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Image: Takehiko Ono
Flag of Jamaica
Jamaica shares maritime borders with the Cayman Islands (UK), Colombia, Cuba, and Haiti. Nearby Caribbean island nations are Dominican Republic and Haiti on the island of Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico.
Jamaica's landscape is mostly mountainous, a limestone plateau covers two-thirds of the island, karst formations with caverns and caves dominate the island, it has narrow coastal plains, green dense rainforests and sandy bays and beaches. Highest point is Blue Mountain Peak (2,256 m) in the Blue Mountains National Park in the east of the island.
Jamaica covers an area of 10,991 km², making it slightly larger than Cyprus, or slightly smaller than the U.S. state of Connecticut.
The island has a population of 2.75 million people (2015). Capital and largest city is Kingston, other major cities are Spanish Town and Montego Bay. Official language is Jamaican English, mainly spoken is Jamaican Patois or Patwa, an English-based creole language with West African influences.
Jamaica | Jamaïque | Jamaika | Xaymaca
Jamaica is the third largest of the Caribbean islands, and the largest English-speaking island in the Caribbean Sea.
In pre-columbian times Jamaica was inhabited by an estimated 60,000 Arawak Indians. In 1494 Christopher Columbus "discovered" the island and claimed it at once for the King and Queen of Spain. In 1517 first Africans brought to Jamaica by the Spaniards. The British arrived in 1655, defeated the Spaniards and claimed the island for the King of England.
By the late 17th and early 18th centuries the island was virtually divided. Colonial planters and their slaves inhabited and worked in the costal plains, while high up in the Blue Mountains there lived fugitive slaves, the free community of the Maroons.
More than 300 years later on August 6, 1962, Jamaica became an independent sovereign state and a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations.
related countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, Spain, United Kingdom
ISO Country Code: jm, JAM
Local Time = UTC -5h
Actual Time: Sat-Apr-21 13:58
Country Calling Code: +1 876
Capital City: Kingston (pop. 630 000)
Montego Bay (pop. 97 000), Negril.
Type: Constitutional parliamentary democracy.
Independence: 6 August 1962 (from the UK). At Independence, Jamaica became a member of the Commonwealth, with Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State. The Queen is represented in Jamaica by the Governor-General.
Location: Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, south of Cuba.
Area: 11,000 km² (4,247 sq. mi.)
Terrain: Mountainous, less than one-fifth of the land is relatively flat.
Climate: Jamaica's climate is tropical marine. The mountainous terrain, the north-east trade winds and land-sea breezes modify the climate.
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Jamaican(s).
Population: 2.7 million (2015)
Ethnic Groups: multi-ethnic society, with blacks predominating - 90.9%, East Indian 1.3%, Chinese 0.2%, White 0.2%, mixed 7.3%, other 0.1%.
Religions: Anglican, Baptist and other Protestant, Roman Catholic, Rastafarian, Jewish.
Languages: English (official), most Jamaicans speak an English-based dialect which is known as patois.
Natural resources: Bauxite, gypsum, limestone.
Agriculture products: Sugarcane, bananas, coffee, citrus, yams, vegetables, poultry, goats, milk, crustaceans, and mollusks.
Industries: Tourism, bauxite/alumina, textiles, agro processing, wearing apparel, light manufactures, rum, cement, metal, paper, chemical products, telecommunications.
Exports - commodities: alumina, bauxite, sugar, rum, coffee, yams, beverages, chemicals, apparel, mineral fuels
Exports - partners: USA 24.4%, Canada 16.5%, Russia 9.3%, Netherlands 8.9%, Iceland 7.2%, UK 6.5% (2015)
Imports - commodities: food and other consumer goods, industrial supplies, fuel, parts and accessories of capital goods, machinery and transport equipment, construction materials
Imports - partners: USA 32.6%, Venezuela 12.4%, China 12%, Trinidad and Tobago 11.1% (2015)
Currency: Jamaican Dollar (JMD)
Jamaica in numbers
Jamaica key statistical data.
Image: Government of Jamaica
Jamaica is a constitutional parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm. Chief of state is the British monarch, represented by the Governor-General, head of government is the Prime Minister of Jamaica.
Official Sites of JamaicaNote: External links will open in a new browser window.
Government of Jamaica
Website of the Cabinet Office of the Government of Jamaica.
Jamaica Houses of Parliament
Site of Jamaica's parliament.
Jamaica Information Service
Information on Government policies, programmes and the activities.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade
Official website of the ministry.
Jamaican High Commission
Established as one of the first diplomatic missions at the time of Jamaica's emergence as an independent country - London.
Permanent Mission of Jamaica to the United Nations
The official web site of Jamaica's Mission to the UN.
Jamaican Embassies and High Commissions Overseas
List of Jamaican Diplomatic Missions Abroad.
Diplomatic Representation in Jamaica
Address list of Consular Missions in Jamaica.
Statistical Institute of Jamaica
Statistics in the island of Jamaica.
Jamaica in figures
Key statistical data of Jamaica.
Map of Jamaica
Political Map of Jamaica.
Administrative Map of Jamaica
Map showing Jamaica with parish boundaries, parish capitals, major cities,
main roads, railroads and major airports.
Google Earth Jamaica
Searchable map and satellite view of Jamaica.
Google Earth Kingston
Searchable map and satellite view of Kingston, Jamaica's capital.
Map of Central America and the Caribbean
Reference Map of Central America and the Caribbean.
Jamaica NewsJamaica enjoys a free press and its newspapers frequently criticise officials. 
Biggest national news paper offers Jamaica News and country information.
The Jamaica Observer
The Jamaica Star
More Jamaican News.
Bookmark/share this page
Arts & Culture
Institute of Jamaica
Cultural, artistic and scientific organisation in Jamaica.
Jamaica Photo Gallery
A Jamaican online photo album by National Geographic.
National Library of Jamaica
Jamaica's premier library for fostering and promoting the nation's knowledge of its history and heritage.
The culture of Jamaica is a music culture.
The Rhetoric of Reggae Music.
Reggae @ it's best - Montego Bay.
Rootz,Reggae and more.
The Spirit of Jamaica.
The Bob Marley Foundation
Manifesting the Message.
The Official site.
Misty in Roots
English but roots.
First Class Music from the Third World.
Image: Steve Bennett
Business & Economy
Jamaica has a mixed economic system that includes a variety of private freedom, combined with centralized economic planning and government regulation. Jamaica is a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
Image: Kitty Schweizer
Travel and Tour Consumer Information
Destination Jamaica - Travel and Tourism Guides
Discover Jamaica: Bob Marley Museum (Reggae legend Bob Marley's 19th-century house is now a museum in Kingston); Blue Mountains (mountain range with the island's highest point, Blue Mountain Peak, at 2256 m); Doctor's Cave Beach Club (famous beach in Montego Bay); Dolphin Cove Jamaica Ocho Rios (swim with dolphins, snorkel with stingrays and feed sharks); Dunn's River Falls (terraced waterfall near Ocho Rios);
Official Jamaica tourist information by the Jamaica Tourist Board.
Kingston, Mandeville, Montego Bay and more.
Jamaica Tour Company.
A site for information about tourism related topics in Jamaica.
De web site on Jamaica, a portal dedicated to Jamaican arts and culture.
Jamaica's South Coast
Travel Jamaica's South Coast.
Jamaica travel and tourism Information.
What to do in Jamaica
A guide to Jamaica by the Association of Jamaica Attractions Ltd.
Montego Bay (pop. 97 000)
Montego Bay City visitors guide.
Negril visitors guide.
Image: Robert Whitefield
© Jamaica Tourist Board
National Library of Jamaica
College of Agriculture (CASE)
Northern Caribbean University
University of the West Indies
Environment & Nature
National Environment & Planning Agency (NEPA) Home Page
NEPA promotes Sustainable Development by ensuring protection of the environment and orderly development in Jamaica.
Windsor Research Centre (WRC) created this website to share information about a globally unique landscape located in the heart of Jamaica.
Cultural and ethnic groups of Jamaica
Accompong - the Maroon Capital
The Maroon Capital.
The Maroons of Jamaica
The Maroons, escaped ex-slaves who settled in the mountains of Jamaica, carved out a significant area of influence.
Creativity and Resistance: Maroon Cultures in the Americas, Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.
The Jamaican Maroons
Page about the Jamaican Maroons.
The Maroons and Moore Town
Article from L.G. Harris a former Colonel of the Moore Town Maroons.
The Story of Grandy Nanny
The woman who became one of Jamaica's founding "fathers"!
Marcus Garvey and the Early Rastafarians: Continuity and Discontinuity
Background history of the Rastafarian movement.
Rastafarianism: An Overview
Rastafari at a glance by BBC.
History of Jamaica
An overview of Jamaica's history.
Jamaican Language Site
The contemporary form of Patois.
Patois Definitions, a Jamaican dictionary with Patois, Rasta and Reggae words - Walk Good!
Sources and additional Information on Jamaica
Amnesty International: Jamaica
Background Notes: Jamaica
BBC Country Profile: Jamaica
The Commonwealth: Jamaica
The Heritage Foundation: Jamaica
Human Rights Watch: Jamaica
Reporters Without Borders: Jamaica
The World Factbook -- Jamaica
Other Countries and Territories in the Caribbean
Anguilla | Antigua and Barbuda | Aruba | Bahamas | Barbados | British Virgin Islands | Cuba | Dominica
Dominican Republic | Grenada | Guadeloupe | Haiti | Martinique | Montserrat | Netherlands Antilles
Puerto Rico | Saint Kitts and Nevis | Saint Lucia | Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago | U.S. Virgin Islands
Major Cities in the Caribbean:
Basse-Terre, Basseterre, Bridgetown, Castries, Charlotte Amalie, Fort-de-France, Hamilton, Havana, Kingston, Kingstown, Nassau, Oranjestad, Port-au-Prince, Port-of-Spain, Roseau, Saint George's, Saint John's, Saint Martin, San Juan, Santo Domingo, The Valley, Willemstad
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