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Countries of the World: Panama
Resources about Panama including maps, facts about the land, people, history, government, political conditions, and economy.

Economy of Panama GDP (2008 est.): $25.04 billion. Annual growth rate: 5.6% (2010 projected); 2.4% (2009); 11% (2008); 12% (2007). Per capita GDP: $11,900 (2009 est., purchasing power parity); $10,900 (2007); $9,900 (2006). Natural resources: Timber, copper, gold. Services (67% of GDP): Finance, insurance, health and medical, transportation, telecommunications, Canal and maritime services, tourism, Colon Free Zone, public administration, and general commerce. Agriculture (6.2% of GDP): Products--bananas, corn, sugarcane, rice, coffee, shrimp, timber, vegetables, livestock. Industry/manufacturing (14.2% of GDP): construction, brewing, cement and other construction materials, sugar milling. Trade (2009): Exports (goods)--$821 million in exports, with salmon/tuna as the largest dollar amount, followed by beef, watermelon, shrimp, and pineapples. Export partners (as a percentage of total export value in 2009)--U.S. 42%, China (P.R.C.) and Taiwan 5.3%, Costa Rica 7.3%, Sweden 5.4%, Netherlands 6.5%, Spain 6.2%. Imports (goods)--$7.8 billion was imported in 2009: petrol and fuel oils capture the largest percentage by weight (21%) and in dollar amount (8.5%). Capital goods, foodstuffs, chemicals, and consumer and intermediate goods are the remaining imports. Import partners (2009)--the top five countries include the U.S. 29%, Costa Rica 5.2%, Mexico 4.5%, China 4.2%, and Japan 3.6%. U.S. exports to Panama (2009)--$4.3 billion: primarily oil and capital- and technology-intensive manufactured goods. Panama exports to U.S. (2009)--$350 million: primarily seafood and repaired goods. Foreign direct investment (2009): $1.8 billion.

Geography of Panama Area: 78,200 sq. km. (30,193 sq. mi.); slightly smaller than South Carolina. Panama occupies the southeastern end of the isthmus forming the land bridge between North and South America. Cities: Capital--Panama City (1.7 million, metropolitan area). Other cities--Colon (204,000), David (179,674). Terrain: Mountainous (highest elevation Cerro Volcan Baru, 3,475 m.--11,468 ft.); coastline 2,857 km. (1,786 mi.). Climate: Tropical, with average daily rainfall 28 mm. (1 in.) in winter.

Government of Panama Type: Constitutional democracy. Independence: November 3, 1903. Constitution: October 11, 1972; amended 1983 and 1994 and reformed in 2004. Branches: Executive--president (chief of state), vice president. (A second vice presidential slot was abolished starting with the 2009 electoral cycle.) Legislative--National Assembly (unicameral; 71 members, reduced from 78 to 71 members for May 2009 elections). Judicial--Supreme Court. Subdivisions: Nine provinces and five (indigenous) territories. Political parties: Panamenista Party (formerly the Arnulfista Party (PA); Democratic Change (CD); National Liberal Republican Movement (MOLIRENA); Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD); Patriotic Union (UP). Suffrage: Universal at 18.

Map of Panama This Map of Panama shows the borders of the country, as well as rivers, and cities including Panama City the capital of Panama. (Maps from the U.S. State Department)

Official Name of Panama The Official Name of Panama is the Republic of Panama. (Facts from the U.S. State Department)

People of Panama Nationality: Noun and adjective--Panamanian(s). Population (May 2010): 3,322,576. Annual population growth rate: 1.503%. Ethnic groups: Mestizo (mixed African, Amerindian, and European ancestry) 70%, Amerindian and mixed (West Indian) 14%, Caucasian 10%, Amerindian 6%. Origins--36.5% African, 37.6% indigenous, and 25.9% Caucasian. Religions: Roman Catholic 84%, Protestant 15%, other 1%. Languages: Spanish (official); 14% speak English as their native tongue; various indigenous languages. Many Panamanians have a working knowledge of English and many professional college-educated Panamanians in Panama City are bilingual. Education: Years compulsory--primary grades 1-6, or through age 15. Attendance--95% for primary school-age children, 62.2% for secondary, 34.9% for tertiary. Literacy--92.6% overall; urban 94%; rural 62%. Health: Infant mortality rate (2010)--11.97 deaths/1,000 live births. Life expectancy--77.61 yrs. Work force: 1.392 million: Commerce (wholesale and retail)-- 17.9%; agriculture, cattle, hunting, silviculture--15%; construction--9.8%; industries (manufactures)--18%; transportation, storage, communications--6.9%; private home domestic services--5.8%; public and defense administration-- 5.6%; hotels and restaurants--5.4%; other community and social activities, teaching--4.9%; real estate activities, business, and rentals--4.8%; social and health services-- 3.5%; financial intermediation--2.0%. Unemployment (2009): 7%. Poverty rate (2006): 28.6%.

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