Panama – Country Profile and General Information
Panama, officially the Republic of Panama, is a country located in northwestern South America and southeastern Central America. Its capital is Panama City. It limits to the north with the Caribbean Sea, to the south with the Pacific Ocean, to the east with Colombia and to the west with Costa Rica.
It has an extension of 75,420 km². Located on the isthmus of the same name, a strip that joins South America with Central America, its mountainous territory is only interrupted by the Panama Canal basin, the interoceanic route that joins the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean. Its status as a country of transit made it an early meeting point for cultures from all over the world.
The country is the geographic setting for the canal, a work that facilitates communication between the coasts of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and that significantly influences world trade. Its current population in 2019 is 4,567,310 people.
Politically, its territory is made up of 10 provinces and five indigenous regions since 2014. According to the Political Constitution of the Republic of Panama, Spanish is the official language of the country and all Panamanians have the duty to know it and the right to use it. In 2006, it was the mother tongue of 93.1% of Panamanians. Other languages, also Panamanian, are recognized in the educational system in various communities where the indigenous population is the majority.
Due to its geographical position, it currently offers the world a wide platform of maritime, commercial, real estate and financial services, including the Colon Free Zone, the largest free zone on the continent and the second in the world.
With a population of more than four million inhabitants, it has a privileged position in several classifications of growth and development in Latin America, such as the 2018 human development index, fifth in Latin America. Panama is the third most competitive country in Latin America according to the World Economic Forum, but also the Latin American country with the highest economic growth. The country is cataloged in absolute terms, that is, without taking into account the distribution of wealth with the US dollar as the official currency.