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.
City Size and Population Density
Panama City proper encompasses a considerable total surface area of 275 kilometers squared (106 square miles). With a growing number of residents the population density comes to about 3,203 people living per square kilometer (7,656 residents per square mile).
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 in Panama City, 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.