Panama Information - The People
Ethnic Composition
Mestizo (mixed Indian and European ancestry) 70%
Amerindian and mixed (West Indian) 14%
White 10%
Indian 6%
Religious Composition
Roman Catholic 85%
Protestant 15%
Languages Spoken
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.
Labor Force
Total: 1.1 million (2000)
By occupation:
Agriculture 20.8%
Industry 18%
Services 61.2%
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)
Land
29,339 sq mi (75,990 sq km)
Water
853 sq mi (2,210 sq km)
Land Boundaries
Total: 344 mi (555 km)
Countries that border Panama:
Colombia 139 mi (225 km), Costa Rica 205 mi (330 km)
Coastline
1,547 mi (2,490 km)
Maritime claim
Contiguous zone: 24 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm
Climate/Weather
Tropical maritime; hot, humid, cloudy; prolonged rainy season (May to January), short dry season (January to May).
Terrain
Interior mostly steep, rugged mountains and dissected, upland plains; coastal areas largely plains and rolling hills.
Elevation extremes
Lowest: Pacific Ocean 0 ft (0 m)
Highest: Volcan de Chiriqu í 11,400 ft (3,475 m)
Natural Resources
Copper, mahogany forests, shrimp, hydropower.
Land use (1998)
Arable land 7%
Permanent crops 2%
Other 91%
Natural hazards
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%
male 433,494
female 418,120

15-64 years: 64.3%
male 939,550
female 914,646

65 years and over: 6.1%
male 84,130
female 92,389
Growth Rate
1.26% (2002)
Life Expectancy
75.89 years (2002)
female: 78.74 years
male: 73.14 years
GDP Per Capita
Purchasing power parity
US$5,900 (2001)
Infant Mortality
19.57 deaths/1,000 live births (2002)
Sex ratio At birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.02 male(s)/female
Net migration rate
-1.04 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002)
Panama Information: Economy & Trade
Unemployment
13% (2000)
Inflation Rate
1% (2000)
Industries
Construction, petroleum refining, brewing, cement and other construction materials, sugar milling.
Exports
US$5.9 billion (f.o.b., 2001)
Imports
US$6.7 billion (f.o.b., 2001)
Total Trade
Purchasing power parity
GDP US $16.9 billion (2001)
Top Export Partners
US 45.9%, Sweden 8.1%, Benelux 5.3%, Costa Rica 5.1% (2000)
Top Import Partners
US 33.1%, Ecuador 7.2%, Venezuela 6.6%, Japan 5.5% (2000)
Top Exports
Bananas, shrimp, sugar, coffee, clothing
Top Imports
Capital goods, crude oil, foodstuffs, consumer goods, chemicals