Peru Society

By | May 29, 2021

Proportion of literate adults: 94.1% (2018, HDR 19)

Major religions: Catholicism approx. 89%, Protestant 7%

Urban population: 77.9% (2018, HDR 19)

Life expectancy: 76.5 (2018, HDR 19)

Gender Inequality Index: 0.381 (2018, HDR 19)

Child mortality under five years (out of 1000): 15 (2018, HDR 19)

Stl. Education expenditure (% GNP): 3.9% (2018, HDR 19)

Social structure

Family in the Andean highlands

Family in the Andean highlands

The age structure is characterized by a large proportion of the young population. In 1950 the proportion of people under the age of 15 was 47%, in 2015 the proportion fell to around 28%. At the same time, the proportion of people aged between 15 and 49 rose from 43% to 53% in the same period (INEI 2015).

Data on the development and composition of the population in ethnic terms are not kept in Peru. According to estimates, the population of the country is grouped as follows: 47% indigenous, 33% mestizo, 15% white and 4% Afro-Peruvians.

The indigenous people are at the same time 91% of the people of the Quechua, Aymara and 4.5% to 4.5% to other peoples in the Amazon. Most of the indigenous people of America live in Peru, with a number of around 12 million. The indigenous people live in the mountains or in the suburbs of the big cities, which means that they represent the highest proportion of the poor, have little access to services, information, transport, media, markets, education, electricity and water and have little political participation and very little political representation to have. In Peru, the indigenous people are discriminated against like in any other country in South America. The Afro-Peruvians are also affected by discrimination.

Indigenous groups have come together in the National Congress of Mining Affected Communities. The research center CAAAP is dedicated to promoting projects with the ethnic groups of the Amazon basin: Asháninka, Aguaruna, Shipibo-Conibo and Kechwa-Lamista (map of the ethnic groups).

The President Ollanta Humala (2011-2016) nominated the singer, Susana Baca de la Colina, who has Afro-Peruvian roots, as Minister of Culture when he took office. The Ministry of Culture has been headed by the previous Foreign Trade Minister Roger Valencia Espinoza since the end of 2018. Under his leadership, the ministry has grown in importance, for example he was invited to speak at the meeting of entrepreneurs in Peru or is asked about current political issues.

Indigenous women suffer from increased child and maternal mortality in rural areas and are more likely to be victims of male violence. The NGO “Flora Tristan” campaigns for the rights of disadvantaged women. The Ministry for Women and Social Development was established in 1996, and in 2011 the newly created Ministry for Social Inclusion was renamed Ministry for Women and Particularly Vulnerable Groups. It has established emergency centers to support women affected by sexual and domestic violence “CEM”.

UNDP annually presents the Human Development Index HDI. The is derived from this Gender-Inequality Index GII. Peru ranks 89th out of 187 countries in the HDI (2017).


According to aristmarketing, the most popular sport in Peru is soccer and Peruvian soccer players are in demand with foreign teams, as Pizarros, Guerreros, Zambranos and Carlos Ascues prove in the Bundesliga. However, the Peruvian fans had to wait 36 years for their favorites to participate in a world championship. The Peruvian national team was only able to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia after two relegation games against New Zealand.

The successful and unexpected participation created a festive atmosphere throughout the country. This mood was only dampened by the one-year ban imposed by FIFA on national team captain Paolo Guerrero. The Swiss federal court voted at the last minute for the temporary lifting of this lock. Paolo Guerrero was allowed to lead the Peruvian team during the 2018 World Cup. The expectations of the Peruvian football team were great. Thousands of Peruvians filled the venues where the soccer team competed and were an asset to the World Cup, even though Peru was eliminated in the group stage before their last game.

The from 26.07. The Pan-American and Par-Japanese Games held in Lima from 11th to 11th August 2019 were a complete success and also exceeded the expectations placed on the athletes. Peru scored 11 gold, 7 silver and 21 bronze medals in the Pan-American Games and was 9th in the American context. Peru finished 13th in the Para-American Games. The games were a complete success both in terms of sport and in terms of their broad impact (visitor and spectator numbers). The Bolivarian Games took place almost a year before that took place in Colombia in November 2017 and Peru only reached fifth place out of eleven participating Latin American teams. At the South American Games held in May / June in Cochabamba / Bolivia, Peru reached 7th place and received 22 gold, 29 silver and 41 bronze medals.

The riding of horses “Paso peruano” and their breeding is very popular across the borders of the country.


La Diablada

La Diablada

The Catholic Church has always had a great influence on politics and society in Perú, which has been preserved to this day. It is also badly affected by the tensions in the country.

The theology of liberation has in Perú originated. The seminal book “teología de la liberación” was written by Gustavo Gutiérrez. A concrete expression of this theological trend can be traced in the development of the Church of Cajamarca. The previous head of the Peruvian Church, the conservative Cardinal Cipriani, retired for reasons of age and was replaced by Cardinal Miguel Cabrejos Vidarte. The new President of the Bishops’ Conference turned to the political economy in December 2018 criticized in the country. As in the rest of the region, the Roman Catholic religion is dominant, to which about 90% of the population belong. From January 15th to 21st, 2018 Pope Francis visited the Andean countries Chile and Peru on his 6th Latin America trip. The Pope visited the rainforest, the north coast and the capital Lima and denounced the handling of the environment and the Indian peoples as well as corruption.

The Protestant church had long a shadowy existence. Both the Protestant and the German Catholic Church have projects and partnerships in Perú. As in many Latin American countries, basic church currents and groups of the Pentecostal movement have been enjoying popularity in Perú for several decades. Due to the cults practiced by indigenous people, syncretistic mixed forms can be observed today, which are particularly expressed at religious festivals.

Peru Everyday life

Peru Everyday life