Panama Identity Card

Country name:
~ conventional long form: Republic of Panama
~ conventional short form: Panama
~ local long form: Republica de Panama
~ local short form: Panama

Area: 78,200 sq km
Coastline: 2,490 km
Highest point: Volcan de Chiriqui 3,475 m
Population: 3,039,150
Density: 38/km2
Population growth rate: 1.26%
Official Language: Spanish
Religions: Roman Catholic 85%, Protestant 15%
Government type: constitutional democracy
Capital: Panama City
GDP - per capita: $6,900
Inflation rate: 2%
Currency (code): balboa (PAB); US dollar (USD)
Vehicle Country Id-Code: PA
Calling code: +507
Internet country code: .pa
Time Zone: - 5.0 H

Centennial Bridge - Puente Centenario

Panama performs the geographical formality of joining the continents of North and South America. The country is situated at the continental conjunction point and offers some irresistible opportunities for vacationing, snorkelling and scuba diving. It shelters in its terrain one of world’s greatest man-made engineering marvel, Panama Canal. The waves of the Caribbean and the Pacific crash on Panama’s northern and southern shores respectively, whereas the land borders of the country are shared with Colombia on east and Costa Rica to the west. Alongside the plenty of museums, historical places of interest and innumerable scenic beauties throughout the mainland Panama, the commercial viability of Panama Canal draws in hordes of visitors to the country. Panama City is the capital of the country and is home to majority of the estimated population of 2,329,329. Spanish is the official language but most Panamanians speak English fluently.
Panama sits on S-shaped natural isthmian bridge and covers an area of 75,517 square kilometers with more than 1,000 miles of coasts and 1,000 islands on the Pacific side and 800 miles of coasts and 600 islands on the Caribbean side. The terrain of panama is divided into two by a mountain range that takes its names as the Cordillera de Talamanca near the Costa Rican border and becomes the Serranía de Tabasaráas to travel east and lose height. The pacific and Caribbean lowlands hug the foothills in both sides. While the Caribbean saline waters float some good natural harbours, the major port on the Pacific coastline is Balboa. Both the waterfronts are dotted with numerous archipelagos. The highest point in the country is a dormant volcano named Volcán Barú at 3,500 meters. Río Chagres and Río Chepo are one of the longest and most vital of nearly 500 waterways of Panama. The climate of Panama matches the hot and humidity of tropical weather conditions, though the Pacific coastlines are bit cooler than it’s Caribbean counterparts.

The Gatun Lighthouse

The historical threads of Panama are largely entangled around the planning, construction and controlling of the Panama Canal. The narrow land strip came into notice for the first time when Columbus and Balboa touched the shores of Panama in the early sixteenth century. With passage of time Panama became a Spanish settlement and remained so for next 300 years. Panama joined Colombia in 1821 and declared liberation from Spanish oppression. The countries fruitless efforts to break away from Colombian shackles went on for decades until Colombia got involved in a dispute with United States of America over Panama Canal rights. Panama proclaimed its independence with U.S. backing in 1903 and on 31st December 1999, the U.S. formally handed over control of the Panama Canal to Panama.
In the mean time, the corrupt rule of Manuel Noriega was toppled with U.S. intervention and Panama now is recognised as a constitutional republic. The general public of Panama are allowed to vote above the age of 18 years and they participate in election to select the 78 members of the country’s unicameral Legislative Assembly. These members along with the head of state of Panama, that is, the president and two vice presidents serve total five years term in vesting executive and legislative powers. The independent judiciary comprises of the Supreme Court of Justice, five superior courts and three courts of appeal.

Bridge of the Americas

The economy of Panama is largely commerce based rather than agriculture or industrialisation due to its positioning at the continental crossroads and by the side of the Panama Canal. Acceptance of U.S. dollar as currency, the Colon Free Zone provision, export-oriented services, container ports and tourism helped in reviving from the fiscal recession of Panama during 2000-03. Activities around the Panama Canal remain the mainstay of the economy of Panama.

The exit of the Gatun Lock in the Panama Canal



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