Peru's 2017 National Census revealed that around 30% of citizens aged over 12 describe themselves as indigenous or African Peruvian.
The information was made public by Deputy Minister of Interculturality Elena Burga, who described it as "very interesting" and expressed that 25.8% of Peruvians —that is to say 5,985,551 people— identify as indigenous or native, while around 4% —828,841 people— refer to themselves as African Peruvian.
Results are quite remarkable, she said, especially in a country with a strong and still present colonial mentality.
"It was hard to know what to expect from the question on ethnic self-identification, which was asked for the first time since the 1940s. In the past, the question was about race. Now, the question is much more useful because it involves elements like origins, cultural features, customs, and ancestors," the government official told Andina news agency.
According to Burga, there has been much speculation on the matter, "but the truth is that very interesting information has been collected."
"In fact, 60.2% of the population (13,965,254) identify as mixed-race, and slightly more than 5% (1,366,931) declare themselves as white, considering the percentage would be higher in other circumstances," the deputy minister noted.
"We thought very few people would regard themselves as indigenous or African Peruvian, but that was not the case," she added.
Burga assured the country's challenge —before its bicentennial celebrations— is to keep working to reach 30% of citizens, who identify as indigenous or Afro Peruvian.
This data will help close gaps, since the intervention of health, education, agriculture, and other sectors shall give priority to indigenous and African Peruvian communities.