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  Jamaica  
Flag of Jamaica
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  Introduction
  Geography
  People
  Government
  Economy
  Communications
  Transportation
  Military
  Transnational Issues

Here is some information about Jamaica . You need all the info you can get about Jamaica before you go there. Don't go to Jamaica without first checking this page.

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Country map showing major cities and other features.


Map of Jamaica

DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Jamaica
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.

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   Geography    Jamaica
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: 16.07%
permanent crops: 10.16%
other: 73.77% (2001)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
250 sq km (1998 est.)
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

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   People    Jamaica
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2,713,130 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 28.2% (male 390,966; female 372,961)
15-64 years: 65% (male 883,053; female 880,296)
65 years and over: 6.9% (male 82,788; female 103,066) (2004 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 26.8 years
male: 26.2 years
female: 27.6 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.66% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
16.94 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.4 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-4.92 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 12.81 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 13.82 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 11.75 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 76.07 years
male: 74.04 years
female: 78.21 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.98 children born/woman (2004 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%, Baptist 8.8%, Anglican 5.5%, Seventh-Day Adventist 9%, Pentecostal 7.6%, Methodist 2.7%, United Church 2.7%, Brethren 1.1%, Jehovah's Witness 1.6%, 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.)

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   Government    Jamaica
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, first Monday in 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 Sir Howard Felix COOKE (since 1 August 1991)
head of government: Prime Minister Percival James PATTERSON (since 30 March 1992)
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 in 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 [Edward SEAGA]; 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 (observer), ISO, ITU, LAES, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
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 and New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Sue McCourt COBB
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)

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   Economy    Jamaica
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
The Jamaican economy is heavily dependent on services, which now account for 70% of GDP. The country continues to derive most of its foreign exchange from tourism, remittances, 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, with one of the best tourist seasons on record. But the economy faces serious long-term problems: high interest rates; increased foreign competition; a pressured, sometimes sliding, exchange rate; a sizable merchandise trade deficit; large-scale unemployment; and a growing internal debt, the result of government bailouts to ailing sectors of the economy. The ratio of debt to GDP is close to 150%. Inflation, previously a bright spot, is expected to remain in the double digits. Depressed economic conditions have led to increased civil unrest, including gang violence fueled by the drug trade. In 2004, the government faces 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.
GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $10.61 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.9% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $3,900 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 6.7%
industry: 37.2%
services: 56.2% (2003 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
31.6% of GDP (2003)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
19.7% (2002 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 (2000)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
10.3% (2003 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.13 million (2003)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 21%, industry 19%, services 60% (1998)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
15.9% (2003 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $2.596 billion
expenditures: $3.111 billion, including capital expenditures of $236 million (2003 est.)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
145.6% of GDP (2003)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
sugarcane, bananas, coffee, citrus, yams, vegetables, poultry, goats, milk, crustaceans, and mollusks
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
tourism, bauxite/alumina, textiles, agro processing, wearing apparel, 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
6.272 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.833 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
66,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$-842 million (2003)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$1.355 billion f.o.b. (2003 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 29.3%, Canada 11.7%, UK 10.8%, France 7.8%, Norway 7%, Germany 6.2%, China 5.9%, Netherlands 4.4% (2003 est.)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$3.265 billion f.o.b. (2003 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 39.3%, Trinidad and Tobago 9.6%, Germany 5.5%, Venezuela 4.4%, France 4.4%, Japan 4.1% (2003 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange & gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$1.195 billion (2003)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$4.962 billion (2003 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$16 million (2003)
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
Jamaican dollar (JMD)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
JMD
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Jamaican dollars per US dollar - 57.7409 (2003), 48.4159 (2002), 45.9962 (2001), 42.7011 (2000), 39.0435 (1999)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
1 April - 31 March

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   Communications    Jamaica
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
444,400 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.4 million (2002)
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
1,480 (2003)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
600,000 (2002)

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   Transportation    Jamaica
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)
Highways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 18,700 km
paved: 13,109 km
unpaved: 5,591 km (1999 est.)
Pipelines:
Definition Field Listing
petroleum products 10 km
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Alligator Pond, Discovery Bay, Kingston, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Port Antonio, Rocky Point, Port Esquivel (Longswharf)
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 6 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 74,881 GRT/100,682 DWT
by type: bulk 2, petroleum tanker 1, refrigerated cargo 2, short-sea/passenger 1
foreign-owned: Greece 2, Iceland 1, Latvia 1, United States 2 (2003 est.)
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
35 (2003 est.)
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 (2003 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 24
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 22 (2003 est.)

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   Military    Jamaica
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Jamaica Defense Force: Ground Forces, Coast Guard, Air Wing
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age (2004 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 764,266 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 533,768 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 27,126 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$31 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0.4% (2003)

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   Transnational Issues    Jamaica
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
none
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
major 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

Large portions of this information is from the US government open source publication "The World Factbook", other content copyright © Stratus-Pikpuk, Inc. You may use this information without permission for educational or other non-profit purposes if you refer to us as the source, contact us if you want to use this commercially.


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