Foreign Ministry: Peruvians living abroad tops 3 million

The number of Peruvians living abroad has increased to more than 3 million, up from 2.2 million in 2000. Javier Vega, of the Rights of Peruvians Abroad office in the Ministry of Foreign Relations, told state news agency Andina that approximately every 10 years the number of Peruvians living abroad doubles.

“In 1980, immigration became an alternative for Peruvians,” he said. “At that time, 500,000 Peruvians migrated; in 1990 there were a million; in 2000 there were 2,2 million; and in 2008, 3.05 million Peruvians now reside abroad.” Forty percent of Peruvians living abroad are in Europe, and 30 percent are in the United States.

Ninety percent of Peruvians abroad are between 15 and 49-years-old. About 17 percent have primary education, 43.9 percent secondary schooling, and 20.3 percent completed university. More than 94 percent of Peruvians abroad are from urban centers, with 63.6 percent from the capital, Lima, and the port city of Callao.

“This is due to various factors including little organization in the internal market and the need to generate new spaces for integration, not so much in infrastructure, but in technical training for rural producers and greater professionalization for our youth, providing more opportunities.”

About 10 percent of Peruvians receive remittances from family and friends living and working abroad. According to the Inter-American Development Bank, Peru received $2.8 billion in remittances in 2006, exceeding tourism revenues and the total of all agricultural exports.

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