50 Fascinating Facts about Jamaica

Jamaica is an island that is located in the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Since gaining their independence from the United Kingdom in 1962, the country has grown to a population of 2.8 million people, while its capital city of Kingston is home to approximately 1 million of the country’s inhabitants. The official language of Jamaica is English, due to the fact that the United Kingdom ruled over the country for many centuries. However, the country also recognizes Jamaican Patois as its national language. The currency is the Jamaican dollar, and its flag is comprised of three main colors. A yellow X encompasses the entire flag, with green filler on the top and bottom of the X and black filler on both sides. Jamaica has no official religion, and practices religious freedom.

Jamaica Facts

1
Jamaica’s government is a parliamentary democracy under constitutional monarchy, and their head of state is Queen Elizabeth II.
2
Jamaica’s nominal total GDP is $14.8 billion, and its nominal per capita is $5,402.
3
Their economy is a mixed economy that focuses on agriculture, tourism, mining and manufacturing. Over half of Jamaica’s economy comes from tourism.
4
In the late 1990s, Jamaica’s economy suffered and its GDP began falling. Today, they have increased agricultural production in order to stabilize their GDP.
5
Jamaica also has a thriving aviation industry that focuses on manufacturing and fixing aircrafts.
6
Jamaica’s main agriculture exports include bananas, sugar and coffee.
7
There are eight species of snakes that live and are indigenous to Jamaica.
8
The climate of Jamaica is tropical with humid weather and very high temperatures all year round.
9
Jamaicans drive on the left side of the road.
10
Jamaica is the largest English-speaking island in the Caribbean Sea.
11
Jamaicans eat very large breakfasts, tiny lunches and huge dinners. They eat foods that are indigenous to their country, which includes bananas, seafood, coffee, goat and jerk.
12
The country has more churches per square mile than any other country in the world.
13
During the times of slavery, many Spanish and British countries helped populate the country with freed African slaves. Today, many people are dependents of these first settlers.
14
Jamaica is an independent island country, and is considered to be a part of the British Commonwealth. This means that Queen Elizabeth II is the ruler of Jamaica, however they have a governor general who oversees the country.
15
Most of the families in Jamaica are headed by women. The Mothers are responsible for raising the children and supporting their families.
16
It is tradition to bury the placenta after a woman gives birth. Then, the family will plant a tree in the same spot, and the tree will be known as the baby’s tree.
17
Whenever a family member dies, many families hold 9 day wakes for the deceased. For 9 nights the family gets together to sing, share memories and share food with each other.
18
Most Jamaicans don’t use modern medicine techniques to treat their ailments. Instead, they focus on the healing power of food and nature.
19
During weddings, a tradition is to serve dark fruitcake that is made with rum. Its served as the main wedding cake at every Jamaican wedding. After the celebration is over, pieces of cake are sent to relatives and friends who couldn’t make it to the wedding.
20
Obeahism is a form of Voodoo that some Jamaicans still believe in. The practice is supposed to rid people of evil spirits and bring them good fortune, but if anyone in the country is caught studying or practicing Obeahism then they will be punished by the law.
21
There are over 200 orchids that grow wild in Jamaica. Of these, 73 of them are native to the country.
22
Blue moons occur in Jamaica whenever the weather and climate is perfect. Over the past 40 years there have been 12 blue moon sightings.
23
Cockpit Country is a portion of Jamaica that is still largely unexplored. The inhabitants of Cockpit Country are the Maroons who were Spanish slaves that were freed and taken to Jamaica.
24
Tourists are required to pay a $22 departure tax whenever they leave the country.
25
Even though the official language of the country is English, many of the locals speak Jamaican Patois.
26
Over 90% of Jamaica's residents are of African descent.
27
When slavery was abolished in 1834, a quarter million slaves were freed in Jamaica.
28
Blue Mountain Coffee, a very expensive brand of coffee that is coveted around the world, is produced in Jamaica.
29
The colors of the Jamaican flag represent the following: Black stands for hardships, green stands for hope and agriculture, and yellow represents the wealth and beauty of the sun.
30
Jamaica was the first Caribbean country to have its own website. It was created in 1994.
31
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt is considered the fastest man in the world.
32
Jamaica's currency is the Jamaican Dollar. One Jamaican dollar is equivalent to roughly one U.S. cent.
33
Over 64% of Jamaicans are Protestant.
34
When Christopher Columbus spotted Jamaica in 1494, he called the land Santiago.
35
Jamaica is just one of two countries that does not have red, white, or blue in its flag.
36
There are 50 public beaches located in Jamaica that are open to tourists, making this a very popular tourist destination.
37
Jamaica has been consistently ranked as one of the top five tourist destinations in the world for many years.
38
Jamaica's Manchester Golf Club is the oldest golf club in the Western Hemisphere.
39
Almost half of the island is 1,000 feet above sea level.
40
More than half of the island's surface is covered with white limestone, and below that is yellow limestone.
41
In 1872, the mongoose was brought to Jamaica to clear the fields of rats. These creatures also killed off almost all of the snakes in the country.
42
Rum is the national drink of Jamaica, and it is mixed to make a variety of different beverages.
43
The writer of James Bond, Ian Fleming, built his dream home in Jamaica. The home was called Goldeneye.
44
Jamaica entered the 1988 Winter Olympics, making it the first tropical country to enter the Winter Games. The country competed in the bobsled race.
45
Ackee and saltfish is the national dish. It is served with fried or boiled dumplings and is frequently eaten for breakfast.
46
Jamaica was the first country in the Western World to build a railroad.
47
AT&T actually copied Jamaica's telephone system because it was so innovative.
48
Jamaica has more multiple births (2 or more children) than anywhere else in the world.
49
Jamaica is the third largest Caribbean island.
50
The Giant Swallowtail, the world's 2nd largest butterfly, is found in this country.

Jamaica is a beautiful island country that is located in the Caribbean Sea. Throughout all of the Caribbean Sea, it is the largest English speaking island, and the third largest island overall. This makes the country a prime tourist spot, which is why tourism accounts for over half of its national income. The country has had a few dips in their economy over the years, however today they are thriving through tourism and agriculture.

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