0.06% of the U.S. population (2018)
|Regions with significant populations|
|American English, Panamanian Spanish, Bocas del Toro Creole, Indigenous languages|
|Predominantly Roman Catholic|
|Related ethnic groups|
|fellow Hispanic and Latino Americans, Spanish Americans|
|Part of a series on|
The Panamanian population at the 2010 Census was 165,456. Panamanians are the sixth-smallest Hispanic group in the United States and the second smallest Central American population.
In contrast to other Hispanic nationalities, Panamanians are heavily concentrated in Army base cities. These cities include Fayetteville, NC - Fort Bragg, Killeen, TX - Fort Hood, Columbus, GA - Fort Stewart, Colorado Springs, CO - Fort Carson, Clarksville, TN - Fort Campbell, El Paso, TX - Fort Bliss and in the vicinity of Fort Dix in New Jersey. Cities home to Navy and Air Force bases also lay claim to a concentration of Panamanians. These include San Antonio, Hampton Roads, Jacksonville, San Diego and Tampa.
The number of Panamanians who emigrated to the US until 1960 is unknown, as the Census Bureau included them in the category of "others". However, it has been discovered that the number of Panamanians who entered must not have been very high, since in the 1830s, for example, only 44 Panamanians left Panama for the United States. However, by the beginning of the 20th century, the number of immigrants from Panama had skyrocketed to over 1,000 per year. After World War II, Panamanians entering the U.S. country was again scarce, but this changed in 1965, when immigration law allowed a maximum of 120,000 annual immigrants in the U.S. This law favored a remarkable migration from Panama, which made it one of the main migratory flows from Central America to the United States in the 1970s. Most of them were mestizos and Afro-Panamanians. In this migration, had many more women than men, although many of them were maids. For their part, the white-collar workers who went to the United States did so only to obtain a salary with which to help their families in Panama. Over 86,000 American people of Panamanian descent were registed in the 1990 US Census.
Race and ethnicity
Although, black people and mixed race black people only make up about 25% of Panama itself, up to 80% of Panamanian Americans are black or mixed race, far higher than other Hispanic immigrant communities. This is especially true with the Panamanian community in New York City. Immigrant communities from the Caribbean coasts of other Central American countries also tend to be heavily (unmixed) black, in comparison to more heavily populated "Mestizo" interior of Central America and the more solidly mixed "Mulatto" Spanish Caribbean islands. Although most Panamanian Americans speak Spanish, the group tends to identify itself more with English-speaking West Indian groups rather than with other Hispanic groups.
This tendency is most prevalent among black Panamanian Americans, which may be due to large Jamaican, and to lesser degree Trinidadian and Barbadian immigration, which occurred during the early 1900s, many of them retained their West Indian culture. Most Panamanians, along with Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Colombians and Venezuelans have higher percentages of African descent than other Hispanic groups.
Most of Panamanian immigrants have low-skill jobs, mainly are maids, but the followed generations have a majority of college students and white-collar professionals, as well as people educated in vocational training.
The 10 states with the largest population of Panamanians (Source: 2010 Census):
- Florida - 28,741
- New York - 28,200
- California - 17,768
- Texas - 13,994
- Georgia - 8,678
- Virginia - 7,180
- North Carolina - 5,708
- New Jersey - 5,431
- Maryland - 5,341
- Pennsylvania - 3,234
The largest population of Panamanians are situated in the following areas (Source: Census 2010):
- New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA MSA - 29,619
- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL MSA - 13,529
- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV MSA - 7,322
- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA MSA - 6,353
- Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA MSA - 5,599
- Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL MSA - 4,234
- Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL MSA - 3,772
- Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX MSA - 3,350
- Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX MSA - 3,162
- Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD MSA - 2,841
- San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX MSA - 2,663
- Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA - 2,658
- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA MSA - 2,556
- San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA MSA - 2,384
- Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI MSA - 2,300
- San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA MSA - 2,144
- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA MSA - 2,002
- Baltimore-Towson, MD MSA - 1,877
- Fayetteville, NC MSA - 1,788
- Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH MSA - 1,749
US communities with largest population of people of Panamanians ancestry
The top 25 US communities with the highest populations of Panamanian (Source: Census 2010)
- New York City - 22,353
- Los Angeles - 2,131
- San Antonio, TX - 1,602
- Jacksonville, FL - 1,165
- Fayetteville, NC - 1,154
- Miami, FL - 1,113
- Houston, TX - 1,076
- San Diego, CA - 1,018
- Killeen, TX - 998
- Chicago, IL - 883
- Washington, DC - 742
- Boston, MA # Hillcrest Heights, FL - 1.57%
- Pemberton Heights, NJ - 1.40%
- Indian Creek, FL - 4.65%
- Lisbon, FL - 1.92%
Panamanians are more than 1% of the entire population in only four communities in the US, none of which has a significant population. As a result, Panamanians are one of the least visible Hispanic nationalities in the US.
US communities with high percentages of people of Panamanian ancestry
US communities with the highest percentages of Panamanians as a percent of total population (Source: Census 2010)
- Virginia Beach, VA - 702
- Miramar, FL - 700
- Columbus, GA - 696
- Pembroke Pines, FL - 676
- Tampa, FL - 656
- Colorado Springs, CO - 642
- Newport News, VA - 615
- Charlotte, NC - 608
- Austin, TX - 607
- Orlando, FL - 596
- Clarksville, TN - 588
- El Paso, TX - 551
- Dallas, TX - 458
- Philadelphia, PA - 737
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