Like many other Caribbean states, Jamaica has a high
average population density, 264 residents per km2
(2019) and relatively high urbanization, 56 percent. As a
result of large emigration, mainly to the United States and
the United Kingdom, Jamaica's population increase was only
Countryaah data, the country's dominant city is the capital Kingston
(584,600 residents, 2009). Other major cities are Portmore
(182,200) and Spanish Town (147,200).
The official language is English, but the majority speak
forms that lie between English and the English-based Creole
language that originated among the slaves and were used by
virtually the entire population during the 17th and 18th
centuries. Where on this scale a particular individual is
located is determined by a complex collaboration between,
among other things. social, geographical and situational
More than 80 percent of Jamaicans are Christians today.
The island was "discovered" by Columbus in 1494, but the
Spanish colonization only began in 1509 when the Catholic
Church was also established in the country. Today, Catholics
make up only a few percent of the population. Instead, a
variety of Protestant communities dominate. Protestantism
came with the English who conquered the island in 1655.
Among the Protestants, the Pentecostal friends are the most
followed by Seventh-day Adventists, Methodists and Baptists.
Other religions with few professors in the country are
Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam and Baha'i. It is
estimated that just over 20 percent of residents are members
of more than one community and as many say they have no
religion. One-tenth of the population is referred to as
spiritists (see spiritism) and is subject to Jamaican
people's religionkumina. Kumina developed during
the slave era and is a syncretism between West African
religions and Christianity. Kumina has striking similarities
to Haiti's voodoo and Cuba's santerķa. During the sessions,
spirits and gods communicate with the congregation through
their media, which also performs exorcism and cure for
illness. In addition, there are an estimated 30,000 rest
breaks in the country. Rastafari is a religious movement
with ethnic signs.
The country has no state religion. The Constitution
provides detailed guarantees of religious freedom. The
religious organizations have the right to run private
schools without any special restrictions. Most of these
schools are run either by the Catholic Church or by some
Protestant community. The country has at least one Jewish
school and two run by Jamaica's Islamic Council.
There are no requirements for religious organizations to
be registered. However, registration entails official
recognition, which results in tax exemption.
The following days are national religious holidays: Ash
Wednesday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Christmas Day.