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Why is Jamaica a Third World Country?


By Kadian Clarke, Contributed:

Jamaica unfortunately wears the label of being a third world country, but why so? Why is Jamaica considered as a third world country?

How about a quick background for you?

A Third World is a phrase used to describe developing nations. This phrase arose during the cold war to identify countries whose views did not match with NATO and capitalism or the SOVIET UNION and communism.

These countries are classified as poor and underdeveloped. They have poor infrastructure, low levels of education, improper sanitation, poor access to health care and heavy dependence on industrialized nations.

The World Bank also adds that developing countries as those with a gross national income under US $11,905.00 per capita per year.

Now, Jamaica is a third world country or still the same, a developing country, because it has most of these characteristics.

Statistics show that the gross national income per capita per year for Jamaica between years 2006 and 2017 ranges from $7,490.00 - $8, 690.00.

Jamaica’s economy is encouraged mainly by Tourism, Mining and Agriculture. The Tourism industry controls most of the economic performance of the country.

Note also that the global economic downturn between 2007 and 2009 also negatively affected Jamaica’s economy.

By the way, did you know that there are so called fourth world countries, and even fifth world countries?

Share in the comments below.


  1. Third World. Retrieved from

  2. Is Jamaica a Third World Country? Retrieved from view/jamaica-third-world-country-f986e4b7f25d6b39

Comments for Why is Jamaica a Third World Country?

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Sep 13, 2019
Jamaica is a gift
by: Blooming Lotus

Jamaica is the foundational stepping stone for black people who live abroad to feel their inherent roots.

I’ve lived in the US all my life but never felt home deep in my heart until I went there to do a project.

Now, I’m entrenched in the breathtaking natural surroundings with abundant resources for the proliferation of a high quality life. I love the farms, schools, people, the way of life. I’ve been successful on my own merit, marginalized, ignored, until I realized that my skills are needed "home", and am working to make that dream a reality. I am appreciated and am fulfilling my divine purpose there.

Whether first, second, or whatever, Jamaica is heaven on earth to me.

Sep 07, 2019
Jamaica has great hope
by: Misty

We just returned from a trip to Jamaica!!! It was my second time on the island and they were thirty years apart. Both times were incredible and I felt completely safe as we traveled around freely .

Can you get killed in Jamaica of course you can but I can get killed in my own country just as easily !!!

The problem is the same in every violent place poverty poverty breeds crime but the Jamaican people have a beautiful spirit and a wonderful attitude and I will continue to go back as long as I possibly can and support them.

Aug 10, 2019
third world country
by: Lois Breaux

I'm from the U.S.and I am trying to learn more about Jamaica and it's people. Thanks to this site I've learned some and eager to learn more.
Hold your heads high and keep the faith and keep trying. I watch TV here and everyday there is commercials of beautiful Country.
Agriculture? why is food being imported for the Hotels when it could be bought from the locals of the land? Vegetables and the meats should be bought from the people.
Dangerous places are not just in Jamaica. Big cities here like New York, San Fancisco, Los Angeles, Baltimore and Chicago there is people that die everyday. Homelessness, hungry and abused children. Shootings at churches, schools and soft targets like bars and resturants. People that are angry and frustrated for whatever reasons they have within themselves take it out on innocent people.
Jamaicans seems to have wonderful and talented people. It's just my belief that things can change if there is enough faith, hope and vision to see it. Never give up and keep loving each other and your Country.
God Bless Jamaica and her people.

Jul 12, 2019
So much Potential
by: Anonymous

Jamaica has a lot of economic strength hidden within the island's natural resources. From mining, tourism and farming. Improvement in these area (in my opinion) will jumpstart the economy so that the youths can take advantage of new educational opportunities that arrise with it.

Some mining resources:
Bauxite, Limestone yeah we know, but we also have:
Silica Sand
Metals (Includes TONS of gold)
Oil and Gas.

Jamaica doesn't protect and exploit its resources to it's maximum capacity. And it has a history of short sighted leadership riddled with corruption.

I remember when the leaders got a loan to build schools Islandwide of which 4/12 (or so) were built. When there was a plan with PM.Edward Seaga to boost the country's economic (that would have succeeded at the time) but was voted out due to political feud.

And finally when geologist warned the government that coral reefs were being threatened in hopes that protective laws could be put in place, however, it was ignored because it was 'not a priority'. Bear in mind that the economy is heavily dependent on tourism and fishing. Today Jamaica pays to dump sand on beaches and pays for coral reef protection. Yes the economy took a hit. Even when marijuana was suggested by the public to be legalized and made into an exportive form of medicine, excuse was 'there was no market'. As of 2019 only 5 year later, marijuana is a multimillion dollar business.

Jamaica has lots of resources and mediocre leadership.

Apr 07, 2019
by: Anonymous

the real people of Jamaica live in the mountains, those who live around the island, are from the west side of Africa (mostly), those taken to Jamaica back in the slavery days, DNA test done on 90% on people from Jamaica state they come from west side of Africa, 3rd world countries dont have street lighting, full running water, tar mac roads,

Mar 29, 2019
by: Anonymous

As a Born and raised Jamaican that constantly travels .... Majority of this is crap!!!!! There’s crime and proverty every where every country state and so forth .... There is so much beauty in Jamaica .... they just don’t show that side..... Jamaica is a beautiful island full of natural resources and we deserve better acknowledgment.

Mar 02, 2019
Opportunity and joint ventures
by: 2 dogs *%}^€£

Jamaica is not a dangerous country if you are a honest caring person. The solution to the poverty is farming. They got the weather and the soil and water. They just need partners and a strong relationship with long term goals. Not profits as a mission. Farming is a cycle. Profits will follow. Jamaica imports a lot of food for the tourists. It could easy be self sufficient on that sector. Also a major problem on the island is plastiic pollution. If the government would invest in a recycling plant , they could buy the plastic off any willing Jamaican that wants to collect it.

Feb 28, 2019
by: Insight

If this Country depends on tourism. They need to upgrade their security. As I don't get off the criuse boat while docked. Due to crime rate and the constant and aggressive panhandeling and often being approached to buy drugs...

Feb 20, 2019
Real talk
by: Anonymous

As a patriotic jamaican not matter what, we have way too much potential to be in our current situation.

Nov 30, 2018
Fourth and Fifth World Countries
by: Ms. Bennie

Please indentify these Fourth and Fifth World Countries. Interesting to know this. What can be done to make Jamaica no longer a Third World Country.

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