Peru has an average population density of 25 residents
per km2. A large part of the residents live in
the coastal region, while the eastern part with the Andes
eastern mountain slopes and the adjacent rainforest, which
accounts for over 60 per cent of the country's area, only
houses about 5 per cent. In 2019, 78 percent of the
country's population lived in cities, of which Lima's
metropolitan area (including the city of Callao) is
completely dominant with about 30 percent of the country's
Other important cities are Arequipa (1 million residents,
2018) and Trujillo (857 100).
Countryaah data, Peru is one of the few countries in America where the
Indians are in the majority (54.2 percent). Native American
traits are also evident in the large mestizo population (32
percent). The inclusion of whites, mainly descendants of
Spaniards, is relatively small (12 percent), but in the
capital Lima, and thus in the country at large, they have a
disproportionate influence, both politically and
commercially. Other significant minorities are Japanese,
Chinese and Italians. In the 16th and 16th centuries,
African slaves were introduced to the coastal plantations.
African Americans today make up 1 percent.
In the coastal region of Peru, mainly miseries and whites
live, and there are, in addition to Lima, a large number of
other cities with relatively rapid economic growth. This,
combined with drought, floods and other natural disasters in
the mountains, has led to a massive immigration of mountain
Indians and an accelerating cultural and racial mix.
Up in the Andes live two of America's largest Native
American people, Quechua and Aymara. The
former constitute as much as 47.1 percent of Peru's
population, as well as the majority of America's 17 million
quechaeans. The majority of the Aymara people live in
Bolivia; nevertheless, they make up 5.4 percent of Peru's
population. These two Andean groups have much in common,
both linguistically and socially and culturally. They are
engaged in mixed farming, where maize and potatoes are the
most important crops, and where llama and alpaca are
While the Andean area was united and homogenized during
historical times, Peru's lowland area is still characterized
by linguistic and cultural diversity. Of the country's
approximately 70 ethnolinguistic groups, 65 are small
indigenous peoples in the lowlands, which together
constitute only 1.7 percent of the total population. The
largest, aguaruna, numbers 22,000, while the
smallest comprises only a few individuals. Of the more than
a dozen language families, the largest in the lowlands are
pano, arawak and jívaro. What unites these rainforest people
is the dependence on burning and hunting as well as a
relatively egalitarian social organization.
Spanish is the official language and mother tongue of
about 84% of the country's residents. Among the
approximately 90 living indigenous languages, different
Quechua languages (13%) dominate, while the others amount
to 3% (mainly Aymara languages and Arawak languages,
Jívaros and Panos languages). In addition to Spanish, all
native languages now have the status of national languages
in the regions where they dominate.
The Incarctic religious heritage is alive in the Andean
popular piety, despite the colonial church's attempt to
destroy the religion of the Indians. Bishop Torribio de
Mogrovejo of Lima was one of those who fought for the rights
of the Indians.
After independence, the establishment of Protestant
churches began, and many Adventists and Pentecostals applied
to Peru. Pastor Gustavo Gutiérrez launched the liberation
theology in 1970. 92% of the population is Catholic.
Ecumenics is in the fight against poverty. The
interreligious dialogue has increased around "Andean
theology" with the Aymara and Quechua people.