More than 2 million Peruvians have left the country since 1990


Jorge Chavez International Airport. (Photo: Living in Peru archive)

Peruvian emigration has quintupled from 46,000 in 1990 to 249,000 in 2009, reports USI.

According to a study by the National Statistics Institute (INEI) and the Department of Immigration and Naturalization Service (DIGEMIN), between 1990 and 2009, more than 2 million Peruvians left the country and have no returned, reports Perú.21.

Nearly half left through Jorge Chavez International Airport, 16.9 percent left through the town of Desaguadero, on the border with Bolivia, 16.5 percent did so through Tacna, near the border with Chile. Another 10.9 percent left through Aguas Verdes in Tumbes, near the border with Ecuador, while 7.2 percented opted for other means, such as leaving through Iquitos, Madre de Dios and Kasani.

The study details that more than half of the emigrants were women and 49.6 percent were men. The vast majority were between 15 and 49 years old when they left Peru, so research suggests that emigration was motivated by the search for employment.

One aspect that stands out from the collection of information released is that while the bulk of male migrants (53 percent) were between 20 and 24 years old when they decided to leave the country, females mostly emigrated after reaching 30 years of age.

Currently, the United States, Spain, Argentina, Italy, Chile, Japan, Venezuela, Canada and Brazil are the countries where the majority of Peruvian emigrants live.

However, the data that is more surprising is the continued growth in emigration in recent years, despite the significant progress that the Peruvian economy has seen.

A survey of the emigrants show that almost one third of those who left are now studying, 13.2 percent are employed in offices, 11 percent are housewives and 10.5 percent work in trade and services sectors or are market vendors.

Another 9.7 percent are professionals, scientists and intellectuals, and 5.5 percent have been placed as mid-level professional technicians. Only 1.3 percent got jobs in agriculture, livestock, fisheries and handicrafts.

The remaining 16 percent are retirees, members of the army or the national police and work as machine operators or in public administration.

The report also details that in the period from 2007 to 2009, following the international financial crisis, 76,501 Peruvians returned to Peru. Most (64 percent) left Peru after 2005 and returned in 2009.