“Diaspora” means the scattering of people from their ethnic roots,
enforced or voluntary. Thus the Jamaican diaspora
refers to Jamaicans who have left their traditional homelands, the
dispersal of such Jamaicans, and the ensuing developments in their
culture. Jamaicans can be found in the far corners of
the world but the largest pools of Jamaicans exist in the United States, United
Kingdom, Canada, other
Caribbean islands, and all across the Caribbean Coast of
past several decades, close to a million Jamaicans have emigrated, especially to the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.
emigration appears to have been tapering off somewhat in recent
years, however the great number of Jamaicans living abroad has
become known as the "Jamaican diaspora". Due to Commonwealth law
and Jamaica's history with Great Britain, most Jamaican emigrants
have followed a path first to the UK, and then if they do not
remain in the UK, on to other Commonwealth countries such as
Canada. Today that trend has changed with more
Jamaican emigrants going directly to the United States, Canada,
other Caribbean nations, Central
& South America (mainly in
Rica, Panama and Colombia), and even
Africa (most notably Egypt and Ethiopia) without
having to pass through the UK first. There has also been
emigration of Jamaicans to Cuba and to
Concentrations of expatriate Jamaicans are large in a number of
cities in the United States, including New York City, Buffalo, the Miami metro area,
Atlanta, Orlando, Tampa, Baltimore, Washington,
D.C., Philadelphia, Hartford, and Los Angeles. In Canada, the Jamaican population is centred
in Toronto, and there
are smaller communities in cities such as Hamilton, Montreal, Vancouver and Ottawa.
Kingdom, Jamaican communities exist in most large cities
where they make up the larger part of the British-Caribbean
community. Jamaicans are also present in Ireland, mostly
concentrated in Dublin.
New York City is home to a large Jamaican diaspora community,
with communities along Flatbush, Nostrand and Utica Avenues in
Brooklyn—centred around the neighbourhoods of Prospect
Heights, Lefferts Gardens,
Flatbush, East Flatbush, Crown
Heights, Canarsie, and Flatlands. The
Bronx, neighbourhoods and towns such as Wakefield, Eastchester, Baychester, Queens, Westchester
County and nearby Stamford, Connecticut also have significant Jamaican ex-pat
Flatbush, Nostrand, and Utica Avenues feature
miles of Jamaican cuisine, food markets and other businesses,
nightlife and residential enclaves.
Toronto, the Jamaican community is also large.
areas of the city are located in the neighbourhoods of Rexdale in Etobicoke, Jane and
Finch and Lawrence
Heights in North York,
Malvern in Scarborough, sections of Downtown Toronto, and York, which also
includes a Little Jamaica district
that is identifiable along Eglinton Avenue West. In recent years, many Jamaicans have been
moving out to suburbs such as Mississauga and Brampton.
The Jamaican community has had an influence
on Toronto's culture. Caribana
celebration of Caribbean culture) is an annual event in the city.
The parade is held downtown on the first Saturday of August,
shutting down a portion of Lake
. Jamaica Day is in July, and the Jesus in the
City parade attracts many Jamaican Christians. Reggae and dancehall
are popular among Toronto's youth.
London has a
strong Jamaican diaspora.
An estimated 7% of Londoners are
of Jamaican heritage. Many are now at least second-, if not third-
or fourth-generation Black British Caribbeans. Also a further 2% of
people in London are of mixed Jamaican and British origin, the
largest mixed-race group of the country and the
the largest and most famous Jamaican expatriate communities is in
London. More large Jamaican communities in London
are Tottenham and Hackney in North London, Harlesden in North-West London, and Lewisham in South-East London.
concentration of Jamaicans are in the Inner-city South London
last bank holiday of the year during late August the Annual
Carnival takes place in West
London which is the second biggest street party in the world
after Rio Carnival. It spans areas of
West London such as Shepherd's
Grove, White City and of course Notting Hill. Many other Caribbean nations have large
communities in this part of London such as Trinidad and
Tobago, Barbados and Antigua.
The Caribbean community
including many Jamaicans are involved in the Carnival which starts
on Saturday and finishes late on Monday. Jamaicans have many food
stalls, soundsystems and floats involved in the procession. Well
over a million londoners come to Notting Hill on the Monday.
also a much smaller carnival called the Tottenham Carnival which takes place in
Tottenham during June, approximately 40,000 people
Jamaican communities include the areas of St
Pauls in Bristol, Chapeltown in Leeds, Moss Side, Longsight and Hulme in
Manchester, Toxteth in Liverpool,Burngreave in Sheffield, Handsworth, Lozells, and Aston in
Birmingham, and St Ann's, Nottingham. More recently many resort and wild-life
management skilled Jamaicans have been trending emigration toward
such far-flung nations as Australia,
Zealand and Indonesia.
The nation continues to have a severe
problem with barrel children
left on their own by parents seeking a better life abroad.
UK - around 500,000 Britons of full Jamaican origin. Located especially in
London, Birmingham, Nottingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds.
around 910,979 especially in New York City (416,000), South Florida and elsewhere.
around 231,000 especially in the Toronto metropolitan area (around 160,000), including
Brampton (around 31,000).