Census Offices Open in Cuba

HAVANA TIMES — On Wednesday, 1,500 census offices will open across Cuba, where for three months preparation will be underway for conducting, implementing and monitoring the national survey, to be carried out from September 15 to 24.

According to preliminary projections by the National Bureau of Statistics, a 0.7 percent decline is expected in the country’s current population of 11.2 million people by the end of this decade.

The Prensa Latina news agency recalled that previous population declines were in recorded in 1899, after the end of the war of independence, and in 1980, when more than 125,000 nationals immigrated to the US.

In addition to studying the trends in the declining and aging population, data will be updated on the status and lingering deficiencies of housing in the wake of three hurricanes that pounded the country in 2008. These affected one million of the existing 3.9 million living units across the country.


7 thoughts on “Census Offices Open in Cuba

  • Sorry, ‘Moses’, there’s no evidence of an attack on you in what I wrote, only relentless logic. Here is more.

    I was being kind, characterising your statement that most Cuban émigrés are 18–35, as a non sequitur. More accurately, it was deception on your part, or at best, ignorance of logic. The statement itself is no doubt true, the usual age when people emigrate from any country. You have actually provided the information in your comments that points up the deception / ignorance. As you noted, white couples in Cuba only have .4 babies per couple, vastly below the replacement rate. You wrote the rate for blacks is 2.1, also below the replacement rate, on average, around 2.3.

    Since the vast majority of Cubans emigrating are white – 93% at the time of the Revolution and consistently around 85% since, then the ‘white flight’ mostly removes from Cuba those who are not having children. Thus, it is sophistry on your part, or ignorance, to state that emigration “is why the population is shrinking.” To paraphrase Clinton’s famous remark, “It’s the declining birth rate, stupid.”

    Since the ‘wet foot, dry foot’ immigration policy in the 90’s, around 29,000 Cubans emigrate to the US annually, hardly a significant factor in depopulating the island. Again, the simple fact is, the declining population in Cuba, in common with most developed countries, is due to the low birth rate of their citizens. Canada has been actively seeking new immigrants for more than a decade due to shrinking population figures.

    You wrote, ” The aging of the population contributes to the increased burden being put on the vaunted Cuban health care system.” Absolutely, Canada has been faced with this since its baby boomers began to retire.

    You wrote that the “wealthiest segment of the population are whites owed to better jobs and a higher percentage of family abroad sending money to Cuba”,.then unfortunately lapsed into racism by writing that as the number of whites “shrinks and blacks increase, Cuban per capita wealth will diminish as well.” Why do you rule out blacks doing the jobs the fleeing whites leave vacant? The implication is they cannot do them.

    Are the new white flighters – ‘me’ generation members – likely to send remittances to the degree their forebears did to a decreasing number of white relatives back in in Cuba? It’s seems unlikely Cuba can count on it for future wealth generation.

    I’m mystified by the statement that there is an “ever-increasing amount of bad news coming out of Cuba these days.” Perhaps from your perspective or in your dreams. On the contrary, the news is hopeful – reforms are being undertaken, admittedly fraught with risks, and there is healthy criticism and exchanges of ideas taking place in the pages of the Havana Times.

    Finally, you wrote, “it never helps to solve any problem by pointing out someone else’s problem.” I’m afraid that is exactly what you are doing. Cuba is not your home. Americans love to “focus” on (i.e., to demonise, undermine, subvert, sanction, bomb, boycott, embargo, etc., etc.) other countries due to their ‘problems’. It’s commonly understood one of the reasons – not all, for certain – is to deflect their citizens’ attention from the massive problems back home.

    I’m not trying to point out your country’s problems, only putting what you write about Cuba in perspective. Work to clean up your own house before taking on the dirt in others’ houses. Don’t take this personally old man, but the old cry of the resistance still applies: Por favor, Yankee go home.

  • The “non sequitur” is a valid reference to the fact that the population segment that is best able to have babies (18 – 35) is either deciding not to have them or they are leaving Cuba to have them elsewhere. That is why the population is shrinking. The aging of the population contributes to the increased burden being put on the vaunted Cuban health care system. Yes, Cubans are able to live nearly as long as Americans and they require just as much medical attention…at government expense. Finally, because the “wealthiest’ segment of the population are whites owed to better jobs and a higher percentage of family abroard sending money to Cuba. As this group shrinks and blacks increase, Cuban per capita wealth will diminish as well. It is true that the same thing is happening in the US, However, the economic impact of this demographic shift is very different so comparisons are misplaced. I do, however,understand how hearing the ever-increasing amount of bad news coming out of Cuba these days would provoke Lawrence to deflect with an attack on me and the US. It should be noted that it never helps to solve any problem by pointing out someone else’s problem.

  • The piece was actually a report about the Cuban census and some preliminary projections about what it will show. ‘Moses’ used it as an opportunity to dump a bunch of highly selective facts and interpretations on us about what the numbers mean. Writing that the Cuba population is shrinking, getting older, poorer and blacker makes it sound as if there is some kind of unusual malaise on the island until you compare it to the US. He throws in a non sequitur, writing, “The population segment ages 18 – 35 are the most likely to immigrate,” hoping you will think this is a contributing factor to the aging of the population when it is not. The overall lowering of the birth rate is the reason.

    So I was writing about Cuba. Sorry you missed it.

  • I thought this piece was about Cuba and not the US? While you’re at it why don’t you tell us the situation in Japan, Denmark, Nigeria or any other place that is completely irrelevant to the story?

  • What ‘Moses’ writes about Cuba nicely fits his own country – it’s getting older, poorer and blacker. The major difference is its population continues to grow. Non-whites are the only ones having babies in any numbers but the birth rate is still not high enough to sustain overall population numbers in either country where whites are not procreating. It’s the same in Canada. In 2011, non-white babies in the US outnumbered white babies for the first time.

    The US population grows through immigration, the lack of which in Cuba, more than emigration, accounts for its shrinking population. Of course Obama has deported more people than any other president – getting rid of the surplus, I suppose, in a country that is accustomed to treating people as surplus.

    The times are changing faster for the US, it seems.

  • This census will document what social scientists have been tracking for some time: not only is Cuba shrinking, but it is getting older, poorer and blacker. The population segment ages 18 – 35 are the most likely to immigrate. Improvements in health care have allowed Cubans to live longer. Finally, black Cubans are still having babies at the traditional rate of 2.1 per couple. White Cubans are somewhere around .4 babies per couple. The times they are a changin’…

  • Yeah, it’s the hurricanes fault the living situation is what it is in Cuba……..

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