“Jamaica Land We Love” is the national anthem of Jamaica.
In the Caribbean Basin between North and South America, and across Central America, there are 7,000 Caribbean islands. Among the 27 that are inhabited, one (Hispaniola) is shared by two countries: Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Four islands are large enough to host more than two million people (Cuba, Hispaniola/Haiti, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico), they are called the Greater Antilleans. The remainders are small to tiny, they are the Lesser Antilleans.
Among all the islands, Jamaica is the third in size: 10,991 square kilometers (10% the size of Cuba).
Population: 2.9 million.
The average Jamaican is 26-year old and is expected to die at 78.
92% of Jamaicans are black Africans, 6% are mixed, 1% are Indian (from India).
Overwhelmingly, they are Protestants, with 2.2% Catholics, 1.9% Jehovah’s Witnesses. and 1% Rastafarians.
Jamaicans speak and write English and Jamaican Creole (Patois).
As of 2007, 36% of the population only spoke Patois, and were not proficient in English.
Physicians density: 0.47 per1000 population
Infant mortality: 12.8% (Cuba; 4.3%)
The GDP (as purchase power parity) is $26 billion; with a (meager) growth rate of 0.9%.
The debt-GDP ratio is 110%.
The unemployment rate is 10.4%, while 17% of the population live below the poverty line.
GINI score (income inequality) is 36; compare to the US: 41 and South Africa: 63 (very bad).
The country is governed by a Prime Minister, elected from the party that wins the general elections.
The legislature is bicameral with 21 Senators who are appointed, and 63 Representatives who are elected by their respective district.
The territory is divided into 14 parishes governed by elected councils.
Jamaica is also divided into three counties that are politically meaningless.
The two main political parties are the conservative Jamaican Labor Party (JLP) and the progressive People National Party (PNP).
The capital is Kingston. But the visitor will most likely to stay in one of the three tourist towns: Montego Bay, Ocho Rios or Negril.
(Odler Robert Jeanlouie, Saturday, August 18, 2018)