Panama City Population 2018

Panama City is located in the Republic of Panama. It is not just the capital city but it is the largest in terms of population. The city is located near the entrance of the Panama Canal. According to figures from 2010, the city has an urban population of 430,299. The city proper has a population of 880,691 residents. The larger metropolitan area has a population that exceeds 1.5 million. This city has become a hub for commerce and banking, as well as tourism.

Panama City Demographics

Residents of Panama City are called capitalinos. White people and Asians are among the minorities in this city. The city is known for being very culturally diverse, and multiple languages are spoken by its residents, including English, Spanish, Portuguese and German.

When breaking down the population, the primary ethnic groups in this city include Afro-Panamanians, mulattos, and mestizos.

The city has a thriving economy that is reliant on commerce and tourism. Its proximity to the Panama Canal and ports makes it a hub for trade and shipping. Offshore banking and tax planning also contribute greatly to the economy. The city produces more than half of the country’s GSP. Tourism is also another contributor to the city’s revenue. The number of hotel rooms rose from just 1,400 in 1997 to over 15,000 in 2013. The city has over 1.4 million visitors annually. The city plans to continue to draw in tourists with the addition of more luxury hotels.

Panama City History

Panama City was originally founded in 1519. The city from the beginning has a very interesting history, as it was a launching point for the search of gold in Peru. However, in 1671 the city was attacked, looted, and burned to the ground. Some ruins still remain and are a popular attraction with tourists. The city was rebuilt just two years later, about five miles away from the original site.

The Panama Railroad Company was created ahead of the California Gold Rush. The city became more prosperous as traffic via the railroad increased. The city became even more prosperous with the construction of the Panama Canal. In addition to opening the city up to more shipping and trade opportunities, the canal came with other benefits, including less spread of disease and the eradication of yellow fever.

The city was a central location during World War II. With the arrival of the US military came more prosperity, but rising tensions between the US citizens and the people of Panama led to Martyrs’ Day in 1964.

During the 1970s and 1980s, the city began solidifying its role as a banking center. However, during the early years it was also used for illegal money laundering. Today, however, the city remains transparent about the flows of cash so as to prevent illegal activity. In addition to its role in banking and commerce, the city is also a popular tourist destination, bringing in millions of visitors and revenue annually.

Panama City Population Growth

The city’s thriving economy because of the Panama Canal and its role in banking and commerce makes Panama City a desirable place to live. The city has seen steady growth throughout the years, growth that is expected to continue well into the future.

Panama City Population in 2018Source: By Brian Gratwicke [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Panama City Population Data (Urban Area)

Year Population Growth Rate (%) Growth
20352,437,6331.64%190,331
20302,247,3021.81%192,761
20252,054,5412.01%194,250
20201,860,2912.13%76,801
20181,783,4902.15%110,372
20151,673,1182.15%168,985
20101,504,1332.15%151,914
20051,352,2192.15%136,535
20001,215,6843.64%199,047
19951,016,6373.68%167,998
1990848,6393.31%127,424
1985721,2153.30%107,960
1980613,2553.03%84,934
1975528,3213.02%72,980
1970455,3414.84%95,766
1965359,5754.91%76,680
1960282,8955.18%63,130
1955219,7655.18%49,030
1950170,7350.00%
Panama City Population Growth

Panama City's 2018 population is now estimated at 1,783,490. In 1950, the population of Panama City was 170,735. Panama City has grown by 110,372 since 2015, which represents a 2.15% annual change. These population estimates and projections come from the latest revision of the UN World Urbanization Prospects. These estimates represent the Urban agglomeration of Panama City, which typically includes Panama City's population in addition to adjacent suburban areas.

Data Sources
  1. World Urbanization Prospects - United Nations population estimates and projections of major Urban Agglomerations