The island state Jamaica is the third biggest island of the large Antilleses, a group of the
west-indian islands, and situated in the Caribbean sea, southern of Cuba. Jamaica covers an area of
about 10 991 square kilometres. Kingston is the capital and also the biggeste city of Jamaica. It has
got about 538 000 inhabitants. Other big cities are Spanish Town (92 400) and Montego Bay (83
There are tropical climate conditions in the coastal low country of Jamaica. The avarage yearly
temperature in this region is with 26,7°C.
The native people of Jamaica were members of the tribe of Aruak. Christoph Columbus discovered
the island in 1494 during his second travel. In 1509 it became a spanish colony. The native indian
population became extinct because of the hard work conditions and the different illnesses that were
brought in. Then, since 1670 Jamaica has belonged to England. An increasing number of English
immigrants came to Jamaica at the end of the 17th century. World wide the island state became an
important centre for slave trade. After the slavery was abolished, Jamaica finaly achieved
independece. In 1968 Jamaica was initial member of the Caribbean Free Trade Area.
About 76 per cent of Jamaica's population are black people. They descend from the slaves which
were brought to the island in the 17th century. About 15 per cent of the population are "Mulatten".
In addition there live Indian, European and Chiniese people. A bit more than the half of the
population lives in cities.
Jamaica has got about 2,70 Mil. inhabitants (2003) and the live expactancy is with 73,8 years for
men and 78 years for women (2003).