Population of Panama 2017


Current population of Panama is 3,753,142 people (July 2017 est.).


noun: Panamanian(s)
adjective: Panamanian

Ethnic Groups

mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 65%, Native American 12.3% (Ngabe 7.6%, Kuna 2.4%, Embera 0.9%, Bugle 0.8%, other 0.4%, unspecified 0.2%), black or African descent 9.2%, mulatto 6.8%, white 6.7% (2010 est.)


Spanish (official), indigenous languages (including Ngabere (or Guaymi), Buglere, Kuna, Embera, Wounaan, Naso (or Teribe), and Bri Bri), Panamanian English Creole (similar to Jamaican English Creole; a mixture of English and Spanish with elements of Ngabere; also known as Guari Guari and Colon Creole), English, Chinese (Yue and Hakka), Arabic, French Creole, other (Yiddish, Hebrew, Korean, Japanese)

note: many Panamanians are bilingual


Roman Catholic 85%, Protestant 15%

Demographic Profile

Panama is a country of demographic and economic contrasts. It is in the midst of a demographic transition, characterized by steadily declining rates of fertility, mortality, and population growth, but disparities persist based on wealth, geography, and ethnicity. Panama has one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America and dedicates substantial funding to social programs, yet poverty and inequality remain prevalent. The indigenous population accounts for a growing share of Panama’s poor and extreme poor, while the non-indigenous rural poor have been more successful at rising out of poverty through rural-to-urban labor migration. The government’s large expenditures on untargeted, indirect subsidies for water, electricity, and fuel have been ineffective, but its conditional cash transfer program has shown some promise in helping to decrease extreme poverty among the indigenous population.

Panama has expanded access to education and clean water, but the availability of sanitation and, to a lesser extent, electricity remains poor. The increase in secondary schooling – led by female enrollment – is spreading to rural and indigenous areas, which probably will help to alleviate poverty if educational quality and the availability of skilled jobs improve. Inadequate access to sanitation contributes to a high incidence of diarrhea in Panama’s children, which is one of the main causes of Panama’s elevated chronic malnutrition rate, especially among indigenous communities.

Age Structure

0-14 years: 26.4% (male 505,711/female 484,980)
15-24 years: 16.99% (male 324,897/female 312,729)
25-54 years: 40.35% (male 766,747/female 747,472)
55-64 years: 7.91% (male 147,069/female 149,706)
65 years and over: 8.36% (male 144,086/female 169,745) (2017 est.)

Dependency Ratios

total dependency ratio: 54.8
youth dependency ratio: 43.1
elderly dependency ratio: 11.7
potential support ratio: 8.5 (2015 est.)

Median Age

total: 28.9 years
male: 28.5 years
female: 29.3 years (2016 est.)

Population Growth Rate

1.3% (2017 est.)

Birth Rate

17.9 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)

Death Rate

4.9 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)

Net Migration Rate

-0.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)

Population Distribution

population is concentrated towards the center of the country, particularly around the Canal, but a sizeable segment of the populace also lives in the far west around David; the eastern third of the country is sparsely inhabited


urban population: 67.2% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 1.94% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Major Urban Areas – Population:

PANAMA CITY (capital) 1.673 million (2015)

Sex Ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2016 est.)

Maternal Mortality Rate

94 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate

total: 10.1 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 10.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 9.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth

total population: 78.6 years
male: 75.8 years
female: 81.6 years (2016 est.)

Total Fertility Rate

2.3 children born/woman (2017 est.)

Contraceptive Prevalence Rate

62.8% (2013)

Health Expenditures

8% of GDP (2014)

Physicians Density

1.59 physicians/1,000 population (2013)

Hospital Bed Density

2.2 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Drinking Water Source

urban: 97.7% of population
rural: 86.6% of population
total: 94.7% of population

urban: 2.3% of population
rural: 11.4% of population
total: 5.3% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation Facility Access

urban: 83.5% of population
rural: 58% of population
total: 75% of population

urban: 16.5% of population
rural: 42% of population
total: 25% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Adult Prevalence Rate

0.8% (2016 est.)

HIV/AIDS – People Living with HIV/AIDS

21,000 (2016 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Deaths

<1000 (2016 est.)

Major Infectious Disease

degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea
vectorborne disease: dengue fever

note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016)

Obesity – Adult Prevalence Rate

26.5% (2014)

Children Under the Age of 5 Years Underweight

3.9% (2008)

Education Expenditures

3.3% of GDP (2011)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95%
male: 95.7%
female: 94.4% (2015 est.)

School Life Expectancy (Primary to Tertiary Education)

total: 13 years
male: 12 years
female: 13 years (2013)

Child Labor – Children Ages 5-14

total number: 59,294
percentage: 7%

note: data represent children ages 5-17 (2010 est.)

Unemployment, Youth Ages 15-24

total: 11.5%
male: 9%
female: 16% (2016 est.)