Country Summary

2023 population pyramid



Native Taino inhabited Jamaica for centuries before Spanish settlement that began early in the 16th century. England seized the island in 1655 and established a plantation economy based on sugar, cocoa, and coffee. Jamaica gained full independence in 1962.



total: 10,991 sq km
land: 10,831 sq km
water: 160 sq km


tropical; hot, humid; temperate interior

Natural resources

bauxite, alumina, gypsum, limestone

People and Society


2,820,982 (2023 est.)

Ethnic groups

Black 92.1%, mixed 6.1%, East Indian 0.8%, other 0.4%, unspecified 0.7% (2011 est.)


English, Jamaican patois


Protestant 64.8% (includes Seventh Day Adventist 12.0%, Pentecostal 11.0%, Other Church of God 9.2%, New Testament Church of God 7.2%, Baptist 6.7%, Church of God in Jamaica 4.8%, Church of God of Prophecy 4.5%, Anglican 2.8%, United Church 2.1%, Methodist 1.6%, Revived 1.4%, Brethren 0.9%, and Moravian 0.7%), Roman Catholic 2.2%, Jehovah's Witness 1.9%, Rastafarian 1.1%, other 6.5%, none 21.3%, unspecified 2.3% (2011 est.)

Population growth rate

0.09% (2023 est.)


Government type

parliamentary democracy (Parliament) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm


name: Kingston

Executive branch

chief of state: King CHARLES III (since 8 September 2022); represented by Governor General Sir Patrick L. ALLEN (since 26 February 2009); the Jamaican Government, in May 2023, announced plans to transition to a republic and to hold a referendum in 2024 to remain in the Commonwealth or become a republic
head of government: Prime Minister Andrew HOLNESS (since 3 March 2016)

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament consists of:
Senate (21 seats; 13 members appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister and 8 members appointed by the governor general on the advice of the opposition party leader; members serve 5-year terms (no term limits) or until Parliament is dissolved)
House of Representatives (63 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms (no term limits) or until Parliament is dissolved)


Economic overview

upper middle-income Caribbean island economy; ongoing debt restructuring; hurricane-vulnerable economy; high crime, youth unemployment, and poverty; susceptible to commodity shocks from ongoing Russia invasion of Ukraine

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$27.136 billion (2021 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$9,600 (2021 est.)

Agricultural products

sugar cane, goat milk, yams, poultry, coconuts, oranges, bananas, gourds, plantains, grapefruit


agriculture, mining, manufacture, construction, financial and insurance services, tourism, telecommunications


25.29% of GDP (2021 est.)


$4.385 billion (2021 est.)

Exports - partners

United States 46%, Netherlands 9%, Canada 6%, United Kingdom 4&, Russia 3% (2021)

Exports - commodities

aluminum oxide, refined petroleum, aluminum, rums, fruits, nuts, natural gas, sauces and seasonings (2021)


$7.414 billion (2021 est.)

Imports - partners

United States 35%, China 13%, Turkey 5%, Trinidad and Tobago 3%, Japan 3% (2021)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, natural gas, cars, crude petroleum, iron bars, steel bars (2021)

Exchange rates

Jamaican dollars (JMD) per US dollar -
150.79 (2021 est.)

Page last updated: Friday, May 19, 2023