By: Dawn Conner
Some facts about Peru
Peru is an ancient city to the Incas.Peru's capital is Lima
Peru is a representative democratic republic divided into 25 regions. It is a developing country with a high Human Development Indexscore and a poverty level around 25.8 percent. Its main economic activities include mining, manufacturing, agriculture and fishing.
The Peruvian population, estimated at 30.4 million, is multiethnic, including Amerindians, Europeans, Africans and Asians. The main spoken language is Spanish, although a significant number of Peruvians speak Quechua or other native languages. This mixture of cultural traditions has resulted in a wide diversity of expressions in fields such as art, cuisine, literature, and music.
With about 29.5 million inhabitants, Peru is the fifth most populous country in South America. Its demographic growth rate declined from 2.6% to 1.6% between 1950 and 2000; population is expected to reach approximately 42 million in 2050. As of 2007, 75.9% lived in urban areas and 24.1% in rural areas. Major cities include the Lima Metropolitan Area (home to over 9.8 million people), Arequipa, Trujillo, Chiclayo, Piura, Iquitos, Cusco, Chimbote, and Huancayo; all reported more than 250,000 inhabitants in the 2007 census. There are 15 uncontacted Amerindian tribes in Peru.
In the 2007 census, 81.3% of the population over 12 years old described themselves as Catholic, 12.5% as Evangelical, 3.3% as of other denominations such as Protestantism,Judaism, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), and Jehovah's Witness, and 2.9% as non-religious. Literacy was estimated at 92.9% in 2007; this rate is lower in rural areas (80.3%) than in urban areas (96.3%). Primary and secondary education are compulsory and free in public schools.
Amerindian religious traditions also play a major role in the beliefs of Peruvians. Catholic festivities like Corpus Christi, holy week and Christmas sometimes blend with Amerindian traditions. Amerindian festivities which were celebrated since pre-Columbian times are also widespread throughout the nation. Inti Raymi, which is an old Inca festival, is still celebrated.
The majority of towns, cities and villages have their own official church or cathedral and patron saint.