Panama is a country on the isthmus linking Central and South America. The man-made Panama Canal cuts through its center, linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to create an essential shipping route. In the capital, Panama City, modern skyscrapers, casinos and nightclubs contrast with colonial buildings in the Casco Viejo district and the rainforest of Natural Metropolitan Park.
Officially called the Republic of Panama. (Spanish: República de Panamá), is a country in Central America situated between North and South America. It is bordered by Costa Rica to the west, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south.
Area: 75,420 km2
Currencies: United States Dollar, Panamanian balboa
Official language: Spanish
Population: 3.864 million (2013) World Bank
Time zone: GMT-5, the same as the east of USA
Climate: Tropical. Temperatures are uniformly high—as is the relative humidity—and there is little seasonal variation.
Religion: Various sources estimate that 75% to 85% of the population identifies itself as Roman Catholic and 15%–25% as Protestant.
Capital and largest city: Ciudad de Panamá
Is a modern city framed by the Pacific Ocean and man-made Panama Canal. Casco Viejo, its cobblestoned center, contains colonial-era landmarks like the neoclassical Palacio Presidencial (aka Palacio de las Garzas) as well as bougainvillea-filled plazas lined with cafes and bars. From Miraflores Locks one can watch ships pass through the city's famed canal, linking the Atlantic and Pacific.
Government: Presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Panama is both head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party system.
Panama is divided into ten provinces with their respective local authorities (governors), which are divided into districts and corregimientos (townships) and has a total of ten cities. Also, there are five Comarcas (literally: "Shires") populated by a variety of indigenous groups.
Natural resources: Copper, mahogany forests, shrimps, hydroelectric power.
Economic data: Revenue from canal tolls continues to represent a significant portion of Panama's GDP, although commerce, banking, and tourism are major and growing sectors. Panama has the second largest economy in Central America and is also the fastest growing economy and largest per capita consumer in Central America. In 2013, Panama ranked 5th among Latin American countries in terms of the Human Development Index, and 59th in the world. Since 2010, Panama remains the second most competitive economy in Latin America, according to the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Index. Covering around 40 percent of its land area, Panama's jungles are home to an abundance of tropical plants and animals – some of them to be found nowhere else on the planet.
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