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Area: 1.28 million sq. km. (496,225 sq. mi.); Peru is the third-largest country in South America, and three times larger than California.
Cities: Capital--Lima. Other major cities include Arequipa and Trujillo.
Terrain: Varies widely between western coastal plains, central Andean highlands, and eastern tropical lowlands in Amazon Basin.
Climate: Arid and mild in coastal area, temperate to frigid in the Andes, and warm and humid in jungle lowlands.

Nationality: Noun and adjective--Peruvian(s).
Population: 27.9 million (2005 projected). The Lima/Callao metropolitan area has a population of 8.27 million. (2000).
Annual growth rate: 1.46% (2005 est.).
Religion: Roman Catholic (90%).
Languages: Spanish is the principal language. Quechua, Aymara and other indigenous languages also have official status.
Education: Years compulsory--11. Attendance--92% ages 6-11, and 66% ages 12-16. Literacy--95% in urban areas, 77% in rural areas.
Health: Infant mortality rate--30/1,000 (2002). Life expectancy (2002)--67.2 male; 72.3 female.
Ethnic groups: Indigenous (45%), mestizo (37%), European (15%), African, Japanese, Chinese, and other (3%).

Type: Constitutional republic.
Independence: July 28, 1821.
Constitution: December 31, 1993.
Branches: Executive--President, two Vice Presidents, and a Council of Ministers led by a Prime Minister. Legislative--unicameral Congress. Judicial—Four-tier court structure consisting of Supreme Court and lower courts.
Administrative divisions: 25 departments subdivided into provinces and districts.
Political parties: Peru Possible (PP), American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (APRA), National Unity (UN), Independent Moralizing Front (FIM), We Are Peru (SP), Change 90/New Majority/Let's Go Neighbor/People's Solution, Union For Peru (UPP), Popular Christian Party (PPC), Popular Action (AP).
Suffrage: Universal and mandatory for citizens 18 to 70.

GDP (2004): $67.1 billion.
Annual growth rate (2004): 5.1%.
Per capita GDP (2004): $2,305.
Natural resources: Iron, copper, gold, silver, zinc, lead, fish, petroleum, natural gas, and forestry.
Manufacturing (14.7% of GDP, 2003): Types--Food and beverages, textiles and apparel, nonferrous metals, nonmetallic minerals, petroleum refining, paper, chemicals, fishmeal.
Agriculture (9% of GDP, 2003): Products--sugarcane, potato, rice, banana, maize, poultry, milk, others.
Cultivated land: 1.3 million hectares.
Other sectors (by percentage of GDP in 2003): Services (64.1%), mining (6.6%), construction (5.2%), fisheries (0.4%).
Trade: Exports (est. 2004)--$11.4 billion: gold, copper, fishmeal, petroleum, zinc, textiles, apparel, asparagus and coffee. Major markets (2002)—U.S. (26%), China (9.1%), U.K . (6.4%), Switzerland (5.6%), Japan (5.2%), Chile (3.4%), Germany (3.1%). Imports (est. 2004)--$9.4 billion: machinery, vehicles, processed food, petroleum and steel. Major suppliers (2002)--U.S. (25.3%), Chile (7.7%), Spain (5%), Colombia (4.9%), Brazil (4.5%), Venezuela (4.5%), and Argentina (4.2%).

Adapted from material published in the CIA World Factbook.
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