Peru

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PAGE LAST UPDATED ON NOVEMBER 15, 2011
Flag of Peru
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Location of Peru
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OF PERU
 

Introduction

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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 were 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.
 
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Geography

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Western South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean, between Chile and Ecuador
 
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10 00 S, 76 00 W
 
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total: 1,285,216 sq km
country comparison to the world: 20
land: 1,279,996 sq km
water: 5,220 sq km
 
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slightly smaller than Alaska
 
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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
 
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2,414 km
 
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territorial sea: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm
 
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varies from tropical in east to dry desert in west; temperate to frigid in Andes
 
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western coastal plain (costa), high and rugged Andes in center (sierra), eastern lowland jungle of Amazon Basin (selva)
 
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lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Nevado Huascaran 6,768 m
 
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copper, silver, gold, petroleum, timber, fish, iron ore, coal, phosphate, potash, hydropower, natural gas
 
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arable land: 2.88%
permanent crops: 0.47%
other: 96.65% (2005)
 
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11,950 sq km (2008)
 
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1,913 cu km (2000)
 
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total: 20.13 cu km/yr (8%/10%/82%)
per capita: 720 cu m/yr (2000)
 
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earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding, landslides, mild volcanic activity
volcanism: Peru experiences volcanic activity in the Andes Mountains; Ubinas (elev. 5,672 m), which last erupted in 2009, is the country's most active volcano; other historically active volcanoes include El Misti, Huaynaputina, Sabancaya, and Yucamane
 
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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
 
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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
 
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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
 
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People and Society

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noun: Peruvian(s)
adjective: Peruvian
 
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Amerindian 45%, mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 37%, white 15%, black, Japanese, Chinese, and other 3%
 
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Spanish (official) 84.1%, Quechua (official) 13%, Aymara 1.7%, Ashaninka 0.3%, other native languages (includes a large number of minor Amazonian languages) 0.7%, other 0.2% (2007 Census)
 
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Roman Catholic 81.3%, Evangelical 12.5%, other 3.3%, unspecified or none 2.9% (2007 Census)
 
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29,248,943 (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 42
 
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0-14 years: 28.5% (male 4,245,023/female 4,101,220)
15-64 years: 65.1% (male 9,316,128/female 9,722,258)
65 years and over: 6.4% (male 885,703/female 978,611) (2011 est.)
 
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total: 26.2 years
male: 25.5 years
female: 26.8 years (2011 est.)
 
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1.029% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 115
 
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19.41 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 95
 
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5.93 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 165
 
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-3.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 177
 
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urban population: 77% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 1.6% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
 
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LIMA (capital) 8.769 million; Arequipa 778,000 (2009)
 
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at birth: 1.046 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 (2011 est.)
 
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98 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)
country comparison to the world: 72
 
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total: 22.18 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 90
male: 24.49 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 19.77 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)
 
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total population: 72.47 years
country comparison to the world: 128
male: 70.55 years
female: 74.48 years (2011 est.)
 
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2.32 children born/woman (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 97
 
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4.6% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 147
 
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0.92 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
country comparison to the world: 106
 
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1.5 beds/1,000 population (2009)
country comparison to the world: 122
 
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improved:
urban: 90% of population
rural: 61% of population
total: 82% of population
unimproved:
urban: 10% of population
rural: 39% of population
total: 18% of population (2008)
 
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improved:
urban: 81% of population
rural: 36% of population
total: 68% of population
unimproved:
urban: 19% of population
rural: 64% of population
total: 32% of population (2008)
 
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0.4% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 70
 
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75,000 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48
 
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5,000 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 38
 
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degree 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)
 
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16.3% (2000)
country comparison to the world: 29
 
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5.4% (2005)
country comparison to the world: 81
 
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2.7% of GDP (2008)
country comparison to the world: 143
 
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definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 92.9%
male: 96.4%
female: 89.4% (2007 Census)
 
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total: 14 years
male: 13 years
female: 13 years (2006)
 
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total: 14%
country comparison to the world: 82
male: 12.5%
female: 15.6% (2008)
 
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Government

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conventional long form: Republic of Peru
conventional short form: Peru
local long form: Republica del Peru
local short form: Peru
 
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constitutional republic
 
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name: Lima
geographic coordinates: 12 03 S, 77 03 W
time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)
 
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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
 
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28 July 1821 (from Spain)
 
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Independence Day, 28 July (1821)
 
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29 December 1993
 
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civil law system
 
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accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
 
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18 years of age; universal and compulsory until the age of 70
 
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chief of state: President Ollanta HUMALA Tasso (since 28 July 2011); First Vice President Marisol ESPINOZA Cruz (since 28 July 2011); Second Vice President Omar CHEHADE (since 28 July 2011); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Ollanta HUMALA Tasso (since 28 July 2011); First Vice President Marisol ESPINOZA Cruz (since 28 July 2011); Second Vice President Omar CHEHADE (since 28 July 2011)
note: Prime Minister Salomon LERNER Ghitis (since 28 July 2011) does not exercise executive power; this power rests with the president
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
(For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for nonconsecutive reelection); presidential and congressional elections last held on 10 April 2011 with runoff election held on 6 June 2011 (next to be held in April 2016)
election results: Ollanta HUMALA Tasso elected president in runoff election; percent of vote - Ollanta HUMALA Tasso 51.5%, Keiko FUJIMORI Higuchi 48.5%
 
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unicameral Congress of the Republic of Peru or Congreso de la Republica del Peru (130 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held on 10 April 2011 (next to be held in April 2016)
election results: percent of vote by party - Gana Peru 25.3%, Fuerza 2011 23%, PP 14.8%, Alliance for Great Change 14.4%, National Solidarity 10.2%, Peruvian Aprista Party 6.4%, other 5.9%; seats by party - Gana Peru 47, Fuerza 2011 37, PP 21, Alliance for Great Change 12, National Solidarity 9, Peruvian Aprista Party 4
 
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Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (judges are appointed by the National Council of the Judiciary)
 
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Alliance for Great Change (Alianza por el Gran Cambio) (a coalition of the Alliance for Progress, Humanist Party, National Restoration Party, and Popular Christian Party) [Pedro Pablo KUCZYNSKI]; Fuerza 2011 [Keiko FUJIMORI]; Gana Peru (a coalition of Lima Para Todos, Peruvian Communist Party, Peruvian Nationalist Party, and Peruvian Socialist Party) [Ollanta HUMALA Tasso]; National Solidarity (Solidaridad Nacional) or SN (a coalition of Cambio 90, Siempre Unidos, Todos por el Peru, and Union for Peru or UPP) [Luis CASTANEDA Lossio]; Peru Posible or PP (a coalition of Accion Popular and Somos Peru) [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)
 
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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), Victor QUISPE Palomino (top leader at-large)] (leftist guerrilla group)
 
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APEC, BIS, CAN, FAO, G-15, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur (associate), MIGA, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
 
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chief of mission: Ambassador Harold Winston FORSYTH Mejia
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, Dallas, Denver, Hartford, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Paterson (New Jersey), San Francisco
 
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chief of mission: Ambassador Rose M. LIKINS
embassy: Avenida La Encalada, Cuadra 17 s/n, Surco, Lima 33
mailing address: P. O. Box 1995, Lima 1; American Embassy (Lima), APO AA 34031-5000
telephone: [51] (1) 618-2000
FAX: [51] (1) 618-2397
 
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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 (representing fauna), a cinchona tree (the source of quinine, signifying flora), and a yellow cornucopia spilling out coins (denoting mineral wealth); red recalls blood shed for independence, white symbolizes peace
 
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vicuna (a camelid related to the llama)
 
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name: "Himno Nacional del Peru" (National Anthem of Peru)
lyrics/music: Jose DE LA TORRE Ugarte/Jose Bernardo ALZEDO
note: adopted 1822; the song won a national contest for an anthem
 
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Economy

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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 almost 6% per year during the period 2002-06, with a stable exchange rate and low inflation. Growth jumped to nearly 9% per year in 2007 and 10% in 2008, driven by private investment and government spending, but then fell to less than 1% in 2009 in the face of the world recession, a sharp fall of private investment, and a substantial increase in counter-cyclical government spending. Growth resumed in 2010 at above 8%, due partly to a leap in private investment and continued high government spending. Peru's rapid expansion coupled with the government's conditional cash transfers and other programs have helped to reduce the national poverty rate by over 19 percentage points since 2002, though underemployment remains high. Inflation in 2010 was within the Central Bank's 1%-3% target range. Despite Peru's strong macroeconomic performance, dependence on minerals and metals exports and imported foodstuffs subjects the economy to fluctuations in world prices. Poor infrastructure hinders the spread of growth to Peru's non-coastal areas. A growing number of Peruvians are sharing in the benefits of growth but despite President GARCIA's pursuit of sound trade and macroeconomic policies, inequality persists. Nevertheless, he remains committed to Peru's free-trade path. Since 2006, Peru has signed trade deals with the United States, Canada, Singapore, China, Korea, and Japan, concluded negotiations with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and Chile, and begun trade talks with Central American countries and others. The US-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (PTPA) entered into force 1 February 2009, opening the way to greater trade and investment between the two economies. Rising world prices of foodstuffs and fuel, coupled with strong domestic demand, are immediate concerns for 2011. Peru has continued to attract foreign investment. However, political disputes may impede development of some projects related to natural resource extraction.
 
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$275.7 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 43
$253.4 billion (2009 est.)
$251.3 billion (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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$152.8 billion (2010 est.)
 
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8.8% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 11
0.9% (2009 est.)
9.8% (2008 est.)
 
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$9,200 (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 115
$8,600 (2009 est.)
$8,600 (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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agriculture: 10%
industry: 35%
services: 55% (2010 est.)
 
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10.58 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48
 
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agriculture: 0.7%
industry: 23.8%
services: 75.5% (2005)
 
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6.6% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 61
8.9% (2009 est.)
note: data are for metropolitan Lima; widespread underemployment
 
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34.8% (2009)
 
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lowest 10%: 1.4%
highest 10%: 35.9% (2009)
 
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48 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 27
46.2 (1996)
 
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25.1% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 60
 
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revenues: $44.53 billion
expenditures: $45.46 billion (2010 est.)
 
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29.1% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 95
 
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-0.6% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53
 
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23.9% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 102
27.3% of GDP (2009 est.)
 
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1.5% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 43
2.9% (2009 est.)
note: data are for metropolitan Lima
 
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3.8% (31 December 2010)
country comparison to the world: 107
2.05% (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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18.975% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 17
21.033% (31 December 2009 est.)
note: domestic currency lending rate
 
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$21.69 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 63
$17.48 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$56.76 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 64
$45.41 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$44.2 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 67
$36.97 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$160.9 billion (31 December 2010)
country comparison to the world: 38
$107.3 billion (31 December 2009)
$57.2 billion (31 December 2008)
 
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asparagus, 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
 
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mining and refining of minerals; steel, metal fabrication; petroleum extraction and refining, natural gas and natural gas liquefaction; fishing and fish processing, cement, textiles, clothing, food processing
 
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13.6% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 13
 
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35.79 billion kWh (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 60
 
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31.74 billion kWh (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 58
 
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111.9 million kWh (2010 est.)
 
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0 kWh (2010 est.)
 
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158,300 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 44
 
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189,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 59
 
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73,280 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 72
 
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88,080 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68
 
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532.7 million bbl (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 49
 
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7.24 billion cu m (2010)
country comparison to the world: 46
 
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3.65 billion cu m (2010)
country comparison to the world: 66
 
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3.59 billion cu m
country comparison to the world: 30
note: in 2010 Peru became a net exporter of LNG (2010 est.)
 
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0 cu m (2010)
country comparison to the world: 113
 
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345.5 billion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 36
 
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-$2.315 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 162
$210.6 million (2009 est.)
 
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$35.56 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 61
$26.96 billion (2009 est.)
 
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copper, gold, zinc, tin, iron ore, molybdenum; crude petroleum and petroleum products, natural gas; coffee, potatoes, asparagus and other vegetables, fruit, apparel and textiles, fishmeal
 
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China 18.4%, US 16.1%, Canada 11.7%, Japan 6.6%, Germany 4.5%, Spain 4% (2010)
 
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$28.82 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62
$21.01 billion (2009 est.)
 
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petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, plastics, machinery, vehicles, color TV sets, power shovels, front-end loaders, telephones and telecommunication equipment, iron and steel, wheat, corn, soybean products, paper, cotton, vaccines and medicines
 
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US 24.7%, China 13%, Brazil 7.4%, Ecuador 4.7%, Chile 4.3%, Colombia 4.2% (2010)
 
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$44.21 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 38
$33.23 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$42.27 billion (30 June 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 61
$34.25 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
note: public debt component of total: $20.6 billion (31 December 2009)
 
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$44.24 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 55
$36.91 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$2.095 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 67
$1.88 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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nuevo sol (PEN) per US dollar -
2.8178 (2010)
3.0115 (2009)
2.91 (2008)
3.1731 (2007)
3.2742 (2006)
 
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Communications

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3.16 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 49
 
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29.115 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 33
 
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general assessment: adequate for most requirements; nationwide microwave radio relay system and a domestic satellite system with 12 earth stations
domestic: fixed-line teledensity is only about 10 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity, spurred by competition among multiple providers, has increased to roughly 85 telephones per 100 persons
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) (2009)
 
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10 major television networks of which only one, Television Nacional de Peru, is state-owned; multi-channel cable TV services are available; in excess of 2,000 radio stations including a substantial number of indigenous language stations (2010)
 
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.pe
 
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268,225 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 62
 
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9.158 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 31
 
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Transportation

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211 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 29
 
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total: 58
over 3,047 m: 6
2,438 to 3,047 m: 20
1,524 to 2,437 m: 15
914 to 1,523 m: 13
under 914 m: 4 (2010)
 
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total: 153
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 24
914 to 1,523 m: 40
under 914 m: 87 (2010)
 
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1 (2010)
 
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extra heavy crude 533 km; gas 1,526 km; liquid petroleum gas 679 km; oil 1,033 km; refined products 15 km (2010)
 
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total: 2,020 km
country comparison to the world: 73
standard gauge: 1,886 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 134 km 0.914-m gauge (2010)
 
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total: 102,887 km
country comparison to the world: 41
note: includes 23,838 km of national roads, 19,049 km of departmental roads, and 60,000 km of local roads (2007)
 
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8,808 km (there are 8,600 km of navigable tributaries on the Amazon system and 208 km on Lago Titicaca) (2010)
country comparison to the world: 14
 
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total: 13
country comparison to the world: 106
by type: cargo 2, chemical tanker 2, liquefied gas 2, petroleum tanker 7
foreign-owned: 1 (Bahamas 1)
registered in other countries: 13 (Belize 1, Panama 12) (2010)
 
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Callao, Iquitos, Matarani, Paita, Pucallpa, Yurimaguas; note - Iquitos, Pucallpa, and Yurimaguas are on the upper reaches of the Amazon and its tributaries
oil terminals: Conchan oil terminal, La Pampilla oil terminal
 
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Military

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Army (Ejercito Peruano), Navy (Marina de Guerra del Peru, MGP (includes naval air, naval infantry, and Coast Guard)), Air Force of Peru (Fuerza Aerea del Peru, FAP) (2011)
 
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18-30 years of age for voluntary male and female military service; no conscription (2008)
 
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males age 16-49: 7,385,588
females age 16-49: 7,727,623 (2010 est.)
 
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males age 16-49: 5,788,629
females age 16-49: 6,565,097 (2010 est.)
 
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male: 304,094
female: 298,447 (2010 est.)
 
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1.5% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 99
 
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Transnational Issues

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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
 
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IDPs: 60,000-150,000 (civil war from 1980-2000; most IDPs are indigenous peasants in Andean and Amazonian regions) (2007)
 
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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 was estimated at 40,000 hectares in 2009, a slight decrease over 2008; second largest producer of cocaine, estimated at 225 metric tons of potential pure cocaine in 2009; 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 (2011)
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