What Is The Capital Of Jamaica?

The skyline of Kingston, Jamaica.
The skyline of Kingston, Jamaica.

Where Is Jamaica?

The island nation of Jamaica is located in the Caribbean Sea. It occupies an area of 10,990 square km, making it the third largest island in the Greater Antilles archipelago and the fourth largest island nation in the Caribbean.

What Is The Capital Of Jamaica And Where Is It Located?

Kingston, the most populous city of Jamaica, serves as the country’s capital city. The city is located in Jamaica’s southeastern coast where it faces a natural harbor protected against the wind and waves by a long sand spit called the Palisadoes. Kingston is located on an alluvial plain by the Hope River and is surrounded by geographical features like the Long Mountain, Red Hills, and the Blue Mountains. The city experiences a tropical wet-and-dry climate.

History Of The Capital City Of Jamaica

Jamaica’s capital city was established on July 1692. The survivors of the 1692 earthquake from Port Royal were the first to settle in Kingston that was earlier largely an agricultural land. With the further devastation of Port Royal by a raging fire in the year 1703, Kingston expanded with the arrival of a larger number of settlers. The city was built gradually using a grid plan by Surveyor John Goffe that facilitated trade and commerce. Kingston grew to become Jamaica’s largest town in 1716. In 1755, the decision to shift the government offices based in Spanish Town to Kingston was made by the then governor Sir Charles Knowles. However, the plan was never executed due to disagreement from a section of the concerned authorities. By 1780, Kingston had a population of about 11,000 people and developed as a hub of intense commercial activity, overshadowing all such activities in the then capital of Spanish Town. Thus, the merchants of Kingston started lobbying for Kingston’s promotion to a capital city. Finally, in 1872, the government offices were transferred from Spanish Town to Kingston and the city continued to play the role of the capital of Jamaica even after the independence of the island in 1962.

Present-Day Role Of The City As The Capital Of Jamaica

Today, Kingston houses the major government buildings of the country. It houses the King’s House, the official residence of Jamaica’s Governor-General. It also hosts the George William Gordon House, the meeting venue of the Jamaican Parliament. Kingston is not just the political capital of Jamaica but it is also the country’s economic nerve center. Many major international companies and financial institutions have their offices in the city. Kingston’s economy is based on tourism, shipping, and garment manufacturing. The seaport in Kingston is the center of international export of goods like coffee, bauxite, etc. As of 2011, the population of Jamaica’s capital city is 662,426. People of African descent constitute the majority of Kingston’s population.


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