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Friday, March 9, 2018

Immigration and Other Statistics for Panama

How does Panama compare to the U.S., Costa Rica and Canada...statistically?

Today, I thought I would share some statistics I found interesting regarding Panama's demographics, health and economy, compared to the United States Costa Rica and Canada.

According to our source:

The Population of Panama is 3,753,142 and the number of people per square kilometer (population density) is 50.

The population of Costa Rica, our next door neighbor, is 4,930,258 and the number of people per square kilometer is 96.

The United States is home to 326,625,792 people, and the population density is 33 people per square kilometer.

Canada has 35,623,680 residents, and their population density is only 4.


This entry includes the figure for the difference between the number of persons entering and leaving a country during the year per 1,000 persons (based on midyear population). An excess of persons entering the country is referred to as net immigration (e.g., 3.56 migrants/1,000 population); an excess of persons leaving the country as net emigration (e.g., -9.26 migrants/1,000 population). The net migration rate indicates the contribution of migration to the overall level of population change. The net migration rate does not distinguish between economic migrants, refugees, and other types of migrants nor does it distinguish between lawful migrants and undocumented migrants.

Panama is flat. In other words the number of people leaving (emigrating) is roughly equal to the number of people arriving (immigrating), so they are shown as a zero net figure.

Costa Rica is a (1) and the U.S. is a (4), so for every 1,000 people in the States, last year there were 4 new people arriving, with or without documentation.

Interestingly, Canada had a (6) person per 1,000 population increase in 2017.


This entry gives the average annual number of deaths during a year per 1,000 population at midyear; also known as crude death rate. The death rate, while only a rough indicator of the mortality situation in a country, accurately indicates the current mortality impact on population growth. This indicator is significantly affected by age distribution, and most countries will eventually show a rise in the overall death rate, in spite of continued decline in mortality at all ages, as declining fertility results in an aging population.

Panama and Costa Rica are both (5) on the scale, the U.S. has (8) deaths per 1,000 people and Canada comes in at (9) on the scale.

While we're on the subject of life expectancy, since obesity has been proven to be a contributing factor to early mortality, here are the obesity numbers:

In Panama, 23% of the adult population is considered obese, while in Costa Rica the number is 26% and in the U.S. that number jumps to 36% according to this report. Canada's obesity rate is 29% of the population.

Obesity is defined as an adult having a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater to or equal to 30.0. BMI is calculated by taking a person's weight in kg and dividing it by the person's squared height in meters.

Life Expectancy at Birth:

This entry contains the average number of years to be lived by a group of people born in the same year, if mortality at each age remains constant in the future. Life expectancy at birth is also a measure of overall quality of life in a country and summarizes the mortality at all ages.

Panama and Costa Rica residents have an average life expectancy of 79 years, and the U.S. is only slightly higher at 80 years, despite the fact the United States spends a whopping 17% of all the money they generate (GDP) on healthcare. Panama's healthcare expenditure is only 8% of GDP, and Costa Rica spends 9% of their overall income on health care. Canada spends 10% of their GDP on their national health care system.


While we're on the subject of GDP growth, Panama enjoys a 5% year-over-year real growth rate, while Costa Rica sits at 4%, and the U.S. is still only able to churn out 2% growth, even less than Canada's 3% rate. This despite the fact that per capita oil usage for the U.S. (61 barrels per day per 1,000 people) is more than double what Panama uses (28 barrels per 1,000 people) in a day.


This entry consists of total electricity generated annually plus imports and minus exports, expressed in kilowatt-hours. The discrepancy between the amount of electricity generated and/or imported and the amount consumed and/or exported is accounted for as loss in transmission and distribution.

Panama uses 8, Costa Rica uses 9 and (hold on a moment could this be right?) the U.S. uses 3,911 kilowatt-hours annually! Canada uses 517.


For every 100 people in Panama, there are 193 mobile phone lines. I suspect that is because there are several carriers serving the country, and since the equipment is cheap and rates are low, they have more than one line. They also change services a lot and use different SIM cards, which each carry their own number. In the U.S., there are 99 cell phone lines for every 100 persons.

Every day, I find new reasons why Panama's future looks so bright...and sustainable!

We're offering organic parcels of land to people who want to live healthy, survive whatever calamities might be heading their way and enjoy the beauty of a tropical mountain paradise.

Get in touch if that sounds good to you...

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

A Plan-B Preparedness Strategy

Prepping plan B

Creating a dual-purpose preparation plan can make prepping activities more effective and cost less in the long run.

Being prepared is more than just storing enough food, water and other supplies. Having a plan for any eventuality, as best you can, is also key to being prepared and feeling secure. That includes mentally thinking through all the different scenarios that might present themselves, and devising ways you can eliminate or at least reduce the risks associated with those threats. But, what if the threats you have prepared for don't happen in your lifetime, what then? Did you prepare for nothing? Is all that time, energy and money wasted?

Ideally, since nobody really knows what the future holds and which threats are likely to play out, having a "dual-purpose" preparation strategy can reduce the overall cost of preparation and help reduce stress levels.

An example would be dual-purpose financial preparedness. Many believe that runaway inflation is just around the corner, due to an unprecedented expansion of the money supply after the 2008 housing market collapse. One way to prepare for price inflation (higher prices for goods and services) is to have a hedge against the dropping value of the dollar.

One such hedge might be buying actual (not paper) precious metals, like gold or silver. Another might be obtaining and storing some crypto-currencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum, if you believe they are here to stay and will become useful in the future, thereby retaining their value.

In the event the value of the dollar dropped rapidly (hyperinflation) or collapsed entirely where nobody wanted to hold dollars, you could potentially use either the precious metals or the crypto-currency to trade for your necessities. Of course, the places you would be trading with would have to also value and accept those alternative currencies, in order for them to be useful as a hedge against inflation. At the moment, crypto-currencies like Bitcoin do not enjoy wide acceptance, and regulators are still trying to decide how they want to classify them and tax them.

So a dual-purpose strategy would be one where we invest in things that are useful or valued in a SHTF scenario, but also are likely to be valuable if the stuff doesn't hit the fan. An example of a financial hedge, would be to invest in a mix of stocks that target high tech companies, perhaps in an ETF or maybe even in an emerging market. The high tech investment would increase in value (potentially) as high-tech products came to market, and we would benefit financially from that appreciation. That could help offset some of the cost of purchasing supplies, for example.

Incidentally, silver is believed to be in short supply and is likely to be in high demand as the world moves toward solar power. Silver is also used in many electronic components, and so it might be an ideal dual-purpose hedge on it's own, if you don't mind storing it. Again, invest only in the actual physical metal itself, as the paper investments are rumored to be over-sold.

A dual-use preparation strategy is essentially adopting a mindset that if this (insert calamity here) happens, we are prepared, but if it doesn't happen, this hedge can still be useful even in a non-SHTF scenario. Or at the very least, we have a "balancing" hedge against the original hedge, as in the ETF investment above.

Another scenario that keeps some people up at night are fears about how fast technology is moving and the direction it is taking us. For example, some people see micro-chipping humans as a way to streamline and improve efficiencies for healthcare, while others believe that having a chip inserted into their bodies under their skin would be invasive and troublesome from a privacy standpoint.

Weather we like it or not, the tech world is relentlessly marching forward, and the fear of being left behind and not being able to function in a society that increasingly revolves around high tech gadgetry, is a very real one. One way to hedge against that scenario might be to move from a city environment to a more rural area, or even a different country, where technology is less pervasive. Making that location a beautiful vacation spot or a location that would be increasingly valuable if things were to normalize, is how this could be a dual-purpose prepping strategy.

Man-made or natural disasters also weigh heavy on our minds, and can result in less than ideal feelings of stress and anxiety. Things like nuclear war, EMP blasts taking out the electrical grid, runaway climate change resulting in devastating droughts and flooding, and other end-of-the-world (TEOTWAWKI) scenarios that may or may not happen weigh heavy on most people's minds.

If you think about it, there are any number of hedges out there that can be used in just about any scenario, if you have a dual-purpose investing mindset.

Our community is all about dual purpose hedging. For us, living in mountain paradise not only provides us and our families a safe retreat where we can grow our own food should any one of many nightmare scenarios play out, it also gives us a wonderful place to go to enjoy life and relax in the meantime. And, on top of that, prices for organic land with water, electricity and internet are very likely to go dramatically higher in the future.

Get in touch if you'd like more information about our community and goals.