The Republic of Panama, situated on the Isthmus of Panama, has an area of 78,200 sq km (30,193 sq mi). Comparatively, the area occupied by Panama is slightly smaller than the state of South Carolina. The Canal Zone (1,432 sq km/553 sq mi), over which the United States formerly exercised sovereignty, on 1 October 1979 was incorporated into Panama, with the US retaining responsibility for operation of the Panama Canal and the use of land in the zone for maintenance of the canal until the year 2000.
Panama extends 772 km (480 mi) E – W and 185 km (115 mi) N-S . Bordered on the N by the Caribbean Sea, on the E by Colombia, on the S by the Pacific Ocean, and on the W by Costa Rica, Panama has a total boundary length of 3,045 km (1,892 mi), of which 2,490 km (1,547 mi) is coastline.
Panama's capital city, Panama City, is located where the Panama Canal meets the Gulf of Panama.