TERRITORY: HUMAN GEOGRAPHY
Until the Spanish occupation, the Panamanian territory, initially inhabited by ethnic groups of Caribbean origin, represented the area of contact and transition between populations of Mayan lineage, coming from Mexico and the northern section of the isthmus, and Chibcha groups , from Colombia. The arrival of the Spaniards gradually pushed the Indians back to areas less favorable to human settlement, today almost entirely assimilated through a large and complex hybridization, to which the influx of blacks from the Antilles contributed to a large extent. The Amerindians they are essentially represented by small groups scattered in the forests of the Darién or on the western heights and constitute 6.7% of the population. For the rest, the ethnic composition of the country is quite varied, including mestizos (58.1%), the dominant element, blacks and mulattoes. (14%), whites (8.6%) and Asians (5.5%). The increase in the population was very rapid, favored by strong immigration and by the improvement of sanitary conditions, thanks above all to the measures adopted against malaria and other tropical diseases. If the migratory waves of the twentieth century, linked to the construction of the canal, came from the United States and Asia, in the new millennium the country found itself having to face the entry of several thousand Colombians, many of whom belong to indigenous communities. living in conditions of extreme poverty.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the population of Panama was estimated at around 300,000, rising to 468,000 in 1930, to 805,000 in 1950 and over 2.8 million in 2000. The annual growth rate of the population has been constant since the 1990s (1, 7% in 1994-1999 and 1.8% in 2002-2007) and it is estimated that in 2006 the population exceeded 3.2 million units. Despite the efforts of the government and international organizations, which have led to a decline in high infant mortality (from 21.3 ‰ in 1998 to 14.7 ‰ in 2007), the situation is still dramatic: it is estimated that over half of children under 5, many of whom belong to indigenous communities, live in conditions of poverty. The data relating to the spread of the situation is still dramatic: it is estimated that over half of children under 5, many of whom belong to indigenous communities, live in conditions of poverty. The data relating to the spread of the situation is still dramatic: it is estimated that over half of children under 5, many of whom belong to indigenous communities, live in conditions of poverty. The data relating to the spread of HIV, according to which the percentage among adults (0.9% in 2005) is one of the highest in Central America. As a country located in Central America according to top-mba-universities, the administrative division of Panama takes into account the needs of the indigenous communities which are gathered in three districts (comarcas): Emberá (9352 residents 2006 estimate), which includes two detached areas in the south of the country; Kuna Yala (36,848 residents 2006 estimate), a long strip of land overlooking the Antillean Sea with the islands in front and bordering Colombia, and Ngöbe-Buglé, the largest and most populous (135,890 residents 2006), on the northeastern coast. The oldest of the three is the district of Kuna Yala, established in the 1930s but formally accepted by the government in 1953; the other two, Emberá and Ngöbe-Buglé were created respectively in 1983 and 1997. There are strong concentrations in the central areas gravitating to the canal, while the peripheral ones are gradually depopulating: in the indigenous district of Emberá and in the adjacent province of Darién, covered with partly still untouched forests, the density index drops to 2-4 residents / km² compared to a national average density of 45 residents / km².
The W Panamanian section of the canal is home to just under 2/3 of the entire population, distributed fairly evenly in various agricultural centers (David, La Chorrera, Santiago de Veraguas etc.); over half of the population is mainly based in the districts of Colón and Panamá, located respectively on the Atlantic and Pacific sides of the channel. The capital, founded in the sixteenth century but only becoming important after the cut of the isthmus (1914, even if its inauguration took place in 1920) is a very lively commercial center; typically cosmopolitan city, it is home to various industries and counts 469,307 residents (2000), even if as an urban agglomeration it exceeds one million residents. The second city of the country is located in the same district, San Miguelito (293,745 residents in 2000). Colón (53,218 residents In 2000) is also a lively commercial center, favored by the fact that part of the city is a free zone.