The Republic of Panama, a 30,000-square-mile stretch of land in Central America, is bordered by both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Colombia and Costa Rica. The current birthrate of 2.4 children per woman fell from 6 in the 1960s, but is high for some indigenous groups. Women are having fewer children and having them later; many postpone motherhood for work. Most families use domestic workers and family for day-care. Women are eligible for 14 weeks of paid maternity leave, and four weeks for adoption. Although the living standard is high for Central America, the poverty rate still is 40 percent. Twenty-two percent of all households and 37 percent of lower-income households are female headed.

The low divorce rate of 1.2 percent reflects ...

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