Ancient Peru was the seat of several prominent Andean civilizations, most notably that of the Incas whose empire was captured by Spanish conquistadors in 1533. Peru declared its independence in 1821, and remaining Spanish forces were 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, which led to his resignation in 2000. A caretaker government oversaw a new election in the spring of 2001, which installed Alejandro TOLEDO Manrique as the new head of government - Peru's first democratically elected president of indigenous ethnicity. The presidential election of 2006 saw the return of Alan GARCIA Perez who, after a disappointing presidential term from 1985 to 1990, oversaw a robust economic rebound. Former army officer Ollanta HUMALA Tasso was elected president in June 2011, and carried on the sound, market-oriented economic policies of the three preceding administrations. Poverty and unemployment levels have fallen dramatically in the last decade, and today Peru boasts one of the best performing economies in Latin America. Pedro Pablo KUCZYNSKI Godard won a very narrow presidential runoff election in June 2016. Facing impeachment after evidence surfaced of his involvement in a vote-buying scandal, President KUCZYNSKI offered his resignation on 21 March 2018. Two days later, First Vice President Martin Alberto VIZCARRA Cornejo was sworn in as president. On 30 September 2019, President VIZCARRA invoked his constitutional authority to dissolve Peru's Congress after months of battling with the body over anticorruption reforms. New congressional elections are scheduled for 26 January 2020.



10.0° S, 76. 0° W
Western South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean, between Chile and Ecuador


1,285,216 sq km
1,279,996 sq km
5,220 sq km

land boundaries

7,062 km


2,414 km


varies from tropical in east to dry desert in west; temperate to frigid in Andes


western coastal plain (costa), high and rugged Andes in center (sierra), eastern lowland jungle of Amazon Basin (selva)


1,555 m
lowest point
Pacific Ocean
0 m
highest point
Nevado Huascaran
6,746 m

natural resources

  • copper
  • silver
  • gold
  • petroleum
  • timber
  • fish
  • iron ore
  • coal
  • phosphate
  • potash
  • hydropower
  • natural gas

land use

arable land
3.1 %
permanent crops
1.1 %
permanent pasture
14.6 %
53 %
28.2 %

population distribution

approximately one-third of the population resides along the desert coastal belt in the west, with a strong focus on the capital city of Lima; the Andean highlands, or sierra, which is strongly identified with the country's Amerindian population, contains roughly half of the overall population; the eastern slopes of the Andes, and adjoining rainforest, are sparsely populated



  • 31,914,989
  • 44
    global rank


  • Peruvian(s)
  • Peruvian

ethnic groups

60.2 %
25.8 %
5.9 %
African descent
3.6 %
1.2 %
3.3 %


  • Spanish
  • Quechua
  • Aymara
  • Ashaninka
  • other native languages
    includes a large number of minor Amazonian languages
  • other
    includes foreign languages and sign language
  • none .1%
  • unspecified .7%


Roman Catholic
60 %
14.6 %
other .3%
4 %
21.1 %

birth rate

  • 17
    per 1,000 population
  • 101
    global rank

death rate

  • 6.2
    per 1,000 population
  • 157
    global rank

urban population

78.3 %

major urban areas

  • Lima
    pop. 10,719,000
  • Arequipa
    pop. 923,000
  • Trujillo
    pop. 865,000

life expectancy

  • 74.7
    total population
  • 127
    global rank

adult obesity rate

  • 19.7%
    percent of adults
  • 110
    global rank


country name


  • Republic of Peru
    long form
  • Peru
    short form


  • Republica del Peru
    long form
  • Peru
    short form

government type

presidential republic


12.3 S, 77.3 W


national holidays

  • Independence Day
    28-29 July

legal system

civil law system

age of suffrage


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 (representing fauna), a cinchona tree (the source of quinine, signifying flora), and a yellow cornucopia spilling out coins (denoting mineral wealth); red recalls blood shed for independence, white symbolizes peace

national colors

  • red
  • white

national anthem

"Himno Nacional del Peru" (National Anthem of Peru)



Peru's economy reflects its varied topography - an arid lowland coastal region, the central high sierra of the Andes, and the dense forest of the Amazon. A wide range of important mineral resources are found in the mountainous and coastal areas, and Peru's coastal waters provide excellent fishing grounds. Peru is the world's second largest producer of silver and copper. The Peruvian economy grew by an average of 5.6% per year from 2009-13 with a stable exchange rate and low inflation. This growth was due partly to high international prices for Peru's metals and minerals exports, which account for 55% of the country's total exports. Growth slipped from 2014 to 2017, due to weaker world prices for these resources. Despite Peru's strong macroeconomic performance, dependence on minerals and metals exports and imported foodstuffs makes the economy vulnerable to fluctuations in world prices. Peru's rapid expansion coupled with cash transfers and other programs have helped to reduce the national poverty rate by over 35 percentage points since 2004, but inequality persists and continued to pose a challenge for the Ollanta HUMALA administration, which championed a policy of social inclusion and a more equitable distribution of income. Poor infrastructure hinders the spread of growth to Peru's non-coastal areas. The HUMALA administration passed several economic stimulus packages in 2014 to bolster growth, including reforms to environmental regulations in order to spur investment in Peru’s lucrative mining sector, a move that was opposed by some environmental groups. However, in 2015, mining investment fell as global commodity prices remained low and social conflicts plagued the sector. Peru's free trade policy continued under the HUMALA administration; since 2006, Peru has signed trade deals with the US, Canada, Singapore, China, Korea, Mexico, Japan, the EU, the European Free Trade Association, Chile, Thailand, Costa Rica, Panama, Venezuela, Honduras, concluded negotiations with Guatemala and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and begun trade talks with El Salvador, India, and Turkey. Peru also has signed a trade pact with Chile, Colombia, and Mexico, called the Pacific Alliance, that seeks integration of services, capital, investment and movement of people. Since the US-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement entered into force in February 2009, total trade between Peru and the US has doubled. President Pedro Pablo KUCZYNSKI succeeded HUMALA in July 2016 and is focusing on economic reforms and free market policies aimed at boosting investment in Peru. Mining output increased significantly in 2016-17, which helped Peru attain one of the highest GDP growth rates in Latin America, and Peru should maintain strong growth in 2018. However, economic performance was depressed by delays in infrastructure mega-projects and the start of a corruption scandal associated with a Brazilian firm. Massive flooding in early 2017 also was a drag on growth, offset somewhat by additional public spending aimed at recovery efforts.


430,300,000,000 USD

agriculture products

  • artichokes
  • asparagus
  • avocados
  • blueberries
  • coffee
  • cocoa
  • cotton
  • sugarcane
  • rice
  • potatoes
  • corn
  • plantains
  • grapes
  • oranges
  • pineapples
  • guavas
  • bananas
  • apples
  • lemons
  • pears
  • coca
  • tomatoes
  • mangoes
  • barley
  • medicinal plants
  • quinoa
  • palm oil
  • marigolds
  • onions
  • wheat
  • dry beans
  • poultry
  • beef
  • pork
  • dairy products
  • guinea pigs
  • fish

poverty level



  • 58,060,000,000
    revenue (USD)
  • 64,810,000,000
    expenditures (USD)



    fixed lines

  • 3,082,036
    total subscriptions
  • 45
    global rank

    mobile cellular

  • 38,915,386
    total subscriptions
  • 39
    global rank

broadcast media

10 major TV networks of which only one, Television Nacional de Peru, is state owned; multi-channel cable TV services are available; in excess of 2,000 radio stations including a substantial number of indigenous language stations (2019)


country code


  • 16,461,427
  • 52.54
    % of population
  • 40
    global rank


electricity access



air transport

    national system

  • 7
    registered air carriers
  • 13,907,948
    annual passenger traffic


  • 191
  • 59


1,854 km
total length


140,672 km
total length


8,808 km
total length



expenditures here

service age