About Peru

Languages

Spanish (official)82.9%
Quechua (official)13.6%
Aymara (official)1.6%
Ashaninka0.3%
other native languages (includes a large number of minor Amazonian languages)0.8%
other (includes foreign languages and sign language)0.2%
none0.1%
unspecified 0.7% (2017 est.) 

Background

Ancient Peru was the seat of several prominent Andean civilizations, most notably that of the Incas whose empire was captured by Spanish conquistadors in 1533. Peru declared its independence 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 resignation in 2000. A caretaker government oversaw a new election in the spring of 2001, which installed Alejandro TOLEDO Manrique as the new head of government – Peru’s first democratically elected president of indigenous ethnicity. The presidential election of 2006 saw the return of Alan GARCIA Perez who, after a disappointing presidential term from 1985 to 1990, oversaw a robust economic rebound. Former army officer Ollanta HUMALA Tasso was elected president in June 2011, and carried on the sound, market-oriented economic policies of the three preceding administrations. Poverty and unemployment levels have fallen dramatically in the last decade, and today Peru boasts one of the best performing economies in Latin America. Pedro Pablo KUCZYNSKI Godard won a very narrow presidential runoff election in June 2016. Facing impeachment after evidence surfaced of his involvement in a vote-buying scandal, President KUCZYNSKI offered his resignation on 21 March 2018. Two days later, First Vice President Martin Alberto VIZCARRA Cornejo was sworn in as president. On 30 September 2019, President VIZCARRA invoked his constitutional authority to dissolve Peru’s Congress after months of battling with the body over anticorruption reforms. New congressional elections took place on 26 January 2020 resulting in the return of an opposition-led legislature. President VIZCARRA was impeached by Congress on 9 November 2020 for a second time and removed from office after being accused of corruption and mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of vacancies in the vice-presidential positions, constitutional succession led to the President of the Peruvian Congress, Manuel MERINO, becoming the next president of Peru. His ascension to office was not well received by the population, and large protests forced his resignation on 15 November 2020. On 17 November, Francisco SAGASTI assumed the position of President of Peru after being appointed President of the Congress the previous day. Jose Pedro CASTILLO Terrones won the second round of presidential elections on 6 June 2021, and was inaugurated on 28 July.

Religion

Christianity (self-proclaimed)94.06%
Ethnic Religions2.76%
Non-religious2.54%
Other0.64%
Independent5.46%
Protestant7.42%
Roman Catholic86.55%
Other Christian (self-proclaimed)0.56%
% of self-proclaimed Christians

(Information on Peru from Joshua Project and the CIA World Factbook)