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This page was last updated on 29 June, 2006


Map of Jamaica



Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Jamaica Top of Page
Background:
Definition Field Listing
Jamaica gained full independence within the British Commonwealth in 1962. Deteriorating economic conditions during the 1970s led to recurrent violence and a drop off in tourism. Elections in 1980 saw the democratic socialists voted out of office. Political violence marred elections during the 1990s.
   Geography    Jamaica Top of Page
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, south of Cuba
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
18 15 N, 77 30 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Central America and the Caribbean
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 10,991 sq km
land: 10,831 sq km
water: 160 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly smaller than Connecticut
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
1,022 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
measured from claimed archipelagic straight baselines
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to edge of the continental margin
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical; hot, humid; temperate interior
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
mostly mountains, with narrow, discontinuous coastal plain
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Blue Mountain Peak 2,256 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
bauxite, gypsum, limestone
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 15.83%
permanent crops: 10.01%
other: 74.16% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
250 sq km (2002)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
hurricanes (especially July to November)
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
heavy rates of deforestation; coastal waters polluted by industrial waste, sewage, and oil spills; damage to coral reefs; air pollution in Kingston results from vehicle emissions
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
strategic location between Cayman Trench and Jamaica Channel, the main sea lanes for the Panama Canal
   People    Jamaica Top of Page
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2,758,124 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 33.1% (male 464,297/female 449,181)
15-64 years: 59.6% (male 808,718/female 835,394)
65 years and over: 7.3% (male 90,100/female 110,434) (2006 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 23 years
male: 22.4 years
female: 23.5 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.8% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
20.82 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6.52 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-6.27 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.82 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 15.98 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 16.66 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 15.27 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 73.24 years
male: 71.54 years
female: 75.03 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.41 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.2% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
22,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
900 (2003 est.)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Jamaican(s)
adjective: Jamaican
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
black 90.9%, East Indian 1.3%, white 0.2%, Chinese 0.2%, mixed 7.3%, other 0.1%
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Protestant 61.3% (Church of God 21.2%, Seventh-Day Adventist 9%, Baptist 8.8%, Pentecostal 7.6%, Anglican 5.5%, Methodist 2.7%, United Church 2.7%, Jehovah's Witness 1.6%, Brethren 1.1%, Moravian 1.1%), Roman Catholic 4%, other including some spiritual cults 34.7%
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
English, patois English
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 87.9%
male: 84.1%
female: 91.6% (2003 est.)
   Government    Jamaica Top of Page
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Jamaica
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
constitutional parliamentary democracy
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Kingston
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
14 parishes; Clarendon, Hanover, Kingston, Manchester, Portland, Saint Andrew, Saint Ann, Saint Catherine, Saint Elizabeth, Saint James, Saint Mary, Saint Thomas, Trelawny, Westmoreland
note: for local government purposes, Kingston and Saint Andrew were amalgamated in 1923 into the present single corporate body known as the Kingston and Saint Andrew Corporation
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
6 August 1962 (from UK)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 6 August (1962)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
6 August 1962
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Kenneth O. HALL (since 15 February 2006)
head of government: Prime Minister Portia SIMPSON-MILLER (since 30 March 2006)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the prime minister; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition in the House of Representatives is appointed prime minister by the governor general; the deputy prime minister is recommended by the prime minister
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (a 21-member body appointed by the governor general on the recommendations of the prime minister and the leader of the opposition; ruling party is allocated 13 seats, and the opposition is allocated eight seats) and the House of Representatives (60 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 16 October 2002 (next to be held no later than October 2007)
election results: percent of vote by party - PNP 52%, JLP 47.3%; seats by party - PNP 34, JLP 26
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court (judges appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister); Court of Appeal
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Jamaica Labor Party or JLP [Bruce GOLDING]; National Democratic Movement or NDM [Hyacinth BENNETT]; People's National Party or PNP [Percival James PATTERSON]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
New Beginnings Movement or NBM; Rastafarians (black religious/racial cultists, pan-Africanists)
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, FAO, G-15, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICFTU, ICRM, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LAES, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Gordon SHIRLEY
chancery: 1520 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 452-0660
FAX: [1] (202) 452-0081
consulate(s) general: Miami, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Brenda LaGrange JOHNSON
embassy: Jamaica Mutual Life Center, 2 Oxford Road, 3rd floor, Kingston 5
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [1] (876) 929-4850 through 4859
FAX: [1] (876) 935-6001
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
diagonal yellow cross divides the flag into four triangles - green (top and bottom) and black (hoist side and outer side)
   Economy    Jamaicas Info Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
The Jamaican economy is heavily dependent on services, which now account for 60% of GDP. The country continues to derive most of its foreign exchange from remittances, tourism, and bauxite/alumina. The global economic slowdown, particularly after the terrorist attacks in the US on 11 September 2001, stunted economic growth; the economy rebounded moderately in 2003-04, with brisk tourist seasons. But the economy faces serious long-term problems: high interest rates, increased foreign competition, exchange rate instability, a sizable merchandise trade deficit, large-scale unemployment and underemployment, and a growing stock of internal debt - the result of government bailouts to ailing sectors of the economy, most notably the financial sector in the mid-1990s. The ratio of debt to GDP is 135%. Inflation, previously a bright spot, is expected to remain in the double digits. Uncertain economic conditions have led to increased civil unrest, including gang violence fueled by the drug trade. In 2004, the government faced the difficult prospect of having to achieve fiscal discipline in order to maintain debt payments while simultaneously attacking a serious and growing crime problem that is hampering economic growth. Attempts at deficit control were derailed by Hurricane Ivan in September 2004, which required substantial government spending to repair the damage. Despite the hurricane, tourism looks set to enjoy solid growth for the foreseeable future.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$12.17 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing
$9.127 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.5% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$4,400 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 4.9%
industry: 33.8%
services: 61.3% (2005 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.2 million (2005 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 19.3%
industry: 16.6%
services: 64.1% (2004)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
11.5% (2005 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
19.1% (2003 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 2.7%
highest 10%: 30.3% (2000)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
37.9 (2003)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
12.9% (2005 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
32.4% of GDP (2005 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $2.8 billion
expenditures: $3.21 billion; including capital expenditures of $180.4 million (2005 est.)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
135% of GDP (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
sugarcane, bananas, coffee, citrus, yams, ackees, vegetables; poultry, goats, milk; crustaceans, mollusks
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
tourism, bauxite/alumina, agro processing, light manufactures, rum, cement, metal, paper, chemical products, telecommunications
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
-2% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.717 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.974 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2004)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
69,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$-509 million (2005 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$1.608 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
alumina, bauxite, sugar, bananas, rum, coffee, yams, beverages, chemicals, wearing apparel, mineral fuels
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 17.4%, Canada 14.8%, France 13%, China 10.5%, UK 8.7%, Netherlands 7.5%, Norway 6%, Germany 5.9% (2004)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$4.093 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
food and other consumer goods, industrial supplies, fuel, parts and accessories of capital goods, machinery and transport equipment, construction materials
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 38.7%, Trinidad and Tobago 13.2%, France 5.6%, Japan 4.7% (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$1.9 billion (2005 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$6.792 billion (2005 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$18.5 million; note - US aid only (2004)
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing
Jamaican dollar (JMD)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Jamaican dollars per US dollar - 62.51 (2005), 61.197 (2004), 57.741 (2003), 48.416 (2002), 45.996 (2001)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
1 April - 31 March
   Communications    Jamaicas Info Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
390,700 (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.2 million (2004)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: fully automatic domestic telephone network
domestic: NA
international: country code - 1-876; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); 3 coaxial submarine cables
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 10, FM 13, shortwave 0 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
7 (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.jm
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,271 (2005)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.067 million (2005)
   Transportation    Jamaica Top of Page
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
35 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 11
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 5 (2005)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 24
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 22 (2005)
Railways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 272 km
standard gauge: 272 km 1.435-m gauge
note: 207 of these km belonging to the Jamaica Railway Corporation had been in common carrier service until 1992 but are no longer operational; 57 km of the remaining track is privately owned and used by ALCAN to transport bauxite (2003)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 18,700 km
paved: 13,009 km
unpaved: 5,610 km (1999)
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 10 ships (1000 GRT or over) 117,805 GRT/166,922 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 4, cargo 1, chemical tanker 1, petroleum tanker 1, roll on/roll off 3
foreign-owned: 10 (Germany 2, Greece 5, UAE 3) (2005)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
Kingston, Port Esquivel, Port Kaiser, Port Rhoades, Rocky Point
   Military    Jamaica Top of Page
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Jamaica Defense Force: Ground Forces, Coast Guard, Air Wing
Military service age and obligation:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age for voluntary military service; younger recruits may be conscripted with parental consent (2001)
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 592,018
females age 18-49: 616,500 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 478,761
females age 18-49: 504,541 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 27,923
females age 18-49: 27,889 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$31.17 million (2003 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0.4% (2003 est.)
   Transnational Issues    Jamaica Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
none
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
transshipment point for cocaine from South America to North America and Europe; illicit cultivation of cannabis; government has an active manual cannabis eradication program; corruption is a major concern; substantial money-laundering activity; Colombian narcotics traffickers favor Jamaica for illicit financial transactions

This page was last updated on 29 June, 2006


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