Lima, Peru 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%.


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.


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%