Statistics released on native Amazonian communities in Peru


By Elie Gardner

Yurimaguas, a port town in the Amazon region of northern Peru. Photo: Enrique Castro-Mendivil/Reuters

The National Statistics Institute recently released a report on native Amazonian communities in Peru. The information in the report came from the 2007 census and represents 332,975 individuals, 1.2 percent of Peru’s census population.

It found Peru is home to 1,786 indigenous communities. The communities speak a variety of native languages. The most prevalent come from the Arahuaca and Jíbaro language families. Other languages spoken include Quechua, Pano, Cahuapana, Tupi Guaraní, Peba-Yagua and Huitoto.

The indigenous are concentrated in five of the 11 departments in the Amazon. Amazonas (13.9 percent), Loreto (11.9 percent), Ucayali (9.4 percent) and Junín (6 percent) have the largest populations. The remaining six Amazonian departments registered less than 6 percent.

The population is young. Fifty percent of the population is under the age of 16. The median was slightly higher for men, at 16.5, and slightly lower for women, at 15.4. Among those under the age of 18, 39.2 percent are under the age of 6. 

Fifty-three percent of the working-aged population is employed. The legal age to work in Peru is 14. Of the 53 percent of those with jobs, 52 percent are independent workers, 23.9 are unpaid family workers, 15. 8 percent are skilled workers and 6.1 percent are hired employees.

The study also found that 92 percent of the population has a birth certificate and 85.1 carry a DNI, the government issued identification card in Peru.