The town was formed around the Jwaneng diamond mine, considered the richest in the world in terms of its content of gem-quality diamonds. At its inception it was a 'closed town', meaning that in order to live there permission was needed from the owners of the mine, Debswana.
In 2015, Jwaneng had 13,162 residents. It was identified as the second richest village in Botswana, with a poverty rate of less than 3%.
The town and the mine are served by the Jwaneng Airport.