macrohistory & world report

Republic of Peru

Map of Peru

Peru (capital Lima) and neighboring states

World Factbook as of November 2014: "Peru's economy reflects its varied topography - an arid lowland coastal region, the central high sierra of the Andes, the dense forest of the Amazon, with tropical lands bordering Colombia and Brazil. 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 third largest producer of copper. The Peruvian economy has been growing by an average of 5.6% for the past five years with a stable exchange rate and low inflation, which in 2013 was just below the upper limit of the Central Bank target range of 1 to 3%. For the last three years, this growth was due partly to high international prices for Peru's metals and minerals exports, which account for almost 60% of the country's total exports. 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 28 percentage points since 2002, but inequality persists and continues to pose a challenge for the Ollanta HUMALA administration, which has 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. Peru's free trade policy has 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, concluded negotiations with Guatemala, and begun trade talks with Honduras and El Salvador, Turkey and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Peru also has signed a trade pact with Chile, Colombia, and Mexico, called the Pacific Alliance, that rivals Mercosur. Since the US-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement entered into force in February 2009, total trade between Peru and the United States has doubled. Although Peru has continued to attract foreign investment, political activism and protests are hampering development of some projects related to natural resource extraction."

Economic growth rate
2011: 6.9% (2011 est.)
2010: 8.8% (2010 est.)
2009: 0.9%

Labor force in agriculture
2005: 0.7%

Unemployment rate
2011: 7.7% )
2010: 7.9% )
note: data are for metropolitan Lima; widespread underemployment

Public debt
2011: 21.7% of GDP

Export commodities
copper, gold, lead, zinc, tin, iron ore, molybdenum, silver; crude petroleum and petroleum products, natural gas; coffee, asparagus and other vegetables, fruit, apparel and textiles, fishmeal, fish, chemicals, fabricated metal products and machinery, alloys.

Export partners
2011: China 15.2%, Switzerland 13%, US 12.7%, Canada 9.1%, Japan 4.8%, Germany 4.2%

Export-import ratio
2011: exports far exceed imports in cash value

Income Distribution – GINI index
Ranks 36th among 140 countries (lower rank number is less equal). Less equal than Britain, which ranks 94th, and the US, which ranks 45th.

Health expenditures
2009: 4.6% of GDP

Military expenditures as a percentage of GDP
2006: 1.5%


Living in an urban area
2010: 77%
2008: 71%

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

2007 census: Roman Catholic 81.3%, Evangelical 12.5%, other 3.3%, unspecified or none 2.9%

Net migration rate
2012: net loss of 3.03 persons per 1,000 population per year.


South of Ecuador and Colombia, north of Chile and Bolivia. 2,414 kilometers (1,508 miles) of coastline along the Pacific.


Constitutional Republic. President elected by popular vote to a five-year term. President is both head-of-state and the government. Prime minister does not exercise executive power. Unicameral legislature with members elected by popular vote to five-year terms.Capitol: Lima. 

The World Factbook

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