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 percent of the country’s area, only houses about 5 percent. 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 total population.
Other important cities are Arequipa (1 million residents, 2018) and Trujillo (857 100).
According to 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.
According to thesciencetutor, 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 important livestock.
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.
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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.