Population in Urban Area, now
- World: 32nd
- South America: 5th
- Peru: 1st
Population in City Area, 2019-09-05
- World: 21st
- South America: 3rd
- Peru: 1st
Lima Urban Area Population Graph
Lima Population Review
The capital and largest city in Peru, Lima is home to an estimated 10.7 million people in the urban area and 7.7 in the city area. Located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers and overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Lima is the fifth-largest city in South America after São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Bogota. Following the Peruvian War of Independence in 1826, it became the capital of the Republic of Peru.
The metropolitan area of Lima is currently home to a third of Peru’s population. It is one of the thirty most populated urban agglomerations in the world and is the political, cultural, financial, and commercial centre of the country.
A desert city
Lima is located on a strip of desert land located between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains. Lima is actually the second largest desert city in the world, after Cairo in Egypt. However, Peru’s arid capital is facing a crisis. As climate change takes its toll, the city is beginning to run dry. There are roughly 1.2 million residents in Lima that are without running water and they rely on unregulated private water trucks that charge exorbitant rates to provide water.
With only a third of an inch of rain falling on the city annually, Lima relies heavily on glacier melt from the Andes. However, this is in serious jeopardy with ice levels in steady decline. With current trends, the watershed around Marcapomacocha that the city relies on heavily for water could run dry by the middle of the century.
High traffic congestion
During peak hours, the city suffers from high traffic congestion. With over 1 million vehicles in use on the roads in 2012 (and that number only increasing), Lima has 65% of the cars in the entire country. This results in traffic jams that can sometimes take hours to resolve. This can make getting around the city taxing for both locals and tourists.
The city has begun to offer economic incentives for municipalities to implement bicycle routes in their districts. It’s estimated that more than 1.5 million people used the bike lanes in 2012 and that the use of these bike lanes prevented the emission of over 526 tons of carbon dioxide. The district of San Borja was the first to implement a bike-sharing program. It supplied 200 bicycles in six stations across the district. The program has over 3,000 subscribers.
One of the oldest post-secondary institutions in the world
The National University of San Marcos was founded on May 12 in 1551, making it one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the New World. It is both the first officially established and oldest continuously operating university in the Americas. It has 30,000 undergraduate students and 4,000 graduate students.
The catacombs beneath the San Francisco church
The San Francisco church and its monastery are famous for the catacombs that lay beneath them. The basement of the working monastery is home to the bones of 10,000 people that were interred there when it was Lima’s first cemetery. Mazes of narrow hallways are lined with bones that are arranged in artistic circles and designs. There are over 75,000 people ultimately buried under monastery and tours are open to the public. However, it’s not for the squeamish or for the claustrophobic.
A popular tourist attraction
In 2017, the Peruvian capital welcomed an estimated 2.35 million international, overnight visitors. It’s estimated that this figure will increase to 3.1 million visitors by 2025. There are 4 million tourists total that visit the city, with over 23 million passengers going through the Jorge Chávez International Airport. There are also multiple airlines offering domestic service between Peru’s cities.