Population: Estimates of total population in 1989 ranged
from 10.8 to 11 million; annual growth rate estimated at 2.3 to 2.8
Ethnic Groups: Indians and mestizos, 40 percent each;
whites, 10 to 15 percent; blacks, 5 percent.
Languages: Spanish (official) and Quichua (a Quechua
Religion: Approximately 94 percent Roman Catholic.
Beginning in late 1960s, significant gains made by Protestant
evangelical and Pentecostal churches.
Education and Literacy: School attendance theoretically
compulsory for children between ages six and fourteen. Primary and
secondary schools each offered six-year programs. Higher education
consisted of twelve state and five private universities as well as
various polytechnic schools and teachers' colleges. Estimated 85
percent literacy rate in mid-1980s.
Health: Infant mortality rate estimates in early 1980s
ranged from 70 to 76 per 1,000 live births; the infant mortality
rate was approximately 63 per 1,000 live births in 1985. Infant
mortality varied significantly by region and socioeconomic status.
Life expectancy at birth in mid-1980s sixty-four years. Ministry of
Public Health operated four-tiered system of health care, but lack
of trained professionals hampered public health care. Maternal
mortality remained high, especially in rural areas. Some tropical
diseases, including malaria, continued to be of concern to health
Data as of 1989