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  Introduction Back To Top

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, which led to his ouster in 2000. A caretaker government oversaw new elections in the spring of 2001, which ushered in Alejandro TOLEDO Manrique as the new head of government - Peru's first democratically elected president of Native American ethnicity. The presidential election of 2006 saw the return of Alan GARCIA Perez who, after a disappointing presidential term from 1985 to 1990, returned to the presidency with promises to improve social conditions and maintain fiscal responsibility.

  Geography Back To Top

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 20.13 cu km/yr (8%/10%/82%)
per capita: 720 cu m/yr (2000)

Total renewable water resources:
1,913 cu km (2000)

Land boundaries:
total: 7,461 km
border countries: Bolivia 1,075 km, Brazil 2,995 km, Chile 171 km, Colombia 1,800 km, Ecuador 1,420 km

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

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

Map references:
South America

Geographic coordinates:
10 00 S, 76 00 W

Natural resources:
copper, silver, gold, petroleum, timber, fish, iron ore, coal, phosphate, potash, hydropower, natural gas

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Nevado Huascaran 6,768 m

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

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

total: 1,285,220 sq km
land: 1.28 million sq km
water: 5,220 sq km

Western South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean, between Chile and Ecuador

2,414 km

Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Alaska

Irrigated land:
12,000 sq km (2003)

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

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm

Natural hazards:
earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding, landslides, mild volcanic activity

Land use:
arable land: 2.88%
permanent crops: 0.47%
other: 96.65% (2005)

  People Back To Top

Total fertility rate:
2.42 children born/woman (2008 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 (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.5% (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
82,000 (2003 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 70.44 years
male: 68.61 years
female: 72.37 years (2008 est.)

Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: dengue fever, malaria, Oroya fever, and yellow fever
water contact disease: leptospirosis (2008)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 87.7%
male: 93.5%
female: 82.1% (2004 est.)

Net migration rate:
-0.97 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Ethnic groups:
Amerindian 45%, mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 37%, white 15%, black, Japanese, Chinese, and other 3%

Median age:
total: 25.8 years
male: 25.5 years
female: 26.1 years (2008 est.)

29,180,900 (July 2008 est.)

Education expenditures:
2.5% of GDP (2006)

Population growth rate:
1.264% (2008 est.)

Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara, and a large number of minor Amazonian languages

Death rate:
6.16 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 29.53 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 32.02 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 26.93 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
4,200 (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 14 years
male: 14 years
female: 14 years (2006)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 29.7% (male 4,409,227/female 4,253,836)
15-64 years: 64.7% (male 9,501,597/female 9,381,139)
65 years and over: 5.6% (male 770,389/female 864,711) (2008 est.)

Birth rate:
19.77 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Roman Catholic 81%, Seventh Day Adventist 1.4%, other Christian 0.7%, other 0.6%, unspecified or none 16.3% (2003 est.)

noun: Peruvian(s)
adjective: Peruvian

  Government Back To Top

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador P. Michael MCKINLEY
embassy: Avenida La Encalada, Cuadra 17s/n, Surco, Lima 33
mailing address: P. O. Box 1995, Lima 1; American Embassy (Lima), APO AA 34031-5000
telephone: [51] (1) 434-3000
FAX: [51] (1) 618-2397

National holiday:
Independence Day, 28 July (1821)

18 years of age; universal and compulsory until the age of 70; note - for the first time in recent elections, members of the military and national police were eligible to vote in the 2006 elections

Government type:
constitutional republic

Political pressure groups and leaders:
General Workers Confederation of Peru (Confederacion General de Trabajadores del Peru) or CGTP [Mario HUAMAN]; Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) or SL [Abimael GUZMAN Reynoso (imprisoned), Gabriel MACARIO (top leader at-large)] (leftist guerrilla group); Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement or MRTA [Victor POLAY (imprisoned), Hugo AVALLENEDA Valdez (top leader at-large)] (leftist guerrilla group)

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Felipe ORTIZ de Zevallos
chancery: 1700 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 833-9860 through 9869
FAX: [1] (202) 659-8124
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Hartford, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Paterson (New Jersey), San Francisco, Washington, DC

International organization participation:

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 9 April 2006 (next to be held in April 2011)
election results: percent of vote by party - UPP 21.2%, PAP 20.6%, UN 15.3%, AF 13.1%, FC 7.1%, PP 4.1%, RN 4.0%, other 14.6%; seats by party - UPP 45, PAP 36, UN 17, AF 13, FC 5, PP 2, RN 2

Legal system:
based on civil law system; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations

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

28 July 1821 (from Spain)

Country name (Goverment):
conventional long form: Republic of Peru
conventional short form: Peru
local long form: Republica del Peru
local short form: Peru

Political parties and leaders:
Alliance For Progress (Alianza Para El Progreso) [Cesar ACUNA Peralta]; Alliance For The Future (Alianza Por El Futuro) or AF (a coalition of pro-FUJIMORI parties including Cambio 90, Nueva Mayoria, and Si Cumple); Central Front (Frente Del Centro) or FC (a coalition of Accion Popular, Somos Peru, and Coordinadora Nacional de Independientes) [Victor Andres GARCIA Belaunde]; National Renovation Party (Partido Renovacion Nacional) [Rafael REY]; National Restoration Party (Restauracion Nacional) or RN [Humberto LAY Sun]; National Solidarity Party (Partido Solidaridad Nacional) or SN [Luis CASTANEDA Lossio]; Peru Possible (Peru Posible) or PP [Alejandro TOLEDO Manrique]; Peruvian Aprista Party (Partido Aprista Peruano) or PAP [Alan GARCIA Perez] (also referred to by its original name Alianza Popular Revolucionaria Americana or APRA); Peruvian Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista Peruano) or PNP [Ollanta HUMALA Tasso]; Popular Christian Party (Partido Popular Cristiano) or PPC [Lourdes FLORES Nano]; Union for Peru (Union por el Peru) or UPP [Aldo ESTRADA Choque]

name: Lima
geographic coordinates: 12 03 S, 77 03 W
time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)

29 December 1993

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Alan GARCIA Perez (since 28 July 2006); First Vice President Luis GIAMPIETRI Rojas; Second Vice President Lourdes MENDOZA del Solar (since 28 July 2006); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Alan GARCIA Perez (since 28 July 2006); First Vice President Luis GIAMPIETRI Rojas; Second Vice President Lourdes MENDOZA del Solar (since 28 July 2006)
note: Prime Minister Yehude SIMON Munaro (since 14 October 2008) 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 (eligible for a nonconsecutive reelection); presidential and congressional elections held 9 April 2006 with runoff election held 4 June 2006; next to be held in April 2011
election results: Alan GARCIA Perez elected president in runoff election; percent of vote - Alan GARCIA Perez 52.5%, Ollanta HUMALA Tasso 47.5%

Administrative divisions:
25 regions (regiones, singular - region) and 1 province* (provincia); Amazonas, Ancash, Apurimac, Arequipa, Ayacucho, Cajamarca, Callao, Cusco, Huancavelica, Huanuco, Ica, Junin, La Libertad, Lambayeque, Lima, Lima*, Loreto, Madre de Dios, Moquegua, Pasco, Piura, Puno, San Martin, Tacna, Tumbes, Ucayali

Judicial branch:
Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (judges are appointed by the National Council of the Judiciary)

  Economy Back To Top

Exports - partners:
US 19.5%, China 12.7%, Canada 7.6%, Japan 7.5%, Chile 5.9%, Switzerland 4.2%, Spain 4.1% (2007)

Electricity - consumption:
22.37 billion kWh (2006 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
6.5% (December 2008)

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Current account balance:
-$3.631 billion (2008 est.)

Debt - external:
$35.46 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Unemployment rate:
8.3% in metropolitan Lima; widespread underemployment (2008 est.)

Oil - exports:
69,090 bbl/day (2005 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$8,500 (2008 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):
25.7% of GDP (2008 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$17.88 billion (31 December 2007)

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$249.5 billion (2008 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$131.4 billion (2008 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
52 (2003)

Exchange rates:
nuevo sol (PEN) per US dollar - 2.9322 (2008 est.), 3.1731 (2007), 3.2742 (2006), 3.2958 (2005), 3.4132 (2004)

GDP - real growth rate:
9% (2008 est.)

Stock of money:
$14.66 billion (31 December 2007)

Labor force:
10.05 million (2008 est.)

Imports - partners:
US 20.5%, China 10.8%, Brazil 9%, Ecuador 6.1%, Argentina 5.6%, Chile 5%, Colombia 4.8% (2007)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
6.8% (2008 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 8.4%
industry: 25.6%
services: 66% (2007 est.)

Oil - imports:
115,600 bbl/day (2005)

$33.27 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:
1.78 billion cu m (2006 est.)

Currency (code):
nuevo sol (PEN)

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. The Peruvian economy grew by more than 4% per year during the period 2002-06, with a stable exchange rate and low inflation. Growth jumped to 9% per year in 2007 and 2008, driven by higher world prices for minerals and metals and the government's aggressive trade liberalization strategies. Peru's rapid expansion has helped to reduce the national poverty rate by about 15% since 2002, though underemployment and inflation remain high. Despite Peru's strong macroeconomic performance, overdependence on minerals and metals subjects the economy to fluctuations in world prices, and poor infrastructure precludes the spread of growth to Peru's non-coastal areas.

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities:
petroleum and petroleum products, plastics, machinery, vehicles, iron and steel, wheat, paper

mining and refining of minerals; steel, metal fabrication; petroleum extraction and refining, natural gas; fishing and fish processing, textiles, clothing, food processing

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Population below poverty line:
44.5% (2006)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
24.1% (December 2008)

Stock of quasi money:
$19.95 billion (31 December 2007)

Electricity - production:
24.92 billion kWh (2006 est.)

$29.08 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Oil - proved reserves:
382.9 million bbl (1 January 2008 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 0.7%
industry: 23.8%
services: 75.5% (2005)

Natural gas - proved reserves:
337.8 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$31.79 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Oil - consumption:
167,900 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$1.476 billion (2008 est.)

Public debt:
23.6% of GDP (2008 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$32.14 billion (2008 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$106 billion (31 December 2007)

Currency code:

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 1.3%
highest 10%: 40.9% (2003)

Exports - commodities:
copper, gold, zinc, crude petroleum and petroleum products, coffee, potatoes, asparagus, textiles, guinea pigs

Economic aid - recipient:
$397.8 million (2005)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 14.5%
hydro: 84.7%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0.8% (2001)

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - production:
1.78 billion cu m (2006 est.)

revenues: $38.83 billion
expenditures: $35.3 billion (2008 est.)

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Oil - production:
125,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)

  Communications Back To Top

Internet users:
7.636 million (2007)

Telephones - main lines in use:
2.673 million (2007)

3.06 million (1997)

Internet country code:

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 472, FM 198, shortwave 189 (1999)

6.65 million (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:
15.417 million (2007)

Television broadcast stations:
13 (plus 112 repeaters) (1997)

Telephone system:
general assessment: adequate for most requirements
domestic: fixed-line teledensity is only about 9 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity, spurred by competition among multiple providers, has increased to roughly 55 telephones per 100 persons; nationwide microwave radio relay system and a domestic satellite system with 12 earth stations
international: country code - 51; the South America-1 (SAM-1) and Pan American (PAN-AM) submarine cable systems provide links to parts of Central and South America, the Caribbean, and US; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
10 (2000)

Internet hosts:
271,745 (2008)

  Transportation Back To Top

8,808 km
note: 8,600 km of navigable tributaries of Amazon system and 208 km of Lago Titicaca (2008)

gas 1,181 km; gas/liquid petroleum gas 61 km; liquid natural gas 106 km; liquid petroleum gas 517 km; oil 1,749 km; refined products 13 km (2007)

total: 1,989 km
standard gauge: 1,726 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 263 km 0.914-m gauge (2006)

Ports and terminals:
Callao, Iquitos, Matarani, Paita, Pucallpa, Yurimaguas; note - Iquitos, Pucallpa, and Yurimaguas are on the upper reaches of the Amazon and its tributaries

1 (2007)

Merchant marine:
total: 8
by type: cargo 3, chemical tanker 1, petroleum tanker 4
foreign-owned: 1 (Bahamas 1)
registered in other countries: 17 (Belize 1, Panama 16) (2008)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 54
over 3,047 m: 6
2,438 to 3,047 m: 20
1,524 to 2,437 m: 14
914 to 1,523 m: 11
under 914 m: 3 (2007)

total: 78,829 km
paved: 11,351 km (includes 276 km of expressways)
unpaved: 67,478 km (2004)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 183
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 24
914 to 1,523 m: 40
under 914 m: 117 (2007)

237 (2007)

  Military Back To Top

Military service age and obligation:
18-30 years of age for voluntary male and female military service; no conscription (2008)

Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 7,653,898
females age 16-49: 7,531,329 (2008 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 5,796,449
females age 16-49: 6,217,524 (2008 est.)

Military branches:
Army of Peru (Ejercito Peruano), Navy of Peru (Marina de Guerra del Peru, MGP (includes naval air, naval infantry, and Coast Guard)), Air Force of Peru (Fuerza Aerea del Peru, FAP) (2008)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 306,260
female: 296,819 (2008 est.)

Military expenditures:
1.5% of GDP (2006)

  Transnational Issues Back To Top

Disputes - international:
Chile and Ecuador rejected Peru's November 2005 unilateral legislation to shift the axis of their joint treaty-defined maritime boundaries along the parallels of latitude to equidistance lines which favor Peru; organized illegal narcotics operations in Colombia have penetrated Peru's shared border; Peru rejects Bolivia's claim to restore maritime access through a sovereign corridor through Chile along the Peruvian border

Refugees and internally displaced persons:
IDPs: 60,000-150,000 (civil war from 1980-2000; most IDPs are indigenous peasants in Andean and Amazonian regions) (2007)

Illicit drugs:
until 1996 the world's largest coca leaf producer, Peru is now the world's second largest producer of coca leaf, though it lags far behind Colombia; cultivation of coca in Peru declined to 36,000 hectares in 2007; second largest producer of cocaine, estimated at 210 metric tons of potential pure cocaine in 2007; 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, Chile, Argentina, and Bolivia for use in the Southern Cone or transshipment to Europe and Africa; increasing domestic drug consumption

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