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Peruvian Americans

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Location of Peru
Total population
0.20% of the U.S. population (2015)[1]
Regions with significant populations
The New York City Metropolitan Area is home to the largest Peruvian population in the United States.[2]
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, with approximately 10,000 Peruvians in 2018.[5]
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, with approximately 10,000 Peruvians in 2018.[5]

Peruvian Americans (Spanish: Peruanoestadounidenses) 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 entirely or partial Chinese and/or Japanese heritage.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau 2017 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, as of 2017, 679,340 U.S. residents identify themselves as being of Peruvian origin.[6]


Peruvian Americans immigrated to the United States in four major waves. 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. Another wave of immigration occurred again early in the twentieth century, due largely to the burgeoning textile industry in New York and New Jersey. Beginning in the 1970s another wave of Peruvians arrived in the United States, most of whom were fleeing Peru's militaristic government. The 1980s and 1990s saw the most significant influx of Peruvians to U.S. shores, this time in response to political instability, to a collapsing economy and fleeing against terrorism in Peru.[7]

Peruvians typically emigrate due to economic reasons, to escape poverty and pursue a better quality of life. Immigrants often come from urban areas of Peru, especially Lima, and the majority settle in the New York City metropolitan area—particularly in Paterson and Passiac in New Jersey and the New York City borough of Queens. Peruvian Americans are also clustered in the metropolitan areas of Miami, Florida; Los Angeles; Houston, Texas; Washington, D.C.; and Virginia.[7]

Settlement in the United States

The states with the largest number of Peruvian Americans are Florida, California, New Jersey, and New York. Texas and Virginia are also home to significant communities of people of Peruvian descent.

Little is known about the earliest Peruvian immigrants who came to the United States during the California gold rush. Later Peruvian immigrants began arriving in the early twentieth century to work in textile mills in Paterson, New Jersey, which is now home to one of the largest Peruvian communities in the United States. Paterson has a significant number of businesses run by Peruvian Americans, as well as social and political organizations, and remains a destination for Peruvian immigrants of all social classes.[7]

Undocumented immigrants and settlement

Undocumented immigrants of all but the highest social classes face obstacles in finding employment in the United States; many are forced into service and labor occupations that do not represent their educational degrees or previous career achievements in Peru. For professionals from the middle classes, this can be disruptive to concepts of personal identity.[7]

Lifestyle and culture

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 part of the United States and that the Spanish called "Florida."

The most popular dishes of Peruvian food in the U.S. include ceviche (raw fish "cooked" in lime juice), papa a la huancaína, and anticuchos y tamales. Peruvian cuisine is often recognized for being one of the most diverse and appreciated of the world's 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 Latin American areas.

The extended family commonly serves an economic function, too, with some new immigrants temporarily living with extended family already established in the United States, and in expensive urban centers, such arrangements sometimes are permanent.[8]

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,[9] exceeding the US national average of 24%.


The Peruvian American Coalition in Passaic, New Jersey[10] 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.[11]

Notably, a rapidly growing number of Peruvian Americans, about 10,000 in 2018,[5] have established an increasingly prominent community in Paterson, New Jersey,[12] 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.[4][13]

States with highest Peruvian population

The 10 states with the largest Peruvian population were (Source: Census 2010):[14]

  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:[15]

  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 people

Isabela Moner film star
Isabela Moner film star
Pamela Silva Conde six time Emmy award winning journalist and co-anchor of the Univision Network’s weekday newsmagazine, “Primer Impacto” (First Impact) one of the highest rating programs in the United States and in 12 Latin-American countries.
Pamela Silva Conde six time Emmy award winning journalist and co-anchor of the Univision Network’s weekday newsmagazine, “Primer Impacto” (First Impact) one of the highest rating programs in the United States and in 12 Latin-American countries.


  1. ^ a b "US Census Bureau 2017 American Community Survey B03001 1-Year Estimates HISPANIC OR LATINO ORIGIN BY SPECIFIC ORIGIN". Retrieved August 12, 2017.
  2. ^ "Yearbook of Immigration Statistics: 2011 Supplemental Table 2". U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Retrieved 2012-07-08.
  3. ^ a b "A Brief History of Peruvian Immigration to the United States". Archived from the original on 2013-07-31. Retrieved 2013-04-03.
  4. ^ a b "Photos: Annual Peruvian Day Parade in Passaic County. The parade makes its way down Market Street in Paterson". North Jersey Media Group. 2014-07-27. Retrieved 2014-07-27.
  5. ^ a b Rodrigo Torrejon (June 16, 2018). "In Paterson, boisterous cheers for Peru's return to the World Cup after 36 years". - part of the USA TODAY network. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  6. ^ Bureau, U.S. Census. "American FactFinder - Results".
  7. ^ a b c d "Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America, 3rd Edition - Gale - 978-1414438061". Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  8. ^ Packel, J. (2014). Peruvian Americans. In Gale (Ed.), The Gale encyclopedia of multicultural America (3rd ed.). Farmington, MI: Gale.
  9. ^ Bureau, U.S. Census. "American FactFinder - Results". Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  10. ^ Lindy Washburn (2014-08-25). "A new playbook for hospitals: How investors pursue a financial turnaround". North Jersey Media Group. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  11. ^ "Yearbook of Immigration Statistics: 2010 Supplemental Table 2". U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Retrieved 2011-04-11.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ "Photos: Parade celebrates Peruvian heritage". North Jersey Media Group. 2015-07-26. Retrieved 2015-07-26.
  14. ^ "American FactFinder - QT-P10: Hispanic or Latino by Type: 2010". Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  15. ^ "Ancestry Map of Peruvian Communities". Retrieved 2008-01-26.
  16. ^ "Miguel Arteta:Overview". MSN. Retrieved April 24, 2011.
  17. ^ "Scientist at Work: Anthony Atala". Archived from the original on 25 May 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  18. ^ "While Critics Cry, He Wins", Lakeland Ledger, August 23, 1959, page 19.
  19. ^ Pitts, Michael R. Western Movies: A Guide to 5,105 Feature Films. McFarland, 2012.

External links

This page was last edited on 20 October 2019, at 12:59
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