Panama is located in Central America, between Colombia and Costa Rica, and bordered by the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean.
It’s terrain is mostly steep, rugged mountains with upland and coastal plains and rolling hills.
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.
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 may 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.
95% of the population 15 and over can read and write.
26% of the population is below the poverty line.
64% of the labor force work in services, 19% work in industry, and 17% work in agriculture.