Peru is a luscious country in South America that is known for its beautiful landscapes (including the Amazon), ancient ruins (it's also home to Macchu Picchu), rich culture, and gorgeous textiles - among many other things! Kiva has 7 Peruvian Microfinance Field Partners.
Peru is 1.28 million square kilometers, which might it just slightly smaller than Alaska. The country has a population of almost 30 million people, and boasts a population growth rate of 1.2% (the US's population growth rate is 0.9% and the world average is 1.2%). An average of 2.3 children are born to every Peruvian woman.
Currently 71% of the population live in urban areas, which is constantly increasing with an urbanization rate of 1.7%.
84% of the population speak Spanish, while native languages account for most of the remaining percentages. Also, only 7% of the population is illiterate.
Photo Credit: CIA The World Factbook
Peru has a long history of political instability, but has recently seen a strong period of stability and thus thriving macroeconomic growth. The country's GDP was $251 billion (with ppp) in 2009, with a per capita GDP of $8,500 and a real growth rate of 0.9%. They have a fairly high Gini co-efficient of 52; where those who are the richest 10% in the country hold about 38% of the wealth and those who are the poorest 10% hold 1.5% of the nation's wealth. Poverty has been diminishing at an impressive rate, but there is still an estimated 30% of the population that live under $2 a day and 10% that live under $1 a day.
One of the largest issues facing Peru today is deforestation. Major efforts have been made to plant trees and stop deforestation. Check out a post that one of our Fellows wrote about planting trees with Peruvian schoolchildren!