is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, 234 kilometres (145 mi) in length and as much as 80 kilometres (50 mi) in width, and amounts to 10,990 square kilometres (4,243 sq mi).It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about 145 kilometres (90 mi) south of Cuba, and 191 kilometres (119 mi) west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the DominicanRepublic. Its indigenous Arawakan-speaking Taíno inhabitants named the island Xaymaca, meaning the "Land of Wood and Water", or the "Land of Springs".
Once a Spanish possession known as Santiago, in 1655it became an English, and later a British, colony, known as "Jamaica". It achieved full independence in 1962. With 2.8 million people, it is the third most populous anglophone country in theAmericas, after the United States and Canada. It remains a Commonwealth realm with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state. Kingston is the country's largest city and the capital.
Main article:Parishes of Jamaica
Jamaica is divided into 14 parishes, which are grouped into three historic counties that have no administrative relevance.
Cornwall County | Capital | km2 | Middlesex County |Capital | km2 | Surrey County | Capital | km2 |
1 | Hanover | Lucea | 450 | 6 | Clarendon | May Pen | 1,196 | 11 | Kingston | Kingston | 25 |
2 | Saint Elizabeth | Black River | 1,212 | 7 |Manchester | Mandeville | 830 | 12 | Portland | Port Antonio | 814 |
3 | Saint James | Montego Bay | 595 | 8 | Saint Ann | St. Ann's Bay | 1,213 | 13 | Saint Andrew | Half Way Tree | 453 |
4 |Trelawny | Falmouth | 875 | 9 | Saint Catherine | Spanish Town | 1,192 | 14 | Saint Thomas | Morant Bay | 743 |
5 | Westmoreland | Savanna-la-Mar | 807 | 10 | Saint Mary | Port Maria | 611 || | | |
The official language of Jamaica is English. Jamaicans primarily speak an English-African Creole language known as Jamaican Patois, which has become known widely through the...