Districts of Peru

The districts of Peru (Spanish: distritos) are the third-level country subdivisions of Peru. They are subdivisions of the provinces, which in turn are subdivisions of the larger regions or departments. There are 1,838 districts in total.[1]


A 1982 law requires a minimum of residents in an area for a new district to be legally established: 3,500 if it is located in the rainforest, 4,000 in the Andes highlands and 10,000 in the coastal area.

In the dry Andean area, many districts have less than 3,500 inhabitants due to low population density in the area. In some cases, their populations have decreased in comparison to the days when they were founded. Districts that are located at very high altitudes tend to be scarcely populated. These districts usually are large in area, have few available land for use. Many basic government services do not reach all residents of these districts due to their difficult geography. Many lack financial means to govern their whole jurisdictions and they often have high emigration rates.

A similar pattern can be observed in many districts located in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest. Once important settlements created during the era of colonization, they nowadays do not offer much space for agriculture. Deeper into the jungle, the districts of the 'selva alta' (lower jungle) have higher populations living on geographically large districts. Districts located outside the colonized area have very low populations that are entirely composed of Native Amazonian tribes.

All over the country, many districts have higher populations than the minimum required by law. This is true of the colonized areas of the rainforest, the northern Andes as well as in the southern Andes from Huancayo to the shores of Lake Titicaca, which is the historical heartland of the Peruvian highlands. These districts are old and tend to be smaller in area with high population densities since prehispanic times.

Districts in the Chala (coastal area) tend to be mid-sized except in low-density areas such as the Sechura Desert and part of the Southern coast, but all of them feature large populations due to emigration from other regions of the country that turned the Peruvian coast into the country's main economic powerhouse.

Districts with a population of more than 10,000 inhabitants should ideally be subdivided, particularly if they are also large in area, as is the case in part of the Amazon rainforest. Colonization happens quickly and boundaries of districts are often not modified, except in large urban areas. This is less of a problem in the coast where communication is easier. However, reaching to large populations remain a problem in this area.[2]

Most populous districts

This is a list of the top twenty Peruvian districts by population, population density, area and elevation (of the district's capital).[3]

By population

# District Province Region Population
1 San Juan de Lurigancho Lima Lima 1,038,495
2 San Martín de Porres Lima Lima 654,083
3 Ate Lima Lima 599,196
4 Comas Lima Lima 520,450
5 Callao Callao Callao 451,260
6 Villa María del Triunfo Lima Lima 398,433
7 Villa El Salvador Lima Lima 393,254
8 San Juan de Miraflores Lima Lima 355,219
9 Puente Piedra Lima Lima 329,675
10 Santiago de Surco Lima Lima 329,152
11 Los Olivos Lima Lima 325,884
12 Ventanilla Callao Callao 315,600
13 Trujillo Trujillo La Libertad 314,939
14 Chorrillos Lima Lima 314,241
15 Chiclayo Chiclayo Lambayeque 270,496
16 Lima Lima Lima 268,352
17 Juliaca San Román Puno 228,726
18 Chimbote Santa Ancash 206,213
19 Piura Piura Piura 158,495
20 Callería Coronel Portillo Ucayali 149,999

Source: INEI[2]

By population density

# District Province Region Population
1 Breña Lima Lima 24,492
2 Surquillo Lima Lima 24,336
3 La Victoria Lima Lima 21,764
4 La Perla Callao Callao 21,674
5 Arequipa Arequipa Arequipa 21,431
6 Carmen de la Legua Reynoso Callao Callao 19,075
7 Florencia de Mora Trujillo La Libertad 18,803
8 Lince Lima Lima 17,202
9 Pueblo Libre Lima Lima 16,414
10 Bellavista Callao Callao 15,956
11 Los Olivos Lima Lima 15,701
12 Santa Anita Lima Lima 15,040
13 Rímac Lima Lima 14,810
14 San Martín de Porres Lima Lima 14,228
15 San Juan de Miraflores Lima Lima 13,980
16 Independencia Lima Lima 13,551
17 Magdalena del Mar Lima Lima 13,420
18 San Luis Lima Lima 13,254
19 El Agustino Lima Lima 13,192
20 Lima Lima Lima 13,187

Source: INEI[2]

By area

# District Province Region Area
1 Putumayo Maynas Loreto 34,942.9
2 Napo Maynas Loreto 24,298.1
3 Tambopata Tambopata Madre de Dios 22,218.6
4 Tigre Loreto Loreto 19,785.7
5 Echarate La Convención Cusco 19,135.5
6 Purús Purús Ucayali 17,847.8
7 Urarinas Loreto Loreto 15,778.4
8 Iñapari Tahuamanu Madre de Dios 14,853.7
9 Raimondi Atalaya Ucayali 14,508.5
10 Alto Nanay Maynas Loreto 14,290.8
11 Masisea Coronel Portillo Ucayali 14,102.2
12 Yavarí Mariscal Ramón Castilla Loreto 13,807.5
13 Parinari Loreto Loreto 12,951.7
14 Trompeteros Loreto Loreto 12,246.0
15 Andoas Datem del Marañón Loreto 11,549.8
16 Pebas Mariscal Ramón Castilla Loreto 11,437.0
17 Puerto Bermúdez Oxapampa Pasco 10,988.1
18 Fitzcarrald Manú Madre de Dios 10,955.3
19 Yaquerana Requena Loreto 10,947.2
20 Morona Datem del Marañón Loreto 10,777.0

Source: INEI[2]

By elevation

# District Province Region Elevation
1 Suykutambo Espinar Cusco 4801
2 Condoroma Espinar Cusco 4737
3 San Antonio Puno Puno 4700
4 Ananea San Antonio de Putina Puno 4660
5 Morococha Yauli Junín 4550
6 San Antonio de Chuca Caylloma Arequipa 4525
7 Santa Ana Castrovirreyna Huancavelica 4473
8 Marcapomacocha Yauli Junín 4415
9 Capazo El Collao Puno 4400
10 Paratia Lampa Puno 4390
11 Cojata Huancané Puno 4355
12 Yanacancha Pasco Pasco 4350
13 Chaupimarca Pasco Pasco 4338
14 Macusani Carabaya Puno 4315
15 Huayllay Pasco Pasco 4310
16 Caylloma Caylloma Arequipa 4310
17 Vilavila Lampa Puno 4300
18 Tanta Yauyos Lima 4278
19 Tinyahuarco Pasco Pasco 4275
20 Suitucancha Yauli Junín 4255

Source: INEI[2]

Districts table

District Province Region Capital UBIGEO

See also