Jamaica Population 2017


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 2.89 million in 2017, 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.

Jamaica Population in 2018Source: Original uploader was Blofeld of SPECTRE at en.wikipedia
(Original text : W. Harris)

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 SpokenJamaican Patois, English
Is LandlockedNo
Currencies UsedJMD

Jamaica Population Density

Name Population
New Kingston583,958
Spanish Town145,018
Montego Bay82,867
May Pen44,755
Old Harbour26,024
Half Way Tree18,552
Port Antonio14,400
Saint Ann's Bay13,671
Bog Walk12,873
Constant Spring12,830
Ocho Rios9,450
Morant Bay9,368
Stony Hill8,551
Santa Cruz8,217
Old Harbour Bay7,912
Port Maria7,906
Bull Savanna6,962
Runaway Bay6,517
Annotto Bay5,504
Lionel Town5,362
Point Hill5,344
Black River4,229

Jamaica Population Clock

What is the population of Jamaica (as of 12/12/2017)?2,894,259
Last UN Estimate (July 1, 2017)2,890,299
Births Per Day131
Deaths Per Day56
Net Migrations Per Day -51
Net Change Per Day 24
Population Change Since January 1st8,304

Jamaica Population Indicators

Crude Birth Rate 16.54 births/thousand
Crude Death Rate 7.036 deaths/thousand
Crude Net Migration Rate -6.453 people/thousand
Life Expectancy (Both Sexes) 75.994 years
Male Life Expectancy 73.63 years
Female Life Expectancy 78.426 years
Total Fertility Rate 2.009 children/woman
Net Reproduction Rate 0.951 surviving daughters/woman
Sex Ratio At Birth 1.05 males per female
Infant Mortality Rate 13.644 deaths/1,000 live births
Under Five Mortality 16.252 deaths/thousand
Mean Age at Childbearing 27.631 years
Rate of Natural Increase 9.504
Median Age (Total) 25.6 years
Median Age (Female) 26.1 years
Median Age (Male) 25.1 years

Jamaica Population History

Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate

Jamaica Population Projections

Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate
Data Sources
  1. World Population Prospects (2017 Revision) - United Nations population estimates and projections.
  2. GeoNames Gazetteer