Biggest Cities In Jamaica

The St. Jago de la Vega Cathedral in Spanish Town.
The St. Jago de la Vega Cathedral in Spanish Town.

The country of Jamaica is an island nation located in the Caribbean Sea. It is one of the largest countries in the Caribbean, ranking as the third largest country in area and as the fifth largest country in population with about 2.97 million people. The island is most well-known for its rich landscape of rainforests, mountains, and beaches. It is also a major vacation destination in the Caribbean. Reggae music can trace its origin to Jamaica.

The Three Biggest Cities In Jamaica

Spanish Town

The city of Spanish Town is the third largest in Jamaica, with a population of 162,359 people. It is an inland city that is located in the Parish of Saint Catherine in Middlesex Country. The town of Villa de la Vega was founded in 1534 as the capital of the Colony of Santiago (1509-1655) by the Spanish. In 1655 the English took the Colony of Santiago from the Spanish and renamed the area the Colony of Jamaica (1655-1962). Spanish Town served as the capital of the English Colony of Jamaica from 1692 until 1872. Some of the notable sites in Spanish Town are an early cast-iron bridge that was built in 1801 and St. Peter’s Church which is one of the oldest on the island, having been built back in 1671. The city is also home to other 18th century churches, as well as a prison and historic alms-house.


The city of Portmore is the second largest in Jamaica, with a population of 685,000 people. It is a coastal city that is located in the Parish of Saint Catherine in Middlesex Country. Portmore was built on reclaimed swamp-land across from Kingston in the 1960s in order to ease the overpopulation in Kingston. The city was at first a few thousand prototype housing units but soon expanded out to become a suburban city to Kingston. A lot of Portmore's population travels into Kingston every day to go to work and school by using the Portmore toll road that connects the city to nearby Kingston. Despite having been a city since the late 1960s, Portmore was not granted Municipality status until 2003, which allowed it to have its own mayor and city council. Caymanas Park, the only horse racing track in the country is located here.


The capital city of Kingston is by far the largest city in Jamaica, with a population of 1,041,084. Kingston is a port city that is located in the Parish of Saint Andrew and the Parish of Kingston in Surrey County. Kingston was founded in 1692 for refugees from an earthquake that destroyed the city of Port Royal. By 1716 the city has already grown to be the largest town in Jamaica. In 1872 Kingston was made the capital of the Colony of Jamaica and remained the capital after Jamaica was granted independence in 1962. Today the city is home to most of the functions of government in Jamaica and is the center of the country. Kingston is home a number of urban parks most notably Emancipation Park, founded in 2002 and the Royal Botanical Gardens at Hope, founded in 1873. The city is home to the University of the West Indies, founded in Kingston in 1948, as well as the Bob Marley Museum. Wolmer's School, which was founded in 1729 as the first free school in Jamaica, is also the oldest high school in the Caribbean.

The Future Of Jamaica's Population

The country of Jamaica, especially its largest city have experienced massive population growth in recent decades. In 1950 the population of Jamaica was about 1.39 million people, and today it has more than double that at about 2.97 million people. Some estimates put Jamaica's population as growing to be up to 3.80 million people by 2050, with the urban population making up over 60% of the population after just crossing over the 50% mark at the end of the 1990s.

Biggest Cities In Jamaica

Rank Biggest Cities in Jamaica Urban Population
1 Kingston 1,041,084
2 Portmore 685,000
3 Spanish Town 162,359
4 Montego Bay 110,115
5 May Pen 82,000
6 Mandeville 72,000
7 Old Harbour 17,778
8 Savanna-la-Mar 16,553
9 Linstead 14,144
10 Port Antonio 13,246

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