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The Country

Jamaica, whose name is derived from the Arawak Indian word Xaymaca, is a mountainous island located 90 miles south of Cuba. The third-largest island in the Caribbean, it is the largest and most populous of the independent Commonwealth nations in the area. About 77 percent of the population is of African descent; another 15 percent is of mixed Afro-European heritage. Population density is high, particularly in metropolitan Kingston, which contains more than 30 percent of the national total. The Anglican and Baptist creeds claim the most adherents, but numerous other denominations and sects are active. Women constitute approximately 46 percent of the official labor force, concentrated in agriculture and civil service, with a large proportion of the remainder serving as unpaid agricultural workers. There ...

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