Jamaica (GPS: 18 15 N, 77 30 W) is located in the Caribbean, an island in the Caribbean Sea, south of Cuba. The country’s area measurements are total: 10,991 sq km; land: 10,831 sq km, water: 160 sq km. This sovereign state is slightly smaller than Connecticut. The total irrigated land is 250 sq km (2012).
One of Jamaica’s essential features: Third largest island in the Caribbean (after Cuba and Hispaniola). Strategic location between Cayman Trench and Jamaica Channel, the main sea lanes for the Panama Canal.
It’s significant, and at the same time, the principal city, Kingston’s GPS coordinates are 18 00 N 76 48 W. Kingston’s local time is the same as Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC-5.
Google Maps Jamaica and Kingston, Central America and the Caribbean
About Jamaica in detail
Flag of Jamaica
Map of Jamaica
The island – discovered by Christopher COLUMBUS in 1494 – was settled by the Spanish early in the 16th century. The native Taino, who had inhabited Jamaica for centuries, gradually exterminated and replaced African slaves. England seized the island in 1655 and established a plantation economy based on sugar, cocoa, and coffee. The abolition of slavery in 1834 freed a quarter million slaves, many of whom became small farmers. Jamaica gradually increased its independence from Britain. In 1958 it joined other British Caribbean colonies in forming the Federation of the West Indies. Jamaica withdrew from the Federation in 1961 and gained full independence in 1962. Deteriorating economic conditions during the 1970s led to recurrent violence as rival gangs affiliated with the major political parties evolved into powerful organized crime networks involved in international drug smuggling and money laundering. Violent crime, drug trafficking, and poverty pose significant challenges to the government today. Nonetheless, many rural and resort areas remain relatively safe and contribute substantially to the economy.
Jamaica’s names conventional long form: none, conventional short form: Jamaica, etymology: from the native Taino word “haymaca” meaning “land of wood and water” or possibly “land of springs.” From the native Taino word “haymaca” meaning “Land of Wood and Water” or possibly “Land of Springs.”
Jamaica’s terrain is typically mostly mountains, with a narrow, discontinuous coastal plain. The country’s mean elevation: 18 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: the Caribbean Sea 0 m, highest point: Blue Mountain Peak 2,256 m.
The general climate in the country; tropical: hot, humid: temperate interior.
The total number of border countries is 0; none are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. Jamaica’s coastline is 1,022 km. Its marital claims are: measured from claimed archipelagic straight baselines territorial sea: 12 nautical miles, contiguous zone: 24 nautical miles, exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles, continental shelf: 200 nautical miles or to edge of the continental margin. Waterways: N/A. Land use: agricultural land: 41.4%; arable land 11.1%; permanent crops 9.2%; permanent pasture 21.1%; forest: 31.1%; other: 27.5% (2011 estimate).
The population in Jamaica 2,812,090 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 54.8% of total population (2015), central metropolitan area’s population: KINGSTON (capital) 588,000 (2015), while Jamaica has population density is high throughout, but increases in and around Kingston, Montego Bay, and Port Esquivel. Their spoken languages are English, English patois.
Main religions in Jamaica are Protestant 64.8% (includes Seventh-Day Adventist 12.0%, Pentecostal 11.0%, Other Church of God 9.2%, New Testament Church of God 7.2%, Baptist 6.7%, Church of God in Jamaica 4.8%, Church of God of Prophecy 4.5%, Anglican 2.8%, United Church 2.1%, Methodist 1.6%, Revived 1.4%, Brethren 0.9%, and Moravian 0.7%), Roman Catholic 2.2%, Jehovah’s Witness 1.9%, Rastafarian 1.1%, other 6.5%, none 21.3%, unspecified 2.3% (2011 estimate). The nation uses a common law system based on the English model. It is a(n) parliamentary democracy (Parliament) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm, National holiday(s) Emancipation Day, 1 August (1834); Independence Day, 6 August (1962).
Economic overview for the country: The Jamaican economy is heavily dependent on services, accounting for more than 70% of GDP. The country derives most of its foreign exchange from tourism, remittances, and bauxite/alumina. Earnings from remittances and tourism account for 14% and 20% of GDP, while bauxite/alumina exports have declined to less than 5% of GDP.
Jamaica’s economy has grown on average less than 1% a year for the last three decades, and many impediments remain to growth: a bloated public sector which crowds out spending on important projects; High crime and corruption; Red-tape; And a high debt-to-GDP ratio. However, Jamaica has made steady progress in reducing its debt-to-GDP balance from a high of almost 150% in 2012 to less than 110% in 2017, in close collaboration with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The current IMF Stand-By Agreement requires Jamaica to produce a primary annual surplus of 7% in an attempt to reduce its debt burden below 60% by 2025.
Economic growth reached 1.6% in 2016 but declined to 0.9% in 2017 after intense rainfall, demonstrating the economy’s vulnerability to weather-related events. Therefore, the HOLNESS administration faces the challenging prospect of maintaining the fiscal discipline to reduce the debt load while simultaneously implementing growth inducing policies and attacking a severe crime problem. High unemployment exacerbates the crime problem, including gang violence fueled by advanced fee fraud (lottery scamming) and the drug trade.
Natural resources of Jamaica: bauxite, gypsum, limestone.
Main export partners for Jamaica, Central America, and the Caribbean are US 24.4%, Canada 16.5%, Russia 9.3%, Netherlands 8.9%, Iceland 7.2%, UK 6.5% (2015) for alumina, bauxite, sugar, rum, coffee, yams, beverages, chemicals, apparel, mineral fuels, while the main import partners for the country are: US 32.6%, Venezuela 12.4%, China 12%, Trinidad and Tobago 11.1% (2015) for food and other consumer goods, industrial supplies, fuel, parts and accessories of capital goods, machinery and transport equipment, construction materials.
When you visit this country in Central America and the Caribbean, consider the natural hazards in Jamaica: Hurricanes (especially July to November), while infectious diseases are noted: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses a substantial risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016). Also, note that Jamaica faces the following environmental issues: Heavy rates of deforestation, Coastal waters polluted by industrial waste, sewage, and oil spills, damage to coral reefs, air pollution in Kingston from vehicle emissions, land erosion.
You may also be interested in the countries next to Jamaica around its 0 km border – No border countries.