Here are some interesting Jamaica Facts which were chosen and researched by kids especially for kids.
Jamaica is an island in the Caribbean Sea. The island of Jamaica is located south of Cuba and belongs to the North American continent.
Jamaica's capital city is called Kingston. This city is located in the southeast of the island.
The island of Jamaica is dominated by mountains with only a narrow band of coastal plains.
Jamaica is slightly smaller than the state of Connecticut/USA or slightly smaller than Qatar or only about the third of the land area of Belgium.
A flight from London/UK to Kingston/Jamaica takes roughly 10 hours while from Miami/USA a flight takes only 1.5 hours.
Jamaica has a tropical climate. The weather along the coastline is hot and humid, while the higher mountainsides experience more temperate temperatures.
The island is inside the Atlantic Ocean's hurricane belt. Hurricane season usually lasts from June to November.
In 2019, Hurricane Matthew passed Jamaica and caused widespread flooding. Luckily, hurricanes seldom directly hit Jamaica as did Hurricane Gilbert in 1988.
Jamaica is home to about 2.8 million people. More than half of all Jamaicans (56%) live in the capital city and other urban areas.
About 43% of the population is under 24 years old and about 30% of the youth age 15-24 years are unemployed.
The indigenous people of Jamaica are the Taíno or Yamaye people which are descendants of the Arawak people who originally came from South America and settled in the Caribbean.
Most of the Jamaican people can trace their descents back to the African continent, mainly Ghana and Nigeria.
Most people in Jamaica are Christians. The Rastafarian faith originates from Jamaica and is a movement since the 1930s. The Rastafarian movement is rooted in Christianity and focuses on the African origins.
Reggae is a popular musical genre originating from Jamaica in the 1960s. Bob Marley (1945-1981), who was also a Rastafarian, is considered the pioneer of Reggae music.
Another famous Jamaican is sprinter Usain Bolt (born 1986), Olympic gold medalist and world record holder in 100m and 200m sprint.
Olympian Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (born also 1986) is one of the most revered and influential Jamaican women.
One of the national heroes is Samuel Sharpe, leader of the slave rebellion in 1831 that led to the abolition of slavery. Nanny of the Maroons was another famous fighter and is another one of the famous Jamaican national heroes. Read more here.
The official language in Jamaica is English but Jamaicans speak a special English-based creole language, Jamaican creole. Almost all people are bilingual and fluent in English and Jamaican creole.
In the 17th and 18th century, Jamaica was among the largest sugar producers in the world.
Today Jamaica is still among the leading producers of bauxite and alumina. These natural resources are used for the production of aluminium metal.
The main trading partner of Jamaica is the USA.
The Netherlands and Canada are also important export partners.
The main export products are natural resources such as alumina and bauxite. Coffee, sugar and yams are major export goods as well.
The currency of Jamaica is called the Jamaican dollar and the largest value of a banknote is 2,000 dollar.
Jamaica belongs to the British Commonwealth states, thus King Charles III of the UK is also the head of state of Jamaica. For 2024 a referendum is planned to be held to decide if Jamaica will stay on in the Commonwealth or will cut ties with the British monarchy.
Cassavas, bananas, coconuts, plantains, fruits and vegetables are the staple diet of the Jamaicans. Chicken, pork and beef as well as fish and seafood are also common and part of many popular dishes.
Typical Jamaican food and drinks include:
Jamaica's national bird is the red-billed streamertail, a hummingbird.
Wild boar and the small mongoose are also common animal species in Jamaica.
Jamaica is also home to the Amazonian giant centipede, the world's largest centipede.
The largest butterfly species in the Western hemisphere is at home in Jamaica. They are called the Swallowbird butterflies. The papilio homerus is named in honour of the Greek poet Homer. The female butterflies are larger than males. Their wingspan reaches up to 15 cm/ 6 inches.
Amongst the least popular and dangerous animals in Jamaica are the fire corals, sand flees, forty legs (spiders), sea urchins and scorpion fish with spikes that can inflict nasty wounds.
Images on Jamaica facts page: shutterstock.com and own images; header images by byvalet/shutterstock.com; Musicians by Lost Mountain Studio/shutterstock.com