Cuba: First world birth rates

Posted: May 29, 2014 by jennroig in Commentary, English
Tags: , , ,

This is nothing new: Cuba’s birth rates have been sinking for years.

The chart can be accessed here for detailed information and the actual numbers.

2007-2013 Birth Rates in Cuba

2007-2013 Birth Rates in Cuba

This chart confirms the premise: education and urbanization are the best methods to control population’s growth. It is no surprise to see that Havana, the capital city, shows the lowest rates every year.

No Cuban province reaches the threshold of 2 children per couple. But Guantanamo and Granma, arguably the most rural provinces, show the highest rates. Between 2003 and 2013, population in Cuba has shrunk from approximately 11.215.400 to 11.210.100, according a 2013 Territorial Report released by ONE. That might not only due to poor birth rates, emigration could also be taking its toll. Though normal birth rates should be able to compensate that outflow of people.

In fact, population hasn’t reduced even more because life expectancy is almost 78 years for both men and women. So, the consequence is a population that grows old. Current average age is about 38-39 years old.

Thus, Cuba has adopted European style regulations during the past decade. Since 2009 a new law determines that retirement age is no longer 60 years old as it used to be but 65 is the new threshold.

These are First World kind of stats. The United States is debating what to do with baby boomers, the largest generation that is expected to grow very old, putting an extra burden on the budget of US Healthcare System. Denmark, Finland and Spain are also facing similar questions. Those are countries with resources. I wonder what will be Cuba’s strategy.

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