|Panama Information - The People
Mestizo (mixed Indian and European ancestry) 70%
Amerindian and mixed (West Indian) 14%
Roman Catholic 85%
Spanish (official), and English are widely spoken. Many Panamanians are bilingual.
Education and Literacy
Education is free and compulsory for children ages 7 through 15. Fees may be charged for higher education. Nearly 91 percent of the population can read and write.
Total: 1.1 million (2000)
Note: shortage of skilled labor, but an oversupply of unskilled labor
Panama Information: Geography
Land Mass Total
30,193 sq mi (78,200 sq km)
29,339 sq mi (75,990 sq km)
853 sq mi (2,210 sq km)
Total: 344 mi (555 km)
Countries that border Panama:
Colombia 139 mi (225 km), Costa Rica 205 mi (330 km)
1,547 mi (2,490 km)
Contiguous zone: 24 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm
Tropical maritime; hot, humid, cloudy; prolonged rainy season (May to January), short dry season (January to May).
Interior mostly steep, rugged mountains and dissected, upland plains; coastal areas largely plains and rolling hills.
Lowest: Pacific Ocean 0 ft (0 m)
Highest: Volcan de Chiriqu í 11,400 ft (3,475 m)
Copper, mahogany forests, shrimp, hydropower.
Land use (1998)
Arable land 7%
Permanent crops 2%
Occasional severe storms and forest fires in the Darien area.
Panama Information: Demographics
Population of Panama
2,882,329 (July 2002)
Age structure (2002)
0-14 years: 29.6%
15-64 years: 64.3%
65 years and over: 6.1%