Population: 2,889,187 (est.)
Language(s): English, Jamaican Patois
- The Jamaican dollar is the official currency of Jamaica.
- Jamaica is predominantly Christian country. With the population being around 64% Christian (62% Protestant and 2% Roman Catholic), 2% Jehovah’s Witnesses, 3% unstated, and 10% other.
- Jamaica was the first Caribbean Country to gain Independence.
- Rum is the national drink of Jamaica.
- Jamaica was the first tropical country to enter the Winter Olympics.
- The national dish of Jamaica is Ackee and Saltfish.
- Jamaica is the third largest island in the Caribbean.
- Jamaica was the first commercial producer of bananas in the Western Hemisphere.
- Jamaica was the first country to impose economic sanctions against the apartheid regime of South Africa.
- Sexual acts between men are punishable with up to ten years jail in Jamaica, but sexual acts between women are legal.
Jamaica, is the 4th largest island nation of the Greater Antilles, 234 kilometres (145 mi) in length, up to 80 kilometres (50 mi) in width, and 10,990 square kilometres (4,240 sq mi) in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about 145 kilometres (90 mi) south of Cuba, and 191 kilometres (119 mi) west of Hispaniola, the island containing the nation-states of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Jamaica is the 5th largest island country in the Caribbean. The indigenous people, the Taíno, called it Xaymaca in Arawakan. meaning the “Land of Wood and Water” or the “Land of Springs”.
Once a Spanish possession known as Santiago, in 1655 it came under the rule of England (later Great Britain), and was called Jamaica. It achieved full independence from the United Kingdom on August 6, 1962. With 2.8 million people, it is the third most populous Anglophone country in the Americas, after the United States and Canada. Kingston is the country’s largest city, with a population of 937,700, and its capital. Jamaica has a large diaspora around the world consisting of Jamaican citizens migrating from the country.
Jamaica is a Commonwealth realm with Elizabeth II as Queen of Jamaica and head of state. Her appointed representative in the country is the Governor-General of Jamaica, currently Sir Patrick Allen. The head of government and Prime Minister of Jamaica is currently Portia Simpson-Miller. Jamaica is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with legislative power vested in the bicameral Parliament of Jamaica, consisting of an appointed Senate and a directly elected House of Representatives.