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Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, south of Cuba

Geographic coordinates:

18 15 N, 77 30 W

Map references:

Central America and the Caribbean


total: 10,991 sq km
land: 10,831 sq km
water: 160 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Connecticut

Land boundaries:

0 km


1,022 km

Maritime claims:

measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
continental shelf: 200 NM or to edge of the continental margin
contiguous zone: 24 NM


tropical; hot, humid; temperate interior


mostly mountains, with narrow, discontinuous coastal plain

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Blue Mountain Peak 2,256 m

Natural resources:

bauxite, gypsum, limestone

Land use:

arable land: 16.07%
permanent crops: 9.23%
other: 74.7% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:

250 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards:

hurricanes (especially July to November)

Environment - current issues:

heavy rates of deforestation; coastal waters polluted by industrial waste, sewage, and oil spills; damage to coral reefs; air pollution in Kingston results from vehicle emissions

Geography - note:

strategic location between Cayman Trench and Jamaica Channel, the main sea lanes for the Panama Canal