Panama

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This article is about the country. Panama_sentence_0

For other uses, see Panama (disambiguation). Panama_sentence_1

Panama_table_infobox_0

Republic of Panama

República de Panamá  (Spanish)Panama_header_cell_0_0_0

Capital

and largest cityPanama_header_cell_0_1_0

Panama CityPanama_cell_0_1_1
Official languagesPanama_header_cell_0_2_0 SpanishPanama_cell_0_2_1
Ethnic groups (2010)Panama_header_cell_0_3_0 Panama_cell_0_3_1
Religion (2015)Panama_header_cell_0_4_0 91.5% Christianity

—63.2% Roman Catholic —25.0% Protestant —3.3% Other Christian 7.6% No religion 0.9% Other religionsPanama_cell_0_4_1

Demonym(s)Panama_header_cell_0_5_0 PanamanianPanama_cell_0_5_1
GovernmentPanama_header_cell_0_6_0 Unitary presidential constitutional republicPanama_cell_0_6_1
PresidentPanama_header_cell_0_7_0 Laurentino CortizoPanama_cell_0_7_1
Vice PresidentPanama_header_cell_0_8_0 Jose Gabriel CarrizoPanama_cell_0_8_1
LegislaturePanama_header_cell_0_9_0 National AssemblyPanama_cell_0_9_1
IndependencePanama_header_cell_0_10_0
from Spanish EmpirePanama_header_cell_0_11_0 November 28, 1821Panama_cell_0_11_1
union with Gran ColombiaPanama_header_cell_0_12_0 December 1821Panama_cell_0_12_1
from Republic of ColombiaPanama_header_cell_0_13_0 November 3, 1903Panama_cell_0_13_1
Admitted to the United NationsPanama_header_cell_0_14_0 November 13, 1945Panama_cell_0_14_1
Current constitutionPanama_header_cell_0_15_0 October 11, 1972Panama_cell_0_15_1
Area Panama_header_cell_0_16_0
TotalPanama_header_cell_0_17_0 75,417 km (29,119 sq mi) (116th)Panama_cell_0_17_1
Water (%)Panama_header_cell_0_18_0 2.9Panama_cell_0_18_1
PopulationPanama_header_cell_0_19_0
2018 estimatePanama_header_cell_0_20_0 4,176,869Panama_cell_0_20_1
2010 censusPanama_header_cell_0_21_0 3,405,813Panama_cell_0_21_1
DensityPanama_header_cell_0_22_0 56/km (145.0/sq mi) (162)Panama_cell_0_22_1
GDP (PPP)Panama_header_cell_0_23_0 2020 estimatePanama_cell_0_23_1
TotalPanama_header_cell_0_24_0 $121.749 billion (80th)Panama_cell_0_24_1
Per capitaPanama_header_cell_0_25_0 $28,456 (57th)Panama_cell_0_25_1
GDP (nominal)Panama_header_cell_0_26_0 2020 estimatePanama_cell_0_26_1
TotalPanama_header_cell_0_27_0 $73.369 billion (70th)Panama_cell_0_27_1
Per capitaPanama_header_cell_0_28_0 $17,148 (52nd)Panama_cell_0_28_1
Gini (2017)Panama_header_cell_0_29_0 49.9

highPanama_cell_0_29_1

HDI (2018)Panama_header_cell_0_30_0 0.795

high · 66thPanama_cell_0_30_1

CurrencyPanama_header_cell_0_31_0 Panama_cell_0_31_1
Time zonePanama_header_cell_0_32_0 UTC−5 (EST)Panama_cell_0_32_1
Driving sidePanama_header_cell_0_33_0 rightPanama_cell_0_33_1
Calling codePanama_header_cell_0_34_0 +507Panama_cell_0_34_1
ISO 3166 codePanama_header_cell_0_35_0 PAPanama_cell_0_35_1
Internet TLDPanama_header_cell_0_36_0 .paPanama_cell_0_36_1

Panama (/ˈpænəmɑː/ (listen) PAN-ə-mah, /pænəˈmɑː/ pan-ə-MAH; Spanish: Panamá IPA: [panaˈma (listen)), officially the Republic of Panama (Spanish: República de Panamá), is a transcontinental country in Central America and South America, bordered by Costa Rica to the west, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the south. Panama_sentence_2

The capital and largest city is Panama City, whose metropolitan area is home to nearly half the country's 4 million people. Panama_sentence_3

Panama was inhabited by indigenous tribes before Spanish colonists arrived in the 16th century. Panama_sentence_4

It broke away from Spain in 1821 and joined the Republic of Gran Colombia, a union of Nueva Granada, Ecuador, and Venezuela. Panama_sentence_5

After Gran Colombia dissolved in 1831, Panama and Nueva Granada eventually became the Republic of Colombia. Panama_sentence_6

With the backing of the United States, Panama seceded from Colombia in 1903, allowing the construction of the Panama Canal to be completed by the US Army Corps of Engineers between 1904 and 1914. Panama_sentence_7

The 1977 Torrijos–Carter Treaties led to the transfer of the Canal from the United States to Panama on December 31, 1999. Panama_sentence_8

The surrounding territory was transferred in 1979. Panama_sentence_9

Revenue from canal tolls continues to represent a significant portion of Panama's GDP, although commerce, banking, and tourism are major and growing sectors. Panama_sentence_10

It is regarded as a high-income country. Panama_sentence_11

In 2018 Panama ranked 66th in the world in terms of the Human Development Index. Panama_sentence_12

In 2018, Panama was ranked seventh-most competitive economy in Latin America, according to the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Index. Panama_sentence_13

Covering around 40 percent of its land area, Panama's jungles are home to an abundance of tropical plants and animals – some of them found nowhere else on earth. Panama_sentence_14

Panama is a founding member of the United Nations and other international organizations such as OAS, LAIA, G77, WHO, and NAM. Panama_sentence_15

Etymology Panama_section_0

The definite origin of the name Panama is unknown. Panama_sentence_16

There are several theories. Panama_sentence_17

One states that the country was named after a commonly found species of tree (Sterculia apetala, the Panama tree). Panama_sentence_18

Another states that the first settlers arrived in Panama in August, when butterflies are abundant, and that the name means "many butterflies" in one or several of the indigenous Amerindian languages that were spoken in the territory prior to Spanish colonization. Panama_sentence_19

The most scientifically corroborated theory by Panamanian linguists, states that the word is a hispanicization of the Kuna language word "bannaba" which means "distant" or "far away". Panama_sentence_20

A commonly relayed legend in Panama is that there was a fishing village that bore the name "Panamá", which purportedly meant "an abundance of fish", when the Spanish colonizers first landed in the area. Panama_sentence_21

The exact location of the village is unknown. Panama_sentence_22

The legend is usually corroborated by Captain Antonio Tello de Guzmán's diary entries, who reports landing at an unnamed village while exploring the Pacific coast of Panama in 1515; he only describes the village as a "same small indigenous fishing town". Panama_sentence_23

In 1517, Don Gaspar de Espinosa, a Spanish lieutenant, decided to settle a post in the same location Guzmán described. Panama_sentence_24

In 1519, Pedrarias Dávila decided to establish the Spanish Empire's Pacific port at the site. Panama_sentence_25

The new settlement replaced Santa María La Antigua del Darién, which had lost its function within the Crown's global plan after the Spanish exploitation of the riches in the Pacific began. Panama_sentence_26

The official definition and origin of the name as promoted by Panama's Ministry of Education is the "abundance of fish, trees and butterflies". Panama_sentence_27

This is the usual description given in social studies textbooks. Panama_sentence_28

History Panama_section_1

Geography Panama_section_2

Main article: Geography of Panama Panama_sentence_29

Panama is located in Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, between Colombia and Costa Rica. Panama_sentence_30

It mostly lies between latitudes and 10°N, and longitudes 77° and 83°W (a small area lies west of 83°). Panama_sentence_31

Its location on the Isthmus of Panama is strategic. Panama_sentence_32

By 2000, Panama controlled the Panama Canal which connects the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea to the North of the Pacific Ocean. Panama_sentence_33

Panama's total area is 74,177.3 km (28,640.0 sq mi). Panama_sentence_34

The dominant feature of Panama's geography is the central spine of mountains and hills that forms the continental divide. Panama_sentence_35

The divide does not form part of the great mountain chains of North America, and only near the Colombian border are there highlands related to the Andean system of South America. Panama_sentence_36

The spine that forms the divide is the highly eroded arch of an uplift from the sea bottom, in which peaks were formed by volcanic intrusions. Panama_sentence_37

The mountain range of the divide is called the Cordillera de Talamanca near the Costa Rican border. Panama_sentence_38

Farther east it becomes the Serranía de Tabasará, and the portion of it closer to the lower saddle of the isthmus, where the Panama Canal is located, is often called the Sierra de Veraguas. Panama_sentence_39

As a whole, the range between Costa Rica and the canal is generally referred to by geographers as the Cordillera Central. Panama_sentence_40

The highest point in the country is the Volcán Barú, which rises to 3,475 metres (11,401 feet). Panama_sentence_41

A nearly impenetrable jungle forms the Darién Gap between Panama and Colombia where Colombian guerrillas and drug dealers operate and sometimes take hostages. Panama_sentence_42

This and unrest, and forest protection movements, create a break in the Pan-American Highway, which otherwise forms a complete road from Alaska to Patagonia. Panama_sentence_43

Panama's wildlife is the most diverse in Central America. Panama_sentence_44

It is home to many South American species as well as to North American wildlife. Panama_sentence_45

Waterways Panama_section_3

Main article: Panama Canal Panama_sentence_46

Nearly 500 rivers lace Panama's rugged landscape. Panama_sentence_47

Mostly unnavigable, many originate as swift highland streams, meander in valleys, and form coastal deltas. Panama_sentence_48

However, the Río Chagres (Chagres River), located in central Panama, is one of the few wide rivers and a source of hydroelectric power. Panama_sentence_49

The central part of the river is dammed by the Gatun Dam and forms Gatun Lake, an artificial lake that constitutes part of the Panama Canal. Panama_sentence_50

The lake was created by the construction of the Gatun Dam across the Río Chagres between 1907 and 1913. Panama_sentence_51

Once created, Gatun Lake was the largest man-made lake in the world, and the dam was the largest earth dam. Panama_sentence_52

The river drains northwest into the Caribbean. Panama_sentence_53

The Kampia and Madden Lakes (also filled from the Río Chagres) provide hydroelectricity for the area of the former Canal Zone. Panama_sentence_54

The Río Chepo, another source of hydroelectric power, is one of the more than 300 rivers emptying into the Pacific. Panama_sentence_55

These Pacific-oriented rivers are longer and slower-running than those on the Caribbean side. Panama_sentence_56

Their basins are also more extensive. Panama_sentence_57

One of the longest is the Río Tuira, which flows into the Golfo de San Miguel and is the nation's only river that is navigable by larger vessels. Panama_sentence_58

Harbors Panama_section_4

The Caribbean coastline is marked by several natural harbors. Panama_sentence_59

However, Cristóbal, at the Caribbean terminus of the canal, had the only important port facilities in the late 1980s. Panama_sentence_60

The numerous islands of the Archipiélago de Bocas del Toro, near the Beaches of Costa Rica, provide an extensive natural roadstead and shield the banana port of Almirante. Panama_sentence_61

The more than 350 San Blas Islands near Colombia, are strung out over more than 160 kilometres (99 miles) along the sheltered Caribbean coastline. Panama_sentence_62

The terminal ports located at each end of the Panama Canal, namely the Port of Cristóbal, Colón and the Port of Balboa, are ranked second and third respectively in Latin America in terms of numbers of containers units (TEU) handled. Panama_sentence_63

The Port of Balboa covers 182 hectares and contains four berths for containers and two multi-purpose berths. Panama_sentence_64

In total, the berths are over 2,400 metres (7,900 feet) long with alongside depth of 15 metres (49 feet). Panama_sentence_65

The Port of Balboa has 18 super post-Panamax and Panamax quay cranes and 44 gantry cranes. Panama_sentence_66

The Port of Balboa also contains 2,100 square metres (23,000 square feet) of warehouse space. Panama_sentence_67

The Ports of Cristobal (encompassing the container terminals of Panama Ports Cristobal, Manzanillo International Terminal and Colon Container Terminal) handled 2,210,720 TEU in 2009, second only to the Port of Santos, Brazil, in Latin America. Panama_sentence_68

Excellent deep water ports capable of accommodating large VLCC (Very Large Crude Oil Carriers) are located at Charco Azul, Chiriquí (Pacific) and Chiriquí Grande, Bocas del Toro (Atlantic) near Panama's western border with Costa Rica. Panama_sentence_69

The Trans-Panama pipeline, running 131 kilometres (81 miles) across the isthmus, has operated between Charco Azul and Chiriquí Grande since 1979. Panama_sentence_70

Climate Panama_section_5

Main article: Climate of Panama Panama_sentence_71

Panama has a tropical climate. Panama_sentence_72

Temperatures are uniformly high—as is the relative humidity—and there is little seasonal variation. Panama_sentence_73

Diurnal ranges are low; on a typical dry-season day in the capital city, the early morning minimum may be 24 °C (75.2 °F) and the afternoon maximum 30 °C (86.0 °F). Panama_sentence_74

The temperature seldom exceeds 32 °C (89.6 °F) for more than a short time. Panama_sentence_75

Temperatures on the Pacific side of the isthmus are somewhat lower than on the Caribbean, and breezes tend to rise after dusk in most parts of the country. Panama_sentence_76

Temperatures are markedly cooler in the higher parts of the mountain ranges, and frosts occur in the Cordillera de Talamanca in western Panama. Panama_sentence_77

Climatic regions are determined less on the basis of temperature than on rainfall, which varies regionally from less than 1,300 millimeters (51.2 in) to more than 3,000 millimeters (118.1 in) per year. Panama_sentence_78

Almost all of the rain falls during the rainy season, which is usually from April to December, but varies in length from seven to nine months. Panama_sentence_79

In general, rainfall is much heavier on the Caribbean than on the Pacific side of the continental divide. Panama_sentence_80

The annual average in Panama City is little more than half of that in Colón. Panama_sentence_81

Although rainy-season thunderstorms are common, the country is outside the hurricane belt. Panama_sentence_82

Panama's tropical environment supports an abundance of plants. Panama_sentence_83

Forests dominate, interrupted in places by grasslands, scrub, and crops. Panama_sentence_84

Although nearly 40% of Panama is still wooded, deforestation is a continuing threat to the rain-drenched woodlands. Panama_sentence_85

Tree cover has been reduced by more than 50 percent since the 1940s. Panama_sentence_86

Subsistence farming, widely practised from the northeastern jungles to the southwestern grasslands, consists largely of corn, bean, and tuber plots. Panama_sentence_87

Mangrove swamps occur along parts of both coasts, with banana plantations occupying deltas near Costa Rica. Panama_sentence_88

In many places, a multi-canopied rain forest abuts the swamp on one side of the country and extends to the lower reaches of slopes on the other. Panama_sentence_89

Politics Panama_section_6

Main article: Politics of Panama Panama_sentence_90

Panama's politics take place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Panama is both head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party system. Panama_sentence_91

Executive power is exercised by the government. Panama_sentence_92

Legislative power is vested in both the government and the National Assembly. Panama_sentence_93

The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. Panama_sentence_94

National elections are universal for all citizens 18 years and older. Panama_sentence_95

National elections for the executive and legislative branches take place every five years. Panama_sentence_96

Members of the judicial branch (justices) are appointed by the head of state. Panama_sentence_97

Panama's National Assembly is elected by proportional representation in fixed electoral districts, so many smaller parties are represented. Panama_sentence_98

Presidential elections requires a simple majority; out of the five last presidents only ex-president Ricardo Martinelli has managed to be elected with over 50 percent of the popular vote. Panama_sentence_99

Political culture Panama_section_7

Since the end of Manuel Noriega's military dictatorship in 1989, Panama has successfully completed five peaceful transfers of power to opposing political factions. Panama_sentence_100

The political landscape is dominated by two major parties and many smaller parties, many of which are driven by individual leaders more than ideologies. Panama_sentence_101

Former President Martín Torrijos is the son of general Omar Torrijos. Panama_sentence_102

He succeeded Mireya Moscoso, the widow of Arnulfo Arias. Panama_sentence_103

Panama's most recent national elections occurred on May 4, 2014, with incumbent vice-President Juan Carlos Varela declared the victor. Panama_sentence_104

The 2019 Panamanian general election is scheduled for May 5, 2019, with current President Juan Carlos Varela being ineligible due to constitutional limits for a second term. Panama_sentence_105

Foreign relations Panama_section_8

Further information: Foreign relations of Panama Panama_sentence_106

The United States cooperates with the Panamanian government in promoting economic, political, security, and social development through US and international agencies. Panama_sentence_107

Cultural ties between the two countries are strong, and many Panamanians go to the United States for higher education and advanced training. Panama_sentence_108

Military Panama_section_9

Further information: Panamanian Public Forces Panama_sentence_109

Administrative divisions Panama_section_10

Main article: Provinces and regions of Panama Panama_sentence_110

Panama is divided into ten provinces with their respective local authorities (governors). Panama_sentence_111

Each is divided into districts and corregimientos (townships). Panama_sentence_112

Also, there are five Comarcas (literally: "Shires") populated by a variety of indigenous groups. Panama_sentence_113

Provinces Panama_sentence_114

Regions Panama_sentence_115

Panama_unordered_list_0

Economy Panama_section_11

Main article: Economy of Panama Panama_sentence_116

According to the CIA World Factbook, as of 2012 Panama had an unemployment rate of 2.7 percent. Panama_sentence_117

A food surplus was registered in August 2008. Panama_sentence_118

On the Human Development Index, Panama ranked 60th in 2015. Panama_sentence_119

In more recent years, Panama's economy has experienced a boom, with growth in real gross domestic product (GDP) averaging over 10.4 percent in 2006–2008. Panama_sentence_120

Panama's economy was among the fastest growing and best managed in Latin America. Panama_sentence_121

The Latin Business Chronicle predicted that Panama would be the fastest growing economy in Latin America during the five-year period from 2010 to 2014, matching Brazil's 10 percent rate. Panama_sentence_122

The expansion project on the Panama Canal is expected to boost and extend economic expansion for some time. Panama_sentence_123

Panama also signed the Panama–United States Trade Promotion Agreement which eliminates tariffs to US services. Panama_sentence_124

Even though Panama is regarded as a high-income country, it still remains a country of stark contrasts perpetuated by dramatic educational disparities. Panama_sentence_125

Between 2015 and 2017, poverty at US$5.5 fell from 15.4 to an estimated 14.1 percent. Panama_sentence_126

Economic sectors Panama_section_12

Panama's economy, because of its key geographic location, is mainly based on a well-developed service sector, especially commerce, tourism, and trading. Panama_sentence_127

The handover of the Canal and military installations by the United States has given rise to large construction projects. Panama_sentence_128

A project to build a third set of locks for the Panama Canal A was overwhelmingly approved in a referendum (with low voter turnout, however) on October 22, 2006. Panama_sentence_129

The official estimated cost of the project is US$5.25 billion, but the canal is of major economic importance because it provides millions of dollars of toll revenue to the national economy and provides massive employment. Panama_sentence_130

Transfer of control of the Canal to the Panamanian government completed in 1999, after 85 years of US control. Panama_sentence_131

Copper and gold deposits are being developed by foreign investors, to the dismay of some environmental groups, as all of the projects are located within protected areas. Panama_sentence_132

Panama as an IFC Panama_section_13

Main articles: Financial centre and Panama as a tax haven Panama_sentence_133

Since the early 20th century, Panama has with the revenues from the canal built the largest Regional Financial Center (IFC) in Central America, with consolidated assets being more than three times that of Panama's GDP. Panama_sentence_134

The banking sector employs more than 24,000 people directly. Panama_sentence_135

Financial intermediation contributed 9.3 percent of GDP. Panama_sentence_136

Stability has been a key strength of Panama's financial sector, which has benefited from the country's favorable economic and business climate. Panama_sentence_137

Banking institutions report sound growth and solid financial earnings. Panama_sentence_138

The banking supervisory regime is largely compliant with the Basel Core Principles for Effective Banking Supervision. Panama_sentence_139

As a regional financial center, Panama exports some banking services, mainly to Latin America, and plays an important role in the country's economy. Panama_sentence_140

However, Panama still cannot compare to the position held by Hong Kong or Singapore as financial centers in Asia. Panama_sentence_141

Panama still has a reputation worldwide for being a tax haven but has agreed to enhanced transparency, especially since the release in 2016 of the Panama Papers. Panama_sentence_142

Significant progress has been made to improve full compliance with anti-money laundering recommendations. Panama_sentence_143

Panama was removed from the FATFGAFI gray list in February 2016. Panama_sentence_144

However efforts remain to be made, and the IMF repeatedly mentions the need to strengthen financial transparency and fiscal structure. Panama_sentence_145

Transportation Panama_section_14

Main article: Transport in Panama Panama_sentence_146

Panama is home to Tocumen International Airport, Central America's largest airport. Panama_sentence_147

Additionally there are more than 20 smaller airfields in the country. Panama_sentence_148

(See list of airports in Panama). Panama_sentence_149

Panama's roads, traffic and transportation systems are generally safe, though night driving is difficult and in many cases, restricted by local authorities. Panama_sentence_150

This usually occurs in informal settlements. Panama_sentence_151

Traffic in Panama moves on the right, and Panamanian law requires that drivers and passengers wear seat belts, and airbags are not mandatory. Panama_sentence_152

Highways are generally well-developed for a Latin American country. Panama_sentence_153

Currently, Panama City has buses known as Metrobuses, along with two Metro lines. Panama_sentence_154

Formerly, the system was dominated by colorfully painted diablos rojos; a few remain, and are mostly used on rural areas along with "chivas". Panama_sentence_155

A diablo rojo is usually customized or painted with bright colors, usually depicting famous actors, politicians or singers. Panama_sentence_156

Panama City's streets experience frequent traffic jams due to poor planning for now-extensive private vehicle ownership. Panama_sentence_157

Tourism Panama_section_15

Currency Panama_section_16

The Panamanian currency is officially the balboa, fixed at a rate of 1:1 with the United States dollar since Panamanian independence in 1903. Panama_sentence_158

In practice, Panama is dollarized: U.S. dollars are legal tender and used for all paper currency, and whilst Panama has its own coinage, U.S. coins are widely used. Panama_sentence_159

Because of the tie to US dollars, Panama has traditionally had low inflation. Panama_sentence_160

According to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Panama's inflation in 2006 was 2.0 percent as measured by a weighted Consumer Price Index. Panama_sentence_161

The balboa replaced the Colombian peso in 1904 after Panama's independence. Panama_sentence_162

Balboa banknotes were printed in 1941 by President Arnulfo Arias. Panama_sentence_163

They were recalled several days later, giving them the name "The Seven Day Dollars". Panama_sentence_164

The notes were burned by the new government, but occasionally balboa notes can be found in collections. Panama_sentence_165

These were the only banknotes ever issued by Panama and US notes have circulated both before and since. Panama_sentence_166

International trade Panama_section_17

The high levels of Panamanian trade are in large part from the Colón Free Trade Zone, the largest free trade zone in the Western Hemisphere. Panama_sentence_167

Last year the zone accounted for 92 percent of Panama's exports and 64 percent of its imports, according to an analysis of figures from the Colon zone management and estimates of Panama's trade by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. Panama_sentence_168

Panama's economy is also very much supported by the trade and export of coffee and other agricultural products. Panama_sentence_169

The Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) between the governments of the United States and Panama was signed on October 27, 1982. Panama_sentence_170

The treaty protects US investment and assists Panama in its efforts to develop its economy by creating conditions more favorable for US private investment and thereby strengthening the development of its private sector. Panama_sentence_171

The BIT was the first such treaty signed by the US in the Western Hemisphere. Panama_sentence_172

A Panama–United States Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA) was signed in 2007, approved by Panama on July 11, 2007 and by US President Obama on October 21, 2011, and the agreement entered into force on October 31, 2012. Panama_sentence_173

Society Panama_section_18

Demographics Panama_section_19

Main article: Demographics of Panama Panama_sentence_174

Panama had an estimated population of 4,176,869 in 2018. Panama_sentence_175

The proportion of the population aged less than 15 in 2010 was 29 percent. Panama_sentence_176

64.5 percent of the population was between 15 and 65, with 6.6 percent of the population 65 years or older. Panama_sentence_177

More than half the population lives in the Panama City–Colón metropolitan corridor, which spans several cities. Panama_sentence_178

Panama's urban population exceeds 75 percent, making Panama's population the most urbanized in Central America. Panama_sentence_179

Ethnic groups Panama_section_20

In 2010 the population was 65 percent Mestizo (mixed white, Native American), 12.3 percent Native American, 9.2 percent Black or African descent, 6.8 percent mulatto, and 6.7 percent White. Panama_sentence_180

Ethnic groups in Panama include Mestizo people, who have a mix of European and native ancestry. Panama_sentence_181

Black Afro-Panamanians account for 15–20 percent of the population. Panama_sentence_182

Most Afro-Panamanians live on the Panama-Colón metropolitan area, the Darien Province, La Palma, and Bocas Del Toro. Panama_sentence_183

Neighborhoods in Panama City that have large black populations include: Curundu, El Chorrillo, Rio Abajo, San Joaquín, El Marañón, San Miguelito, and Santa Ana. Panama_sentence_184

Black Panamanians are descendants of African slaves brought to the Americas in the Atlantic Slave Trade. Panama_sentence_185

The second wave of black people brought to Panama came from the Caribbean during the construction of the Panama Canal. Panama_sentence_186

Panama also has a considerable Chinese and Indian (India) population brought to work on the canal during its construction. Panama_sentence_187

Most Chinese-Panamanians reside in the province of Chiriquí. Panama_sentence_188

Europeans and white-Panamanians are a minority in Panama. Panama_sentence_189

Panama is also home to a small Arab community that has mosques, practises Islam, as well as a Jewish community and many synagogues. Panama_sentence_190

The Amerindian population includes seven ethnic groups: the Ngäbe, Kuna (Guna), Emberá, Buglé, Wounaan, Naso Tjerdi (Teribe), and Bri Bri. Panama_sentence_191

Languages Panama_section_21

Further information: Panamanian Spanish Panama_sentence_192

Spanish is the official and dominant language. Panama_sentence_193

The Spanish spoken in Panama is known as Panamanian Spanish. Panama_sentence_194

About 93 percent of the population speak Spanish as their first language. Panama_sentence_195

Many citizens who hold jobs at international levels, or at business corporations, speak both English and Spanish. Panama_sentence_196

About 14 percent of Panamanians speak English; this number is expected to rise because Panama now requires English classes in its public schools. Panama_sentence_197

Native languages, such as Ngäbere, are spoken throughout the country, mostly in their native territories. Panama_sentence_198

Over 400,000 Panamanians keep their native languages and customs. Panama_sentence_199

About 4 percent speak French and 1 percent speak Arabic. Panama_sentence_200

Largest cities Panama_section_22

Further information: List of cities in Panama Panama_sentence_201

These are the 10 largest Panamanian cities and towns. Panama_sentence_202

Most of Panama's largest cities are part of the Panama City Metropolitan Area. Panama_sentence_203

Religion Panama_section_23

Main article: Religion in Panama Panama_sentence_204

Christianity is the main religion in Panama. Panama_sentence_205

An official survey carried out by the government estimated in 2015 that 63.2% of the population, or 2,549,150 people, identifies itself as Roman Catholic, and 25.0 percent as evangelical Protestant, or 1,009,740. Panama_sentence_206

The Jehovah's Witnesses were the third largest congregation comprising the 1.4% of the population, followed by the Adventist Church and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with the 0.6%. Panama_sentence_207

There is a very large Buddhist (0.4% or 18,560) and Jewish community (0.1% or 5,240) in the country. Panama_sentence_208

The Baháʼí Faith community in Panama is estimated at 2.00 percent of the national population, or about 60,000 including about 10 percent of the Guaymí population. Panama_sentence_209

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) claims more than 40,000 members. Panama_sentence_210

Smaller religious groups include Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Episcopalians with between 7,000 and 10,000 members, Jewish and Muslim communities with approximately 10,000 members each, Hindus, Buddhists, and other Christians. Panama_sentence_211

Indigenous religions include Ibeorgun (among Kuna) and Mamatata (among Ngäbe). Panama_sentence_212

There are also a small number of Rastafarians. Panama_sentence_213

Education Panama_section_24

Main article: Education in Panama Panama_sentence_214

During the 16th century, education in Panama was provided by Jesuits. Panama_sentence_215

Public education began as a national and governmental institution in 1903. Panama_sentence_216

The principle underlying the early education system was that children should receive different types of education in accordance with their social class and therefore the position they were expected to occupy in society. Panama_sentence_217

Public education began in Panama soon after it seceded from Colombia in 1903. Panama_sentence_218

The first efforts were guided by an extremely paternalistic view of the goals of education, as evidenced in comments made in a 1913 meeting of the First Panamanian Educational Assembly, "The cultural heritage given to the child should be determined by the social position he will or should occupy. Panama_sentence_219

For this reason education should be different in accordance with the social class to which the student should be related." Panama_sentence_220

This elitist focus changed rapidly under US influence. Panama_sentence_221

In 2010, it was estimated that 94.1 percent of the population was literate (94.7 percent of males and 93.5 percent of females). Panama_sentence_222

Education in Panama is compulsory for all children between ages 6 and 15. Panama_sentence_223

In recent decades, school enrollment at all levels, but especially at upper levels, has increased significantly. Panama_sentence_224

Panama participates in the PISA exams, but due to debts and unsatisfactory exam results it postponed participation until 2018. Panama_sentence_225

Culture Panama_section_25

Main article: Culture of Panama Panama_sentence_226

See also: Music of Panama Panama_sentence_227

The culture of Panama derives from European music, art and traditions brought by the Spanish to Panama. Panama_sentence_228

Hegemonic forces have created hybrid forms blending African and Native American culture with European culture. Panama_sentence_229

For example, the tamborito is a Spanish dance with African rhythms, themes and dance moves. Panama_sentence_230

Dance is typical of the diverse cultures in Panama. Panama_sentence_231

The local folklore can be experienced at a multitude of festivals, through dances and traditions handed down from generation to generation. Panama_sentence_232

Local cities host live reggae en español, reggaeton, haitiano (compas), jazz, blues, salsa, reggae, and rock music performances. Panama_sentence_233

Handicraft Panama_section_26

Outside Panama City, regional festivals take place throughout the year featuring local musicians and dancers. Panama_sentence_234

Panama's blended culture is reflected in traditional products, such as woodcarvings, ceremonial masks and pottery, as well as in Panama's architecture, cuisine and festivals. Panama_sentence_235

In earlier times, baskets were woven for utilitarian uses, but now many villages rely almost exclusively on income from the baskets they produce for tourists. Panama_sentence_236

An example of undisturbed, unique culture in Panama is that of the Guna who are known for molas. Panama_sentence_237

Mola is the Guna word for blouse, but the term mola has come to mean the elaborate embroidered panels made by Guna women, that make up the front and back of a Guna woman's blouse. Panama_sentence_238

They are several layers of cloth, varying in color, that are loosely stitched together, made using a reverse appliqué process. Panama_sentence_239

Holidays and festivities Panama_section_27

Further information: Public holidays in Panama Panama_sentence_240

The Christmas parade, known as El desfile de Navidad, is celebrated in the capital, Panama City. Panama_sentence_241

This holiday is celebrated on December 25. Panama_sentence_242

The floats in the parade are decorated in the Panamanian colors, and women wear dresses called pollera and men dress in traditional montuno. Panama_sentence_243

In addition, the marching band in the parade, consisting of drummers, keeps crowds entertained. Panama_sentence_244

In the city, a big Christmas tree is lit with Christmas lights, and everybody surrounds the tree and sings Christmas carols. Panama_sentence_245

Traditional cuisine Panama_section_28

Further information: Panamanian cuisine Panama_sentence_246

Since Panama's cultural heritage is influenced by many ethnicities the traditional cuisine of the country includes ingredients from many cultures, from all over the world: a mix of African, Spanish, and Native American techniques, dishes, and ingredients, reflecting its diverse population. Panama_sentence_247

Since Panama is a land bridge between two continents, it has a large variety of tropical fruits, vegetables and herbs that are used in native cooking. Panama_sentence_248

The famous fish market known as the "Mercado de Mariscos" offers fresh seafood and Ceviche, a seafood dish. Panama_sentence_249

Small shops along the street which are called kiosco and Empanada, which is a typical latinamerican pastry, including a variety of different ingredients, either with meat or vegetarian, mostly fried. Panama_sentence_250

Another kind of pastry is the pastelito, with the only difference in comparison to empanadas is that they are bigger. Panama_sentence_251

Typical Panamanian foods are mild-flavored, without the pungency of some of Panama's Latin American and Caribbean neighbors. Panama_sentence_252

Common ingredients are maize, rice, wheat flour, plantains, yuca (cassava), beef, chicken, pork and seafood. Panama_sentence_253

Traditional clothing Panama_section_29

Panamanian men's traditional clothing, called montuno, consists of white cotton shirts, trousers and woven straw hats. Panama_sentence_254

The traditional women's clothing is the pollera. Panama_sentence_255

It originated in Spain in the 16th century, and by the early 1800s it was typical in Panama, worn by female servants, especially wet nurses (De Zarate 5). Panama_sentence_256

Later, it was adopted by upper-class women. Panama_sentence_257

A pollera is made of "cambric" or "fine linen" (Baker 177). Panama_sentence_258

It is white, and is usually about 13 yards of material. Panama_sentence_259

The original pollera consists of a ruffled blouse worn off the shoulders and a skirt with gold buttons. Panama_sentence_260

The skirt is also ruffled, so that when it is lifted up, it looks like a peacock's tail or a mantilla fan. Panama_sentence_261

The designs on the skirt and blouse are usually flowers or birds. Panama_sentence_262

Two large matching pom poms (mota) are on the front and back, four ribbons hang from the front and back from the waist, five gold chains (caberstrillos) hang from the neck to the waist, a gold cross or medallion on a black ribbon is worn as a choker, and a silk purse is worn at the waistline. Panama_sentence_263

Earrings (zaricillos) are usually gold or coral. Panama_sentence_264

Slippers usually match the color of the pollera. Panama_sentence_265

Hair is usually worn in a bun, held by three large gold combs that have pearls (tembleques) worn like a crown. Panama_sentence_266

Quality pollera can cost up to $10,000, and may take a year to complete. Panama_sentence_267

Today, there are different types of polleras; the pollera de gala consists of a short-sleeved ruffle skirt blouse, two full-length skirts and a petticoat. Panama_sentence_268

Girls wear in their hair. Panama_sentence_269

Gold coins and jewelry are added to the outfit. Panama_sentence_270

The pollera montuna is a daily dress, with a blouse, a skirt with a solid color, a single gold chain, and pendant earrings and a natural flower in the hair. Panama_sentence_271

Instead of an off-the-shoulder blouse it is worn with a fitted white jacket that has shoulder pleats and a flared hem. Panama_sentence_272

Traditional clothing in Panama can be worn in parades, where the females and males do a traditional dance. Panama_sentence_273

Females gently sway and twirl their skirts, while men hold their hats in their hands and dance behind the females. Panama_sentence_274

Literature Panama_section_30

Further information: Panamanian literature Panama_sentence_275

The first literature relating to Panama can be dated to 1535, with a modern literary movement appearing from the mid-19th century onwards Panama_sentence_276

Sports Panama_section_31

The US influence in Panama can be seen in the country's sports. Panama_sentence_277

Baseball is Panama's national sport and the country has regional teams and a national team that represents it in international events. Panama_sentence_278

At least 140 Panamanian players have played professional baseball in the United States, more than any other Central American country. Panama_sentence_279

Notable players include Bruce Chen, Rod Carew, Mariano Rivera, Carlos Lee, Manny Sanguillén, and Carlos Ruiz. Panama_sentence_280

In boxing, four Panamanians are in the International Boxing Hall of Fame: Roberto Durán, Eusebio Pedroza, Ismael Laguna and Panama Al Brown. Panama_sentence_281

In August 2016 Panama had two reigning world boxing champions: Guillermo Jones and Anselmo Moreno. Panama_sentence_282

Since the end of the 20th century, association football has become more popular in Panama. Panama_sentence_283

The top tier of domestic Panamanian football, Liga Panameña de Fútbol, was founded in 1988. Panama_sentence_284

The national team appeared at the FIFA World Cup for the first time in 2018, appearing in group G, facing Belgium, England and Tunisia. Panama_sentence_285

However, the team lost all three games, failing to advance past the group stage. Panama_sentence_286

Notable players for the national team include Luis Ernesto Tapia, Rommel Fernández, the Dely Valdés Brothers: Armando, Julio and Jorge; and more recent players as Jaime Penedo, Felipe Baloy, Luis Tejada, Blas Pérez, Román Torres and Harold Cummings. Panama_sentence_287

Basketball is also popular in Panama. Panama_sentence_288

There are regional teams as well as a squad that competes internationally. Panama_sentence_289

Two of Panama's prominent basketball players are Rolando Blackman, a four-time NBA All-Star, and Kevin Daley, a 10-year captain and showman of the Harlem Globetrotters. Panama_sentence_290

Other remarkable players who represented Panama internationally are Mario Butler, and Rolando Frazer. Panama_sentence_291

Other popular sports include volleyball, taekwondo, golf, and tennis. Panama_sentence_292

A long-distance hiking trail called the is being built from Colombia to Costa Rica. Panama_sentence_293

Other non-traditional sports in the country have had great importance such as the triathlon that has captured the attention of many athletes nationwide and the country has hosted international competitions. Panama_sentence_294

Flag football has also been growing in popularity in both men and women and with international participation in world of this discipline being among the best teams in the world, the sport was introduced by Americans residing in the Canal Zone for veterans and retirees who even had a festival called the Turkey Ball. Panama_sentence_295

Other popular sports are American football, rugby, hockey, softball and other amateur sports including skateboarding, BMX and surfing, because the many beaches of Panama such as Santa Catalina and Venao that have hosted events the likes of ISA World Surfing Games. Panama_sentence_296

Long jumper Irving Saladino became the first Panamanian Olympic gold medalist in 2008. Panama_sentence_297

In 2012 eight different athletes represented Panama in the London 2012 Olympics: Irving Saladino in the long jump, Alonso Edward and Andrea Ferris in track and field, Diego Castillo in swimming, and the youngest on the team, Carolena Carstens who was 16 competing in taekwondo. Panama_sentence_298

She was the first representative to compete for Panama in that sport. Panama_sentence_299

See also Panama_section_32

Panama_unordered_list_1


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panama.