Demographics of Panama

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This article is about the demographic features of the population of Panama, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.

Population[edit]

Panama's population, (1961-2003).

Panama's population was 3,678,000 in 2010, compared to 860,000 in 1950. The proportion of the population aged below 15 in 2010 was 29%. 64.5% of the population were aged between 15 and 65, with 6.6% of the population being 65 years or older.[1]

Total population
(x 1000)
Proportion
aged 0–14
(%)
Proportion
aged 15–64
(%)
Proportion
aged 65+
(%)
1950 860 40.2 55.7 4.1
1955 983 41.8 54.1 4.1
1960 1 136 42.9 52.8 4.3
1965 1 319 43.8 51.8 4.4
1970 1 526 43.9 51.8 4.3
1975 1 754 42.8 52.8 4.4
1980 1 990 40.4 55.0 4.6
1985 2 233 37.6 57.6 4.7
1990 2 487 35.2 59.9 5.0
1995 2 757 33.3 61.5 5.2
2000 3 055 31.8 62.6 5.5
2005 3 366 30.4 63.7 5.9
2010 3 678 29.0 64.5 6.6

Population distribution[edit]

More than half the population lives in the Panama City-Colón metropolitan corridor.

Province Capital city Population(2010 Est.)[2]
Bocas del Toro Bocas del Toro 118,405
Coclé Penonomé 237,840
Colón Colón 250,802
Chiriquí David 426,790
Darién La Palma 46,011
Herrera Chitré 112,538
Los Santos Las Tablas 90,984
Panamá Ciudad de Panamá 1,796,674
Veraguas Santiago 226,847
Comarca Capital city Population
Emberá-Wounaan Unión Choco 9,497
Kuna de Madugandí N/D N/D
Kuna Yala El Porvenir 37,545
Kuna de Wargandí N/D N/D
Ngöbe-Buglé Buabidi 150,550

Ethnic groups[edit]

The culture, customs, and language of Panama are predominantly Caribbean Spanish. In 2010 the population was 65% Mestizo (mixed white, Native American), 9.2% Black/mulattoes, 6.7% White and 12.3% Native Americans.[3]

Ethnic groups in Panama include British and Irish, Dutch, French, Germans, Italians, Portuguese, Poles, Russians or Ukrainians (a large number are Jews), and Americans.

Afro-Panamanian groups include West Indies/Caribbean (esp. Afro-Caribbean) nationalities, in which thousands of Barbadian and Jamaican workers played a role in the construction of the Panama Canal. There has also been immigration of Arabs and Asians: in particular Chinese, Lebanese, Palestinians, South Asians (from India and Pakistan) and Syrians.

Indigenous[edit]

Population of Panama according to ethnic group[4]
Ethnic
group
Census 1990 Census 2000 Census 2010
Number  % Number  % Number  %
Non-indigenous 2,135,060 91.7 2,553,946 90.0 2,988,254 87.7
Amerindian 194,269 8.3 285,231 10.0 417,559 12.3
Total 2,329,329 2,839,177 3,405,813
Indigenous population of Panama according to ethnic group[4]
Ethnic
group
Census 1990 Census 2000 Census 2010
Number  % Number  % Number  %
Ngäbe (Guaymi) 123,626 63.6 169,130 59.3 260,058 62.3
Buglé (Bokota) 3,784 1.9 18,724 6.6 26,871 6.4
Kuna 47,298 24.3 61,707 21.6 80,526 19.3
Emberá 14,659 7.5 22,485 7.9 31,284 7.5
Wounaan 2,605 1.3 6,882 2.4 7,279 1.7
Teribe/Naso 2,194 1.1 3,305 1.2 4,046 1.0
Bribri 2,521 0.9 1,068 0.3
Other 103 0.1 460 0.1
Not declared 477 0.2 5,967 1.4

Chinese[edit]

Panama has a considerable populations of Chinese origin. The first Chinese immigrated to Panama from southern China to help build the Panama Railroad in the 19th century. There followed several waves of immigrants whose descendants number around 50,000. Starting in the 1970s, a further 80,000 have immigrated from various parts of China.[5][6]

Black[edit]

Afro-Panamanians first arrived during the colonial era. They are intermixed in the general population or live in small Afro-Panamanian communities along the Atlantic Coast and in villages within the Darién jungle. Most of the people in Darien are fishermen or small-scale farmers growing crops such as bananas, rice and coffee as well as raising livestock. Other Afro-Panamanians descend from later migrants from the Caribbean who came to work on railroad-construction projects, commercial agricultural enterprises, and (especially) the canal. Important Afro-Caribbean community areas include towns and cities such as Colón, Cristobal and Balboa, in the former Canal Zone, as well as the Río Abajo area of Panama City. Another region with a large Afro-Caribbean population is the province of Bocas del Toro on the Caribbean coast just south of Costa Rica.[7]

Most of the Panamanian population of West Indian descent owe their presence in the country to the monumental efforts to build the Panama Canal in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Three-quarters of the 50,000 workers who built the canal were Afro Caribbean migrants from the British West Indies. Thousands of Afro-Caribbean workers were recruited from Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad.[7]

Languages[edit]

Many languages, including seven indigenous languages, are spoken in Panama, although Spanish is the official and dominant language. English is sometimes spoken by many professionals and those working in the business or governmental sectors of society.

Religion[edit]

Further information: Religion in Panama

The majority of Panamanians are Christian; most are Roman Catholics as a result centuries of Spanish colonial influence. Other faiths exist in Panama by the country's tolerance and freedom of religion, there are large Protestant, Jewish, Bahá'í, Muslim and Hindu religious groups in Panama.

  • Roman Catholic 79%, Protestant 17% and other religions about 5%.

Vital statistics[edit]

Registration of vital events is in Panama not complete. The Population Departement of the United Nations prepared the following estimates.[1]

Period Live births
per year
Deaths
per year
Natural change
per year
CBR* CDR* NC* TFR* IMR* Life expectancy
total
Life expectancy
males
Life expectancy
females
1950-1955 38 000 11 000 27 000 41.4 12.0 29.5 5.76 92 56.8 55.9 57.8
1955-1960 44 000 11 000 33 000 41.7 10.6 31.1 5.87 80 59.5 58.6 60.5
1960-1965 50 000 11 000 39 000 40.9 9.2 31.6 5.79 68 62.1 61.1 63.3
1965-1970 55 000 12 000 44 000 38.8 8.1 30.7 5.41 58 64.3 63.2 65.6
1970-1975 59 000 11 000 48 000 36.1 7.0 29.2 4.88 48 66.7 65.1 68.5
1975-1980 61 000 11 000 50 000 32.5 5.9 26.6 4.19 39 69.2 67.2 71.5
1980-1985 62 000 11 000 51 000 29.5 5.4 24.1 3.63 34 71.0 68.6 73.7
1985-1990 64 000 12 000 53 000 27.3 5.1 22.3 3.24 29 72.4 69.6 75.4
1990-1995 67 000 13 000 54 000 25.5 4.9 20.6 2.96 26 73.6 70.8 76.5
1995-2000 71 000 14 000 57 000 24.6 4.8 19.8 2.87 24 74.6 72.2 77.2
2000-2005 74 000 15 000 59 000 23.1 4.8 18.3 2.76 20 75.6 73.0 78.3
2005-2010 75 000 17 000 58 000 21.3 4.9 16.4 2.62 17 76.4 73.6 79.5
* CBR = crude birth rate (per 1000); CDR = crude death rate (per 1000); NC = natural change (per 1000); IMR = infant mortality rate per 1000 births; TFR = total fertility rate (number of children per woman)

Births and deaths [8]

Year Population Live births Deaths Natural increase Crude birth rate Crude death rate Rate of natural increase TFR
2009 68 364 15 498 52 866 19,0 2,5
2010 3 405 813 67 955 16 542 51 413 18,6 2,4
2011 73 292 16 367 56 925 19,7 2,5
2012 75 486 17 350 58 136 19,9 2,5
2013 73 804 17 767 56 037 19,2

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, World Population Prospects: The 2012 Revision
  2. ^ http://www.contraloria.gob.pa/dec/Publicaciones/13-03/Boletin9.pdf
  3. ^ "CIA - The World Factbook -- Panama". CIA. Archived from the original on 22 August 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
  4. ^ a b [1] Instituto Nacional de Estadistica y Censo (INEC)
  5. ^ Jackson, Eric (May 2004). "Panama's Chinese community celebrates a birthday, meets new challenges". The Panama News 10 (9). Retrieved November 7, 2007. 
  6. ^ "President Chen's State Visit to Panama". Government Information Office, Republic of China. October 2003. Archived from the original on August 14, 2007. Retrieved November 7, 2007. 
  7. ^ a b "Panama : Afro-Panamanians". Minority Rights Group International. Retrieved June 26, 2010. 
  8. ^ http://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/products/dyb/dyb2.htm

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the CIA World Factbook.