Infographic with key facts and statistics about Panama.

Geography and Climate

Location

Panama is the slender bridge of land cuddled up between Costa Rica and Colombia. It’s the physical and cultural meeting point of North and South America, not to mention the birthplace of the Panama Canal, which slices through its heart, offering a shortcut for ships that would rather skip the scenic route around Cape Horn.

Climate

Panama boasts a tropical climate where the sun is always ready to play peekaboo from behind a rain cloud. Expect a warm welcome year-round with temperatures that rarely stray far from 80°F (27°C), but pack an umbrella because the rainy season from May to November doesn’t kid around.

Demography

Population Size

The country is home to just over 4 million Panamanians, making it more exclusive than a secret society’s mailing list.

Ethnic Groups

A melting pot of Mestizos, a splash of Afro-Panamanians, indigenous groups like the Kuna and Ngäbe, and a sprinkle of European descendants, Panama’s ethnic tapestry is as vibrant as its tropical wildlife.

Languages

Spanish is the lingua franca, but if you’ve got a keen ear, you’ll also catch snippets of English, especially in the cosmopolitan capital and the Caribbean coast, not to mention indigenous languages that have tenaciously stuck around.

Religion

Catholicism takes the religious reins, but other Christian denominations and a medley of other beliefs pepper the spiritual smorgasbord.

Economy

GDP and Income

Panama is strutting its stuff with a GDP that’s the envy of its neighbors, and an income level that’s steadily rising like a well-yeasted dough.

Major Industries

The economy is like a triple-decker sandwich with the Panama Canal, international banking, and commerce as the main fillings. But don’t forget the sides of manufacturing, agriculture, and a rapidly growing tourism sector.

Trade Partners

Panama plays well with others, boasting strong trade ties with the United States, China, and neighboring Latin American countries. It’s like the popular kid in the global economic playground.

Employment

Jobs are aplenty in service sectors, but the country doesn’t shy away from rolling up its sleeves in agriculture and manufacturing either.

Politics

Government Structure

Panama is a democratic republic with a president who’s both head of state and government. They wield power, but not without checks and balances, thanks to a unicameral legislature and an independent judiciary.

Political Parties

Political parties are like Panama’s very own tropical storms; they form, gain power, cause a stir, and sometimes fizzle out. The PRD and Panameñista Party are the longstanding headliners.

Elections

Elections roll around every five years, and the Panamanians dive into the democratic fiesta with gusto, selecting their leaders in a process that’s as hotly contested as a salsa dance-off.

International Relations

Panama’s foreign affairs game is strong, maintaining cordial relationships across the board and particularly cozying up with the US, who once played landlord to the famed canal.

Culture

Traditions

Panama’s traditions are as diverse as its wildlife, from the colorful polleras and Emberá dresses to the foot-tapping tunes of the tamborito dance. It’s a cultural cocktail with a shot of Spanish influence, a dash of African rhythm, and an indigenous twist.

Cuisine

Panamanian cuisine thinks outside the box – it’s a food fiesta starring ceviche, ropa vieja, and the hearty sanchocho soup. Don’t forget to try a patacone, because life’s too short for ordinary side dishes.

Arts and Music

Music and art are the soul of Panama. Whether it’s the jazz festivals that have more swing than a playground or the vibrant street murals that tell stories in color, artistic expression isn’t just a hobby; it’s a way of life.