Ancient Peru was the seat of several prominent Andean civilizations, most notably that of the Incas whose empire was captured by the Spanish conquistadors in 1533. Peruvian independence was declared in 1821, and remaining Spanish forces defeated in 1824. After a dozen years of military rule, Peru returned to democratic leadership in 1980, but experienced economic problems and the growth of a violent insurgency. President Alberto FUJIMORI's election in 1990 ushered in a decade that saw a dramatic turnaround in the economy and significant progress in curtailing guerrilla activity. Nevertheless, the president's increasing reliance on authoritarian measures and an economic slump in the late 1990s generated mounting dissatisfaction with his regime. FUJIMORI won reelection to a third term in the spring of 2000, but international pressure and corruption scandals led to his ouster by Congress in November of that year. A caretaker government oversaw new elections in the spring of 2001, which ushered in Alejandro TOLEDO as the new head of government; his presidency has been hampered by allegations of corruption.
GeographyTop
Location:Western South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean, between Chile and Ecuador
Geographic coordinates:10 00 S, 76 00 W
Map references:South America
Area:total: 1,285,220 sq km
land: 1.28 million sq km
water: 5,220 sq km

Area - comparative:slightly smaller than Alaska
Land boundaries:total: 5,536 km
border countries: Bolivia 900 km, Brazil 1,560 km, Chile 160 km, Colombia 1,496 km (est.), Ecuador 1,420 km

Coastline:2,414 km
Maritime claims:territorial sea: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm

Climate:varies from tropical in east to dry desert in west; temperate to frigid in Andes
Terrain:western coastal plain (costa), high and rugged Andes in center (sierra), eastern lowland jungle of Amazon Basin (selva)
Elevation extremes:lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Nevado Huascaran 6,768 m

Natural resources:copper, silver, gold, petroleum, timber, fish, iron ore, coal, phosphate, potash, hydropower, natural gas
Land use:arable land: 2.89%
permanent crops: 0.4%
other: 96.71% (2001)

Irrigated land:11,950 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding, landslides, mild volcanic activity
Environment - current issues:deforestation (some the result of illegal logging); overgrazing of the slopes of the costa and sierra leading to soil erosion; desertification; air pollution in Lima; pollution of rivers and coastal waters from municipal and mining wastes
Environment - international agreements:party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:shares control of Lago Titicaca, world's highest navigable lake, with Bolivia; a remote slope of Nevado Mismi, a 5,316 m peak, is the ultimate source of the Amazon River
PeopleTop
Population:27,925,628 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:0-14 years: 31.5% (male 4,479,278/female 4,323,356)
15-64 years: 63.3% (male 8,891,785/female 8,776,343)
65 years and over: 5.2% (male 685,179/female 769,687) (2005 est.)

Median age:total: 24.95 years
male: 24.69 years
female: 25.21 years (2005 est.)

Population growth rate:1.36% (2005 est.)
Birth rate:20.87 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Death rate:6.26 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Net migration rate:-1.03 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Sex ratio:at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2005 est.)

Infant mortality rate:total: 31.94 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 34.53 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 29.24 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:total population: 69.53 years
male: 67.77 years
female: 71.37 years (2005 est.)

Total fertility rate:2.56 children born/woman (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:0.5% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:82,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:4,200 (2003 est.)
Nationality:noun: Peruvian(s)
adjective: Peruvian

Ethnic groups:Amerindian 45%, mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 37%, white 15%, black, Japanese, Chinese, and other 3%
Religions:Roman Catholic 81%, Seventh Day Adventist 1.4%, other Christian 0.7%, other 0.6%, unspecified or none 16.3% (2003 est.)
Languages:Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara, and a large number of minor Amazonian languages
Literacy:definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 90.9%
male: 95.2%
female: 86.8% (2003 est.)

GovernmentTop
Country name:conventional long form: Republic of Peru
conventional short form: Peru
local long form: Republica del Peru
local short form: Peru

Government type:constitutional republic
Capital:Lima
Administrative divisions:24 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento) and 1 constitutional province* (provincia constitucional); Amazonas, Ancash, Apurimac, Arequipa, Ayacucho, Cajamarca, Callao*, Cusco, Huancavelica, Huanuco, Ica, Junin, La Libertad, Lambayeque, Lima, Loreto, Madre de Dios, Moquegua, Pasco, Piura, Puno, San Martin, Tacna, Tumbes, Ucayali
note: some reports indicate that the 24 departments and 1 constitutional province are now being referred to as regions; Peru is implementing a decentralization program whereby these 25 administrative divisions will begin to exercise greater governmental authority over their territories; in November 2002, voters chose their new regional presidents and other regional leaders; the authority that the regional governments will exercise has not yet been clearly defined, but it will be devolved to the regions over the course of several years

Independence:28 July 1821 (from Spain)
National holiday:Independence Day, 28 July (1821)
Constitution:31 December 1993
Legal system:based on civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:18 years of age; universal and compulsory until the age of 70; note - members of the military and national police may not vote
Executive branch:chief of state: President Alejandro TOLEDO Manrique (since 28 July 2001); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government; additionally, the constitution provides for two vice presidents, First Vice President (vacant) and Second Vice President David WAISMAN Rjavinsthi (since 28 July 2001)
head of government: President Alejandro TOLEDO Manrique (since 28 July 2001); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government; additionally, the constitution provides for two vice presidents, First Vice President (vacant) and Second Vice President David WAISMAN Rjavinsthi (since 28 July 2001)
note: Prime Minister Carlos FERRERO Costa (since 15 December 2003) does not exercise executive power; this power is in the hands of the president
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; special presidential and congressional elections held 8 April 2001, with runoff election held 3 June 2001; next to be held 9 April 2006
election results: President Alejandro TOLEDO Manrique elected president in runoff election; percent of vote - Alejandro TOLEDO Manrique 53.1%, Alan GARCIA 46.9%

Legislative branch:unicameral Congress of the Republic of Peru or Congreso de la Republica del Peru (120 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 8 April 2001 (next to be held 9 April 2006)
election results: percent of vote by party - PP 26.3%, APRA 19.7%, UN 13.8%, FIM 11.0%, others 29.2%; seats by party - PP 47, APRA 28, UN 17, FIM 11, others 17

Judicial branch:Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (judges are appointed by the National Council of the Judiciary)
Political parties and leaders:Independent Moralizing Front or FIM [Fernando OLIVERA Vega]; National Unity (Unidad Nacional) or UN [Lourdes FLORES Nano]; Peru Posible or PP [David WAISMAN]; Peruvian Aprista Party or PAP (also referred to by its original name Alianza Popular Revolucionaria Americana or APRA) [Alan GARCIA]; Popular Action or AP [Javier DIAZ Orihuela]; Solucion Popular [Carlos BOLANA]; Somos Peru or SP [Alberto ANDRADE]; Union for Peru or UPP [Roger GUERRA Garcia]
Political pressure groups and leaders:leftist guerrilla groups include Shining Path [Abimael GUZMAN Reynoso (imprisoned), Gabriel MACARIO (top leader at-large)]; Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement or MRTA [Victor POLAY (imprisoned), Hugo AVALLENEDA Valdez (top leader at-large)]
International organization participation:APEC, CAN, CSN, FAO, G-15, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur (associate), MIGA, MINUSTAH, MONUC, NAM, OAS, ONUB, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNMIL, UNOCI, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Flag description:three equal, vertical bands of red (hoist side), white, and red with the coat of arms centered in the white band; the coat of arms features a shield bearing a vicuna, cinchona tree (the source of quinine), and a yellow cornucopia spilling out gold coins, all framed by a green wreath
EconomyTop
Economy - overview:Peru's economy reflects its varied geography - an arid coastal region, the Andes further inland, and tropical lands bordering Colombia and Brazil. Abundant mineral resources are found in the mountainous areas, and Peru's coastal waters provide excellent fishing grounds. However, overdependence on minerals and metals subjects the economy to fluctuations in world prices, and a lack of infrastructure deters trade and investment. After several years of inconsistent economic performance, the Peruvian economy grew by an average 4 percent per year during the period 2002-2004, with a stable exchange rate and low inflation. Risk premiums on Peruvian bonds on secondary markets reached historically low levels in late 2004, reflecting investor optimism regarding the government's prudent fiscal policies and openness to trade and investment. Despite the strong macroeconomic performance, the TOLEDO administration remained unpopular in 2004, and unemployment and poverty have stayed persistently high.
GDP:purchasing power parity - $155.3 billion (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:4.5% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita:purchasing power parity - $5,600 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:agriculture: 8%
industry: 27%
services: 65% (2003 est.)

Labor force:11 million (2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:agriculture 9%, industry 18%, services 73% (2001)
Unemployment rate:9.6% in metropolitan Lima; widespread underemployment (2004 est.)
Population below poverty line:54% (2003 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:lowest 10%: 0.8%
highest 10%: 37.2% (2000)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:49.8 (2000)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):3.8% (2004 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):17.8% of GDP (2004 est.)
Budget:revenues: $13.6 billion
expenditures: $14.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $1.8 billion, for general government, excluding private enterprises (2004 est.)

Public debt:44.1% of GDP (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products:coffee, cotton, sugarcane, rice, potatoes, corn, plantains, grapes, oranges, coca; poultry, beef, dairy products; fish
Industries:mining and refining of minerals and metals, petroleum extraction and refining, natural gas, fishing and fish processing, textiles, clothing, food processing, steel, metal fabrication
Industrial production growth rate:5.2% (2004 est.)
Electricity - production:22.88 billion kWh (2004 est.)
Electricity - production by source:fossil fuel: 14.5%
hydro: 84.7%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0.8% (2001)

Electricity - consumption:20.22 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - exports:0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:0 kWh (2003)
Oil - production:95,500 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - consumption:161,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:49,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - imports:NA
Oil - proved reserves:408.8 million bbl (2004 est.)
Natural gas - production:910 million cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:910 million cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - exports:0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - imports:0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:245.1 billion cu m (2004)
Current account balance:$-30 million (2004 est.)
Exports:$12.3 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:copper, gold, zinc, crude petroleum and petroleum products, coffee
Exports - partners:US 29.5%, China 9.8%, UK 8%, Chile 5.3%, Japan 4.7%, Switzerland 4.4% (2004)
Imports:$9.6 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:petroleum and petroleum products, plastics, machinery, vehicles, iron and steel, wheat, paper
Imports - partners:US 29.2%, Spain 8.5%, Chile 6.9%, Brazil 5.6%, Colombia 5.2%, China 4% (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:$12.7 billion (2004 est.)
Debt - external:$29.79 billion (2004 est.)
Currency (code):nuevo sol (PEN)
Currency code:PEN
Exchange rates:nuevo sol per US dollar - 3.4132 (2004), 3.4785 (2003), 3.5165 (2002), 3.5068 (2001), 3.49 (2000)
Fiscal year:calendar year
CommunicationsTop
Telephones - main lines in use:1,839,200 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:2,908,800 (2003)
Telephone system:general assessment: adequate for most requirements
domestic: nationwide microwave radio relay system and a domestic satellite system with 12 earth stations
international: country code - 51; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); Pan American submarine cable

Radio broadcast stations:AM 472, FM 198, shortwave 189 (1999)
Radios:6.65 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:13 (plus 112 repeaters) (1997)
Televisions:3.06 million (1997)
Internet country code:.pe
Internet hosts:65,868 (2003)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):10 (2000)
Internet users:2.85 million (2003)
TransportationTop
Railways:total: 3,462 km
standard gauge: 2,962 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 500 km 0.914-m gauge (2004)

Highways:total: 78,230 km
paved: 10,452 km
unpaved: 67,778 km (2001)

Waterways:8,808 km
note: 8,600 km of navigable tributaries of Amazon system and 208 km of Lago Titicaca (2004)

Pipelines:gas 388 km; oil 1,557 km; refined products 13 km (2004)
Ports and harbors:Callao, Chimbote, Ilo, Matarani, Paita, Puerto Maldonado, Salaverry, San Martin, Talara, Iquitos, Pucallpa, Yurimaguas
note: Iquitos, Pucallpa, and Yurimaguas are all on the upper reaches of the Amazon and its tributaries

Merchant marine:total: 4 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 13,666 GRT/17,611 DWT
by type: cargo 3, petroleum tanker 1
foreign-owned: 1 (United States 1)
registered in other countries: 14 (2005)

Airports:234 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:total: 52
over 3,047 m: 5
2,438 to 3,047 m: 20
1,524 to 2,437 m: 16
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 2 (2004 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:total: 182
1,524 to 2,437 m: 21
914 to 1,523 m: 62
under 914 m: 99 (2004 est.)

Heliports:1 (2004 est.)
MilitaryTop
Military branches:Army (Ejercito Peruano), Navy (Marina de Guerra del Peru; includes Naval Air, Naval Infantry, and Coast Guard), Air Force (Fuerza Aerea del Peru; FAP)
Military manpower - military age and obligation:18 years of age for compulsory military service (1999)
Military manpower - availability:males age 18-49: 6,647,874 (2005 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:males age 18-49: 4,938,417 (2005 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:males: 277,105 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:$829.3 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:1.4% (2004)
Transnational IssuesTop
Disputes - international:Peru proposes changing its latitudinal maritime boundary with Chile to an equidistance line with a southwestern axis; organized illegal narcotics operations in Colombia have penetrated Peru's shared border; Peru does not support Bolivia's claim to restore maritime access through a sovereign corridor through Chile along the Peruvian border
Refugees and internally displaced persons::IDPs: 60,000 (civil war from 1980-2000; most IDPs are indigenous peasants in Andean and Amazonian regions) (2004)
Illicit drugs:until 1996 the world's largest coca leaf producer; emerging opium producer; cultivation of coca in Peru fell 15 percent to 31,150 hectares between 2002 and the end of 2003; much of the cocaine base is shipped to neighboring Colombia for processing into cocaine, while finished cocaine is shipped out from Pacific ports to the international drug market; increasing amounts of base and finished cocaine, however, are being moved to Brazil and Bolivia for use in the Southern Cone or transshipped to Europe and Africa



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