About 45% of Peru's population is indigenous, while mestizos make up about 37% and whites 15%. There are also small numbers of persons of Japanese, Chinese, and African descent. Most of the native inhabitants speak Quechua (an official language) or Aymara; they live in the Andes and have retained much of their traditional way of life. Small groups of indigenous peoples live in the isolated rain forest of E Peru and speak a variety of languages. Most other Peruvians speak Spanish (the other official language) and are Roman Catholic. Power and wealth in the country have traditionally been monopolized by the European-descended inhabitants and by a small number of the mestizos; the bulk of the mestizos and virtually all of the indigenous people are laborers or subsistence farmers. The leading universities are at Lima, Arequipa, Trujillo, and Cuzco.
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