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. 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 resignation in 2000. A caretaker government oversaw new elections 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. In June 2011, former army officer Ollanta HUMALA Tasso was elected president, defeating Keiko FUJIMORI Higuchi, the daughter of Alberto FUJIMORI. Since his election, HUMALA has carried on the sound, market-oriented economic policies of the three preceding administrations.

Other Information

Natural Resources

copper, silver, gold, petroleum, timber, fish, iron ore, coal, phosphate, potash, hydropower, natural gas

Land Use

arable land: 2.84%
permanent crops: 0.66%
other: 96.5% (2011)


30,147,935 (July 2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 43

Ethnic Groups

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


Roman Catholic 81.3%, Evangelical 12.5%, other 3.3%, none 2.9% (2007 est.)


Spanish (official) 84.1%, Quechua (official) 13%, Aymara (official) 1.7%, Ashaninka 0.3%, other native languages (includes a large number of minor Amazonian languages) 0.7%, other (includes foreign languages and sign language) 0.2% (2007 est.)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 89.6% male: 94.9% female: 84.6% (2007 est.)



Government Type

constitutional republic


28 July 1821 (from Spain)

National Holiday

Independence Day, 28 July (1821)