The communist Castro regime admitted this weekend that Cuba’s population is in steep decline, fueled by accelerated growth in the elderly population, low birth rates, and the biggest migrant crisis in the nation’s history.
The deputy chief of Cuba’s National Office of Statistics and Information (ONEI), Juan Carlos Alfonso Fraga, informed in a press conference that, according to its preliminary studies, Cuba’s population was estimated at 11,082,964 by the end of March, down from the 11,089,500 that the Castro regime had estimated just one month prior.
According to the statistics presented by the regime’s official, Cuba saw 95,403 births in 2022, down from 99,096 in 2021. The low birth rates translate into a fertility rate of 1.41 children per woman — below the 2.1 fertility rate required to reach population replacement levels. Cuba has not been able to achieve a 2.1 fertility rate since 1977, according to the ONEI deputy chief.
Alfonso Fraga continued by stating that the average life expectancy in Cuba is around 77 years, with the elderly population now representing 22.3 percent of the entire population.
When it comes to death rates, the ONEI deputy chief asserted that Cuba registered 120,098 deaths in 2022, down from 167,645 deaths in 2021 — the year where a historic wave of protests erupted in July 2021, which the Castro regime responded to by dramatically escalating its brutal repression against the protesters. Cuba’s protest movement is demanding an end to over half a century of communist rule under the dominant Castro family.
During the same press conference, ONEI’s chief, Diego Enrique González, remarked that none of the scenarios that the Cuban statistics office has studied predicts Cuba being able to reach a population of 12 million. González warned that “if the current trends are not reversed, which seems unlikely,” then Cuba’s population could drop from its current 11 million to fewer than nine million people by 2054.
The statistics office vice deputy conceded that mass migration is a contributing factor to the decline in Cuba’s population.
In recent years, the deterioration of the nation’s infrastructure and economy due to continued communist mismanagement — which has resulted in near-daily blackouts; severe food, medicine, and fuel shortages; and lack of access to health care— has triggered the worst migrant crisis in Cuban history. Approximately 300,000 Cubans arrived at the U.S. border, fleeing from communism in 2022 alone. Following far-left President Barack Obama’s undoing of the “wet foot, dry foot” policy that granted legal status to Cuban refugees who arrived by sea, Cubans have resorted to joining human trafficking cartels traveling up from Mexico to the U.S. border.
The president of the Miami-based Havana Consulting Group, Emilio Morales, said in April that more than 450,000 Cubans attempted to enter the United States between 2021 and 2022 — an amount that represents almost four percent of Cuba’s entire population.
As a result, Cuba’s true population may be even lower than the 11 million the Castro regime claims. Cuban historian and essayist Mario Valdés Navia told the Associated Press in February that he estimated Cuba’s actual population to hover at around 10.5 million at the time.
Valdés Navia explained that Cuban legislation establishes a period of two years before anyone who has left Cuba can be removed from population statistics. Therefore, the data presented by the Castro regime last week may be excluding the hundreds of thousands of Cubans that have fled within the past two years.
Castro regime authorities had scheduled a national census by the end of 2022 but postponed it recently to 2025, citing “economic reasons.” Havana will carry out preliminary census registry activities and rehearsals throughout the remainder of 2023.
Watch: U.S. SHUTS DOWN National Park After 300 Cubans Make LandfallEnid Magari / LOCAL NEWS X / TMX
Christian K. Caruzo is a Venezuelan writer and documents life under socialism. You can follow him on Twitter here.
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