Situation of Children
Peru has entered the second decade of the twenty-first century with a population of 30 million. Peruvians under the age of 18 comprise 37% of the population. Children under the age of 5 account for 12%.
The population is mostly urban. It is estimated that in 2013, 74% of Peruvians will be living outside of rural zones. This migration to the city, primarily involving indigenous Andean and Amazonian residents, began several decades ago but reached its peak in the 1980s, during the armed internal conflict.
In recent years, the situation of children has improved in Peru. The main advances are related to the reduction of infant mortality, the increase in prenatal check-ups and institutional childbirth, and greater coverage of primary education. On the other hand, there are persistent problems such as the high prevalence of chronic malnutrition and anaemia among children; limited access to preschool and secondary education; the low level of learning achievements; and the high incidence of abuse suffered by children and women.
According to official figures, 7.6% of Peruvians lived in extreme poverty during 2010. The current government is committed to reducing this number to 5% by 2016.
There is a great cultural, ethnic, linguistic, socioeconomic, and geographic diversity in Peru, as a result of which the national averages tend to conceal the true magnitude of the problems faced in different areas of the country.
Below are the main indicators of the situation of children and adolescents, showing the contrasts between urban and rural areas:
Basic Data (As of 2009, unless otherwise indicated)
* More complete data on children and women can be found in: www.childinfo.org/