Parishes of Jamaica

Buy data    Donate


I added the 2011 census results (from source [1]), and a population history. I extended the change history back to 1700 by combining narratives from various online sources, some of which disagreed with each other.

Country overview: 

Short nameJAMAICA
ISO codeJM
LanguageEnglish (en)
Time zone-5


At the beginning of the 20th century, Jamaica was a British colony. Administratively subordinate to it were several dependencies: Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, Morant Cays, and Pedro Cays. The Cayman Islands separated from Jamaica on 1959-07-04. Jamaica became an independent country, and Turks and Caicos Islands separated from it, on 1962-08-06. The tiny and uninhabited Morant and Pedro Cays are still part of Jamaica.

Other names of country: 

  1. Danish: Jamaica
  2. Dutch: Jamaica
  3. Finnish: Jamaika
  4. French: Jamaļque f
  5. German: Jamaika n
  6. Icelandic: Jamaķka
  7. Italian: Giamaica f
  8. Norwegian: Jamaica
  9. Portuguese: Jamaica f
  10. Russian: Ямайка
  11. Spanish: Jamaica
  12. Swedish: Jamaica
  13. Turkish: Jamaika (formal)

Origin of name: 

(Speculative) From Arawak xamac: hammock, or xaymaca: rich in springs, or land of springs

Primary subdivisions: 

Jamaica is divided into fourteen parishes.

ClarendonJM.CL13JM01DCN245,1031,196462MMay Pen
PortlandJM.PO04JM07BPD81,744814314SPort Antonio
Saint AndrewJM.SD02JM08AAW573,369431166SHalf Way Tree
Saint AnnJM.SN06JM09CAN172,3621,213468MSaint Anns Bay
Saint CatherineJM.SC14JM10ACE516,2181,192460MSpanish Town
Saint ElizabethJM.SE11JM11DEH150,2051,212468CBlack River
Saint JamesJM.SJ08JM12CJS183,811595230CMontego Bay
Saint MaryJM.SM05JM13BMY113,615611236MPort Maria
Saint ThomasJM.ST03JM14BTS93,902743287SMorant Bay
14 parishes2,697,98310,9914,243
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2.
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
  • Pc: Postal code identifiers.
  • Population: 2011-04-04 census.
  • Cty: County to which the parish belongs, according to the codes shown below.

Postal codes: 

According to source [3], the structure of Jamaica's postal codes is five letters followed by two digits. The first two letters are always "JM"; the third is a letter from A to D, representing a zone of the country; the fourth and fifth letters are a mnemonic for the parish name, using its first and last letters, excluding the word "Saint"; and the final two digits represent a delivery area. For example, JMAAW03 is a postal code for Constant Spring in Saint Andrew parish. The table above shows the third through fifth characters for each parish.

Further subdivisions:

Jamaica is also divided into three traditional counties, which have no administrative function.


Territorial extent: 

The UN LOCODE page  for Jamaica lists locations in the country, some of them with their latitudes and longitudes, some with their ISO 3166-2 codes for their subdivisions. This information can be put together to approximate the territorial extent of subdivisions.

Origins of names: 

  1. Clarendon: after Edward Hude, Earl of Clarendon
  2. Hanover: for the House of Hanover, ruling dynasty of Great Britain
  3. Manchester: after William, Duke of Manchester, governor of Jamaica when it was created in 1814
  4. Portland: after the Duke of Portland, governor of Jamaica when it was created in 1723
  5. Saint Ann: translation of Santa Ana, name given by Columbus
  6. Saint Catherine: after Catherine of Braganza, wife of King Charles II of England
  7. Saint Elizabeth: in honor of Lady Elizabeth Modyford, wife of the governor of Jamaica in 1670
  8. Saint James: in honor of James, Duke of York, later King James II of England
  9. Saint Mary: after the capital, Puerto Santa Maria under Spanish rule (now Port Maria)
  10. Trelawny: after Sir William Trelawny, governer of Jamaica when it was created in 1770
  11. Westmoreland: after the county in England, because this county contains the westernmost point in Jamaica

Change history: 

  1. 1703: Westmoreland parish split from Saint Elizabeth parish.
  2. 1723: Portland parish formed from parts of Saint George and Saint Thomas in the East parishes.
  3. 1725: Hanover parish split from Westmoreland parish.
  4. 1758: The three counties were formed as judicial districts.
  5. 1770: Trelawny parish split from Saint James parish.
  6. 1814: Manchester parish formed from parts of St, Elizabeth, Clarendon, and Vere parishes.
  7. 1842: Metcalfe parish formed from parts of Saint George and Saint Mary parishes.
  8. 1867-04-23: Vere parish merged with Clarendon parish; Kingston parish formed by merging Kingston city and parish, Port Royal town and parish, and part of Saint Andrew parish; Saint George parish and part of Saint Thomas parish merged with Portland parish; Saint Dorothy, Saint John and Saint Thomas in the Vale parishes merged with Saint Catherine parish; Metcalfe parish merged with Saint Mary parish; Saint Thomas parish formed by merging Saint Thomas in the East and Saint David parishes, under the Counties and Parishes Act.
  9. 1872: Capital of Jamaica moved from Spanish Town to Kingston.

Other names of subdivisions: 

Kingston: Kingston and Port Royal (obsolete)

Population history:

Saint Andrew128,146296,000433,000565,487555,828573,369
Saint Ann96,193114,000121,000132,475166,762172,362
Saint Catherine121,032154,000186,000315,970482,308516,218
Saint Elizabeth100,182117,000127,000132,353146,404150,205
Saint James63,54283,000104,000127,994175,127183,811
Saint Mary90,90294,000100,000101,442111,466113,615
Saint Thomas60,69369,00071,00076,34791,60493,902


Sources: 1943 - [4]; 1960, 1970 - [5]; 1982 - [6]; 2001 - [2]; 2011 - [1]. Source [5] gives figures rounded to the nearest thousand. Source [6] lists only a combined population for Kingston and Saint Andrew.


  1. [1] Statistical Institute of Jamaica  2011 Census report (retrieved 2012-12-01).
  2. [2] Statistical Institute of Jamaica  2001 census report (retrieved 2004-01-26).
  3. [3] Postal Corporation of Jamaica  (retrieved 2005-07-24).
  4. [4] Encyclopędia Britannica World Atlas, 1951 edition.
  5. [5] Encyclopędia Britannica, 15th Edition, Chicago, 1984.
  6. [6] "The Statesman's Year-Book 1988-1989", John Paxton (ed.). St. Martin's Press, New York, 1988.
Back to main statoids page Last updated: 2015-06-30
Copyright © 2004-2006, 2011, 2012, 2015 by Gwillim Law.