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Jamaica - Introduction

Introduction to Jamaica

Mellow pastels

Ever since Errol Flynn cavorted here with his Hollywood pals in the 1930s and '40s, travellers have regarded Jamaica as one of the most alluring of the Caribbean islands. Its beaches, mountains and carnal red sunsets regularly appear in tourist brochures promising paradise.

Full country name: Jamaica
Area: 4,411 sq km
Population: 2.65 million
People: 76% African descent, 15% Afro-European descent, 4% European, 3% East Indian & Middle Eastern, 1% Afro-Chinese & Chinese
Language: English
Religion: 80% Christian, including revivalist cults such as Pocomania &Rastafarianism
Government: independent state within the British Commonwealth
Head of State: Governor General Sir Howard Cooke
Head of Government: Prime Minister Percival J. Patterson
GDP: US$8.8 billion
GDP per capita: US$3,300
Annual Growth: -2%
Inflation: 9.9%
Major Industries: Tourism, bauxite, sugar, bananas.
Major Trading Partners: USA

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