Date of membership: 4 December 1975

Short name: Panama

Capital: Panama City


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  55 188 Millions USD 2016
Per capita at current prices 13 827 USD 2016
Growth rate per capita at constant prices 8.4 % 2016
Country share in regional GDP 3.2 % 2016
Imports of goods and services (Share in national GDP) -52.0 2016
Exports of goods and services (Share in national GDP) 46.1 % 2016


Source: Panama: Economic National Profile. CEPALSTAT. Databases and Statistical Publications. ECLAC. On line. Inquiry: September 09, 2017

Socio-demographic indicators

Total population   4 054 (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 8.0 % 2014
Literacy rate for persons between the ages of 15 to 24 98.1 % 2015
Net rate of enrolment in primary education 95.9 % 2012
Net rate of enrolment in secondary education 77.8 % 2011
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP 3.3 % 2011
Gini Coefficient 0.52 % 2014
 Unemployment 4.5 % 2005


Source: Panama: National Socio-Demographic Profile. CEPALSTAT. Data Bases and Statistical Publications. ECLAC. On line. Inquiry: September 09, 2017

Languages: Spanish (official)


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:  Laurentino Cortizo.
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: