Population: 3,595,490 (est.)
Capital: Panama City
- The Panamanian balboa and US $ are the official currencies of Panama.
- Panama is predominantly Christian, with about 75 to 85% of the population identifying themselves as Roman Catholic and 15–25% as evangelical Christian.
- Panama’s economy is based primarily on a well-developed services sector that accounts for nearly 80% of its GDP.
- The country’s industry includes, manufacturing of aircraft spare parts, cements, drinks, adhesives, and textiles. Also the leading exports for Panama are bananas, shrimp, sugar, coffee, and clothing.
- Panama is the most industrialized country in Central America and has the third largest economy.
- Panama has the lowest population in the Central America.
- Panama has the most varied wildlife of all the countries in Central America, home to both North as well as South American species.
- The country is the only place in the world, where you can see the sun rise in the Pacific and set in the Atlantic.
- Panama elected its first female President in 1999 as Mireya Moscoso.
- The Panama Railroad was the most expensive railroad ever built, as it cost 8 million dollars and took 5 years to build.
- Baseball is the most common sports in the country, along with boxing and soccer.
Panama, officially the Republic of Panama, is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the west, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The capital is Panama City.
Explored and settled by the Spanish in the 16th century, Panama broke with Spain in 1821 and joined a union of Nueva Granada, Ecuador, and Venezuela, named the Republic of Gran Colombia. When Gran Colombia dissolved in 1831, Panama and Nueva Granada remained joined. Nueva Granada later became the Republic of Colombia. With the backing of the United States, Panama seceded from Colombia in 1903, allowing the Panama Canal to be built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers between 1904 and 1914. In 1977, an agreement was signed for the complete transfer of the Canal from the United States to Panama by the end of the 20th century.
Revenue from canal tolls represents today a significant portion of Panama’s GDP. Panama has the third- or fourth-largest economy in Central America and it is also the fastest growing economy and the largest per capita consumer in Central America. In 2010 Panama ranked 4th among Latin American countries in terms of the Human Development Index, and 54th in the world in 2010. As of 2010, Panama is the second most competitive economy in Latin America as well according to the Global Competitiveness Index from the World Economic Forum (WEF). Panama’s jungle is home to an abundance of tropical plants, animals and birds – some of them to be found nowhere else in the world.