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Peru-Educational System EDUCATION, LANGUAGE, AND LITERACY





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Peru Index

In Peru schooling is regarded as the sine qua non of progress and the key to personal advancement. In 1988 there were over 27,600 primary schools in Peru, one for virtually every hamlet with over 200 persons throughout the country (see table 7, Appendix). It is no exaggeration to say that the presence of a village school and teacher is considered by the poor as the most important first step on the road to "progress" out of poverty and a state of disrespect, if not for themselves, for their children. Because of the historical ethnic and racial discrimination against native peoples, the village school became the instrument and method by which one could learn Spanish, the most important step toward reducing one's "visibility" as an identifiable object of denigration and being able to gain mobility out of the native American caste. The primary school also has provided the means to become a recognized citizen because the exercise of citizenship and access to state services require (in fact, if not officially) a basic ability to use written and spoken Spanish. Thus, the spread of primary schools owed much to the deep desire on the part of the native and rural poor to disassociate themselves from the symbols of denigration. The thrust of Peruvian education has been oriented toward this end, however subtly or even unconsciously. School policies encouraged the discarding of native American clothing and language, and the frequent school plays and skits burlesqued native peoples' practices, such as coca chewing or fiestas, or equated indigenous culture with drunkenness and, often, stupidity and poverty, while at the same time exhorting native children to "lift themselves up." The opposite pole to being native American was to be Spanish- speaking, urban, white-collar, and educated.

The influence of these educational policies is reflected in the currents of social change sweeping Peru in the second half of the twentieth century. In the early 1960s, Peru was a nation where almost 39 percent of the population spoke native languages, half being bilingual in Spanish and half monolingual in a native tongue. By 1981 only 9 percent were monolingual, and 18 percent remained bilingual. In 1990 over 72 percent claimed to speak only Spanish, whereas in 1961, about 60 percent did. In 1990 Quechua was by far the dominant native language spoken in all departments, except Amazonas and Ucayali. Almost 80 percent of Aymara speakers lived in Puno, with many bilingual persons in Arequipa, greater Lima, Tacna, and Moquegua. About 85 percent of the population in 1991 was literate (see table 8, Appendix).

There are many technical and cultural difficulties associated with gathering and reporting information on native languages. Because of this, most experts have concluded that native languages are significantly underreported with respect to bilingualism. According to one study, native languages are the preferred means of communication even within those households whose adult members are bilingual. However, given the force of state policy in education and the many concomitant pressures on the individual, Quechua and Aymara will likely survive largely as second languages.

In the Sierra, where villages and communities are famous for their voluntary work, the majority of self-financed public community projects have been dedicated to the construction and maintenance of their escuelitas (little schools) with little assistance except from their migrant clubs and associations in Lima or other large cities. This overwhelming drive to change personal, family, and community conditions by means of education began at least 150 years ago, at a time when public education was extremely limited and private schooling was open to only the elite mestizo and white populations of the few major cities. In 1990, however, 28 percent of all Peruvians, over 5 million people, were matriculated in primary or secondary schools, which were now within reach of people even in the remotest of places.

In the mid-nineteenth century, aside from a few progressive districts that operated municipal schools, most educational institutions were privately operated. Individual teachers would simply open their own institutes and through modest advertising gain a clientele of paying students. There have been laws mandating public education since the beginning of the republic, but they were not widely implemented. In 1866 the minister of justice and education sought to establish vocational schools and uniform curricula for all public schools and to open schools to women. The Constitutional Congress in 1867 idealistically called for a secondary school for each sex in every provincial capital. With constitutional changes and renewed attempts to modernize, it became the obligation of every department and province to have full primary and secondary education available, at least in theory, to any resident. Primary education was later declared both free and compulsory for all citizens.

The Ministry of Education in Lima exercises authority over a sprawling network of schools for which it uniformly determines curricula, textbook content, and the general values that guide classroom activities nationwide. Because of the importance invested in education, the role of the teacher is respected, especially at the district level, where teachers readily occupy leadership positions. Owing to this tendency, for many years teachers were prohibited from holding public office on the theory that they would, like priests, exercise an unusual level of influence in their districts. The power accruing to a teacher as the only person with postsecondary education in a small rural town can be considerable: the teacher is sought out to solve personal and village problems, settle disputes, and act as spokesperson for the community. Both men and women have eagerly sought teaching positions because they have offered a unique opportunity for personal advancement. In a nation steeped in androcentric traditions, however, teaching has been especially important for women because it has been an avenue of achieving upward mobility, gaining respect, and playing sociopolitical roles in community affairs that have been otherwise closed to them.

Higher education is hence greatly respected. University professors symbolize a high order of achievement, and they are addressed as profesor or profesora. The same recognition of educational achievement is given to other fields as well. Anyone receiving an advanced degree in engineering is always addressed as engineer (ingeniero) or doctor. The titles are prestigious and valued and permanently identify one as an educated person to be rewarded with respect. The titles are therefore coveted, and on graduation the new status is often announced in El Comercio, Lima's oldest daily newspaper.

In 1990, in addition to its primary schools, Peru counted over 5,400 secondary schools (colegios) of all types. Although these too were widely distributed throughout the country, the best secondary schools were heavily concentrated in the major cities and especially in Lima. There, the elite private international institutions and Peruvian Catholic schools have offered excellent programs featuring multilingual instruction and preparation aimed at linking students with foreign universities. The private Catholic schools throughout the country, both primary and secondary, have been highly regarded for their efforts to instill discipline and character.

Because it is required by law that each provincial capital have a public secondary school, such schools historically have come to enjoy special status as surrogate intellectual centers in the absence of universities in their regions. The tradition of strong high school alumni allegiance is pronounced, with organizations and reunions commonplace and attachments to classmates (condiscípulos) enduring. The importance of a high school diploma is further emphasized by each graduating class, which bestows honor on some personage or event by naming its graduation after them. High school graduates take the selection of the class name as an opportunity to make a statement about things that concern them and choose one that embodies their thoughts. This custom is followed by university graduating classes as well.

Because people correlate social and economic well-being with educational achievement, schooling becomes essential not only for its functional usefulness but also for social reasons. The concept of education is infused with high intrinsic value, and educated people by definition are more cultivated (culto), worthy, and qualified to be admired as role models than others. Educated persons are thought to have the duty to speak out and address public issues on behalf of others less privileged; many students have accepted this responsibility as part of their student role.

The development of national identity is another area to which public education is firmly committed. In the wake of the devastating War of the Pacific--in which Peru lost territory, wealth, dignity, and pride--the emergent public school system became the major vehicle by which citizens established strong linkages to the state. Primary and secondary school curricula are thus heavily laden with patriotic, if not jingoistic, nationalism, elements of which are written into the nation's textbooks by the Ministry of Education. If nothing else, the primary school pupil learns that he or she is a Peruvian and that many of Peru's national heroes, such as Admiral Miguel Grau, Colonel Francisco Bolognesi, and Leoncio Prado, were martyrized on the nation's behalf by Chilean forces against whom one must be constantly on guard. Ecuador is viewed in this same tenor, but perceived as less menacing, constituting a vague threat to the nation's security or Amazonic oil rights.

The school calendar is thus filled with observances and ceremonies honoring national heroes and martyrs, including Túpac Amaru II (José Gabriel Condorcanqui). Parades, drum and bugle corps (banda de querra--war band), and flag bearers spend dozens of hours in school yards preparing for the celebration of national holidays (fiestas patrias), national independence day affairs that are the feature of every district, province, and department capital each year on July 27 and 28. In Lima the tradition of fiestas patrias involves a major display of military forces and equipment accompanied by high school units parading the length of Avenida Brasil (Brazil Avenue) across Lima. Completing the essentially military focus on nationalism in the public schools is the pupil uniform, a military cadet-type outfit for boys that includes a cap introduced by the General Manuel Odría regime in the 1950s.

Data as of September 1992

[JPEG]

A street in the town of Huaraz, Ancash Department
Courtesy Inter-American Development Bank

[JPEG]

A school scene in Cusco
Courtesy Karen R. Sagstetter

Educational System

In Peru schooling is regarded as the sine qua non of progress and the key to personal advancement. In 1988 there were over 27,600 primary schools in Peru, one for virtually every hamlet with over 200 persons throughout the country (see table 7, Appendix). It is no exaggeration to say that the presence of a village school and teacher is considered by the poor as the most important first step on the road to "progress" out of poverty and a state of disrespect, if not for themselves, for their children. Because of the historical ethnic and racial discrimination against native peoples, the village school became the instrument and method by which one could learn Spanish, the most important step toward reducing one's "visibility" as an identifiable object of denigration and being able to gain mobility out of the native American caste. The primary school also has provided the means to become a recognized citizen because the exercise of citizenship and access to state services require (in fact, if not officially) a basic ability to use written and spoken Spanish. Thus, the spread of primary schools owed much to the deep desire on the part of the native and rural poor to disassociate themselves from the symbols of denigration. The thrust of Peruvian education has been oriented toward this end, however subtly or even unconsciously. School policies encouraged the discarding of native American clothing and language, and the frequent school plays and skits burlesqued native peoples' practices, such as coca chewing or fiestas, or equated indigenous culture with drunkenness and, often, stupidity and poverty, while at the same time exhorting native children to "lift themselves up." The opposite pole to being native American was to be Spanish- speaking, urban, white-collar, and educated.

The influence of these educational policies is reflected in the currents of social change sweeping Peru in the second half of the twentieth century. In the early 1960s, Peru was a nation where almost 39 percent of the population spoke native languages, half being bilingual in Spanish and half monolingual in a native tongue. By 1981 only 9 percent were monolingual, and 18 percent remained bilingual. In 1990 over 72 percent claimed to speak only Spanish, whereas in 1961, about 60 percent did. In 1990 Quechua was by far the dominant native language spoken in all departments, except Amazonas and Ucayali. Almost 80 percent of Aymara speakers lived in Puno, with many bilingual persons in Arequipa, greater Lima, Tacna, and Moquegua. About 85 percent of the population in 1991 was literate (see table 8, Appendix).

There are many technical and cultural difficulties associated with gathering and reporting information on native languages. Because of this, most experts have concluded that native languages are significantly underreported with respect to bilingualism. According to one study, native languages are the preferred means of communication even within those households whose adult members are bilingual. However, given the force of state policy in education and the many concomitant pressures on the individual, Quechua and Aymara will likely survive largely as second languages.

In the Sierra, where villages and communities are famous for their voluntary work, the majority of self-financed public community projects have been dedicated to the construction and maintenance of their escuelitas (little schools) with little assistance except from their migrant clubs and associations in Lima or other large cities. This overwhelming drive to change personal, family, and community conditions by means of education began at least 150 years ago, at a time when public education was extremely limited and private schooling was open to only the elite mestizo and white populations of the few major cities. In 1990, however, 28 percent of all Peruvians, over 5 million people, were matriculated in primary or secondary schools, which were now within reach of people even in the remotest of places.

In the mid-nineteenth century, aside from a few progressive districts that operated municipal schools, most educational institutions were privately operated. Individual teachers would simply open their own institutes and through modest advertising gain a clientele of paying students. There have been laws mandating public education since the beginning of the republic, but they were not widely implemented. In 1866 the minister of justice and education sought to establish vocational schools and uniform curricula for all public schools and to open schools to women. The Constitutional Congress in 1867 idealistically called for a secondary school for each sex in every provincial capital. With constitutional changes and renewed attempts to modernize, it became the obligation of every department and province to have full primary and secondary education available, at least in theory, to any resident. Primary education was later declared both free and compulsory for all citizens.

The Ministry of Education in Lima exercises authority over a sprawling network of schools for which it uniformly determines curricula, textbook content, and the general values that guide classroom activities nationwide. Because of the importance invested in education, the role of the teacher is respected, especially at the district level, where teachers readily occupy leadership positions. Owing to this tendency, for many years teachers were prohibited from holding public office on the theory that they would, like priests, exercise an unusual level of influence in their districts. The power accruing to a teacher as the only person with postsecondary education in a small rural town can be considerable: the teacher is sought out to solve personal and village problems, settle disputes, and act as spokesperson for the community. Both men and women have eagerly sought teaching positions because they have offered a unique opportunity for personal advancement. In a nation steeped in androcentric traditions, however, teaching has been especially important for women because it has been an avenue of achieving upward mobility, gaining respect, and playing sociopolitical roles in community affairs that have been otherwise closed to them.

Higher education is hence greatly respected. University professors symbolize a high order of achievement, and they are addressed as profesor or profesora. The same recognition of educational achievement is given to other fields as well. Anyone receiving an advanced degree in engineering is always addressed as engineer (ingeniero) or doctor. The titles are prestigious and valued and permanently identify one as an educated person to be rewarded with respect. The titles are therefore coveted, and on graduation the new status is often announced in El Comercio, Lima's oldest daily newspaper.

In 1990, in addition to its primary schools, Peru counted over 5,400 secondary schools (colegios) of all types. Although these too were widely distributed throughout the country, the best secondary schools were heavily concentrated in the major cities and especially in Lima. There, the elite private international institutions and Peruvian Catholic schools have offered excellent programs featuring multilingual instruction and preparation aimed at linking students with foreign universities. The private Catholic schools throughout the country, both primary and secondary, have been highly regarded for their efforts to instill discipline and character.

Because it is required by law that each provincial capital have a public secondary school, such schools historically have come to enjoy special status as surrogate intellectual centers in the absence of universities in their regions. The tradition of strong high school alumni allegiance is pronounced, with organizations and reunions commonplace and attachments to classmates (condiscípulos) enduring. The importance of a high school diploma is further emphasized by each graduating class, which bestows honor on some personage or event by naming its graduation after them. High school graduates take the selection of the class name as an opportunity to make a statement about things that concern them and choose one that embodies their thoughts. This custom is followed by university graduating classes as well.

Because people correlate social and economic well-being with educational achievement, schooling becomes essential not only for its functional usefulness but also for social reasons. The concept of education is infused with high intrinsic value, and educated people by definition are more cultivated (culto), worthy, and qualified to be admired as role models than others. Educated persons are thought to have the duty to speak out and address public issues on behalf of others less privileged; many students have accepted this responsibility as part of their student role.

The development of national identity is another area to which public education is firmly committed. In the wake of the devastating War of the Pacific--in which Peru lost territory, wealth, dignity, and pride--the emergent public school system became the major vehicle by which citizens established strong linkages to the state. Primary and secondary school curricula are thus heavily laden with patriotic, if not jingoistic, nationalism, elements of which are written into the nation's textbooks by the Ministry of Education. If nothing else, the primary school pupil learns that he or she is a Peruvian and that many of Peru's national heroes, such as Admiral Miguel Grau, Colonel Francisco Bolognesi, and Leoncio Prado, were martyrized on the nation's behalf by Chilean forces against whom one must be constantly on guard. Ecuador is viewed in this same tenor, but perceived as less menacing, constituting a vague threat to the nation's security or Amazonic oil rights.

The school calendar is thus filled with observances and ceremonies honoring national heroes and martyrs, including Túpac Amaru II (José Gabriel Condorcanqui). Parades, drum and bugle corps (banda de querra--war band), and flag bearers spend dozens of hours in school yards preparing for the celebration of national holidays (fiestas patrias), national independence day affairs that are the feature of every district, province, and department capital each year on July 27 and 28. In Lima the tradition of fiestas patrias involves a major display of military forces and equipment accompanied by high school units parading the length of Avenida Brasil (Brazil Avenue) across Lima. Completing the essentially military focus on nationalism in the public schools is the pupil uniform, a military cadet-type outfit for boys that includes a cap introduced by the General Manuel Odría regime in the 1950s.

Data as of September 1992



BackgroundAncient 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, has overseen a robust macroeconomic performance.
LocationWestern South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean, between Chile and Ecuador
Area(sq km)total: 1,285,216 sq km
land: 1,279,996 sq km
water: 5,220 sq km
Geographic coordinates10 00 S, 76 00 W
Land boundaries(km)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

Coastline(km)2,414 km

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

Elevation extremes(m)lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Nevado Huascaran 6,768 m
Natural resourcescopper, silver, gold, petroleum, timber, fish, iron ore, coal, phosphate, potash, hydropower, natural gas
Land use(%)arable land: 2.88%
permanent crops: 0.47%
other: 96.65% (2005)

Irrigated land(sq km)12,000 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources(cu km)1,913 cu km (2000)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)total: 20.13 cu km/yr (8%/10%/82%)
per capita: 720 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazardsearthquakes, tsunamis, flooding, landslides, mild volcanic activity
Environment - current issuesdeforestation (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
Environment - international agreementsparty 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
Geography - noteshares 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
Population29,546,963 (July 2009 est.)
Age structure(%)0-14 years: 29.1% (male 4,370,923/female 4,216,364)
15-64 years: 65.2% (male 9,695,270/female 9,574,018)
65 years and over: 5.7% (male 796,631/female 893,757) (2009 est.)
Median age(years)total: 26.1 years
male: 25.8 years
female: 26.4 years (2009 est.)
Population growth rate(%)1.229% (2009 est.)
Birth rate(births/1,000 population)19.38 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Death rate(deaths/1,000 population)6.14 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)

Net migration rate(migrant(s)/1,000 population)-0.95 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Urbanization(%)urban population: 71% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 1.3% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
Sex ratio(male(s)/female)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 (2009 est.)
Infant mortality rate(deaths/1,000 live births)total: 28.62 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 31.07 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 26.06 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)

Life expectancy at birth(years)total population: 70.74 years
male: 68.88 years
female: 72.69 years (2009 est.)

Total fertility rate(children born/woman)2.37 children born/woman (2009 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Peruvian(s)
adjective: Peruvian
Ethnic groups(%)Amerindian 45%, mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 37%, white 15%, black, Japanese, Chinese, and other 3%

Religions(%)Roman Catholic 81.3%, Evangelical 12.5%, other 3.3%, unspecified or none 2.9% (2007 Census)
Languages(%)Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara, and a large number of minor Amazonian languages

Country nameconventional long form: Republic of Peru
conventional short form: Peru
local long form: Republica del Peru
local short form: Peru
Government typeconstitutional republic
Capitalname: Lima
geographic coordinates: 12 03 S, 77 03 W
time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions25 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
Constitution29-Dec-93

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

Suffrage18 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
Executive branchchief of state: President Alan GARCIA Perez (since 28 July 2006); First Vice President Luis GIAMPIETRI Rojas (since 28 July 2006); 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 (since 28 July 2006); Second Vice President Lourdes MENDOZA del Solar (since 28 July 2006)
note: Prime Minister Javier VELASQUEZ Quesquen (since 12 July 2009) 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 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%
Legislative branchunicameral 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

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

Political pressure groups and leadersGeneral Workers Confederation of Peru (Confederacion General de Trabajadores del Peru) or CGTP [Mario HUAMAN]; Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) or SL [Abimael GUZMAN Reynoso (imprisoned), Victor QUISPE Palomino (top leader at-large)] (leftist guerrilla group)
International organization participationAPEC, CAN, FAO, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur (associate), MIGA, MINUSTAH, MONUC, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Flag descriptionthree 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

Economy - overviewPeru'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. Not all Peruvians therefore have shared in the benefits of growth. President GARCIA's pursuit of sound trade and macroeconomic policies has cost him political support since his election. Nevertheless, he remains committed to Peru's free-trade path. The United States and Peru completed negotiations on the implementation of the US-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (PTPA), and the agreement entered into force February 1, 2009, opening the way to greater trade and investment between the two economies.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$247.9 billion (2008 est.)
$225.8 billion (2007 est.)
$207.3 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$127.5 billion (2008 est.)
GDP - real growth rate(%)9.8% (2008 est.)
8.9% (2007 est.)
7.7% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$8,500 (2008 est.)
$7,800 (2007 est.)
$7,300 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
GDP - composition by sector(%)agriculture: 8.5%
industry: 21.2%
services: 70.3% (2008 est.)
Labor force10.2 million (2008 est.)

Labor force - by occupation(%)agriculture: 0.7%
industry: 23.8%
services: 75.5% (2005)
Unemployment rate(%)8.1% (2008 est.)
6.9% (2007 est.)
note: data are for metropolitan Lima; widespread underemployment
Population below poverty line(%)44.5% (2006)
Household income or consumption by percentage share(%)lowest 10%: 1.5%
highest 10%: 37.9% (2006)
Distribution of family income - Gini index49.8 (2005)
46.2 (1996)
Investment (gross fixed)(% of GDP)25.9% of GDP (2008 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $38.01 billion
expenditures: $35.29 billion (2008 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)(%)5.8% (2008 est.)
1.8% (2007 est.)

Stock of money$15.42 billion (31 December 2008)
$14.66 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of quasi money$25.32 billion (31 December 2008)
$19.95 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of domestic credit$21.98 billion (31 December 2008)
$17.88 billion (31 December 2007)
Market value of publicly traded shares$55.63 billion (31 December 2008)
$106 billion (31 December 2007)
$59.66 billion (31 December 2006)
Economic aid - recipient$397.8 million (2005)

Public debt(% of GDP)24% of GDP (2008 est.)
44.1% of GDP (2004 est.)
Agriculture - productsasparagus, coffee, cocoa, cotton, sugarcane, rice, potatoes, corn, plantains, grapes, oranges, pineapples, guavas, bananas, apples, lemons, pears, coca, tomatoes, mango, barley, medicinal plants, palm oil, marigold, onion, wheat, dry beans; poultry, beef, dairy products; fish, guinea pigs
Industriesmining and refining of minerals; steel, metal fabrication; petroleum extraction and refining, natural gas; fishing and fish processing, textiles, clothing, food processing

Industrial production growth rate(%)8% (2008 est.)

Current account balance-$4.18 billion (2008 est.)
$1.22 billion (2007 est.)
Exports$31.53 billion (2008 est.)
$27.88 billion (2007 est.)

Exports - commodities(%)copper, gold, zinc, crude petroleum and petroleum products, coffee, potatoes, asparagus, textiles, fishmeal
Exports - partners(%)US 20%, China 15.2%, Canada 8.3%, Japan 7%, Chile 5.8%, Brazil 4.2% (2008)
Imports$28.44 billion (2008 est.)
$19.6 billion (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities(%)petroleum and petroleum products, plastics, machinery, vehicles, iron and steel, wheat, paper
Imports - partners(%)US 23.7%, China 10.6%, Brazil 7.5%, Ecuador 6.5%, Chile 5.1%, Argentina 5%, Mexico 4.5% (2008)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$31.25 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$27.78 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external$34.59 billion (31 December 2008)
$32.57 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$30.31 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$24.74 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$1.694 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$2.284 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Exchange ratesnuevo sol (PEN) per US dollar - 2.91 (2008 est.), 3.1731 (2007), 3.2742 (2006), 3.2958 (2005), 3.4132 (2004)

Currency (code)nuevo sol (PEN)

Telephones - main lines in use2.878 million (2008)
Telephones - mobile cellular20.952 million (2008)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: adequate for most requirements
domestic: fixed-line teledensity is only about 10 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity, spurred by competition among multiple providers, has increased to more than 70 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) (2008)
Internet country code.pe
Internet users7.128 million (2008)
Airports201 (2009)
Pipelines(km)extra heavy crude 533 km; gas 1,078 km; liquid petroleum gas 654 km; oil 1,018 km; refined products 15 km (2008)
Roadways(km)total: 78,829 km
paved: 11,351 km (includes 276 km of expressways)
unpaved: 67,478 km (2004)

Ports and terminalsCallao, Iquitos, Matarani, Paita, Pucallpa, Yurimaguas; note - Iquitos, Pucallpa, and Yurimaguas are on the upper reaches of the Amazon and its tributaries
Military branchesArmy 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)
Military service age and obligation(years of age)18-30 years of age for voluntary male and female military service; no conscription (2008)
Manpower available for military servicemales age 16-49: 7,653,898
females age 16-49: 7,531,329 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military servicemales age 16-49: 5,920,716
females age 16-49: 6,359,803 (2009 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annuallymale: 310,575
female: 300,838 (2009 est.)
Military expenditures(% of GDP)1.5% of GDP (2006)
Disputes - internationalChile 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 personsIDPs: 60,000-150,000 (civil war from 1980-2000; most IDPs are indigenous peasants in Andean and Amazonian regions) (2007)
Electricity - production(kWh)30.57 billion kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - production by source(%)fossil fuel: 14.5%
hydro: 84.7%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0.8% (2001)
Electricity - consumption(kWh)28.97 billion kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - exports(kWh)0 kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - imports(kWh)0 kWh (2008 est.)
Oil - production(bbl/day)120,200 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Oil - consumption(bbl/day)160,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Oil - exports(bbl/day)68,640 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - imports(bbl/day)133,100 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - proved reserves(bbl)415.8 million bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
Natural gas - production(cu m)3.39 billion cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - consumption(cu m)3.39 billion cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - exports(cu m)0 cu m (2008)
Natural gas - proved reserves(cu m)335.3 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate(%)0.5% (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS76,000 (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths3,300 (2007 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: dengue fever, malaria, and yellow fever
water contact disease: leptospirosis (2009)
Literacy(%)definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 92.9%
male: 96.4%
female: 89.4% (2007 Census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)(years)total: 14 years
male: 14 years
female: 14 years (2006)
Education expenditures(% of GDP)2.5% of GDP (2006)








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