Information Technology in Peru























IT Labor Market

Little information is available on specifics of Peru's IT workforce. However, more information is available on the general demographics of Peru, and on education levels in Peru, which are an important pre-indicator of the status of Peru's IT labor force. The important trends to note are the low Peruvian illiteracy rate with respect to developing nations, and the increase in Peruvians obtaining higher education.

Population Structure

According to the 2000 CIA World Factbook, Peru has a population of just over 27 million people(39). Of those, 35 percent are 14 years old or younger, 61 percent are between 15 and 64 years old, and 4 percent are 65 or older. Peru's population is growing by 1.7 percent per year, which is just barely higher than the Latin American/Caribbean average of 1.6 percent per year. Similarly, Peru's labor force is growing by 2.6 percent per year, compared to the Latin American/Caribbean average of 2.5 percent.(40)

Social Indicators

Forty-one percent of Peru's population is below the national poverty line, and 72 percent of the population lives in urban areas, primarily around Lima. This figure is similar to the Latin American/Caribbean average of 75 percent urbanized, but considerably higher than other lower-middle-income countries, which have an average of 43 percent urbanization. The average Peruvian is expected to live 69 years, in line with both Latin American/Caribbean and lower-middle-income country averages. Peru's infant mortality rate, at 40 per 1000 live births, is somewhat higher than the Latin American/Caribbean and lower-middle-income country averages, which are 31 and 33, respectively. Like the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean, only 8 percent of Peruvian children under 5 are malnourished, and 80 percent of the population has access to clean water.(41)

Education

The Peruvian illiteracy rate among those 15 and older is 10 percent, slightly lower than the Latin American/Caribbean and lower-middle-income country averages, according to the World Bank(42). The Peruvian National Institute of Statistics and Informatics (INEI) puts the illiteracy rate at 8 percent in 1998, down from 50 percent in 1940. As of 1999, INEI reported on the highest level of education attained by Peruvians. 8.1 percent of Peruvians had no formal education, 30.6 percent had only a primary education, 41.8 percent had primary and secondary education, and 19.5 percent had primary, secondary and post-secondary education. These figures compare favorably with 1981, when 16.1 percent had no formal education, 42.3 percent had a primary education, 31.4 percent had a secondary education, and 10.2 percent had a post-secondary education. These figures indicate a noticeable shift toward increased higher education among Peruvians. Similarly, Peru has increased the rate of children attending primary school from 87.3 percent in 1993 to 95.6 percent in 1998. All of these educational indicators bode well for an increasingly well-educated workforce in the future.(43)

However, this was the only relevant information which was available about the status of Peru's IT labor force. Research turned up no further information on specific technical education programs or degrees, immigration or emigration rates, incorporation of IT into management skills, or the image of IT among policymakers.

Last update: December 19, 2000 by Jeffrey S. Bernstein.