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Jamaica Facts for Kids

Jamaica is an island country located in the sea of the Caribbean, it doesn’t have borders but its neighbors are west of Hispaniola (which is Haiti and the Republic of Dominican), east of Cuba.

It is the fourth largest Caribbean country and in the Greater Antilles, it is the third-largest.

  • The country’s total land area is 10,991 sq km (4,244 sq miles)
  • The capital city of the country is Kingston which is also the largest city.
  • The official language of the country is English.
  • The total population of the country is 2,990,561 (est. in July 2017).
  • The country gained independence from the United Kingdom on the 6 august 1962 and was the first Caribbean country to gain independence from the British, despite this; the country is still under the rule of Queen Elizabeth II as they choose to remain a member of the commonwealth.
  • The national anthem is called “Jamaica, Land We Love”.
  • The national animal is the green and black streamertail (bird)
  • The national tree is the Guaiacum Officinale (Guaiacwood).
  • The national motto is “Out of many, one people”
  • The people of Jamaica are called Jamaican, with the country’s religion being Christianity with a small fraction of other religions.
  • The currency used is called the Jamaican dollar (JMD).
  • The natural resources of the country include limestone, gypsum and bauxite.
  • The major industries are Agricultural processing, telecommunication, cement, rum, light manufactures, chemical products, bauxite/alumina and tourism.
  • The country makes $1.31 billion (est. in 2017) on rum, coffee, bauxite, alumina, yams, sugar, chemicals, beverages, mineral fuels and apparel.
  • The country’s importation spends $5.82 billion (est. in 2017) on machinery and transport equipment, parts and accessories of capital goods, construction materials, industrial supplies and food and other consumer goods.
  • The country cultivates bananas, mangoes and sugar cane but the original inhabitants of Jamaica cultivated yams and corn.
  • One of the most sought after and expensive coffee is made in Jamaica and it is a rare coffee that is very popular around the world.
  • Bananas were first produced commercially in the western world in Jamaica.
  • Jamaican Creole or patois While widely spoken, it is not a written language.
  • The most radioactive mineral spa is Milk River Bath and it is located in Jamaica.
  • Jamaica was populated by freed slaves from British and Spanish countries and many of the population now are direct descendants from the first settlers. The Jamaican initial inhabitants come from all parts of the world and as such the Jamaican cuisine is literally a mash-up of several continental dishes, like the national dish which is Ackee and Saltfish with jerk chicken, oxtail with broad beans, curried goat or mutton.
  • Outside Europe and North America, Jamaica was the first to construct a railway in 1845, with the British constructing the first-ever railway 20years before that.
  • In the Caribbean, Jamaica is the largest English-speaking island and although the national language is English, most people speak a language that is either English-based Creole or Patois with strong West African influences.
  • One of the major parts of Jamaican culture is the distrust in authority, they would prefer to have their money kept (or collect a loan) from a friend and family rather than banks or claim to not have seen anything when asked by the police.
  • One of the most important parts of the country’s history is run and it has been the national drink of the country since the 17th century.
  • Jamaica is listed as one of the top five places for tourism and the country makes most of its money from it. The country is very hospitable to the point that two of the airports welcome tourists with a VIP lounge that showcases the authentic Jamaican vibe and when you are about to leave the country as a tourist, you are to pay a departure tax of $22.
  • Jamaica has the highest number of twin or more birth per year in the world
  • Rap and hip-hop music was started by Kool Herc who was Jamaican and on 11 august 2017, even Google celebrated with a doodle; the 44th anniversary of the birth of hip hop and rap.
  • One of two national flags in the world to have no common color with the United State flag is the Jamaican flag and the other one is Mauritania’s flag.
  • The seventh-largest natural harbor in the world is Jamaica’s Kingston harbor.