The Population of Jamaica
By Demographics

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Population of Jamaica, contributed by Coleen Clarke

According to the Statistical Institute of Jamaica, Jamaica’s population stood at an estimated 2,728,864, as at December 2017, the most populated country in the Caribbean.

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The female/ male ratio is 1,377,472 females vs 1,351,392 males, that's 49.5% male and 50.5% female.

New! 2017 Population Data

The breakdown was as follows at December 2017:

  • 0 yrs -1.2%
    Female -16496
    Male -17094
  • 1 yrs -1.3%
    Female -17449
    Male -18028
  • 2 yrs -1.4%
    Female -18059
    Male -19089
  • 3 yrs -1.3%
    Female -17821
    Male -18301
  • 4 yrs -1.3%
    Female -17480
    Male -18294
  • 0–4 yrs -6.5%
    Female -87307
    Male -90806
  • 5 yrs -1.4%
    Female -18765
    Male -19604
  • 6 yrs -1.4%
    Female -18819
    Male -19658
  • 7 yrs -1.5%
    Female -19431
    Male -20167
  • 8 yrs -1.5%
    Female -20323
    Male -20727
  • 9 yrs -1.5%
    Female -20634
    Male -20728
  • 5–9 yrs -7.3%
    Female -97972
    Male -100884
  • 10 yrs -1.5%
    Female -20251
    Male -20926
  • 11 yrs -1.6%
    Female -20960
    Male -21375
  • 12 yrs -1.6%
    Female -21506
    Male -22112
  • 13 yrs -1.6%
    Female -21448
    Male -21936
  • 14 yrs -1.6%
    Female -21350
    Male -21807
  • 10–14 yrs -7.8%
    Female -105515
    Male -108157
  • 15 yrs -1.6%
    Female -21828
    Male -22447
  • 16 yrs -1.7%
    Female -22998
    Male -23955
  • 17 yrs -2.0%
    Female -25945
    Male -27468
  • 18 yrs -1.8%
    Female -24608
    Male -25471
  • 19 yrs -1.8%
    Female -24214
    Male -24880
  • 15–19 yrs -8.9%
    Female -119594
    Male -124221
  • 20 yrs -1.9%
    Female -25256
    Male -26083
  • 21 yrs -2.0%
    Female -26509
    Male -27509
  • 22 yrs -2.1%
    Female -28232
    Male -28874
  • 23 yrs -2.1%
    Female -28098
    Male -28673
  • 24 yrs -1.9%
    Female -26037
    Male -27059
  • 20–24 yrs -10.0%
    Female -134132
    Male -138197
  • 25–29 yrs -9.0%
    Female -122183
    Male -122877
  • 30–34 yrs -8.0%
    Female -111378
    Male -106318
  • 35–39 yrs -6.9%
    Female -98215
    Male -89335
  • 40–44 yrs -6.2%
    Female -90475
    Male -80078
  • 45–49 yrs -6.3%
    Female -89749
    Male -83093
  • 50–54 yrs -5.7%
    Female -77564
    Male -76916
  • 55–59 yrs -4.9%
    Female -67153
    Male -67311
  • 60–64 yrs -3.7%
    Female -51363
    Male -50437
  • 65–69 yrs -2.9%
    Female -39604
    Male -40280
  • 70–74 yrs -2.2%
    Female -30509
    Male -29287
  • 75 & over yrs -3.6%
    Female -54758
    Male -43196
  • Total - 100%
    Females 1,377,472
    Males 1,351,392

Source: Statistical Institute Of Jamaica:

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jamaica_population_labour_force_2018Population Of Jamaica, By Labour Force 2018


About 80% of babies born in Jamaica are born to teenage mothers. There is an estimated 20.04 births per 1,000 and the fertility rate is an estimated 2.3 children born per woman. In addition, the population growth rate is an estimated 0.779%.


Majority of deaths in Jamaica are as a result of crime and violence and the victims are mainly young males. Over 1500 persons died as a result of crime and violence in 2007.

An estimated 900 persons died from HIV/ AIDS in 2003. The death rate is an estimated 6.37 deaths per 1,000 and the infant mortality rate is 15.57 deaths per 1,000 live births. The life expectancy rate is an estimated 71.88 years for males and 75.38 years for females.

Ethnic Groups

The Jamaican population consists of three main ethnic groups – Black, East Indian, and White. The other ethic groups include Chinese, Lebanese and Syrians.

Blacks account for 90% of the population, the White 0.4%, the East Indian – 1.5% and 7.3 % of the population is multiracial.

Despite the population of Jamaica being dominantly black, the people are bonded by the country’s motto "Out of many, one people".

The Chinese

The Chinese came to Jamaica in the 1800s as indentured labourers shortly after the abolition of slavery in 1834 to suffice the labour market.

Along with their labour skills, the Chinese took with them their entrepreneurial skills as well as their kitchen craft. The patties we all love today were inspired by the Chinese.

Today, you can find grocery shops, haberdasheries or supermarkets owned by a Chinese all around the island. Additionally, the chain restaurants, Juici Patties and Tastee Patties are owned by Chinese or Chinese descendants.

The East Indians

The East Indians also came to Jamaica as indentured labourers. Today the East Indians are operators of boutiques, duty free shops and jewelry stores mainly in the resort towns and cities (Montego Bay, Negril, Ocho Rios and Kingston).

The Whites

The original whites or Caucasians in Jamaica were the owners and masters of the slaves in Jamaica, and most were originally from Europe.

After the abolition of slavery, many of them remained and continued running their sugar estates. One such family was the Lawsons, who owned and operated the Sugar Estate in Hampden, Trelawny.

The Mulattoes

These groups of people are a mixed, usually between black and white. Many of the offspring were produced during slavery, as the 'Bakra' (master) would sleep with the young slave women.

A prominent offspring of this group was one of our national heroes – George William Gordon, whose mother was a slave. Bob Marley was one of those as well.

We Jamaicans are said to be among the warmest and friendliest people in the world. Nicknamed the sprint factory of the Caribbean, Jamaica has been consistently producing world class athletes for over 40 years.

Bert Cameron, Donald Quarrie, George Rhoden, Herbert McKenley, Arthur Wint, Merlene Ottey, Veronica Campbell, Asafa Powell and Usain Bolt are just a few of the names that have brought Jamaica fame. We are a strong people, brilliant, athletic, resourceful and resilient.

Indeed, 'wi likkle but wi tallawah'.

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