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Best Bitcoin Card for Jamaica

The island state of Jamaica belongs to the Great Antilles group and lies in the Caribbean. The Antilles are a chain of islands that extend in an arc from Cuba to Trinidad, separating the Caribbean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean. Besides Jamaica, Cuba, Puerto Rico and Hispaniola belong to the Great Antilles. Jamaica has a length of about 235 kilometers in east-west direction, the widest place is about 80 kilometers. The total area of the country is 10 991 km².

Most of the island is mountainous. In the east are the Blue Mountains with the highest mountain, the Blue Mountain Peak (2 256 m). In Cockpit Country in the west you can find the typical karst landscape of the island with limestone formations and underground caves. The coastal plains in the south are predominantly marshlands, while the north coast is characterised by white sandy beaches, numerous bays and the evergreen rainforest.

Population

Until the first half of the 19th century, Jamaica was an important base for the British slave trade. Even today, about 90 % of the population are of African descent, almost 7 % are mongrels. The island has about 2.64 million inhabitants, the number of Jamaicans living abroad – mainly in Great Britain and the USA – is not much smaller. Kingston on the south coast of Jamaica is the largest city on the island with around 587,800 inhabitants, followed by Spanish Town (92,400) and Portmore (90,100).

The official language is English, and Patois (or Jamaican Creole), a mixture of European languages and African dialects, is also spoken. Nearly two thirds of the population are Christians and belong predominantly to Protestant communities, Catholics are only a small minority. Almost a quarter of the inhabitants practice African or Indian religions.

Jamaica is the home of reggae, a music movement made famous worldwide by Bob Marley. It was through them that the Rastafaris (Rastas) and their philosophy became known. The stronghold of the Rastafaris in Jamaica today is the small town of St. Ann’s Bay, once an important port for the slave trade. In total more than 90% of the population can read and write; the growth of the population is 0.7%, the average life expectancy is 76 years.

Political System

The constitution dates back to 1962. The formal head of state of the parliamentary monarchy in the Commonwealth is the British monarch Queen Elizabeth II (since February 1962). She appoints a Governor General as her representative (Patrick Allen, since February 2009). The head of government is the Prime Minister, who is appointed by the Governor General (Portia Simpson Miller, since January 2012). The Cabinet is formed by the Governor according to the Prime Minister’s proposals.

The legislative power lies with the two-chamber parliament, which consists of the House of Representatives (63 members, directly elected by the people for five years) and the Senate. The 21 members of the Senate are elected every five years by the governor, 13 seats are earmarked for the ruling party and eight for the opposition party. Citizens aged 18 and over are eligible to vote. Jamaica is divided into 14 districts.

Economy

Jamaica is one of the more prosperous countries in the Caribbean, yet 17% of its inhabitants live below the poverty line. The official unemployment rate is 13%, but it is much higher for young workers (41%). The remittances from Jamaicans abroad make the largest contribution to the economy alongside tourism.

Agriculture has traditionally played an important role in Jamaica. The main crops are bananas, tobacco, sugar cane, pineapple, grapefruit, cocoa and clove pepper. Coffee is also grown and exported on a large scale. The Blue Mountain coffee, which is cultivated in very small farms and only thrives at altitudes above 1,000 m, is known worldwide. Overall, however, the agricultural sector generates only about 7% of the gross domestic product (GDP). By contrast, the services sector, especially tourism and financial services, accounts for 72 % of GDP.

The most important export goods are bauxite and aluminium. Bauxite is mined centrally inland by international companies. Imports include industrial and consumer goods and various raw materials. Jamaica’s largest trading partner is the USA. The currency is the Jamaican dollar.