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Tenure Insecurity

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Peru is an Andean country of 31 million people with a surface area of 1.2 million square kilometres and GDP per capita of US$6,000 (2016). Its population is 79% urban and 21% rural. Peru’s economic development has been tied closely to external trade, with copper the country’s leading export. Poverty rates in Peru fell sharply in the first part of the century but around 25% of the population remained in poverty in 2016, with the highest rates in rural areas.

In the 1970s, the government acquired and redistributed a substantial portion of the country’s agricultural land to landless and land-poor agricultural families, creating a complex mosaic of private and community landholdings, and paving the way for expansion of capital-intensive agriculture and natural resource exploitation in some regions.

Peru’s legal framework recognises the rights of the country’s indigenous and peasant communities. However, many rural communities struggle to retain control of the land and natural resources they depend on for their livelihoods. Beginning in the 1990s, the country undertook programmes to develop cadastres and provide titles for rural and urban land. By 2007, roughly half the country’s land was titled, and informal land rights in urban and peri-urban areas continue to be the target of large-scale formalisation programmes. Women have received an increasing share of rights to agricultural land over the last decades but many continue to lack the power to manage and control land and natural resources.

Statistical Analysis

Prindex’s results show that 18% of respondents felt insecure about their tenure rights in 2018 – an equivalent of four million people aged 18 or over, and lower than the average of the first 15 countries. Sixty seven percent of the sample interviewed felt secure about their properties and the remaining 15% refused or did not know how to answer the question. Eighty five percent of owners and renters reported the possession of formal documentation and 13% reported no documentation. There was little difference in perceived tenure insecurity between men and women in the hypothetical case of divorce but a 14-percentage-point difference in the case of spousal death.

The tables and diagrams below show key Prindex results for Peru or you can download an infographic.


Urban respondents

Rural respondents

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Analysing Tenure Insecurity by category

Tenure type
Employment type
Income adequacy


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