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Demographics of Panama

The culture, customs, and language of the Panamanians are predominantly Caribbean Spanish. Ethnically, the majority of the population is mestizo (mixed Spanish and Indian) or mixed Spanish, Indian, Chinese, and West Indian. Spanish is the official and dominant language; English is a common second language spoken by the West Indians and by many in business and the professions. More than half the population lives in the Panama City-Colon[?] metropolitan corridor.

Panama is rich in folklore and popular traditions. Brightly colored national dress is worn during local festivals and the pre-Lenten carnival season, especially for traditional folk dances like the tamborito. Lively salsa--a mixture of Latin American popular music, rhythm and blues, jazz, and rock--is a Panamanian specialty, and Ruben Blades its best-known performer. Indian influences dominate handicrafts such as the famous Kuna textile molas. Artist Roberto Lewis[?]' Presidential Palace murals and his restoration work and ceiling in the National Theater are well known and admired.

More than 65,000 Panamanian students attend the University of Panama[?], the Technological University[?], and the University of Santa Maria La Antigua[?], a private Catholic institution. Including smaller colleges, there are 14 institutions of higher education in Panama. The first 6 years of primary education are compulsory, and there are about 357,000 students currently enrolled in grades one through six. The total enrollment in the six secondary grades is about 207,000. Nearly 90% of Panamanians are literate.

Population: 2,808,268 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 31% (male 439,590; female 422,949)
15-64 years: 63% (male 901,793; female 878,138)
65 years and over: 6% (male 79,330; female 86,468) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.34% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 19.53 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 4.95 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: -1.16 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.92 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 20.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 75.47 years
male: 72.74 years
female: 78.31 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.32 children born/woman (2000 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Panamanian(s)
adjective: Panamanian

Ethnic groups: mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 70%, Amerindian and mixed (West Indian) 14%, white 10%, Amerindian 6%

Religions: Roman Catholic 85%, Protestant 15%

Languages: Spanish (official), English 14%
note: many Panamanians bilingual

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 90.8%
male: 91.4%
female: 90.2% (1995 est.)

See also : Panama



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