Jamaica Physical Map

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Physical Map: Defined
In addition to country borders, major cities and significant bodies of water, Physical Maps indicate the location of landforms like deserts, mountains and plains. This type of map also displays major cities and regions. Physical Maps are commonly used to see elevation and land contours as well as major rivers and lakes.

page last updated on September 26, 2011

Introduction :: Jamaica
The island - discovered by Christopher COLUMBUS in 1494 - was settled by the Spanish early in the 16th century. The native Taino Indians, who had inhabited Jamaica for centuries, were gradually exterminated and replaced by African slaves. England seized the island in 1655 and established a plantation economy based on sugar, cocoa, and coffee. The abolition of slavery in 1834 freed a quarter million slaves, many of whom became small farmers. Jamaica gradually obtained increasing independence from Britain. In 1958 it joined other British Caribbean colonies in forming the Federation of the West Indies. Jamaica gained full independence when it withdrew from the Federation in 1962. Deteriorating economic conditions during the 1970s led to recurrent violence as rival gangs affiliated with the major political parties evolved into powerful organized crime networks involved in international drug smuggling and money laundering. Violent crime, drug trafficking, and poverty pose significant challenges to the government today. Nonetheless, many rural and resort areas remain relatively safe and contribute substantially to the economy.
Geography :: Jamaica
Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, south of Cuba
Geographic coordinates:
18 15 N, 77 30 W
Map references:
Central America and the Caribbean
total: 10,991 sq km
country comparison to the world: 168
land: 10,831 sq km
water: 160 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Connecticut
Land boundaries:
0 km
1,022 km
Maritime claims:
measured from claimed archipelagic straight baselines
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to edge of the continental margin
tropical; hot, humid; temperate interior
mostly mountains, with narrow, discontinuous coastal plain
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Blue Mountain Peak 2,256 m
Natural resources:
bauxite, gypsum, limestone
Land use:
arable land: 15.83%
permanent crops: 10.01%
other: 74.16% (2005)
Irrigated land:
250 sq km (2008)
Total renewable water resources:
9.4 cu km (2000)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 0.41 cu km/yr (34%/17%/49%)
per capita: 155 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards:
hurricanes (especially July to November)
Environment - current issues:
heavy rates of deforestation; coastal waters polluted by industrial waste, sewage, and oil spills; damage to coral reefs; air pollution in Kingston results from vehicle emissions
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
strategic location between Cayman Trench and Jamaica Channel, the main sea lanes for the Panama Canal
People :: Jamaica
2,868,380 (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 139
Age structure:
0-14 years: 30.1% (male 438,888/female 424,383)
15-64 years: 62.3% (male 882,548/female 904,242)
65 years and over: 7.6% (male 97,717/female 120,602) (2011 est.)
Median age:
total: 24.2 years
male: 23.7 years
female: 24.7 years (2011 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.733% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 137
Birth rate:
19.2 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 99
Death rate:
6.54 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 148
Net migration rate:
-5.34 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 195
urban population: 52% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 0.6% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major cities - population:
KINGSTON (capital) 580,000 (2009)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 14.6 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 123
male: 15.18 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 14 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 73.45 years
country comparison to the world: 116
male: 71.79 years
female: 75.19 years (2011 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.17 children born/woman (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
1.7% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 33
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
32,000 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
1,200 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 64
Drinking water source:
urban: 98% of population
rural: 89% of population
total: 94% of population
urban: 2% of population
rural: 11% of population
total: 6% of population (2008)
Sanitation facility access:
urban: 82% of population
rural: 84% of population
total: 83% of population
urban: 18% of population
rural: 16% of population
total: 17% of population (2008)
noun: Jamaican(s)
adjective: Jamaican
Ethnic groups:
black 91.2%, mixed 6.2%, other or unknown 2.6% (2001 census)
Protestant 62.5% (Seventh-Day Adventist 10.8%, Pentecostal 9.5%, Other Church of God 8.3%, Baptist 7.2%, New Testament Church of God 6.3%, Church of God in Jamaica 4.8%, Church of God of Prophecy 4.3%, Anglican 3.6%, other Christian 7.7%), Roman Catholic 2.6%, other or unspecified 14.2%, none 20.9%, (2001 census)
English, English patois
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 87.9%
male: 84.1%
female: 91.6% (2003 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 14 years
male: 13 years
female: 15 years (2008)
Education expenditures:
5.8% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 35

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