BelowOpapeleo provides some statistics on the demographic trends in Cuba over the last few years and the ageing of the island’s population.
What is the evolution of the Cuban population in terms of size and age?
In 2021, there were 11 113 215 people living in Cuba, 68 380 fewer than in 2020, which is the most significant decrease since 1980, according to the Demographic Yearbook published by the National Office of Statistics and Information (ONEI).
The population has declined sharply over the last five years. While in 2016 the country recorded the highest number of people in its history (11 239 224), last year’s figure was the lowest since 1999.
In 2021, 99,096 births were reported (the first time a figure below six digits was recorded), bringing the birth rate to its lowest number in 55 years: 8.9 per 1,000 inhabitants.
No generational replacement has taken place in Cuba since 1978, as the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) is below the 2.1 children per woman required to achieve this population replacement. In 2021 the TFR was 1.45, which is the lowest in the last decade.
There were 167 645 reported deaths in 2021, exceeding the historical trend by a large margin. August and September were the months with the highest number of reported deaths, with 28,655 and 22,921 reported fatalities respectively.
Is Cuba one of the most ageing countries in Latin America?
Indeed, Cuba is one of the most ageing countries in Latin America. By the end of 2021, 21.6% of the Cuban population was aged 60 years or more. Yateras, located in the Guantánamo province, has the youngest population in the country, while Plaza de la Revolución, in Havana, has the oldest population.
Cuba’s migratory balance has been mostly negative, with the only exception of 2013 and 2014, when the Decree Law 302 Modifying the Migration Law No. 1312 of 1976 entered into force, which considers in paragraph 2 of the new Article 9.1 “that a Cuban citizen is considered to have emigrated when he or she travels abroad for personal reasons and remains continuously abroad for a period of more than 24 months without the corresponding authorisation”.
According to several reports, in seven months, from October 2021 to April this year, about 115,000 Cubans entered the United States territory irregularly across the Mexican border, which is three times more than during the last year (between 1 October 2020 and 30 September 2021, when 38,500 Cubans reached the US by the same route).
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