- Kingston; 575,000
- 10,991 square kilometers (4,244 square miles)
- English, patois English
- Protestant, Roman Catholic, other spiritual beliefs
- Jamaican dollar
- Life Expectancy:
- GDP per Capita:
- U.S. $3,800
- Literacy Percent:
Jamaica Facts Flag
Jamaica is a mountainous Caribbean island just south of Cuba. Columbus landed here in 1494, and the Spanish soon brought in slaves as the native Arawak Indians died out—today more than 90 percent of the population is of African descent. The British seized the island in 1655, granting independence in 1962. Tourism is a steady earner, but reliance on unpredictably priced commodities, such as bauxite, causes uneven growth. The island is a major transit point for South American cocaine enroute to the U.S. and Europe. Other problems include illicit cultivation of marijuana and heavy deforestation.
- Industry: Tourism, bauxite, textiles, food processing
- Agriculture: Sugarcane, bananas, coffee, citrus; poultry
- Exports: Alumina, bauxite; sugar, bananas, rum
—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition
A Nat Geo writer and her Jamaican-born mother rediscover their familial roots while exploring a different side of the island.
Grab a bite where the air is sweet and the meat is tangy.
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