Date of membership: 4 December 1975

Short name: Panama

Capital: Panama City


Administrative divisions: 9 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia): Bocas del Toro, Chiriqui, Cocle, Colon, Darien, Herrera, Los Santos, Panama and Veraguas. 5 comarcas: Nobe Bugle, Kuna Yala, Wagandí, Madugandí y Enbera Wonan.

Independence: 3 November 1903 (from Colombia; became independent from Spain 28 November 1821).

Constitution: 11 October 1972; major reforms adopted 1978, 1983, 1994, and 2004.

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch: Chief of state: President: President Laurentino Cortizo (2019-2023); Vice-President: José Gabriel Carrizo (2019-2023).  
Note: The president is both the chief of state and head of government head of government.

Legislative branch: Unicameral National Assembly (formerly called Legislative Assembly) or Asamblea Nacional (78 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms; note - in 2009, the number of seats will change to 71).

Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (nine judges appointed for 10-year terms); five superior courts; three courts of appeal.

Internet country code: .pa

Official Web Portal:


Location: Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Colombia and Costa Rica

Area: 78,200 sq km

Land boundaries: 555 km

Border countries: Colombia 225 km, Costa Rica 330 km

Coastline: 2,490 km

Natural resources: Copper, mahogany forests, shrimp, hydropower

Environment - international agreements: Party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation. 
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.

Economic indicators 

Total at current prices  62284 Millions USD 2017
Per capita at current prices 15365 USD 2017
Growth rate per capita at constant prices 83.7 % 2017
Country share in regional GDP   1.2 % 2017
Imports of goods and services (Share in national GDP) -45.3 2017
Exports of goods and services (Share in national GDP)  42.3 % 2017

Source: Panama: Economic National Profile. CEPALSTAT. Databases and Statistical Publications. ECLAC. On line. Inquiry: July 07, 2019.

Socio-demographic indicators

Total population   4178 (000) 2015
Life expectancy 78 Años 2015-2020
Women 81 Años 2015-2020
Men 75 Años 2015-2020
Public health expenditure as a percentage of GDP 7.0 % 2015
Literacy rate for persons between the ages of 15 to 24 97.6 % 2010
Net rate of enrolment in primary education 87.2 % 2015
Net rate of enrolment in secondary education 66.7 % 2015
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP 3.2 % 2011
Gini Coefficient 0.51 % 2017
 Unemployment 5.5 % 2017

Source: Panama: National Socio-Demographic Profile. CEPALSTAT. Data Bases and Statistical Publications. ECLAC. On line. Inquiry: July 07, 2019.

Languages: Spanish (official)