Cuba suffers a lethal demographic cocktail with the low birth rate, deaths from covid and emigration

Cuba suffers a lethal demographic cocktail with the low birth rate, deaths from covid and emigration

The population collapsed in Cuba in 2021 as much as in 1980, according to official data from the National Office of Statistics and Information (Onei), which published this Tuesday the yearbook relative to last year. The data is explained by the high mortality that there was on the island in the worst year of the pandemic, but its dimension is not real since it does not include data on emigration, especially massive since November, when Nicaragua abolished visas for Cubans. .

Although most of the disclosed data had been disseminated in small drops, the document makes it possible to compare the demographic evolution on the Island since 1950. As of 2017, the drop in the population is visible, but with rates ranging from -1 to -1 .6 per thousand. In contrast, in 2021 the figure reaches -6.1, only comparable to -6.2 in 1980.

That year, those who left during the Mariel exodus were officially counted – their registration even involved the confiscation of their property. On the other hand, those who currently leave the country do so mostly as travelers and do not lose their residence until two years have passed, so the Onei maintains them as residents.

Thousands of Cubans left the Island in the last months of 2021 and the trend has been increasing as of January 2022

Thousands of Cubans left the island in the last months of 2021 and the trend has been increasing as of January 2022, which will result in a large loss of population in the next Onei annual report, solely due to emigration. .

In 2020 the Cuban population stood at 11,181,595, while a year later the figure was 11,113,215, 68,380 less. In 2021, 167,645 people died, twice as many as were born, 99,096. The difference is 68,549, very close to the difference between the two years and which, probably, ends up matching the number of registered exiles.

The mortality rate in Cuba rose in total in 2021 to 15 per thousand, well above the 10 of last year or the 8.8 of 2016. In the results by provinces, Villa Clara stands out with 18.6, Cienfuegos with 17 , Ciego de Ávila with 16.7 and Havana with 16. Some of these territories had to expand their cemeteries in the worst of the pandemic to accommodate the number of deaths that they accumulated at times.

As for infant mortality, another of the data that has recently dealt a heavy blow to one of the indicators that the Cuban Government has historically boasted about, remains at a worrying 7.6 per thousand live births (the figure scale up to 15.8 in perinatal mortality), with 13.6 for Ciego de Ávila, which had already blunt on partial data analyzes that were available.

It is striking, in the age structure of the Cuban population, that the demographic decrease has been distributed homogeneously

Although the conditions of the pandemic have worsened these indicators on the Island, as in the rest of the world, experts have warned that disinvestment in the maternal and child program (Pami) together with the lack of medical professionals, of which a majority is in international missions or in exile, are having a negative impact on this section.

However, Onei warns that the death figures for 2021 are still preliminary. It is striking, in the age structure of the Cuban population, that the demographic decrease has been distributed homogeneously. The percentages are almost identical to those of last year and even to 2019, a comparatively adequate year because the pandemic has not yet broken out. Thus, 15.7% of the Cuban population is under 14 years of age, 62.7% is under 60, and 21.6% is older. In this last group, the percentage was 20.4% in 2019 and 21.3% in 2020, so its demographic weight is maintained. Although it would be expected that deaths from covid would have reduced the elderly population, the weight is probably maintained by other factors, such as the drop in birth rates.

In 2021, 99,096 people were born compared to 109,716 in 2019, that is, 9.7% less. The decline in births during the pandemic has been widespread and has increased population aging in many countries around the world, since the combination of fewer newborns and less migratory movement have even managed to double the high numbers of elderly deaths. However, in Cuba one of those variables is missing, that of migrants, and it will take time to know.

The 2022 population census, scheduled for September, will be postponed, as announced on Wednesday by the newspaper Granma. And it is precisely this year that corresponds to the disbandment.

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