Statistical information Panama 1996Panama

Map of Panama | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
Military | Transportation | Transnational Issues | Year:  | More stats

Panama in the World
Panama in the World


Panama - Introduction 1996
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Background: 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. On 7 September 1977 an agreement was signed for the complete transfer of the Canal from the US to Panama by 1999. Certain portions of the Zone and increasing responsibility over the Canal were turned over in the intervening years. With US help dictator Manuel NORIEGA was deposed in 1989.

Panama - Geography 1996
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Location: Middle America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Colombia and Costa Rica

Geographic coordinates

Map reference

Total: 78,200 km²
Land: 75,990 km²
Comparative: slightly smaller than South Carolina

Land boundaries: Total 555 km, Colombia 225 km, Costa Rica 330 km

Coastline: 2,490 km

Maritime claims: territorial sea:200 nm

Climate: Tropical; hot, humid, cloudy; prolonged rainy season (May to January), short dry season (January to May)

Terrain: Interior mostly steep, rugged mountains and dissected, upland plains; coastal areas largely plains and rolling hills

Extremes lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
Extremes highest point: Volcan de Chiriqui 3,475 m

Natural resources:
Mahogany forests

Land use

Land use
Arable land: 6%
Permanent crops: 2%
Permanent pastures: 15%
Forests and woodland: 54%
Other: 23%

Irrigated land: 320 km² (1989 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


Panama - People 1996
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2,655,094 (July 1996 est.)
2,680,903 (July 1995 est.)

Growth rate:
1.64% (1996 est.)
1.9% (1995 est.)

Noun: Panamanian(s)
Adjective: Panamanian

Ethnic groups:
Mestizo (mixed Indian and European ancestry) 70%
West Indian 14%
White 10%
Indian 6%

Languages: Spanish (official), English 14%
Note: Many Panamanians bilingual

Roman Catholic 85%
Protestant 15%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years:
33% (male 445,382; female 426,111) (July 1996 est.)
34% (male 458,817; female 439,491) (July 1995 est.)

15-64 years:
62% (male 828,384; female 806,205) (July 1996 est.)
61% (male 823,124; female 812,876) (July 1995 est.)

65 years and over:
5% (male 71,823; female 77,189) (July 1996 est.)
5% (male 71,923; female 74,672) (July 1995 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate:
1.64% (1996 est.)
1.9% (1995 est.)

Birth rate:
23.2 births/1000 population (1996 est.)
24.12 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate:
5.42 deaths/1000 population (1996 est.)
4.79 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate:
-1.42 migrant(s)/1000 population (1996 est.)
-0.36 migrant(s)/1000 population (1995 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: water pollution from agricultural runoff threatens fishery resources; deforestation of tropical rain forest; land degradation
Current issues Natural hazards: NA
International agreements: party to_Biodiversity, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified_Climate Change, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Tropical Timber 94
International agreements 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

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.93 male(s)/female
All ages:
1.03 male(s)/female (1996 est.) Infant Mortality Rate:29.7 deaths/1000 live births (1996 est.)
15.8 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 73.92 years (1996 est.); 75.2 years (1995 est.)
Male: 71.19 years (1996 est.); 72.57 years (1995 est.)
Female: 76.75 years (1996 est.); 77.97 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate:
2.71 children born/woman (1996 est.)
2.8 children born/woman (1995 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over that can read and write (1995 est.)
Total population: 90.8%
Male: 91.4%
Female: 90.2%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Panama - Government 1996
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Country name
Conventional long form: Republic of Panama
Conventional short form: Panama
Local long form: Republica de Panama
Local short form: Panama

Government type: Constitutional republic

Capital: Panama

Administrative divisions: 9 provinces (provincias, singular_provincia) and 1 territory* (comarca; Bocas del Toro, Chiriqui, Cocle, Colon, Darien, Herrera, Los Santos, Panama, San Blas*, Veraguas

Dependent areas

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

National holiday: Independence Day, 3 November (1903)

Constitution: 11 October 1972; major reforms adopted April 1983

Legal system: Based on civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court of Justice; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch
Chief of state and head of government: President Ernesto PEREZ BALLADARES Gonzalez Revilla (since 1 September 1994), First Vice President Tomas Gabriel ALTAMIRANO DUQUE (since 1 September 1994), Second Vice President Felipe Alejandro VIRZI Lopez (since 1 September 1994) were elected for five-year terms by popular vote; election last held 8 May 1994 (next to be held 9 May 1999); results_Ernesto PEREZ BALLADARES (PRD) 33%, Mireya MOSCOSO DE GRUBER (PA) 29%, Ruben BLADES (MPE) 17%, Ruben Dario CARLES (MOLIRENA) 16%
Cabinet: Cabinet; appointed by the president

Legislative branch: Unicameral Legislative Assembly (Asamblea Legislativa):Legislators from outlying rural districts are chosen on a plurality basis while districts located in more populous towns and cities elect multiple legislators by means of a proportion-based formula; elections last held 8 May 1994 (next to be held 9 May 1999; results_percent of vote by party NA ; seats_(72 total) PRD 32, PS 4, PALA 1, PA 14, MPE 6, MOLIRENA 4, PLA 3, PRC 3, PL 2, PDC 1, UDI 1, MORENA 1

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

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: AG (associate), ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITU, LAES, LAIA (observer), NAM, OAS, OPANAL, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (applicant)

Diplomatic representation

Flag descriptionflag of Panama: Divided into four, equal rectangles; the top quadrants are white (hoist side) with a blue five-pointed star in the center and plain red, the bottom quadrants are plain blue (hoist side) and white with a red five-pointed star in the center

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Panama - Economy 1996
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Economy overview: Because of its key geographic location, Panama's economy is service-based, heavily weighted toward banking, commerce, and tourism. The manufacturing and agriculture sectors have become inefficient under protectionist policies. After fast growth during the early 1990s, the economy has slowed down in the last two years, with GDP growth at 2.8% in 1994 and in 1995. The slowdown has been due mostly to a reduction in construction activities and stagnation in the Colon Free Zone and financial services, the three fastest growing sectors early in the decade. To counter the slowdown, the PEREZ BALLADARES administration has launched an economic reform program designed to reverse unemployment, attract foreign investment, cut back the size of government, and modernize the economy. In 1995, Panama reached an agreement in principle to reschedule its commercial debt_one of the highest in the world in per capita terms_which will allow the country to reenter international financial markets. Panama should complete all requirements to join the World Trade Organization (WTrO) in 1996.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate:
2.8% (1995 est.)
3.6% (1994 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: Accounts for 10% of GDP (1995 est.), crops_bananas, rice, corn, coffee, sugarcane; livestock; fishing; importer of food grain, vegetables

Manufacturing and construction
Petroleum refining
Cement and other construction materials
Sugar milling

Industrial production growth rate: Growth rate 0.4% (1995 est.), 1.8% (1994 est.), accounts for 16% of GDP

Labor force: 979,000 (1994 est.)
By occupation Governmentandcommunityservices:

By occupation hunting and fishing:

By occupation restaurants and hotels: 16.4%
By occupation manufacturing and mining: 9.4%
By occupation construction: 3.2%
By occupation transportationandcommunications: 6.2%
By occupation insurance andrealestate: 4.3%
By occupation note: Shortage of skilled labor, but an oversupply of unskilled labor
Labor force

Unemployment rate:
13.8% (1995)
12.9% (1994)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $1.86 billion (1995); $1.93 billion (1994)
Expenditures: $1.86 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1995); $1.93 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (1994)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: Calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

total value. $548 million (f.o.b., 1995)
$520 million (f.o.b., 1994)

Bananas 43%
Shrimp 11%
Sugar 4%
Clothing 5%
Coffee 2%

U.S. 45%
Central America and the Caribbean

Total value:
$2.45 billion (c.i.f., 1995)
$2.205 billion (c.i.f., 1994)

Capital goods 21%
Crude oil 11%
Foodstuffs 9%
Consumer goods

U.S. 40%
Central America and the Caribbean

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $6.7 billion (yearend 1993 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Balboas (B) per US$1: 1.000 (fixed rate)

Panama - Energy 1996
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 2.8 billion kWh

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 1,047 kWh (1993)

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Panama - Communication 1996
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: 273,000 telephones (1991 est.); domestic and international facilities well developed
Local: NA
Intercity: NA
International: 1 coaxial submarine cable; 2 INTELSAT (Atlantic Ocean) earth stations; connected to the Central American Microwave System

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Panama - Military 1996
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $78 million, NA% of GDP (1995; $105 million, 1.0% of GDP (1993 est.), note_for police and security forces

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Panama - Transportation 1996
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 99
With paved runways over 3047 m: 1
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 1
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 5
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 18 (1995 est.)
With paved runways under 914 m: 60

Airports with paved runways
Over 3047 m: 1
2438 to 3047 m: 1
15-24 to 2437 m: 5
914 to 1523 m: 18 (1995 est.)
Under 914 m: 60

Airports with unpaved runways


Pipelines: Crude oil 130 km



Waterways: 800 km navigable by shallow draft vessels; 82 km Panama Canal

Merchant marine
Total: 3,758 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 69,960,500 GRT/107,632,713 DWT
Ships by type: bulk 902, cargo 1,050, chemical tanker 168, combination bulk 40, combination ore/oil 19, container 307, liquefied gas tanker 155, livestock carrier 7, multifunction large-load carrier 3, oil tanker 488, passenger 31, passenger-cargo 5, refrigerated cargo 295, roll-on/roll-off cargo 93, short-sea passenger 34, specialized tanker 11, vehicle carrier 150
Note: A flag of convenience registry; includes ships from 83 countries among which are Japan 1,212 ships, Greece 360, Hong Kong 263, U.S. 212, Taiwan 203, South Korea 198, U.S. 160, China 152 ships, Singapore 118, U.K. 79, Switzerland 67 and Norway 58 (1995 est.)

Ports and terminals

Panama - Transnational issues 1996
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: Major cocaine transshipment point and major drug money laundering center; minor producer of coca leaf; active eradication program

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