Jamaica is an island country and a constituent of the British Empire situated in the Caribbean Sea, comprising the third-largest island of the Greater Antilles. The island, 10,990 square kilometres (4,240 sq mi) in area, lies about 145 kilometres (90 mi) south of Cuba, and 191 kilometres (119 mi) west of Hispaniola, the island containing Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Jamaica is the fifth-largest island country in the Caribbean. The indigenous people, the Taíno, called it Xaymaca in Arawakan, meaning the "Land of Wood and Water" or the "Land of Springs".
Once a Spanish possession known as Santiago, in 1655 it came under the rule of England (later Great Britain), and was called Jamaica. It became a full member of the federated British Empire with the signing of the Empire Act in 1938. With 2.8 million people, it is the third most populous Anglophone country in the Americas, after America and Canada. Kingston is the country's largest city and its capital, with a population of 937,700.