Jamaica Population 2018

2,899,781

The island of Jamaica, which celebrated 50 years of independence in 2012 after finally breaking away from centuries of rule by the Spanish and then the British, has a population of 2.90 million in 2018, up from the estimated 2.8 million in 2015. That's pretty impressive for an island nation with just 10,991 square kilometers (4,244 square miles) of area. This means that Jamaica is now the world's 139th most populous country.

To be precise, the latest official estimate – provided in 2014 by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica – is 2,720,554.

However, other demographers disagree, and believe that the population of Jamaica is actually considerably higher than the government believes. The CIA World Factbook, for example, had estimated that the Jamaica population in 2012 was actually 2,889,187, not the 2.7 million estimated by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica.

Jamaica has a long history of census taking, and currently holds a census every ten years. The last census took place in July 2011, which showed a total of 2,697,983 residents in the country. A 2014 estimate showed 2.72 million, while estimates for 2016 are thought to be around 2.9 million.

Depending on which estimates you use (the Jamaican government's or the CIA Factbook), Jamaica experienced a population growth of 5 or 15% from 2001 to 2011. Still, there's no doubt that the country is continuing to grow.

Jamaica Population Density

Jamaica is a small island, but it makes up for its size with a high population density in comparison with much of the rest of the world. The total surface area is just 10,991 square kilometers (4,244 square miles) and this makes Jamaica the 160th largest nation on earth, when it comes to geographical area.

For every square mile of Jamaican territory, however, there is an average of 252 people, which converts to 656 per square mile and makes it the 49th most densely populated country in the world.

39% of Jamaica's residents live in parish capitals, according to the 2011 census, and the population of the Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMA) and all parish capitals was 1.04 million, which is a 5% increase since 2001. KMA alone has 88% of the parishes of St. Andrew and Kingston.

Age Breakdown and Life Expectancy

The CIA World Factbook has also provided data on age breakdowns and life expectancy. As far as age breakdowns were concerned, it was reported that 30.1% of the country’s people were aged between 0 and 14. In addition, 62.3% were between 15 and 64 years of age while 7.6% of the population of Jamaica were aged 65 and over in 2011.

Life expectancy figures date from 2013 and at the time it was reported that the average across Jamaica stood at 74.4 years. This could be further divided between men at 71.8 years and women at 77.2 years.

Jamaica Demographics

According to the 2001 census, Jamaica's population is overwhelmingly of African descent, and the most common ethnic groups among Africans taken to Jamaica for slavery during the 17th century were the Akan (or Coromantee) from present-day Ghana and the Igbo people from present-day Nigeria.

The second-largest racial group is multiracial Jamaicans, many of whom have ancestors from Ireland. Still, most mixed-race people in the country self-report as just "Jamaican."

Jamaicans of African descent represent 76.3% of the population, followed by 15.1% Afro-European, 3.4% East Indian and Afro-East Indian, 3.2% Caucasian, 1.2% Chinese and 0.8% other.

Largest Cities in Jamaica

The largest city in Jamaica is Kingston, the capital city. Kingston has a population of 937,700, according to 2011 estimates. The Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMA) and all parish capitals had a population of 1.041 million according to the census and, outside the KMA, the largest capital towns are Spanish Town in St Catherine (147,000) and Montego Bay (110,000). Officially, the largest cities in Jamaica are:

  • Kingston (Kingston Parish): 937,000
  • Portmore (Saint Catherine): 182,000
  • Spanish Town (Saint Catherine): 147,000
  • Montego Bay (Saint James): 110,000

Jamaica Population Growth

Jamaica's population growth has been fairly unstable over the last 50 years with a lot of ups and downs, including a very steep drop from 1980 to 1990. Over the past 15 years, Jamaica's population growth has slowed dramatically.

Jamaica is currently seeing a decline in the 0-14 age group with an increase in the working age and retired population, the fastest growing segment, which is typical for developing countries. According to the Planning Institute of Jamaica, the country is now on track to stabilizing its growth to stay in line with United Nations recommendations.

Components of Population Change

One birth every 11 minutes
One death every 26 minutes
One net migrant every 28 minutes
Net gain of one person every 63 minutes

Jamaica Population in 2018Source: By The original uploader was Blofeld of SPECTRE at English Wikipedia(Original text: W. Harris) (Image taken by an uncle of mine . W. Harris.) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

Population Data via United Nations WPP (2015 Revision, Medium Variant)

Jamaica Population Growth

Jamaica's population growth remains unstable although it's expected to increase very slowly over the next decade.

About Jamaica

Official NameJamaica
Languages SpokenEnglish, Jamaican Patois
Is LandlockedNo
Latitude/Longitude18.25-77.5
Currencies UsedJamaica Dollar
DemonymJamaican

Countries Bordering Jamaica

None

Jamaica Population Density

Jamaica Top 20 Cities by Population

Name Population
Kingston937,700
New Kingston583,958
Spanish Town145,018
Portmore102,861
Montego Bay82,867
Mandeville47,115
May Pen44,755
Old Harbour26,024
Linstead20,660
Half Way Tree18,552
Savanna-la-Mar16,553
Port Antonio14,400
Saint Ann's Bay13,671
Bog Walk12,873
Constant Spring12,830
Ewarton12,797
Hayes9,701
Ocho Rios9,450
Morant Bay9,368
Stony Hill8,551

Jamaica Population Clock

The population of Jamaica (as of 8/17/2018)?2,899,781
Last UN Estimate (July 1, 2018)2,898,677
Births Per Day130
Deaths Per Day56
Net Migrations Per Day -51
Net Change Per Day 23
Population Change Since January 1st5,267

Jamaica Population Estimator

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Estimate as of August 17th 2018 is: 2,899,664

Jamaica Population by Year (Historical)

Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate
20182,898,67749.75%50.25%263.731400.29%
20172,890,29949.76%50.24%262.971400.31%
20162,881,35549.76%50.24%262.161410.33%
20152,871,93449.76%50.24%261.301410.39%
20102,817,21049.66%50.34%256.321400.52%
20052,744,67349.49%50.51%249.721380.65%
20002,656,86449.68%50.31%241.731380.92%
19952,537,44049.44%50.56%230.871350.92%
19902,424,24249.31%50.69%220.571350.72%
19852,338,63849.68%50.32%212.781331.57%
19802,163,04549.42%50.58%196.801331.30%
19752,027,73749.00%51.00%184.491321.57%
19701,875,38148.86%51.14%170.631291.32%
19651,756,26647.87%52.12%159.791271.53%
19601,628,25248.13%51.87%148.141261.11%
19551,540,62348.67%51.33%140.171221.89%
19501,402,89948.65%51.35%127.641210.00%

Jamaica Population by Year (Projections)

Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate
20202,913,16049.73%50.27%265.051400.00%
20252,934,22349.69%50.31%266.971420.14%
20302,932,62949.63%50.37%266.82142-0.01%
20352,908,06449.57%50.43%264.59142-0.17%
20402,858,38149.51%50.49%260.07145-0.34%
20452,789,06249.46%50.54%253.76145-0.49%
20502,703,59149.45%50.55%245.98146-0.62%
20552,606,51949.48%50.52%237.15147-0.73%
20602,497,45149.56%50.44%227.23148-0.85%
20652,375,77649.69%50.31%216.16149-0.99%
20702,244,27149.86%50.14%204.19151-1.13%
20752,105,87350.05%49.95%191.60151-1.26%
20801,964,08850.24%49.76%178.70153-1.38%
20851,822,48650.42%49.58%165.82153-1.49%
20901,685,26150.57%49.43%153.33153-1.55%
20951,555,78350.72%49.28%141.55154-1.59%
Data Sources
  1. Statistical Institute of Jamaica
  2. World Population Prospects (2017 Revision) - United Nations population estimates and projections.

    Total population: Estimated to be consistent with the 1953, 1960, 1970, 1982, 1991, 2001 and 2011 censuses, and with estimates of the subsequent trends in fertility, mortality and international migration.

  3. GeoNames Gazetteer