Map Panama
Maps copyright Hammond World Atlas Corp.

Flag of Panama


Background: Explored and settled by the Spanish in the 16th century, Panama broke with Spain in 1821 and joined a union of Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela - named the Republic of Gran Colombia. When the latter dissolved in 1830, Panama remained part of Colombia. With US backing, Panama seceded from Colombia in 1903 and promptly signed a treaty with the US allowing for the construction of a canal and US sovereignty over a strip of land on either side of the structure (the Panama Canal Zone). The Panama Canal was built by the US Army Corps of Engineers between 1904 and 1914. In 1977, an agreement was signed for the complete transfer of the Canal from the US to Panama by the end of the century. Certain portions of the Zone and increasing responsibility over the Canal were turned over in the subsequent decades. With US help, dictator Manuel NORIEGA was deposed in 1989. The entire Panama Canal, the area supporting the Canal, and remaining US military bases were transferred to Panama by the end of 1999. In October 2006, Panamanians approved an ambitious plan (estimated to cost $5.3 billion) to expand the Canal. The project, which began in 2007 and could double the Canal's capacity, is expected to be completed in 2014-15.
Location: Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Colombia and Costa Rica
Area land: 74,340 sq km
Area water: 1,080 sq km
Coastline: 2,490 km
Country name conventional long form: Republic of Panama
Country name conventional short form: Panama
Country name former: Republic of Panama
Population: 3,460,462 (July 2011 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 28.6% (male 504,726/female 484,291); 15-64 years: 64.2% (male 1,123,777/female 1,098,661); 65 years and over: 7.2% (male 115,425/female 133,582) (2011 est.);
Population growth rate: 1.435% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 19.43 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 4.65 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.42 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.045 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female; total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2011 est.);
Infant mortality rate: total: 11.64 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 12.41 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 10.83 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.);
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 77.79 years; male: 75.02 years; female: 80.68 years (2011 est.);
Total fertility rate: 2.45 children born/woman (2011 est.);
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.9% (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 20,000 (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 1,500 (2009 est.);
Nationality: noun: Panamanian(s); adjective: Panamanian;
Ethnic groups: mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 70%, Amerindian and mixed (West Indian) 14%, white 10%, Amerindian 6%;
Religions: Roman Catholic 85%, Protestant 15%;
Languages: Spanish (official), English 14%; note - many Panamanians bilingual;
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 91.9%; male: 92.5%; female: 91.2% (2000 census);
GDP (purchasing power parity): $44.82 billion (2010 est.); $41.69 billion (2009 est.); $40.4 billion (2008 est.);

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate): $27.2 billion (2010 est.);
GDP - real growth rate: 7.5% (2010 est.); 3.2% (2009 est.); 10.1% (2008 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $12,700 (2010 est.); $12,300 (2009 est.); $12,200 (2008 est.);
note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 5.8%; industry: 16.6%; services: 77.6% (2010 est.);
Population below poverty line: 25.6% (2010 est.);
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 0.8%; highest 10%: 41.4% (2006);
Labor force: 1.557 million;
note: shortage of skilled labor, but an oversupply of unskilled labor (2010 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 17.6%; industry: 8.8%; services: 73.6% (2009 est.);
Unemployment rate: 6.5% (2010 est.); 6.6% (2009 est.);
Budget: revenues: $6.944 billion; expenditures: $7.051 billion (2010 est.);
Industries: construction, brewing, cement and other construction materials, sugar milling;
Industrial production growth rate: -1% (September 2010, year-over-year);
Electricity - production: 6.546 billion kWh (2010 est.);
Electricity - consumption: 5.805 billion kWh (2010 est.);
Electricity - exports: 124.9 million kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - imports: 8.74 million kWh (2007 est.);

Statistics: CIA World Factbook.


Critica en Linea

(Independent), Panama City

DIAaDIA Online

(Independent), Panama City

El Siglo

(Independent), Panama City

La Prensa

(Independent), Panama City

Panama News, The

(English-language bimonthly), Panama City

Panama in the News

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Displaying 1 to 4 of 10 items.

Viewpoints: Panama Papers Explained

Rich, famous and politically powered individuals are secretly cheating international law by hiding their fortunes in anonymous, legal, offshore shell companies, allowing them to skirt tax laws and make major money moves in the shadows.

Tax Havens: Stunting Latin American Development

Offshore tax havens have long been taken advantage of by multi-national corporations and drug lords alike, and the result for the countries involved has long been exacerbated inequality for its people.

Speaking Out Against Corruption

The lack of control and havoc created with the new titling method of beach property in Panama is outrageous.

Panama's Wires Crossed

A suspect privatization deal reveals that the Panamanian government and British-based Cable & Wireless were involved in shady practices