Written by Tadashi

Modified & Updated: 19 May 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith

Panamanian flags in the sky

Panama makes up one of the smallest countries in the world. But in the case of big things in small packages, Panama also makes up one of the most important countries in the world. After all, it also has the distinction of acting as a gateway between the great oceans of the world. Learn more with these 50 Panama facts.

  1. Panama today has a population of 4.38 million people.
  2. The country covers an estimated area of 47,000 km².
  3. Water makes up an estimated 3% of Panama.
  4. Mestizos make up 65% of the country’s people.
  5. An estimated 92% of the Panamanians follow the Roman Catholic religion.
  1. Indigenous tribes have lived in Panama as far back as the 2nd millennium BC.
  2. The Spaniards first arrived in what would become Panama during the 16th century AD.
  3. The region became independent from Spain in 1821 as part of Gran Colombia.
  4. It later remained part of Colombia after Gran Colombia fell apart in 1831.
  5. Panama seceded from Colombia with American support in 1903.
  6. A military dictatorship took control of the country in 1968.
  7. Government corruption skyrocketed under the military dictatorship.
  8. Panamanians began campaigning for an end to the military dictatorship in the 1980s.
  9. The USA invaded in 1989 to restore democratic government in Panama.
  10. Panama’s government has struggled with the legacy of the military dictatorship since the restoration of democracy.
  1. With an estimated population of 900,000 people, Panama City holds almost a fourth of the country’s total population.
  2. The country has a population density of 56 people for every km².
  3. Jungles cover an estimated 40% of the country.
  4. The country makes an estimated $122 billion every year.
  5. It also falls in the GMT-5 time zone.
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