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Panama

 
Flag of Panama
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Coordinates:
09.00 N  80.00 W

 
 
Introduction  Geography  People  Government  Economy
 
Communications  Transportation  Military  Transnational Issues

Map of Panama

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Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Panama Top of Page
Background:
Definition Field Listing
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. On 7 September 1977, an agreement was signed for the complete transfer of the Canal from the US to Panama by the end of 1999. Certain portions of the Zone and increasing responsibility over the Canal were turned over in the intervening years. 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 turned over to Panama by or on 31 December 1999.
   Geography    Panama Top of Page
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Colombia and Costa Rica
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
9 00 N, 80 00 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Central America and the Caribbean
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 78,200 sq km
land: 75,990 sq km
water: 2,210 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly smaller than South Carolina
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 555 km
border countries: Colombia 225 km, Costa Rica 330 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
2,490 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical maritime; hot, humid, cloudy; prolonged rainy season (May to January), short dry season (January to May)
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
interior mostly steep, rugged mountains and dissected, upland plains; coastal areas largely plains and rolling hills
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Volcan de Chiriqui 3,475 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
copper, mahogany forests, shrimp, hydropower
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 7.26%
permanent crops: 1.95%
other: 90.79% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
430 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
occasional severe storms and forest fires in the Darien area
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
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
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, 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
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
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
   People    Panama Top of Page
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3,191,319 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 30.3% (male 492,403/female 472,996)
15-64 years: 63.4% (male 1,025,898/female 998,926)
65 years and over: 6.3% (male 94,122/female 106,974) (2006 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 26.1 years
male: 25.8 years
female: 26.5 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.6% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
21.74 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.36 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-0.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 16.37 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 17.75 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 14.92 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 75.22 years
male: 72.68 years
female: 77.87 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.68 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0.9% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
16,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
less than 500 (2003 est.)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Panamanian(s)
adjective: Panamanian
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 70%, Amerindian and mixed (West Indian) 14%, white 10%, Amerindian 6%
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Roman Catholic 85%, Protestant 15%
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
Spanish (official), English 14%; note - many Panamanians bilingual
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 92.6%
male: 93.2%
female: 91.9% (2003 est.)
   Government    Panama Top of Page
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Republic of Panama
conventional short form: Panama
local long form: Republica de Panama
local short form: Panama
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
constitutional democracy
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Panama
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
9 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia) and 1 territory* (comarca); Bocas del Toro, Chiriqui, Cocle, Colon, Darien, Herrera, Los Santos, Panama, San Blas*(Kuna Yala), and Veraguas
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
3 November 1903 (from Colombia; became independent from Spain 28 November 1821)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 3 November (1903)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
11 October 1972; major reforms adopted 1978, 1983, 1994, and 2004
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court of Justice; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Martin TORRIJOS Espino (since 1 September 2004); First Vice President Samuel LEWIS Navarro (since 1 September 2004); Second Vice President Ruben AROSEMENA Valdes (since 1 September 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Martin TORRIJOS Espino (since 1 September 2004); First Vice President Samuel LEWIS Navarro (since 1 September 2004); Second Vice President Ruben AROSEMENA Valdes (since 1 September 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections: president and vice presidents elected on the same ticket by popular vote for five-year terms (eligible for two more terms); election last held 2 May 2004 (next to be held 3 May 2009); note - beginning in 2009, Panama will have only one vice president.
election results: Martin TORRIJOS Espino elected president; percent of vote - Martin TORRIJOS Espino 47.5%, Guillermo ENDARA Galimany 30.6%, Jose Miguel ALEMAN 17%, Ricardo MARTINELLI 4.9%
note: government coalition - PRD (Democratic Revolutionary Party), PP (Popular Party)
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral National Assembly (formerly called Legislative Assembly) or Asamblea Nacional (78 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms); note - in 2009, the number of seats will change to 71
elections: last held 2 May 2004 (next to be held 3 May 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - PRD 40, PA 17, PS 8, MOLIRENA 3, CD 2, PP 2, PLN 1, other 5
note: legislators from outlying rural districts are chosen on a plurality basis while districts located in more populous towns and cities elect multiple legislators by means of a proportion-based formula
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (nine judges appointed for 10-year terms); five superior courts; three courts of appeal
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Democratic Change or CD [Ricardo MARTINELLI]; Democratic Revolutionary Party or PRD [Hugo GUIRAUD]; National Liberal Party or PLN [Anibal GALINDO]; Nationalist Republican Liberal Movement or MOLIRENA [Jesus ROSAS]; Panamenista Party or PA (formerly the Arnulfista Party) [Marco AMEGLIO]; Popular Party or PP (formerly Christian Democratic Party or PDC) [Ricardo ARIAS Calderon]; Solidarity Party or PS [Jose Raul MULINO]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Chamber of Commerce; National Civic Crusade; 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:
Definition Field Listing
FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, LAES, LAIA (observer), MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Federico HUMBERT Arias
chancery: 2862 McGill Terrace NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 483-1407
FAX: [1] (202) 483-8416
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Houston, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico), Tampa
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador William A. EATON
embassy: Avenida Balboa and Calle 37, Apartado Postal 0816-02561, Zona 5, Panama City 5
mailing address: American Embassy Panama, Unit 0945, APO AA 34002
telephone: [507] 207-7000
FAX: [507] 227-1964
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
divided into four, equal rectangles; the top quadrants are white (hoist side) with a blue five-pointed star in the center and plain red; the bottom quadrants are plain blue (hoist side) and white with a red five-pointed star in the center
   Economy    Panama Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Panama's dollarised economy rests primarily on a well-developed services sector that accounts for three-fourths of GDP. Services include operating the Panama Canal, banking, the Colon Free Zone, insurance, container ports, flagship registry, and tourism. A slump in the Colon Free Zone and agricultural exports, the global slowdown, and the withdrawal of US military forces held back economic growth in 2000-03; growth picked up in 2004 and 2005 led by export-oriented services and a construction boom stimulated by tax incentives. The government has implemented tax reforms, as well as social security reforms, and backs regional trade agreements and development of tourism. Unemployment remains high.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$22.76 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing
$14.89 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6.4% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$7,200 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 6.8%
industry: 15.6%
services: 77.6% (2005 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.39 million
note: shortage of skilled labor, but an oversupply of unskilled labor (2005 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 20.8%
industry: 18%
services: 61.2% (1995 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
9.8% (2005 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
37% (1999 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 1.2%
highest 10%: 35.7% (1997)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
56.4 (2000)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.9% (2005 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
16.5% of GDP (2005 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $3.426 billion
expenditures: $3.959 billion; including capital expenditures of $471 million (2005 est.)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
64.9% of GDP (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
bananas, rice, corn, coffee, sugarcane, vegetables; livestock; shrimp
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
construction, brewing, cement and other construction materials, sugar milling
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.7% (2005 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.398 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.87 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
175 million kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
25 million kWh (2003)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
78,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day; note - imports oil
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
-$705.7 million (2005 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$7.481 billion f.o.b.; note - includes the Colon Free Zone (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
bananas, shrimp, sugar, coffee, clothing
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 18.3%, Spain 15.6%, Germany 7.9%, Greece 4.1% (2005)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$8.734 billion f.o.b. (includes the Colon Free Zone) (2005 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
capital goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods, chemicals
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Japan 36.2%, China 16.5%, US 11.4%, Singapore 10% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$1.211 billion (2005 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$9.758 billion (2005 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$197.1 million (1995)
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing
balboa (PAB); US dollar (USD)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
balboas per US dollar - 1 (2005), 1 (2004), 1 (2003), 1 (2002), 1 (2001)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Panama Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
376,100 (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
855,900 (2004)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: domestic and international facilities well developed
domestic: NA
international: country code - 507; 1 coaxial submarine cable; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); connected to the Central American Microwave System
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 101, FM 134, shortwave 0 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
38 (including repeaters) (1998)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.pa
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
7,013 (2005)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
300,000 (2005)
   Transportation    Panama Top of Page
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
109 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 47
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 17
under 914 m: 23 (2005)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 62
914 to 1,523 m: 10
under 914 m: 52 (2005)
Railways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 355 km
standard gauge: 76 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 279 km 0.914-m gauge (2004)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 11,643 km
paved: 4,028 km
unpaved: 7,615 km (2000)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
800 km (includes 82 km Panama Canal) (2005)
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 5,254 ships (1000 GRT or over) 137,914,883 GRT/206,848,688 DWT
by type: barge carrier 27, bulk carrier 1,651, cargo 951, chemical tanker 452, combination ore/oil 11, container 625, liquefied gas 188, livestock carrier 6, passenger 46, passenger/cargo 77, petroleum tanker 516, refrigerated cargo 307, roll on/roll off 109, specialized tanker 21, vehicle carrier 267
foreign-owned: 4,688 (Argentina 9, Australia 4, The Bahamas 1, Bangladesh 1, Belgium 13, Bermuda 2, Brazil 2, Canada 3, Chile 11, China 370, Colombia 6, Croatia 4, Cuba 8, Cyprus 8, Denmark 28, Egypt 17, Estonia 3, France 8, Germany 29, Greece 536, Hong Kong 168, India 16, Indonesia 50, Iran 4, Ireland 2, Isle of Man 2, Israel 3, Italy 16, Japan 1,921, Jordan 12, South Korea 285, Kuwait 2, Latvia 4, Lebanon 1, Lithuania 6, Malaysia 13, Maldives 2, Malta 2, Marshall Islands 1, Mexico 5, Monaco 9, Netherlands 26, NZ 1, Nigeria 6, Norway 57, Pakistan 2, Peru 14, Philippines 17, Poland 19, Portugal 12, Romania 9, Russia 6, Saudi Arabia 4, Singapore 57, South Africa 3, Spain 48, Sri Lanka 6, Sudan 1, Swaziland 1, Sweden 5, Switzerland 206, Syria 9, Taiwan 302, Thailand 10, Trinidad and Tobago 1, Tunisia 1, Turkey 31, Ukraine 7, UAE 89, UK 36, US 97, Venezuela 14, Vietnam 2, Yemen 1, unknown 1) (2005)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
Balboa, Colon, Cristobal
   Military    Panama Top of Page
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
an amendment to the Constitution abolished the armed forces, but there are security forces (Panamanian Public Forces or PPF includes the Panamanian National Police, National Maritime Service, and National Air Service)
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 751,065 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 591,604 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 29,724
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$150 million (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1% (2005 est.)
Military - note:
Definition Field Listing
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"
   Transnational Issues    Panama Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
organized illegal narcotics operations in Colombia operate within the border region with Panama
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
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

This page was last updated on 20 July, 2006


Source: CIA Factbook