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  Peru Information & Facts
An Overview of Spectacular

Peru ranks amongst the world's great centers of ancient civilization. Their remains fascinate travelers and archaeologists alike. Peru is located in the west central part of South America and is a country of geographical and cultural contrast. Peru is the 19th largest country in the world and is bordered north by Ecuador, to the south by Chile and Bolivia, to the east by Columbia and Brazil and to the west by the Pacific Ocean. Peru is a diverse country due to the climatic, natural and cultural variation of its regions, which include coast, sierra and jungle.

Peru is populated by over 23 million people, largely descendents of Spanish settlers and native Inca and pre-Inca cultures. Today there are three national languages: Spanish, and the native Quechua and Aymara, reflecting the native Indian and Spanish roots that cultivate modern Peruvian society.


Population: 23 million, approximately 7 million live in the greater Lima Peru area.

Education and Literacy: Three-level, eleven-year education system based on reforms made after the 1968 revolution. First preprimary level for children up to six years of age. Free, six-year primary education at second level (compulsory) for children between six and fifteen years of age. Five-year secondary education begins at age twelve. In 1990, only 58.6 percent of school-age children attended school. At this time, Peru had twenty-seven national and nineteen private universities, all government-regulated and recipients of public funding. The estimated literacy rate in Peru is 85%.

Health: Peru's health indicators are poor, with annual public health expenditure per capita of US$18 in 1990. In 1992 birth rate 27 births per 1,000 population; infant mortality rate 69 per 1,000 live births; life expectancy 63 years male, 67 years female. Over 25% of urban residences and over 90% of rural residences lacked potable water and sewerage, resulting in high death rates from infectious diseases. In 1991 about 1,200 died weekly from malnutrition and extreme poverty, while 38% of the survivors suffered chronic malnutrition. Total of 22,000 physicians in 1991. In 1992, abortion was considered one of the primary health threats for Peruvian women. 43% of all maternal hospitalizations in Peru resulted from botched abortions. Abortion is illegal in Peru.

Religion: Peru is predominantly (92.5%) Roman Catholic, Protestantism, including Mormonism growing rapidly among urban poor and some tribes, although accounting for only about 4.5% of Peruvians in 1990. Other denominations include the Anglican Communion; the Methodist Church; and the Bahai Faith.

Official Language: Spanish. Quechua and Aymara are spoken by the highland Indians

Ethnic Groups: Native American, 45%; mestizo 37%; white, 15%; black, Asian and other, 3%

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