Panama had an average population density of 54 residents per km 2 in 2019, but the country is unevenly populated with the greatest concentration to the area along the Panama Canal and the western parts.
According to Countryaah data, almost 70 percent of the population lives in cities, of which Panama City (441,000 residents, 2012), San Miguelito (355,300), Tocumen (107,600) were the largest.
When the Spaniards arrived in present-day Panama in the 16th century, the population was made up mainly of sweat-consuming and cassava-growing Indians, among them cuna, guaymí and emberá (chocò). The introduction of Spaniards gave rise to a mestizo population, which in 2010 accounted for 70 percent of the population. Otherwise, the ethnic composition is unusually varied: the descendants of the African slaves make up 14 percent, while the peoples drawn to Panama through the rail and canal construction consist of whites (10 percent) and Asians (4 percent). The Indians make up only 6 percent, divided into seven linguistically distinct groups. The largest group is the Naga bugle (guayme), which accounts for 64 percent (155,000 according to the 2010 census) of the country’s native Indian population, living in partially autonomous areas (comarca indígena) in the provinces of Chiriquí, Veraguas and Bocas del Toro. Parts of the cunaterritory are threatened by a power plant. The most famous of the Panamanian indigenous people is the cuna (50,000) who inhabit, among others, the archipelago San Blas/Guna Yala, but also on the mainland and in Panama City there are settlements. In addition, there are small groups of emberá (7,000) and wounaan (3,000) in a common district in the province of Darien.
Spanish is the official language and mother tongue of most people. About 6% speak some Chibchas language, such as the people of Guaymí on the Atlantic coast in the west and (among other things in the San Blasarchi law) kuna. There is also an English-based Creole language, mainly in the channel zone.
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According to thesciencetutor, the colonial church legitimized the destruction of the indigenous peoples’ religions. In 1815, Methodists came from the Caribbean, then Baptists, Presbyterians and Pentecostals. In Panama, 95% are Catholics. Under the influence of the Latin American Episcopal Conferences (CELAM), a Catholic renewal is underway, primarily as social work for the poor and marginalized. Interreligious dialogue is increasing between Christian and Kunu people’s religious traditions. Ecumenism with Protestants is on social issues. Evangelical groups are growing rapidly.
Political and administrative order. – A law of July 1941 introduced some changes in the administrative division of the country which dated back to 1920. The state is now divided into seven provinces (instead of 9), one comarca and 36 districts (instead of 62). The province of Darien was suppressed and merged with that of Panama. The provinces of Herrera and Los Santos have been united in a single province (Los Santos), which has as its capital Chitré (formerly the capital of the province of Herrera). The district of San Carlo has passed from the province of Panamá to that of Coclé and, in exchange, Panama has aggregated the districts of Bejuco, Capiza and Chama.
Population. – The data from the census carried out in 1940 add up the population to 622,576 residents, That is 8.9 per sq km. From a later evaluation, in 1946, it turned out to be 678,000 residents approximately.
Ethnically, in 1940 it was constituted as follows: 68,897 whites, 82,871 blacks, 55,987 Amerindians, 3,882 Orientals, 406,814 mestizos and 4,125 of other racial groups.
Economic conditions. – Bananas have accounted for more than half of exports in recent years (232,000 q. In 1944), followed by cocoa (14,500 q. In the same year). In Coclé, near Aguadulce, the cultivation of sugar cane is spreading.
Commerce. – Commercial exchanges, even in recent years, have not been active and imports always exceed exports as the following mirror shows.
Finance. – The figures of the financial statements are shown below:
As of June 30, 1947, the external public debt amounted to 15.8 million and the internal debt to 7.7 million. The gold parity of the balboa communicated to the International Monetary Fund is the same as that of the dollar, gr. 0,888671 of fine. The circulation of the balboa is however limited only to divisional coins, making use of the US dollar, which is legal tender in the country, for the major transactions. There is no exchange control. At the end of June 1948, short-term holdings in the United States amounted to $ 79.7 million. At the same date, deposits with national banks amounted to 49.3 million, of which 29 at sight.