The People of Panama Panama has a population of over 3.5 million people. More than of half of them live in the Panama City/Colon metropolitan areas. over 3.5 million people. More than of half of them live in the Panama City Although the culture and customs of people living in Panama are largely Spanish and Caribbean, the nation is something of an ethnic melting pot due to its long history in trade and commerce at the “crossroads of the world”.

The population composition looks as follows: White 10% Mixed Amerindian & white 70% Other (black & Asian) 14% Amerindian 6% Among the various ethnic groups in Panama, those of Afro-Antillean and Chinese origin make up a small but significant part of the population.

The latter are often descendants of the Chinese immigrants who first came in the 19th century to help build the Panama railway. Similarly, a lot of the people of West- Indian descent can trace their origins back to the Afro-Caribbean workers who were recruited to build the Panama Canal in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The pure Ameraindians (who prefer to be called ”indigenas”) consist of the following tribes (tribus), each with its own comarca or homeland: The Emberas, the Wouaan, the Kunas (their land, Guna Yala, was the first of the autonomous tribal territories), the Guaymies and the Teribes.

The population composition looks as follows: White 10% Mixed Amerindian & white 70% Other (black & Asian) 14% Amerindian 6% Among the various ethnic groups in Panama, those of Afro-Antillean and Chinese origin make up a small but significant part of the population.


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