HAVANA TIMES — Cuban authorities confirmed the aging trend on the island, with a current figure of 18.3 percent of the population over 60, according to census data released today by the official Granma newspaper.
Only 17.2 percent of the population is currently under 14 years, confirming the preliminary census data released at the end of 2012. The census was “the largest and expensive” ever carried out in Cuba with the data gathering taking place in September 2012.
Experts predict that more than 30 percent of the Cuban population will be over 60 in two decades. Of the 1.9 million people with more than 60 years registered in 2010, the figure should exceed 3.4 million that age in 2030, noted Granma.
The population of the island is currently 11,167.325, with a slight decrease of 10,418 inhabitants in relation to the 2002 census.
“The problem of population aging is a serious matter” said President Raul Castro at a meeting of the Cabinet on Saturday. The meeting discussed measures to increase by 2015 the number and capacity of nursing homes.
The government foresees greatly increased responsibilities for the country’s social security and health care systems in the coming decades as well as a decline in the labor force.
According to current census data, the economically active population of the island represents 54.3 percent of the population aged 15 years or over, with just over 5.2 million people engaged in work activities.