- Panama City; 930,000
- 75,517 square kilometers (29,157 square miles)
- Spanish, English
- Roman Catholic, Protestant
- Balboa, US dollar
- Life Expectancy:
- GDP per Capita:
- U.S. $6,200
- Literacy Percent:
Panama Facts Flag
Panama is a narrow land bridge connecting North and South America. The Panama Canal, built by the United States after Panama's independence from Colombia in 1903, joins the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. In 1989 U.S. troops overthrew Gen. Manuel Noriega, following his indictment for complicity in drug trafficking. Panama's first woman president, Mireya Moscoso, was elected in 1999—the same year that her country assumed full control of the Panama Canal.
- Industry: Food processing, chemicals, machinery and metal products, textiles
- Agriculture: Coffee, bananas, sugarcane, cotton; beef, veal
- Exports: Coffee, shrimp and lobster, cotton, tobacco, bananas
—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition
It's time to start planning your adventures for 2012. Here are Traveler magazine's 20 best places in the world to visit, including Panama.
The excavation of a cemetery more than a thousand years old has uncovered tombs of powerful warriors adorned in gold. It's one of the richest discoveries in the Americas in decades.
Travel Photos From Your Shot
Browse Stunning Images of These Natural Marvels
Shop National Geographic
Special Ad Section
Watch as Nat Geo photographers reveal what drives them to create iconic images.