According to the last census, carried out in 1972, the population of Peru amounted to 13,575,052 residents, divided into 22 departments and a constitutional province, Callao (see table).
The Peruvian population is composed of 49% of Amerindians, 33% of mestizos and the rest of whites, blacks and mulattoes. The annual growth coefficient, for the period 1970-75, was 3.1%. The conurbation of Lima reached 3 million residents at the end of 1972; other important urban centers are: Trujillo, Callao, Arequipa, Chiclayo, Huancayo and Cuzco.
Economic conditions. – The Peru, which has various and conspicuous natural resources and, in particular, a vast range of mineral deposits, which, however, the world economy has not yet allowed full exploitation, has been receiving increasing benefits for about a decade from fishing and from industries connected to it, canning and shipbuilding. Agriculture, although it has registered some progress, is still hampered in its development by the structure of ownership and cultivation methods, which do not allow, in many regions, to adapt agricultural production to the needs of a constantly developing internal market in order to also the effect of high population pressure. Crops cover just 2.3% of the land area, pastures 21.1%, forests 57.4%. Cotton is mainly grown on the coast (147. 000 ha in 1975), sugar cane (57,000 ha) and rice (117,000 ha). In the Sierra are grown potatoes (280,000 ha, 19 million q), barley, maize; coffee is also grown up to an altitude of 1600 m (140,000 ha, 650,000 q in 1975) which is mostly exported. The extensive forests of the interior slope (Montaña) yielded almost 6.5 million m3 of timber in 1975. The livestock stock includes 17 million sheep, 4 million cattle, 650,000 llamas and over 1 million alpacas, which produce excellent quality wool. But fishing is of enormous importance for the Peruvian economy (about 10 million tonnes of catch in 1971). In 1972, however, there was a very serious crisis in this activity due to hostile ocean phenomena (the displacement of the warm Humboldt current that laps the Peruvian coasts) and also due to excessive exploitation of the fishing schools. Production collapsed from one year to the next (3.5 million tonnes of fish caught in 1975), resulting in a sharp slowdown in the production and export of fishmeal (from 5 million tonnes in 1971 to 3 million in 1973). For Peru 2015, please check dentistrymyth.com.
The exploitation of mineral resources remains at a moderate level, albeit far from real possibilities, especially as regards oil (3.7 million tonnes in 1974). Silver production is slowly but steadily increasing (1,275,000 kg in 1974); those of copper (213,000 t in 1974), zinc (398,000 t), lead (193,000 t) and iron ore (6.2 million t) are also on the rise.
In the industrial sector the textile industry excels, especially the cotton one. Among other industrial activities we can mention those of cement, tobacco and metallurgy, while the chemical, food and mechanical industries only meet local needs. The production of electricity totally controlled by the state through the public body Electroperú, is in continuous development: the installed power of 2.3 million kW in 1974 will be doubled in 1980.
The main export products are agricultural products (sugar, cotton, coffee and wool for US $ 233 million in 1973), mining products (US $ 566 million of copper, zinc, silver) and fishery products (148 Millions of dollars). Imports are mainly made up of manufactured goods (154 million dollars) and raw materials and intermediate products for industry (390 million dollars).
The expansion and modernization of the communications network constitutes one of the fundamental problems for the economic development of the Peru; its solution is made difficult by the orography of the territory (P. has the highest railways on Earth) and by the location of the most important economic centers, very distant from each other. 3218 km of railways and 50,000 km of roads are currently in operation.
Literature. – The second half of the twentieth century marks an era of particular richness and creativity for Peruvian literature, in which the reasons and proposals of the great precursors come to fruition: C. Vallejo in poetry, and JC Mariátegui in ideology and in the organization of culture. It is no coincidence that the bibliography on the two authors has grown impressively since 1950 – in addition to the search for documents relating to them, and the printing of posthumous works -. The fact is that they still constitute the models of modern lyric language and of the critical-historical methodology, with books such as Los heraldos negros or Siete ensayos de interpretación de la realidad peruana. which, although dating back to 1918 and 1928 respectively, have only now reached the status of classics and have entered the school circulation, not to mention the continuous popular reprints. These two precursors left the legacy of a free and visionary song, all woven with images, and of a strongly romantic revolutionary socialism: and both constitute an invitation to rethink the national past, to the particular traditions of ruralism and anti-colonialism. The studies on Quechua culture have also contributed greatly to this search for national identity, from those of J. Basaldre to those of O. Lara, to whom we owe the patient recovery of the scarce but important vestiges of an Inca literature.
With the death of E. López Albújar in 1965 and above all of v. García Calderón in 1959, the great modernist generation was coming to an end. A. Hidalgo, the former futurist, born in 1897, still survives. X. Abril, of 1903, as well as E. Westphalen, of 1911, belongs to the transition group: they were the first to feel the shock of Vallejo’s powerful tropical surrealism. But the new poem bears the names of JE Eielson, born in 1921, of CG Belli, six years younger, of A. Escobar, of 1929, and finally of C. Calvo, now in the position of leader, born in 1940. In all of them the tension, the intimate expressive dialectic, between the surrealist brand irrationalism and a tendency towards the recovery of reality as a function of social protest, has generated precious stylistic mixes and obviously different personal solutions.
But, undoubtedly, this period is marked by the presence and international success of some great storytellers. C. Alegría (1909-1967), after the great season of the works written during the political exile in Chile – including the fundamental El mundo es ancho y ajeno, – closed in an anguished silence, reworking youthful things (the stories of Duelo de cabaleros, 1955) or by starting fragmentary projects, which are only now coming to light. In turn, JM Arguedas (1913-1969) has broadened his moral and historical interests, making use of the cultural contributions deriving from his condition as an ethnologist within his powerful sense of nature. Novels such as Los ríos profundos (1958) and especially Todas las sangres (1964) belong to the best of “Indianist” literature produced by Latin America. The work of M. Scorza and JR Ribeyro, both born in 1929, has been widely disseminated and represents, especially in the case of Scorza, a way of liberation from all naturalistic residues through the refined use of language and style (Scorza, moreover, comes from lyric poetry). But undoubtedly the main figure of the new Peruvian fiction is M. Vargas Llosa, born in 1936 (see in this Appendix). Also remember E. Vargas Vicuña, born in 1924, and CE Zavaleta, of 1928, the latter especially for the novel Unas manos violentas (1958); or the fantastic-surreal narrative of M. Mejía Valera. In the theater, S. Salazar Bondy, born in 1924, of Brechtian tendency, Peru Gibson Parra, E. Solari Swayne and others stand out.