Panama Population: 3,705,246


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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. An ambitious expansion project to more than double the Canal's capacity - by allowing for more Canal transits and larger ships - was carried out between 2007 and 2016.

Strategic location on eastern end of isthmus forming land bridge connecting North and South America; controls Panama Canal that links North Atlantic Ocean via Caribbean Sea with North Pacific Ocean
Location: Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Colombia and Costa Rica
Geographic coordinates: 9 00 N, 80 00 W
Area: total: 75,420 sq km
land: 74,340 sq km
water: 1,080 sq km

Size comparison: slightly smaller than South Carolina
Land Boundaries: total: 687 km border countries (2): Colombia 339 km, Costa Rica 348 km
Coastline: 2,490 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm or edge of continental margin
Climate: tropical maritime; hot, humid, cloudy; prolonged rainy season (May to January), short dry season (January to May)
Terrain: interior mostly steep, rugged mountains with dissected, upland plains; coastal plains with rolling hills
Elevation extremes:
Natural resources: copper, mahogany forests, shrimp, hydropower
Land use: agricultural land: 30.5% arable land 7.3%; permanent crops 2.5%; permanent pasture 20.7% forest: 43.6%
other: 25.9% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 321 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: occasional severe storms and forest fires in the Darien area
Current Environment Issues: water pollution from agricultural runoff threatens fishery resources; deforestation of tropical rain forest; land degradation and soil erosion threatens siltation of Panama Canal; air pollution in urban areas; mining threatens natural resources
International Environment Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation
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Nationality: noun: Panamanian(s)
adjective: Panamanian
Ethnic groups: mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 65%, Native American 12.3% (Ngabe 7.6%, Kuna 2.4%, Embera 0.9%, Bugle 0.8%, other 0.4%, unspecified 0.2%), black or African descent 9.2%, mulatto 6.8%, white 6.7% (2010 est.)
Languages: Spanish (official), indigenous languages (including Ngabere (or Guaymi), Buglere, Kuna, Embera, Wounaan, Naso (or Teribe), and Bri Bri), Panamanian English Creole (similar to Jamaican English Creole; a mixture of English and Spanish with elements of Ngabere; also known as Guari Guari and Colon Creole), English, Chinese (Yue and Hakka), Arabic, French Creole, other (Yiddish, Hebrew, Korean, Japanese) note: many Panamanians are bilingual
Religions: Roman Catholic 85%, Protestant 15%
Population: 3,705,246 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 26.7% (male 504,990/female 484,338)
15-24 years: 17.11% (male 323,034/female 311,099)
25-54 years: 40.31% (male 756,400/female 737,205)
55-64 years: 7.72% (male 141,582/female 144,414)
65 years and over: 8.16% (male 138,922/female 163,262) (2016 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 53.4%
youth dependency ratio: 41.7%
elderly dependency ratio: 11.7%
potential support ratio: 8.5% (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 28.9 years
male: 28.5 years
female: 29.3 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.3% (2016 est.)
Birth rate: 18.1 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate: 4.9 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 66.6% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 2.07% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: PANAMA CITY (capital) 1.673 million (2015)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 94 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 10.1 deaths/1,000 live births male: 10.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 9.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 78.6 years male: 75.8 years
female: 81.6 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.33 children born/woman (2016 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 52.2% (2009)
Health expenditures: 8% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density: 1.65 physicians/1,000 population (2013)
Hospital bed density: 2.2 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 97.7% of population
rural: 86.6% of population
total: 94.7% of population

urban: 2.3% of population
rural: 11.4% of population
total: 5.3% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 83.5% of population
rural: 58% of population
total: 75% of population

urban: 16.5% of population
rural: 42% of population
total: 25% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.69% (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 17,100 (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 500 (2015 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 26.5% (2014)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 3.9% (2008)
Education expenditures: 3.3% of GDP (2011)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95%
male: 95.7%
female: 94.4% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 13 years male: 12 years
female: 13 years (2013)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 12.6% male: 11.2%
female: 14.9% (2014 est.)
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Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Panama
conventional short form: Panama
local long form: Republica de Panama
local short form: Panama
etymology: according to tradition, the name derives from a former indigenous fishing village and its nearby beach that were called "Panama" meaning "an abundance of fish"
Government type: presidential republic
Capital: name: Panama City
geographic coordinates: 8 58 N, 79 32 W
time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 10 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia) and 3 indigenous territories* (comarcas); Bocas del Toro, Chiriqui, Cocle, Colon, Darien, Embera-Wounaan*, Herrera, Kuna Yala*, Los Santos, Ngobe-Bugle*, Panama, Panama Oeste, Veraguas
Independence: 3 November 1903 (from Colombia; became independent from Spain on 28 November 1821)
National holiday: Independence Day, 3 November (1903)
Constitution: several previous; latest effective 11 October 1972; amended several times, last in 2004 (2016)
Legal system: civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court of Justice
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Juan Carlos VARELA (since 1 July 2014); Vice President Isabel de SAINT MALO de Alvarado (since 1 July 2014); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Juan Carlos VARELA (since 1 July 2014); Vice President Isabel de SAINT MALO de Alvarado (since 1 July 2014)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on the same ballot by simple majority popular vote for a 5-year term (president eligible for a single non-consecutive term); election last held on 4 May 2014; next to be held in 2019)

election results: Juan Carlos VARELA elected president; percent of vote - Juan Carlos VARELA (PP) 39.1%, Jose Domingo ARIAS (CD) 31.4%, Juan Carlos NAVARRO (PRD) 28.2%, other 1.3%

note: an alliance between the Panamenista Party and Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) fractured after the 2014 election, but a loose coalition composed of Panamenista and moderate PRD and CD legislators generally work together to support the president’s agenda
Legislative branch: description: unicameral National Assembly or Asamblea Nacional (71 seats; 45 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies - populous towns and cities - by proportional representation vote and 26 directly elected in single-seat constituencies - outlying rural districts - by plurality vote; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: last held on 4 May 2014 (next to be held in May 2019)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PRD 26, CD 25, Panamenista 16, MOLIRENA 2, PP 1, independent 1; note - only 57 deputies were officially installed because fourteen runners-up challenged the election
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (consists of 9 magistrates and 9 alternates and divided into civil, criminal, administrative, and general business chambers) judge selection and term of office: magistrates appointed by the president for staggered 10-year terms

subordinate courts: appellate courts or Tribunal Superior; Labor Supreme Courts; Court of Audit; circuit courts or Tribunal Circuital (2 each in 9 of the 10 provinces); municipal courts; electoral, family, maritime, and adolescent courts
Political parties and leaders: Democratic Change or CD [Ricardo MARTINELLI Berrocal] Democratic Revolutionary Party or PRD [Carlos PEREZ Herrera] Nationalist Republican Liberal Movement or MOLIRENA [Francisco "Pancho" ALEMAN] Panamenista Party [Juan Carlos VARELA Rodriguez] (formerly the Arnulfista Party) Popular Party or PP [Milton C. HENRIQUEZ] (formerly Christian Democratic Party or PDC)
Political pressure groups and leaders: Chamber of Commerce Concertacion Nacional (mechanism for Government of Panama to formally dialogue with representatives of civil society) National Council of Organized Workers or CONATO National Council of Private Enterprise or CONEP National Union of Construction and Similar Workers (SUNTRACS) Panamanian Association of Business Executives or APEDE Panamanian Industrialists Society or SIP Workers Confederation of the Republic of Panama or CTRP
International organization participation: BCIE, CAN (observer), CD, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), PCA, SICA, UN, UNASUR (observer), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National symbol(s): harpy eagle; national colors: blue, white, red
National anthem: name: "Himno Istmeno" (Isthmus Hymn)
lyrics/music: Jeronimo DE LA OSSA/Santos A. JORGE

note: adopted 1925
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Emanuel Arturo GONZALEZ-REVILLA Lince (since 18 September 2014)
chancery: 2862 McGill Terrace NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 483-1407
FAX: [1] (202) 483-8413
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Houston, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Tampa, Washington DC
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador John D. FEELEY (since 15 February 2015)
embassy: Edificio 783, Avenida Demetrio Basilio Lakas Panama, Apartado Postal 0816-02561, Zona 5, Panama City
mailing address: American Embassy Panama, Unit 0945, APO AA 34002; American Embassy Panama, 9100 Panama City PL, Washington, DC 20521-9100
telephone: [507] 317-5000
FAX: [507] 317-5568
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Panama's dollar-based economy rests primarily on a well-developed services sector that accounts for more than three-quarters of GDP. Services include operating the Panama Canal, logistics, banking, the Colon Free Trade Zone, insurance, container ports, flagship registry, and tourism. Panama's transportation and logistics services sectors, along with infrastructure development projects, have boosted economic growth; however, public debt surpassed $32 billion in 2015 because of excessive government spending and public works projects. The US-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement was approved by Congress and signed into law in October 2011, and entered into force in October 2012. Growth will be bolstered by the Panama Canal expansion project that began in 2007 and is estimated to be completed by 2016 at a cost of $5.3 billion - about 10-15% of current GDP. The expansion project will more than double the Canal's capacity, enabling it to accommodate ships that are too large to traverse the existing canal. The US and China are the top users of the Canal. In 2014, Panama completed a metro system in Panama City, valued at $1.2 billion. Strong economic performance has not translated into broadly shared prosperity, as Panama has the second worst income distribution in Latin America. About one-fourth of the population lives in poverty; however, from 2006 to 2012 poverty was reduced by 10 percentage points.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $93.12 billion (2016 est.) $88.52 billion (2015 est.) $83.69 billion (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $55.23 billion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 5.2% (2016 est.) 5.8% (2015 est.) 6.1% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $22,800 (2016 est.) $22,100 (2015 est.) $21,300 (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving: 41.7% of GDP (2016 est.) 41% of GDP (2015 est.) 37.3% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 49.7%
government consumption: 9.4%
investment in fixed capital: 43.9%
investment in inventories: 3.3%
exports of goods and services: 52%
imports of goods and services: -58.3% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 49.7%
government consumption: 9.4%
investment in fixed capital: 43.9%
investment in inventories: 3.3%
exports of goods and services: 52%
imports of goods and services: -58.3% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - products: bananas, rice, corn, coffee, sugarcane, vegetables; livestock; shrimp
Industries: construction, brewing, cement and other construction materials, sugar milling
Industrial production growth rate: 4.8% (2016 est.)
Labor force: 1.611 million note: shortage of skilled labor, but an oversupply of unskilled labor (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 17%
industry: 18.6%
services: 64.4% (2009 est.)
Unemployment rate: 4.5% (2016 est.) 4.5% (2015 est.)
Population below poverty line: 26% (2012 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 1.1%
highest 10%: 40.1% (2010 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 51.9 (2010 est.) 56.1 (2003)
Budget: revenues: $11.7 billion
expenditures: $12.41 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 21.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt: 39.3% of GDP (2016 est.) 38.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1% (2016 est.) 0.1% (2015 est.)
Current account balance: -$3.029 billion (2016 est.) -$3.377 billion (2015 est.)
Exports: $15.19 billion (2016 est.) $15.92 billion (2015 est.) note: includes the Colon Free Zone
Exports - commodities: fruit and nuts, fish, iron and steel waste, wood
Exports - partners: US 19.7%, Germany 13.2%, Costa Rica 7.7%, China 5.9%, Netherlands 4.1% (2015)
Imports: $22.08 billion (2016 est.) $22.48 billion (2015 est.) note: includes the Colon Free Zone
Imports - commodities: fuels, machinery, vehicles, iron and steel rods, pharmaceuticals
Imports - partners: US 25.9%, China 9.6%, Mexico 5.1% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $3.878 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $3.378 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external: $22.9 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $21.03 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $49.79 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $45.28 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $10.26 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $9.755 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $12.54 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $10.68 billion (31 December 2011 est.) $8.348 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Exchange rates: balboas (PAB) per US dollar - 1 (2016 est.) 1 (2015 est.) 1 (2014 est.) 1 (2013 est.) 1 (2012 est.)
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Electricity - production: 9 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 7.8 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports: 99 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - imports: 200 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 2.7 million kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 38.7% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 61.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2010 es)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 136,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 66.08 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 127,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 17 million Mt (2013 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total: 6.947 million subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 190 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: domestic and international facilities well-developed

domestic: mobile-cellular telephone subscribership has increased rapidly

international: country code - 507; landing point for the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1), the MAYA-1, and PAN-AM submarine cable systems that together provide links to the US and parts of the Caribbean, Central America, and South America; satellite earth (2015)
Broadcast media: multiple privately owned TV networks and a government-owned educational TV station; multi-channel cable and satellite TV subscription services are available; more than 100 commercial radio stations (2007)
Internet country code: .pa
Internet users: total: 1.873 million percent of population: 51.2% (July 2015 est.)
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Airports: 117 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 57
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 20
under 914 m: 30 (2013)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 60

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 8
under 914 m: 51 (2013)
Heliports: 3 (2013)
Pipelines: oil 128 km (2013)
Railways: total 77 km
standard gauge: 77 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
Roadways: total 15,137 km
paved: 6,351 km
unpaved: 8,786 km (2010)
Waterways: 800 km (includes the 82-km Panama Canal that is being widened) (2011)
Merchant marine: total 6,413

by type: barge carrier 1, bulk carrier 2,525, cargo 1,115, carrier 27, chemical tanker 588, combination ore/oil 1, container 742, liquefied gas 205, passenger 42, passenger/cargo 51, petroleum tanker 545, refrigerated cargo 191, roll on/roll off 87, specialized tanker 3, vehicle carrier 290

foreign-owned: 5,157 (Albania 4, Argentina 5, Australia 4, Bahamas 6, Bangladesh 5, Belgium 1, Bermuda 27, Brazil 3, Bulgaria 6, Burma 3, Canada 6, Chile 14, China 534, Colombia 2, Croatia 2, Cuba 2, Cyprus 5, Denmark 41, Ecuador 3, Egypt 11, Finland 2, France 7, Gabon 1, Ger

registered in other countries: 1 (Honduras 1) (2010)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Balboa, Colon, Cristobal container port(s) (TEUs): Balboa (3,232,265), Colon (2,390,976), Manzanillo (2,391,066)
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On 10 February 1990, the government of then President ENDARA abolished Panama's military and reformed the security apparatus by creating the Panamanian Public Forces; in October 1994, Panama's Legislative Assembly approved a constitutional amendment prohibiting the creation of a standing military force but allowing the temporary establishment of special police units to counter acts of "external aggression"
Military branches: no regular military forces; Panamanian Public Security Forces (subordinate to the Ministry of Public Security), comprising the National Police (PNP), National Air-Naval Service (SENAN), National Border Service (SENAFRONT) (2013)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: organized illegal narcotics operations in Colombia operate within the remote border region with Panama
Refugees and internally displaced persons: refugees (country of origin): 15,593 (Colombia) (2015)
stateless persons: 2 (2015)
Illicit drugs: major cocaine transshipment point and primary money-laundering center for narcotics revenue; money-laundering activity is especially heavy in the Colon Free Zone; offshore financial center; negligible signs of coca cultivation; monitoring of financial transactions is improving; official corruption remains a major problem
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