Dialing code +507
ISO 2 code PA
ISO 3 code PAN
Capital Panama City
Main Language Spanish
Currency Balboa (PAB)
GDP $38.5 billion 96th
Population 3,410,676 133rd


Continent North America
Location Central America bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean between Colombia and Costa Rica
Land 78,200 km2 119th
Terrain Interior mostly steep rugged mountains and dissected upland plains; coastal areas largely plains and rolling hills
Climate Tropical maritime; hot humid cloudy; prolonged rainy season (May to January) short dry season (January to May)
Natural Hazards Interior mostly steep rugged mountains and dissected upland plains; coastal areas largely plains and rolling hills
Note: Strategic location on eastern end of isthmus forming land bridge connecting North and South America; controls Panama Canal that links North Atlantic Ocean via Caribbean Sea with North Pacific Ocean

Neighbouring Countries

Colombia Costa Rica


Explored and settled by the Spanish in the 16th century Panama broke with Spain in 1821 and joined a union of Colombia Ecuador and Venezuela - named the Republic of Gran Colombia. When the latter dissolved in 1830 Panama remained part of Colombia. With US backing Panama seceded from Colombia in 1903 and promptly signed a treaty with the US allowing for the construction of a canal and US sovereignty over a strip of land on either side of the structure (the Panama Canal Zone). The Panama Canal was built by the US Army Corps of Engineers between 1904 and 1914. In 1977 an agreement was signed for the complete transfer of the Canal from the US to Panama by the end of the century. Certain portions of the Zone and increasing responsibility over the Canal were turned over in the subsequent decades. With US help dictator Manuel NORIEGA was deposed in 1989. The entire Panama Canal the area supporting the Canal and remaining US military bases were transferred to Panama by the end of 1999. In October 2006 Panamanians approved an ambitious plan to expand the Canal. The project which began in 2007 and could double the Canal's capacity is expected to be completed in 2014-15.
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Life Expectancy 77.25 years 51st
Median Age 27.0 years 107th
Birth Rate 20.18 births/1,000 population 89th
Death Rate 4.66 births/1,000 population 182nd
Sex Ratio 0.87 male(s)/female 50th
Literacy 91.9% 105th

3.4 million


Roadways 11978 km 131st
Railways 76 km 125th
Airports 117 49th
Waterways 800 km 70th
Heliports 2 47th
Airports paved 1 180th


Currency Balboa (PAB)
GDP $38.5 billion 96th
GDP per capita (PPP) $11600 85th