City (pop., 2005: 389,579), chief seaport, Peru. It was founded in 1537 by Francisco Pizarro on Callao Bay west of Lima. As the leading shipping point for gold and silver taken by Spanish conquistadores from the Incas, it was frequently assaulted by pirates and by Spain's European rivals. It was destroyed by a tidal wave in 1746 and then rebuilt near its original site. It withstood several sieges by Spanish forces during the wars for independence. The revolutionary leader Simón Bolívar landed there in 1823, and three years later it was the scene of the final Spanish surrender to rebel forces. It suffered heavy earthquake damage in 1940 but has since expanded and modernized.
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There were 117 households out of which 24.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.6% were married couples living together, 7.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.5% were non-families. 24.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 2.95.
In the city the population was spread out with 23.7% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 24.7% from 25 to 44, 23.4% from 45 to 64, and 19.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 99.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $24,659, and the median income for a family was $32,813. Males had a median income of $22,500 versus $15,125 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,573. About 18.7% of families and 26.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 65.3% of those under the age of eighteen and 9.6% of those sixty five or over.