Parishes of Jamaica

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Parishes of Jamaica
HanoverSaint ElizabethSaint JamesTrelawny ParishWestmorelandClarendonManchesterSaint AnnSaint CatherineSaint MaryKingston ParishPortlandSaint AndrewSaint ThomasJamaica parishes numbered2.png
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Location Jamaica
Found inCounties of Jamaica
Created1655 (Colony of Jamaica)
Number14 Parishes (as of 1866)
Populations68,000 (Hanover) – 541,000 (Saint Andrew)
Areas25 km2 (9.7 sq mi) (Kingston) – 1,213 km2 (468 sq mi) (Saint Ann)
GovernmentParish government, National government
SubdivisionsCities, Towns, Villages
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Administratively, Jamaica is divided into fourteen parishes. They are grouped into three historic counties, which have no administrative relevance. Every parish has a coast; none are landlocked.


Parish Capital Area
Census 2011[1]
Cornwall County
1 Hanover Lucea 450.4 69,533
2 Saint Elizabeth Black River 1,212.4 150,205
3 Saint James Montego Bay 594.9 183,811
4 Trelawny Falmouth 874.6 75,164
5 Westmoreland Savanna-la-Mar 807.0 144,103
Middlesex County
6 Clarendon May Pen 1,196.3 245,103
7 Manchester Mandeville 830.1 189,797
8 Saint Ann Saint Ann's Bay 1,212.6 172,362
9 Saint Catherine Spanish Town 1,192.4 516,218
10 Saint Mary Port Maria 610.5 113,615
Surrey County
11 Kingston Parish(1) (2) Kingston 21.8 89,057
12 Portland Port Antonio 814.0 81,744
13 Saint Andrew(1) Half Way Tree 430.7 573,369
14 Saint Thomas Morant Bay 742.8 93,902
Total 10,991.0 2,697,983

(1) The parishes of Kingston and Saint Andrew together form the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation.
(2) The parish of Kingston does not encompass all of the city of Kingston. Most of the city is in the parish of St. Andrew.

Map of the parishes of Jamaica.

Former Parishes[edit]

Parishes have been a feature of local administration in Jamaica since the island was captured by the English in 1655.[2] The number has varied over time and some no longer exist having either been absorbed into or divided between neighbouring parishes.[2] At the peak, 1841–1865, there were 22 (the current 14 plus those listed below).[2]

The current set of parishes was established in 1866 with the elimination of the 8 listed below (roughly by county):[2]



  • Metcalfe (now part of Saint Mary)
  • Saint Dorothy (now part of Saint Catherine)
  • Saint John (now part of Saint Catherine)
  • Saint Thomas in the Vale (now part of Saint Catherine) – note that the current Saint Thomas used to be named "Saint Thomas in the East" to differentiate between the two parishes at the time.
  • Vere (now part of Clarendon)

Counties of Jamaica[edit]

Map of the counties, with Cornwall County marked with the number 1, Middlesex County with 2, and Surrey County with 3.
County Population
(Census 2011)
Area in km2 County town
Cornwall County 600,581 3,939.3 Savanna-la-Mar
Middlesex County 1,183,361 5,041.9 Spanish Town
Surrey County 823,689 2,009.3 Kingston
Jamaica 2,607,631 10,990.5 Kingston

Jamaica is divided into three historic counties, though they have no administrative function today. They were established in 1758 to facilitate the holding of courts along the lines of the British county court system.[3]

The three counties are named for the English counties of Cornwall, Middlesex, and Surrey. Cornwall County was named for being the westernmost county, just like its namesake. Middlesex County was named for its position as being the county on the middle third of Jamaica. Surrey County was named for the English county in which Kingston upon Thames is found,[3], because Kingston was its county town.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Population Usually Resident in Jamaica, by Parish: 2011". Statistical Institute of Jamaica. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d Prestwidge, Bill. "Jamaican Parish Reference". Archived from the original on 30 October 2009. Retrieved 24 October 2009.
  3. ^ a b c Higman, B. W.; Hudson, B. J. (2009). Jamaican Place Names. Mona, Jamaica: University of the West Indies Press. p. 31. ISBN 978-976-640-306-5.

External links[edit]