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Geography—note: shares control of Lago Titicaca, world's highest navigable lake, with Bolivia

total: 1,285,220 sq km
land: 1.28 million sq km
water: 5,220 sq km

Area—comparative: slightly smaller than Alaska

Coastline: 2,414 km

Climate: varies from tropical in east to dry desert in west

Terrain: western coastal plain (costa), high and rugged Andes in center (sierra), eastern lowland jungle of Amazon Basin (selva)

Natural resources: copper, silver, gold, petroleum, timber, fish, iron ore, coal, phosphate, potash

Environment—current issues: deforestation; 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

Population: 26,111,110 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 36% (male 4,745,363; female 4,589,017)
15-64 years: 60% (male 7,856,414; female 7,752,085)
65 years and over: 4% (male 535,566; female 632,665) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.97% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 26.69 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 5.81 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 43.42 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 69.97 years
male: 67.78 years
female: 72.25 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.31 children born/woman (1998 est.)

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

Religions: Roman Catholic

Languages: Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 88.7%
male: 94.5%
female: 83% (1995 est.)

National capital: Lima

Independence: 28 July 1821 (from Spain)

National holiday: Independence Day, 28 July (1821)

Constitution: 31 December 1993

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Political parties and leaders: Change 90-New Majority (C90/NM), Alberto FUJIMORI; Union for Peru (UPP), Javier PEREZ de CUELLAR; American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (APRA), Luis ALVA Castro; Independent Moralizing Front (FIM), Fernando OLIVERA Vega; Democratic Coordinator (CODE)—Pais Posible, Jose BARBA Caballero and Alejandro TOLEDO; Popular Action Party (AP), Juan DIAZ Leon; Popular Christian Party (PPC), Luis BEDOYA Reyes; Renovation Party, Rafael REY Rey; Civic Works Movement (OBRAS), Ricardo BELMONT; United Left (IU); Independent Agrarian Movement (MIA) 

Economy—overview: The Peruvian economy has become increasingly market-oriented, with major privatizations completed since 1990 in the mining, electricity, and telecommunications industries. In the 1980s, the economy suffered from hyperinflation, declining per capita output, and mounting external debt. Peru was shut off from IMF and World Bank support in the mid-1980s because of its huge debt arrears. An austerity program implemented shortly after the FUJIMORI government took office in July 1990 contributed to a third consecutive yearly contraction of economic activity, but the slide came to a halt late that year, and in 1991 output rose 2.4%. After a burst of inflation as the austerity program eliminated government price subsidies, monthly price increases eased to the single-digit level and by December 1991 dropped to the lowest increase since mid-1987. Lima obtained a financial rescue package from multilateral lenders in September 1991, although it faced $14 billion in arrears on its external debt. By working with the IMF and World Bank on new financial conditions and arrangements, the government succeeded in ending its arrears by March 1993. In 1992, GDP fell by 2.8%, in part because a warmer-than-usual El Nino current resulted in a 30% drop in the fish catch, but the economy rebounded as strong foreign investment helped push growth to 7% in 1993, about 13% in 1994, and 6.8% in 1995. Growth slowed to about 2.8% in 1996 as the government adopted tight fiscal and monetary policy to reduce the current account deficit and meet its IMF targets. Growth then rebounded to 7.3% in 1997 even as inflation fell to its lowest level in 23 years. Capital inflows surged to record levels in early 1997 and have remained strong despite economic shocks stemming from the Asian financial crisis and the El Nino weather events.

GDP—real growth rate: 7.3% (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 14%
industry: 41%
services: 45% (1996)

Agriculture—products: coffee, cotton, sugarcane, rice, wheat, potatoes, plantains, coca; poultry, red meats, dairy products, wool; fish catch of 6.9 million metric tons (1990)

total value: $5.9 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: copper, zinc, fishmeal, crude petroleum and byproducts, lead, refined silver, coffee, cotton
partners: US 20%, Japan 7%, UK 7%, China 7%, Germany 5% (1996)

total value: $9.2 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: machinery, transport equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum, iron and steel, chemicals, pharmaceuticals
partners: US 31%, Colombia 7%, Chile 6%, Venezuela 6%, UK 6% (1996)

Debt—external: $25.7 billion (1996 est.)

Currency: 1 nuevo sol (S/.) = 100 centimos 

Military manpower—availability:
males age 15-49: 6,756,771 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—fit for military service:
males: 4,555,282 (1998 est.)

Military expenditures—dollar figure: $998 million (1996); note—may not include off-budget purchases related to military modernization program

Military expenditures—percent of GDP: 1.9% (1996)

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