Wikidata reference: Q766
Official Website:
Commons Category: Jamaica
Coordinates: 18.18, -77.4

Jamaica ( ; Jamaican Patois: Jumieka, [dʒʌˈmʲeːka]) is an island country situated in the Caribbean Sea. Spanning 10,990 square kilometres (4,240 sq mi) in area, it is the third largest island — after Cuba and Hispaniola — of the Greater Antilles and the Caribbean. Jamaica lies about 145 km (90 mi) south of Cuba, and 191 km (119 mi) west of Hispaniola (the island containing the countries of Haiti and the Dominican Republic); the British Overseas Territory of the Cayman Islands lies 215 km (134 mi) to the north-west.Originally inhabited by the indigenous Taíno peoples, the island came under Spanish rule following the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1494. Many of the indigenous people either were killed or died of diseases, after which the Spanish brought large numbers of African slaves to Jamaica as labourers. The island remained a possession of Spain until 1655, under the name Santiago, when England (later Great Britain) conquered it and named it Jamaica. It became an important part of the colonial British West Indies. Under Britain's colonial rule, Jamaica became a leading sugar exporter, with a plantation economy dependent on continued importation of African slaves and their descendants. The British fully emancipated all slaves in 1838, and many freedmen chose to have subsistence farms rather than to work on plantations. Beginning in the 1840s, the British began using Chinese and Indian indentured labour to work on plantations. The island achieved independence from the United Kingdom on 6 August 1962.With 2.8 million people, Jamaica is the third-most populous Anglophone country in the Americas (after the United States and Canada), and the fourth-most populous country in the Caribbean. Kingston is the country's capital and largest city. The majority of Jamaicans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, with significant European, East Asian (primarily Chinese), Indian, Lebanese, and mixed-race minorities. Due to a high rate of emigration for work since the 1960s, there is a large Jamaican diaspora, particularly in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The country has a global influence that belies its small size; it was the birthplace of the Rastafari religion, reggae music (and associated genres such as dub, ska and dancehall), and it is internationally prominent in sports, most notably cricket, sprinting and athletics. Jamaica has sometimes been considered the world's least populous cultural superpower.Jamaica is an upper-middle income country with an economy heavily dependent on tourism; it has an average of 4.3 million tourists a year. The country performs favourably in measures of press freedom, democratic governance and sustainable well-being. Jamaica is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with power vested in the bicameral Parliament of Jamaica, consisting of an appointed Senate and a directly elected House of Representatives. Andrew Holness has served as Prime Minister of Jamaica since March 2016. As a Commonwealth realm, with Charles III as its king, the appointed representative of the Crown is the Governor-General of Jamaica, an office held by Patrick Allen since 2009.





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