Western coastal plain (costa), high and rugged Andes in center (sierra), eastern lowland jungle of Amazon Basin (selva)
Varies from tropical in east to dry desert in west; temperate to frigid in Andes
Population: 29,849,303 (July 2013 est.)
Languages: Spanish (official) 84.1%, Quechua (official) 13%, Aymara (official) 1.7%, Ashaninka 0.3%, other native languages (includes a large number of minor Amazonian languages) 0.7%, other 0.2% (2007 census)
Roman Catholic 81.3%, Evangelical 12.5%, other 3.3%, unspecified or none 2.9% (2007 census)
Peru's economy reflects its varied geography--an arid lowland coastal region, the central high sierra of the Andes, the dense forest of the Amazon, with tropical lands bordering Colombia and Brazil. A wide range of important mineral resources are found in the mountainous and coastal areas, and Peru's coastal waters provide excellent fishing grounds. The Peruvian economy has been growing by an average of 6.4% per year since 2002.
Approximately one-third of the entire Peruvian population lives in the capital city, Lima. Over half live in urban squatter settlements (occupied without lease or rent). These are known as pueblos jóvenes (young towns). Migration to Lima from the Andean region fuels the development of pueblos jóvenes.
US Military Presence/Support