As is the case every 10 years, the Peruvian Statistical Office INEI, carries out a nation-wide population census in Peru on October 22, 2017 to get an updated insight into the population development, the social, economic and employment situation as well as the migration movement in the country.
After lots of speculations and conflicting news in the local media and on social networks we updated this article on October 18 and added more detailed info. Another especially for tourists important update was added at the end of this article on October 19.
When does the census in Peru take place?
The census is carried out across the country on Sunday, October 22, 2017 between 08.00 am and 05.00 pm. In some rural areas the census continues for another 15 days.
Who has to participate in the census in Peru?
Everyone who has been on Peruvian soil in the night between October 21 and 22 at 00.00 am is obligated to participate in the census. This includes Peruvians, foreign residents, tourists and other visitors.
How does the census in Peru work?
On census day between 08.00 am and 05.00 pm there is a ban on going out in place. So, everyone has to stay at home to ensure he / she participates in the census at all or only one time. Police, the Armed Forces and other state officials make sure to enforce the “curfew” by blocking roads and check people on the roads.
Some professions, such as police, military, security, doctors, nurses, etc. that have to work that day can get a special permission to leave their home.
During above mentioned time a census taker, usually someone from the neighborhood recruited by INEI that wears a Census 2017 T-Shirt and has an official INEI – Census 2017 badge, visits each home and presents each household with a questionnaire containing 47 questions.
Be aware that you are not obligated to invite the census taker into your home, but can answer the questions at your door, outside on the sidewalk or in a front patio.
What questions have to be answered in Peru’s census 2017?
The questionnaire contains 47 questions that according to Peruvian law have to be answered completely and truthfully. Your personal data and all the information given are handled confidentially and are exclusively used for statistical purposes.
The questionnaire includes questions about your name, full address and birth date, family composition, education level, economic situation (no question about income), employment status, housing situation and available basic services.
INEI published a quite informative booklet about the Census 2017 in Peru. Starting on page 52 you find all questions of the questionnaire including explanations (only in Spanish available).
Travelling on census day in Peru
Please don't miss the updated info for foreign tourists at the end of this article!
Airports, train stations and ports operate normally on census day. Travel agencies, tour operators, tour guides and restaurants at tourist destinations as well as taxi operators and transport service providers can request a special permission from INEI allowing them to pursue their activities as normal.
Peruvians and foreign residents of the country that want or have to travel nationally or internationally on census day, must visit the nearest INEI office before census day showing proof of their travel. After having answered the census questions they receive a special permission allowing them get to the airport, port or train station or to travel to their destination on census day, but only in vehicles authorized to drive around that day.
Hotels and other accommodation providers usually coordinate with INEI the participation in the census for their guests that have been in Peru on the night from October 21 to 22 at 12.00 am. This way most foreign tourists or travelers will get an authorization to be exempted from the curfew so they can continue their travel or visit sights.
All persons arriving in Peru after 12.00 am on the night from October 21 to 22 don’t have to participate in the census. They receive a special permit upon their arrival allowing them to get to their hotel or home in vehicles authorized to circulate.
Are shops, restaurants and tourist attractions open on census day?
The census is on a Sunday and therefore government and other public offices as well as companies are closed anyway. Churches, supermarkets, markets, shops and stores, restaurants, cafés and bars (except those that applied for a special permission to open), cinemas and other businesses are not allowed to open their doors during the “curfew” from 08.00 am to 05.00 pm. They may open before and after that time.
INEI however confirmed on October 17, that museums, tourist attractions, sights, other monuments and national parks are allowed to open their doors.
Even though the census in Peru might be inconvenient for some, we recommend enjoying this time; you will never see Lima and other larger cities in Peru that quiet and peaceful.
Update October 19: Census Day in Peru - changes for foreign tourists
The Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Commerce and Tourism just announced that foreign tourists who enter the country on Census Day or the days before do not have to participate in the census. They can move and travel freely around the country without any special permission or authorization. The only document needed for identification is a passport or any other ID from their home country..