Panama is a Central American country. Located on the isthmus that connects South America to North America, it is bathed by the Caribbean Sea (Atlantic Ocean), to the north, and the Pacific Ocean, to the south, and is bordered by Costa Rica, to the west, and Colombia to the east. In addition to the continental part, there is also an island part consisting of more than 1600 islands located in the Pacific Ocean. Altogether, the territory has an area of 78 200 km2. The most important cities are Panama City, the capital, with 445,800 residents (2004), San Miguelito (314,800 residents), David (83,300 residents), Colón (45,200 residents) and Barú (24,000 residents).
It is a very mountainous country, especially in the western part, where the Central and Talamanea mountain ranges are found, with several volcanoes.
The climate is humid tropical, raining from May to November. The altitude eases the high temperatures and increases the precipitation in a rainy climate.
Panama has a market economy based on services, international banking and tourism. There are large reserves of copper, as well as deposits of gold, manganese, bauxite, phosphates and coal. Although agriculture represents a small percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the country is self-sufficient in food products. The dominant crops are sugar cane, bananas, rice, corn, tomatoes, oranges, coffee, cocoa and tobacco. The industry comprises food products, beverages, soap, pharmaceuticals, tobacco, petroleum products, clothing, furniture and construction materials. The country is one of the largest international financial centers. The main trading partners are the United States of America, Germany, Costa Rica and Japan. Exports are mostly made up of bananas, sugar, coffee and cocoa. The opening of the Panama Canal in 1914, between the cities of Balboa and Colón, and the creation of the Free Zone of Colón, in 1953, made the country one of the largest commercial centers in the world, since it links the Atlantic and Pacific.
Environmental indicator: the value of carbon dioxide emissions, per capita (metric tons, 1999), is 2.9.
The population was, in 2006, 3,191,319 residents, which corresponded to a density of 38.86 residents/km2. The birth and death rates are, respectively, 21.74% and 5.36%. Average life expectancy is 75.22 years. The value of the Human Development Index (HDI) is 0.788 and the value of the Gender-adjusted Development Index (IDG) is 0.781 (2001). It is estimated that, in 2025, the population will be 3 570 000 residents. The main ethnicities are mestizo (64%), black and mulatto (14%), white (10%) and India (8%). The majority religions are Catholic, with 80%, and Protestant, with 15%. The official language is Castilian.
The Spaniards arrived in the region in 1501 and immediately started the extermination of the native Indians. In 1751, Panama became a dependency in Santa Fé de Bogotá, Colombia. In 1821, Colombia became independent from Spain. In 1903, with the support of the USA, Panama revolted and declared independence. A few years later, Panama signed a treaty with the United States giving them control of an area of the Panama Canal, paying 10 million dollars and an additional 250,000 dollars a year. In 1979, the USA returned the area, which became fully controlled by Panama in 1999. For a long time the country was dominated by the military, but in 1980, the first elections were held in twelve years. The first presidential election was held in 1984. The political and social disturbances that characterized most of the twentieth century peaked in December 1989, when 32,000 soldiers invaded the country. The objectives were to safeguard the lives of 35,000 American civilians living in Panama, to capture General Manuel Noriega, the head of the Government, and to re-establish democracy, to fight drug trafficking and to protect, in integrity, the Canal Treaty from Panama. Noriega took refuge in the Apostolic Nunciature of the capital, but eventually surrendered in January 1990. In September 1991, the Federal Court of Miami, Florida, sentenced Noriega to forty years in prison for drug trafficking. Panama is currently governed by a president who is assisted by a vice president and a legislative assembly. when 32,000 soldiers invaded the country. The objectives were to safeguard the lives of 35,000 American civilians living in Panama, to capture General Manuel Noriega, the head of the Government, and to re-establish democracy, to fight drug trafficking and to protect, in integrity, the Canal Treaty from Panama. Noriega took refuge in the Apostolic Nunciature of the capital, but eventually surrendered in January 1990. In September 1991, the Federal Court of Miami, Florida, sentenced Noriega to forty years in prison for drug trafficking. Panama is currently governed by a president who is assisted by a vice president and a legislative assembly. For Panama democracy and rights, please check localbusinessexplorer.
- Countryaah.com: Offers a full list of airports in the country of Panama, sorted by city location and acronyms.
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Provides most commonly used abbreviations and initials containing the country name of Panama. Listed by popularity.
1UpTravel.com – Maps of Panama
Presents a collection of political, and shaded relief maps of Panama, bordering both the Caribbean Sea, and the North Pacific Ocean, between Colombia, and Costa Rica.
MSN Encarta Maps – Panama
Offers a high-definition, professional quality map detailing the country’s land features and pinpointing its key towns and cities.
Panama – Expedia Maps
Dynamic map of Panama allows users to view cities and towns by zooming through multiple levels. Includes save and email options.
Panama – Falling Rain Genomics
Access an extensive database of satellite-enhanced maps, metrological readings and geographic coordinates for nearly 10,000 localities.
Panama – Infoplease Map
Presents a simple, colored political map of Panama, with details on topography and location of cities and towns.
Panama – MapQuest
Peruse a high-quality political map of this Central American nation and locate the Panama Canal and Panama City. Includes country facts.
Panama – MyTravelGuide.com
Features a black and white map of the country, showing populated areas and land features.
Panama – National Geographic Map Machine
Check out this map of Panama created by combining satellite-imagery with map-editing tools. With zoom and print features.
Panama – Political Map
Scan a political map of Panama, with the major cities, islands, roads, and province boundaries marked.
Panama – Shaded Relief Map
Study a shaded relief map of Panama that shows mountainous areas, waterways, roads, and province boundaries.
Panama – World Headquarters Map
Offers maps for the entire country, Taboga Island and El Valle del Anton. Find out where the towns and roads are.
Enlarged country map is followed by brief descriptions of each region. Links offer a more in-depth look at particular locales.