Peruvian Americans

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Peruvian Americans
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Author Marie Arana speaking at Peruvian Embassy in Washington, DC in 2010 (photo by Mary Ishimoto Morris).jpg
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Total population
0.19% of the U.S. population (2014)[1] Location of Peru)
Regions with significant populations
The New York City Metropolitan Area is home to the largest Peruvian population in the United States.[2]
Paterson, New Jersey, within the New York City Metropolitan Area, considered by many to be the capital of the Peruvian Diaspora in the United States,[3] is home to Little Lima on Market Street,[4] the largest Peruvian American enclave.

Peruvian Americans (Spanish: peruano-americanos, norteamericanos de origen peruano or estadounidenses de origen peruano) are Americans of Peruvian descent. Among Peruvian Americans there are those of White (mostly Spanish), mestizo, Amerindian, and Afro-Peruvian descent, as well as others, including Italian, French, German, and Arab, or a mix of any of these. A significant number are of pure or mixed Chinese and/or Japanese heritage.

Peruvians have emigrated mainly due to political turmoil and economic hardships the country had faced during the 1980s. Peruvian Americans are a relatively recent ethnic group, as most of them have moved to the United States since 1990. According to the U.S. Census Bureau,[when?] 594,418 U.S. residents identify themselves as being of Peruvian origin.[5]


Small but significant waves of immigration occurred in San Francisco during the gold rush (along with Chilean miners beginning in 1848) and the Metro Detroit area in the 1950s. However, the majority of Peruvians that have emigrated to the United States have arrived since the 90s. Peruvians typically emigrate due to economic reasons, to escape poverty and pursue a better quality of life. Significant demographics of Peruvians are found in Northern New Jersey,[6][7] the New York City Metropolitan Area, Miami, the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area, and Los Angeles.


The most famous and first aspect of Peruvian culture that deals with the United States is the book, "The Incas's Florida" La Florida del Inca written at the end of sixteenth century by the Inca Garcilaso de la Vega. Garcilaso's book details the travels of the explorer Hernando de Soto who had participated in the Forty-Years War between the Incas and the Spanish (1531–1571) and who later came to the lands that would become the United States and that the Spanish called "Florida."

The most popular dishes of Peruvian food in the U.S. include cebiche (raw fish "cooked" in lime juice), papa a la huancaina, and anticuchos y tamales. Peruvian cuisine is often recognized for being one of the most diverse and appreciated of the Latin American cuisines, with influences including European, Native American, and African. Since there is a sizable Chinese and Japanese minority in Peru, an Asian influence has also been deeply incorporated in Peruvian cuisine. There are Chifas, or Asian style Peruvian restaurants that serve typical Chinese or Japanese food with a Peruvian culinary influence. Inca Kola, a soda that originated in Peru, is sold in many heavily concentrated Latino areas. The national liquor of Peru is national cocktail, the chicha, that is founded in Couzco, Peru.

Socioeconomic status

Despite being a relatively recent ethnic group, the median household income for Peruvians meets the average American household income and 30% of all Peruvians over the age of 25 have college degrees,[8] exceeding the US national average of 24%.


The Peruvian American Coalition in Passaic, New Jersey[9] functions as an activist organization on behalf of the overall welfare of Peruvian Americans.


Peruvians have settled throughout the United States, migrating particularly to Northern New Jersey and the New York City Metropolitan Area, the Miami metropolitan area, the Washington Metropolitan Area, and the Los Angeles metropolitan area.[10]

Notably, a rapidly growing number of Peruvian Americans have established an increasingly prominent community in Paterson, New Jersey,[6] which is considered by many to be the capital of the Peruvian Diaspora in the United States,[3] partially owing to the presence of the Peruvian Consulate. Market Street, the Little Lima in downtown Paterson, is the largest Peruvian American enclave and is lined with Peruvian-owned restaurants, bakeries, delicatessens, bodegas, travel agencies, and other businesses. The Peruvian American community has expanded into Paterson's neighboring areas of Fair Lawn, Elmwood Park, Clifton, and Passaic in Northern New Jersey as well, all within the New York City Metropolitan Area. The annual Peruvian Independence Day Parade is held in Paterson.[11][4]

States with highest Peruvian population

The 10 states with the largest Peruvian population were (Source: Census 2010[12]):

  1. Florida - 100,965 (0.5% of state population)
  2. California - 91,511 (0.2% of state population)
  3. New Jersey - 75,869 (0.9% of state population)
  4. New York - 66,318 (0.3% of state population)
  5. Virginia - 29,096 (0.4% of state population)
  6. Texas - 22,605 (0.1% of state population)
  7. Maryland - 18,229 (0.3% of state population)
  8. Connecticut - 16,424 (0.5% of state population)
  9. Georgia - 10,570 (0.1% of state population)
  10. Illinois - 10,213 (0.2% of state population)

The U.S. state with the smallest Peruvian population (as of 2010) was North Dakota with 78 Peruvians (less than 0.1% of state population).

Percentage rankings

The top 25 US communities with the highest percentage of people claiming Peruvian ancestry are:[13]

  1. East Newark, New Jersey 10.1%
  2. Harrison, New Jersey 7.01%
  3. Paterson, New Jersey 4.72%
  4. Kearny, New Jersey 3.82%
  5. The Hammocks, Florida 3.36%
  6. Port Chester, New York 3.30%
  7. Virginia Gardens, Florida 3.24%
  8. Prospect Park, New Jersey 3.22
  9. Bay Harbor Islands, Florida 3.11%
  10. Doral, Florida 2.95%
  11. Haledon, New Jersey 2.71%
  12. Garfield, New Jersey 2.55%
  13. Union City, New Jersey 2.53%
  14. Both Key Biscayne, Florida and Glen Cove, New York 2.48%
  15. Passaic, New Jersey 2.42%
  16. White Plains, New York 2.39%
  17. Elizabeth, New Jersey 2.35%
  18. Rye, New York 2.33%
  19. Ojus, Florida 2.29%
  20. Clifton, New Jersey 2.27%
  21. Elmsford, New York 2.25%
  22. Perth Amboy, New Jersey 2.20%
  23. North Bay Village, Florida 2.17%
  24. Kendale Lakes, Florida 2.03%
  25. Kendall, Florida and the borough of Carteret, New Jersey 2.01%

Notable Peruvian-Americans


  1. 1.0 1.1 US Census Bureau 2014 American Community Survey B03001 1-Year Estimates HISPANIC OR LATINO ORIGIN BY SPECIFIC ORIGIN retrieved October 18, 2015
  2. "Yearbook of Immigration Statistics: 2011 Supplemental Table 2". U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Retrieved 2012-07-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 "A Brief History of Peruvian Immigration to the United States". Retrieved 2013-04-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Photos: Annual Peruvian Day Parade in Passaic County. The parade makes it way down Market Street in Paterson". North Jersey Media Group. 2014-07-27. Retrieved 2014-07-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Hispanic or Latino by Specific Origin" United States Census Bureau
  6. 6.0 6.1 Karen Sudol (2013-07-27). "North Jersey Peruvians celebrate Peru's independence with a flag raising in Paterson". North Jersey Media Group. Retrieved 2013-07-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Linda Moss (2013-07-28). "Tens of thousands line the route for Passaic County's annual Peruvian parade". North Jersey Media Group. Retrieved 2013-07-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Lindy Washburn (2014-08-25). "A new playbook for hospitals: How investors pursue a financial turnaround". North Jersey Media Group. Retrieved 2014-08-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Yearbook of Immigration Statistics: 2010 Supplemental Table 2". U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Retrieved 2011-04-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Photos: Parade celebrates Peruvian heritage". North Jersey Media Group. 2015-07-26. Retrieved 2015-07-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. American FactFinder - QT-P10: Hispanic or Latino by Type: 2010
  13. "Ancestry Map of Peruvian Communities". Retrieved 2008-01-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Miguel Arteta:Overview". MSN. Retrieved April 24, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Scientist at Work: Anthony Atala. A Tissue Engineer Sows Cells and Grows Organs
  16. "While Critics Cry, He Wins", Lakeland Ledger, August 23, 1959, page 19.
  17. Pitts, Michael R. Western Movies: A Guide to 5,105 Feature Films. McFarland, 2012.

External links