Panama

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

Introduction

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.

Geography

Area

total: 75,420 sq km

land: 74,340 sq km

water: 1,080 sq km

Climate

tropical maritime; hot, humid, cloudy; prolonged rainy season (May to January), short dry season (January to May)

Natural resources

copper, mahogany forests, shrimp, hydropower

People and Society

Population

4,337,768 (2022 est.)

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 48.6%, Evangelical 30.2%, other 4.7%, agnostic 0.2%, atheist 0.2%, none 12.3%, unspecified 3.7% (2018 est.)

Population growth rate

1.53% (2022 est.)

Government

Government type

presidential republic

Capital

name: Panama City

Executive branch

chief of state: President Laurentino "Nito" CORTIZO Cohen (since 1 July 2019); Vice President Jose Gabriel CARRIZO Jaen (since 1 July 2019); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Laurentino "Nito" CORTIZO Cohen (since 1 July 2019); Vice President Jose Gabriel CARRIZO Jaen (since 1 July 2019)

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Assembly or Asamblea Nacional (71 seats; 45 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies - populous towns and cities - by open list proportional representation vote and 26 directly elected in single-seat constituencies - outlying rural districts - by simple majority vote; members serve 5-year terms)

Economy

Economic overview

upper middle-income Central American economy; increasing Chinese trade; US dollar user; canal expansion fueling broader infrastructure investment; services sector dominates economy; historic money-laundering and illegal drug hub

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$109.52 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$25,400 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

sugar cane, bananas, rice, poultry, milk, plantains, pineapples, maize, beef, pork

Industries

construction, brewing, cement and other construction materials, sugar milling

Exports

$20.18 billion (2020 est.)

Exports - partners

Ecuador 20%, Guatemala 14%, China 8%, United States 6%, Netherlands 6% (2019)

Exports - commodities

refined petroleum, copper, bananas, ships, coal tar oil, packaged medicines (2019)

Imports

$17.41 billion (2020 est.)

Imports - partners

China 21%, United States 19%, Japan 16%, Colombia 6%, Ecuador 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

ships, refined petroleum, crude petroleum, tanker ships, packaged medicines (2019)


Page last updated: Friday, May 20, 2022