Jamaica

Official Name: Jamaica. Form of governement: constitutional monarchy with two legislative houses (Senate {21}; House of Representatives {60}. Chief of state: British Queen Elizabeth II(from 1952), represented by Governor-General Patrick Allen (from 2009). Head of government: Prime Minister Bruce Golding (from 2007). Capital: Kingston. Official language: English. Official Religion: none. Monetary Unit: 1 Jamaican dollar(J$)= 100 cents; valuation (1 Jul 2009) US$1 =J$88.83.

Demography

Area: 4,244 sq mi, 10,991 sq km. Population (2008): 2,688,000.Density (2008): persons per sq mi 633.4, persons per sq km 244.6. Urban (2005) : 52.2%. Sex distribution (2005) : male 49.41%; female 50.59% . Age breakdown (2005): under 15 33.7%; 15-29, 29.4%; 30-44, 17.6%; 45-59, 9.5%; 60-74,6.7%;75 and over 3.1%. Ethnic compostition (2001): black 91.6%; mixed race 6.2%; East Indian 0.9%. Religious Affiliation (2001): Protestant 61.2%, of which Church of God 23.8%, Seventh-Day Adventist 10.8%, Pentecostal 9.5%; Roman Catholic 2.6%; other Christian 1.7%; Rasafarian 0.9%;nonreligious 20.9%; other 12.7%.Major Cities (2006):Kingston(urban agglomeration) 585,300;Spanish Town 148,800;Portmore 103,900; Montego Bay 82,700; Mandeville 47,700.Location:island in the Caribbean Sea, south of Cuba.

Vital Statistics

Birth rate per 1,000 population (2007):17.0(world avg 20.3). Death rate per 1,000 population (2007):6.4( world avg.8.6). natural increase rate per 1,000 population (2007): 10.6 (world avg.11.7). Total fertility rate (avg. births per childbearing woman; 2005):2.50. Life expectancy; female 72.7 years.

National Economy

Budget (2005).Revenue: J$177, 986,900,000(tax revenue 88.4%, of which income tax 35.2%, taxes on goods and services 27.5%, customs duties 8.6%; nontax revenue 6.4%). Expenditures: J$204,513,700,000 (public debt 42.4%; wages and salaries 30.8%; capital expenditures 8.1%). Public debt (external, outstanding ; June 2008); US $6,456,500,000. Production (metric tons exceot as noted). Agriculture and fishin (2007): sugarcare 2,000,000, coconuts 170,00, yams 127,000, coffee 2,700;livestock (number of live animals) 430,000 cattle, 12,500,000 chickens; fisheries production (2006) 18,700 (from aquaculture 30%). Mining and quarrying (2006): bauxite 14, 865,400; alumina 4,099,500l gypsum 375,000. Manufacturing (2005): cement 848,365,000;animal feeds 367,600; sugar 127,001; rum [and other distilled spirits]246,740 hectoliters. Energy production (consumption): electricity (kW-hr; 2005) none (3,450,000); petroleum products (metric tons;2005) 460,000(3,120,000.Population economically active (2006): total 1,251,600;activity rate of total popluation 46.9% (particioation rates: ages 14 and over, 64.6% ; female 44.2%;unemployed [April 2008]8.9%.Gross National income (2007) :US$9,923,000,000 (US$3,710 per capita). Selected balance of payments data. Receipts from (US $ 000,000): tourism (2006) 1,870;remittances (2007) 385; FDI(2004-06 avg.) 90.

Foreign Trade

Imports (2006; c.i.f.): US$5,041,000,000 (crude petroleum 23.6%; machinery and apparatus 15.5%; food products 12.5%; chemical products 11.3; road vehicles 6.1%). Major import sources: US 36.8%; Trinidad and TOBAGO 11.5%; Venezuela 10.7%; Japan 4.2%; China 4.1%. Exports (2006; f.o.b): US$1,989,000,000(alumina 52.3%; refined petroleum products 13.5%; food products 12.0%, of which raw sugar 4.5%, coffee 1.5%;alcoholic beverages 4.2%). Major export destinations: US 30.4%;Canada 15.6%;China 15.1%; UK 10.3%; The Netherlands 7.0%.

Transport and Communications

Transport.Railroads(2004):route length 201 km. Roads (2005); total length 21,532km(paved 74%). Vehicles (2004):passenger cars 357,660;trucks and buses 128,239.Air transport (Air Jamaica only; 2006): passenger-km 3,907,530,000;metric ton-km cargo 20,192,000.Communications, in total units (units per 1,000 persons). Telephone landlines scribers (2005): 2,804,000 ( 1,058); personal computers (2005):179,000 (68) total internet users (2007): 1,500,000 (553); broadband internet subcribers (2006): 79,000 (30)

Education and Health

Education attainment (2001). Percentage of population ages 15 and over having:no formal schooling/unknow 6.7%; primary education 25.5%;secondary 55.5%;higher 12.3%, of which university 4.2%.Literacy (2005):percentage of total population ages 15 and over literate 88.7%;males literate 85.0%;females literate 92.3%. health: physicians (2003) 2,253( 1 per 1,193 persons) infant mortality rate per 1,000 live births (2005) 19.2;undernourished population (2002-04) 250,000 (9% of total population based on the consumption of minimum daily requirement of 1,930 calories).

Military

Total active duty personnel (2007): 2,830 (army 88.3%, coast guard 6.7%, air force 5.0%).Military expenditure as percentage of GDP (2005): 0.6%; per capita expenditure US $20.

Background

The island of Jamaica was settled by Arawak Indians c.ad 600. It was sgted by Chrisopher Columbus in 1494; Spain colonied it in the early 16th century but neglected it because it lacked gold reserves. Britain gained control in 1655, and by the end of the 18th century Jamiaca had become a prized colonial posession due to to the volume of sugar produced by slave laborers. Slavery was abolished in the late 1830's, and the plantation system collapsed. Jamaica gained full internal self-government in 1959 and became an independant coutnry with the British common wealth in 1962.

Recent Developments

Jamaica in April 2008 began soliciting proposals for the provision of 73 MW of renewal energy.Additionally, the takeover of Jamaica's five sugar factories by Brazil's infinity Bio-Energy ws confirmed in July, with the company stressing its intention to use sugar as the basis of a significant ethanol industry in the country.

 

 

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