Panama is the southernmost country in the continent of North America.

República de Panamá
coat of arms
(In Detail) (Full size)
National motto: Pro Mundi Beneficio
Official language Spanish
Capital Panama City
President Mireya Elisa Moscoso
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked 115th
78,200 km²
 - Total
 - Density
Ranked 131st
 - Declared
From Colombia
November 3, 1903
Currency Balboa
Time zone UTC -5
National anthem Himno Istemño
Internet TLD .PA
Calling Code507

Table of contents
1 History
2 Politics
3 Provinces
4 Geography
5 Economy
6 Demographics
7 Culture
8 Miscellaneous topics
9 External links


Main article: History of Panama

Panama was part of the Spanish Colonization in America until 1821 when it seceded and joined the Great Colombia of Simón Bolivar. On November 3 , 1903 it became an independent Republic. Theodore Roosevelt's gunboat diplomacy and the United States military helped the Panamanian rebels secede from Colombia and then signed the Hay-Bunau Varilla Treaty treaty by which it was granted rights to build the Panama Canal.

The Panamian government was long mired in corruption, and eventually became concentrated in the hands of General Manuel Noriega. Noriega's harassment of US troops in Panama and role in the international drug trade prompted a US invasion Operation Just Cause and his removal and arrest. Democratic rule was re-instated in

By the Torrijos-Carter Treaty, on December 31 of 1999, the United States handed back the canal to Panama.


Main article: Politics of Panama

Panama is a representative democracy with three branches of government: executive and legislative branches elected by direct vote for 5-year terms, and an independently appointed judiciary. The executive branch includes a president and two vice presidents. The legislative branch consists of a 72-member unicameral Legislative Assembly. The judicial branch is organized under a nine-member Supreme Court and includes all tribunals and municipal courts. An autonomous Electoral Tribunal supervises voter registration, the election process, and the activities of political parties. Everyone over the age of 18 is required to vote, although those who fail to do so are not penalized.


Main article: Provinces of Panama

Panama is divided into 9 provinces (provincias) and 5 territories (comarcas), marked by a *:

  • Bocas del Toro
  • Chiriqui
  • Cocle
  • Colon
  • Darien
  • Emberá*
  • Herrera
  • Kuna de Madugandi*
  • Kuna de Wargandi*
  • Kuna Yala*
  • Los Santos
  • Ngobe-Bugle*
  • Panama
  • Veraguas


Main article: Geography of Panama

Panama in located in Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Colombia and Costa Rica. Its strategic location on eastern end of isthmus forming a land bridge connecting North and South America. By 1999, Panama controls the Panama Canal that links North Atlantic Ocean via Caribbean Sea with North Pacific Ocean.


Main article: Economy of Panama

Because of its key geographic location, Panama's economy is service-based, heavily weighted toward banking, commerce, and tourism. The hand-over of the canal and military installations by the US has given rise to new construction projects. The Moscoso administration inherited an economy that is much more structurally sound and liberalized than the one inherited by its predecessor.


Main article: Demographics of Panama

The culture, customs, and language of the Panamanians are predominantly Caribbean Spanish. Ethnically, the majority of the population is mestizo or mixed Spanish, Indian, Chinese, and West Indian. Spanish is the official and dominant language; English is a common second language spoken by the West Indians and by many in business and the professions. More than half the population lives in the Panama City-Colón metropolitan corridor.


Main article: Culture of Panama

DateEnglish NameLocal NameRemarks
November 3Independence Day

Miscellaneous topics

External links

Countries of the world  |  North America