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Fact Sheet on Peru


February 23, 1998

Political Summary

The Republic of Peru is divided into 24 departments and 1 constitutional province, with the capital held in Lima.

The current republic is based upon the constitution of December 31, 1993, which allows for three branches of government: an executive, legislative, and judicial. Head of the executive branch is President Alberto Kenyo Fujimori (first elected by universal suffrage in July 1990, and then re-elected in April 1995). Although holding the office of Prime Minister, Alberto Pandolfi Arbulu exercises no executive power, with such power belonging to the president alone.

The Legislative Branch is composed of a unicameral body of which the Change 90-New Majority(C90/NM) party, under its party leader Alberto Fujimori, holds a 52.1% majority of the total 120 seats. The third branch of government, the judiciary, is the Supreme Court of Justice (Cote Suprema de Justicia). The judges of the court, overseeing the entire civil law legal system in Peru, are appointed by the National Council of the Judiciary.


  • Location: Western Pacific nation in South America, between Chile and Ecuador
  • Total area: 1,285,220 sq km (slightly smaller than Alaska
  • Border nations: Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador
  • Coastline: 2,414 km
  • Climate: tropical in eastern areas, with desert in western parts
  • Terrain: coastal plain in east, steep Andes in center, low Amazon basin jungle in east
  • Natural Resources: copper, silver, gold, petroleum, timber, fish, iron ore, coal, phosphate, potash
  • Land use:
    • arable land: 3%
    • permanent crops: 0%
    • meadows and pastures: 21%
    • forest and woodland: 55%
    • other: 21%


  • Population: 24,523,408 (July 1996 est.)
  • Population density: 19.5 persons/sq km (compared to 27.8/sq km in the U.S., 12.9/sq km in Argentina, 42.7/sq km in Ecuador, 238.2/sq km in Haiti; )
  • Population rate of growth: 1.74% (1996 est.)
  • Birth rate: 24.33 births/1,000 population (1996 est.)
  • Death rate: 6.13 deaths/1,000 population (1996 est.)
  • Net migration rate: -0.76 migrants(s)/1,000 population (1996 est.)
  • Infant mortality rate: 52.2 deaths/1,000 live births (1996 est.)
  • Life expectancy at birth: total population (1996 est.): 69.13 years (male: 66.97 years; female: 71.39 years)
  • Total fertility rate: 3.04 children born/woman (1996 est.)
  • Ethnic divisions: Indian 45%, mestizo (mixed Indian and European ancestry) 37%, white 15%, black, Japanese, Chinese, and other 3%
  • Religions: Roman Catholic
  • Languages: Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara
  • Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write

    total population (1995 est.): 88.7% (male: 94.5%; female: 83%)


  • GDP: purchasing power parity -$87 billion (1995 est.)
  • GDP real growth rate: 6.8% (1995 est.)
  • GDP per capita: $3,600 (1995 est.)
  • Inflation rate (consumer prices): 10.2% (1995 est.)
  • Labor force: 8 million (1992)

    by occupation: agriculture, mining and quarrying, manufacturing, construction, transport, services

  • Unemployment rate: 15% (1992 est.)
  • Budget: revenues: $8.5 billion

    expenditures: $9.3 billion including capital expenditures of $NA (1996 est.)

  • Industries: mining of metals, petroleum, fishing, textiles, clothing, food processing, cement, auto assembly, steel, shipbuilding, metal fabrication
  • Agriculture: coffee, cotton, sugarcane, rice, wheat, potatoes, plantains, coca; poultry, red meats, dairy products, wool; fish catch of 6.9 million metric tons (1990)
  • Exports: $5.6 billion (f.o.b., 1995 est.)

    commodities: copper, zinc, fishmeal, crude petroleum and byproducts, lead, refined silver, coffee, cotton

    partners: US 19%, Japan 9%, Italy, Germany
  • Imports: $7.4 billion (f.o.b., 1995 est.)

    commodities: machinery, transport equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum, iron and steel, chemicals, pharmaceuticals

    partners: US 21%, Colombia, Argentina, Japan, Germany, Brazil

  • External debt: $22.4 billion (1994 est.)
  • Economic aid: recipient: ODA, $363 million (1993)

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