I have found places where it is not accentuated (e.g., Madrid en la mirada: La periferia and others where it is (e.g., Excelencia científica en la perifería). There's a page where it explains why it must be accentuated. Some other sites indicate that it is incorrect.

So, is it "periferia", "perifería" or both?

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    Dixit RAE that it is stressed on the second E. Because there's an entry in the DPD, it's clearly relatively common enough to hear with the stress in the second I, but that pronunciation has not yet reached a level that it is considered acceptable in Standard Spanish. Jan 23 '17 at 10:14
  • @guifa: I'm curious about your sources? The DPD entry at the RAE does not mention that. Jan 23 '17 at 14:20
  • @martinargerami the entry clearly says it's /pe.ri'fer.ja/ and not /pe.ri.fe'ri.a/ Jan 23 '17 at 14:22
  • Did you read what I posted? They explicitly put the tilde on the second "e" (even though it is not usually written) to clarify it. Jan 23 '17 at 14:24
  • @MartinArgerami Yes, did you read what I said? The DPD states that there is as a diphthong, hence /pe.ri'fe.rja/, basically said pe-ri-FE-rya (and hence I stated, "Dixit RAE that it is stressed on the second E"), and not with a hiatus or /pe.ri.fe'ri.a/ (that is, pe-ri-fe-RI-a), which is what the DPD says is a pronunciation is not correct. I literally don't see where anything I said contradicts anything that the DPD says. Jan 23 '17 at 14:54

It is "periferia".

The link you provide to the "llevatilde" web page does not say that "perifería" must be accentuated according to any etymological reason, but just according to the Spanish ortography rules of accentuation. But the problem is that "perifería" just does not exist. In case of doubt, the RAE rules, so the link you provide to the DPD contains your answer.

Nonetheless, and as guifa pointed out in his comment, the fact that there IS an entry for periferia in the DPD makes us think that there must be somewhere where perifería is mainly used over periferia, or that it is a word that is spreading among some groups. Then we have two cases:

  1. You are a native Spanish speaker that has learnt to say perifería as it is the most used version in your place. Then you should stick to perifería as it reflects your way of speaking. It may be that in the future this version spreads and gets to be included in the DRAE.
  2. In any other case, you should stick to periferia as it is the accepted form by the RAE.

It seems that the form "perifería" has been adopted by some people as a false cultured word, as seen in the following text:

Pero el mal uso del lenguaje no es exclusivo de los pacientes, con el paso del tiempo, desde que iniciamos nuestra carrera los sanitarios tendemos a adoptar malas costumbres, modificando y en ocasiones dando nuevos sentidos a algunas palabras. Este hecho se afianza con el paso de los años, lo hacen nuestros maestros, los catedráticos, los adjuntos, nuestros tutores… y con la inercia terminamos haciéndolo nosotros hasta integrar las palabras en nuestro vocabulario habitual.

Tal es el caso de las siguientes “adopciones”:

Estadío, donde debemos decir estadio. Es errónea la acentuación estadío, a pesar de ser frecuente en textos médicos.

Perifería, donde debemos decir periferia. (periferia. ‘Contorno o alrededores’.) Es voz llana: [periféria]. Es incorrecta la forma con hiato perifería.

In fact, if you search "perifería" in Google (with quote marks to make the engine respect the tildes), the search engine gives you around 25900 results. But "periferia" gives you almost 20 million results.

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    @user: could you show what you mean by "widespread"? In almost half as century as a Spanish speaker, this is the first time I see any mention of it. It is certainly not in the list of those words that you know in the back of your mind that they are used differently somewhere else. Jan 23 '17 at 12:59
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    @MartinArgerami I have found 5 matches from 2 documents in the CORDE reference corpus and none in the CREA. I should not call that "widespread".
    – Charlie
    Jan 23 '17 at 13:19
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    @user sorry to disagree. When you search the term "perifería retina" with quote marks (in google.es) Google says that there are no results, and the results you see are for "perifería retina" without the quote marks, and that renders the words periferia and perifería the same for the search engine. Look at the results and you will see the word written without tilde in some cases.
    – Charlie
    Jan 23 '17 at 14:36
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    In Italian, the word is pronounced with the hiatus as in "perifería" (but not written with an accent per Italian orthography rules). In the many South American countries with substantial Italian immigration this could have led to a shift in pronunciation. Jan 23 '17 at 14:53
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    @EuroMicelli and also in Portuguese it's pronounced as in Italian, so regions bordering Brazil may be influenced from that too Jan 23 '17 at 15:27

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