Panama: Geography

Miami of the South

Panama Geography

Panama City is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Panama. It has a population of 813,097, with a total metro population of 1,063,000, and is located on the awe-inspiring Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal. The Amerindian population includes seven indigenous peoples: the Emberá, Wounaan, Guaymí, Buglé, Kuna, Naso and Bribri. More than half the population lives in the Panama City–Colón metropolitan corridor. The culture, customs, and language of the Panamanians are predominantly Caribbean and Spanish. Spanish is the official and dominant language. About 40% of the population speak various English Creoles, mostly in Panama City and in the islands off the northeast coast. English is spoken widely on the Caribbean coast and by many in business and professional fields. Panama, because of its historical reliance on commerce, is above all a melting pot.

Bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Colombia and Costa Rica, Panama is located on the narrow and low Isthmus of Panama. Panama encompasses approximately 77,082 square km, roughly 772 km in length, and around 177 km in width. As of the year 2000, the majority of the population, 58.1%, was Mestizo. Blacks and Mulattos were together the largest minority, accounting for 14%. For the remaining groups the percentages were: Amerindian 6.7%, White 8.6%, Asian 5.5%, and other 7.1%.