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Jamaica Facts

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Country name: Jamaica.

Data code: JM.

Nationality: Jamaican(s).

Language: English, Creole.

Capital: Kingston.

Population: 2,652443.

Climate: tropical; hot, humid; temperate interior.


Coastline: 1,022 km ( miles).

Location: Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, south of Cuba.

Geographic coordinates: 18° 15' N, 77° 30' W. 

Highest point: Blue Mountain Peak 2,256 m.

Size: 244 x 85 km (146 x 51 miles).

Terrain: mostly mountains, with narrow, discontinuous coastal plain.

Tourist Information

Average tourist arrivals: Average tourist arrivals: 1,831,097 (2009).

Credit cards: major credit cards are widely accepted. 

Electricity: 110 volts AC, 50Hz. American 2-pin plugs are standard, but many hotels offer 220 volts AC, 50Hz, from 3-pin sockets.

Post: The post office in St. George's (at Burns Point) is open 0800-1530 Monday to Thursday and 0800-1630 Friday (closed weekends).

Sleep: quiet in the most hotels.

Telephone: fully automatic domestic telephone network. Country code: 1-876.

Time: Standard US Time and 5 hours ahead of Standard European Time (GMT - 5). 


Cost of living: food and accommodation costs are similar to the U.S.

Currency: 1 Jamaican dollar (J$) = 100 cents.

Air Transport

Airport: Norman Manley (Kingston) International Airport (KIN) is located on the Palisadoes peninsula in the southeastern part of Jamaica, close to Port Royal and around 30 minutes away from Kingston. There is a public bus service between the airport and Kingston's city centre. Bus 98 runs frequently throughout the day. From Kingston, drive east on the main motorway along the coastline and turn onto the Norman Manley Highway in Harbour View. Then just follow the signs. 

Sangster (Montego Bay) International Airport (MBJ) is located on the northwest coast of the island, just beyond the northern outskirts of Montego Bay, 2km (1.2 miles) from the city centre. Some hotels organise shuttles for their guests and have their own lounges in the ground transportation area. The airport is located very close to town, so there is no danger of getting lost trying to find the airport. From the city centre, just follow The Queen's Drive northwards and then take the airport exit. It is also possible to take Gloucester Avenue and then Sunset Boulevard all the way to the airport.

Water Transport


Ethnic groups: black 90.4%, East Indian 1.3%, white 0.2%, Chinese 0.2%, mixed 7.3%, other 0.6%.

Government type: Constitutional monarchy. Gained independence from the UK in 1962. Head of State is HM Queen Elizabeth II, represented locally by Governor General. Head of Government is the Prime Minister.

Legal system: based on English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.

Literacy: 85% of the total population (male: 80,8%, female: 89,1%) 

Religions: 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%. Rastafarianism, a religion based on belief in the divinity of the late Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie (Ras Tafari), is also widely practised.


Agriculture products: sugarcane, bananas, coffee, citrus, potatoes, vegetables; poultry, goats, milk.

Export Partners: US 33.3%, EU (excluding UK and Norway) 17.1%, Canada 14.1%, UK 13.4%, Norway 6.1%, Caricom 3.4%.

GDP per capita: purchasing power parity - $3,300 (1998).

Industries: tourism, bauxite, textiles, food processing, light manufactures. 

Natural resources: bauxite, gypsum, limestone.

Unemployment rate: 16.5% (1997).

Radio frequencies

BBC World Service
MHz 17.84 15.22 6.195 5.975
Voice of America:
MHz 17.71 13.74 6.130 5.995