Cuba Population and Economic Conditions 1991

By | December 16, 2021

With the new constitution (1976) the administrative division of the country was changed, which was divided into 15 units (14 provinces, one of which formed by the urban area of ​​the capital, plus the special municipality of Isla de la Juventud).

Population. – Between the last two censuses (1970 and 1981) the population went from 8,533,404 to 9,723,605 units, with an average annual increase of 1.3%; an increase that would have been a little higher if, starting from 1980, the Cuban government had not allowed the expatriation of a considerable number of citizens (around 150,000), who emigrated to the United States and settled for the most part in Florida, in Miami, swelling the already massive Cuban colony formed at the time of the Castro revolution and which has more than one million people. In 1988, according to an estimate, the residents would have risen to 10,421,000, so that the average annual increase in the 1980s would be 1%.

The birth rate is 13ı, mortality has dropped sharply, down to 6ı; and infant mortality has fallen even more, the value of which (13.6ı in 1986) is now in line with that of the more developed countries. The average density is 95 residents per km 2, with significant densities especially in the eastern part (province of Santiago de Cuba, 150 residents per km 2). The urban population has risen to over 71% (1987), not only due to the attraction of the major cities (Havana has exceeded 2 million residents), but also, and above all, due to the transformation into smaller urban centers. of many ancient rural agglomerations.

Economic conditions. – Agriculture occupies 19% of the active population (1989) and contributes with less than 10% to the gross domestic product (1989). The political-economic guidelines of the Castro regime led, through the two reform laws (1959 and 1963) and a series of subsequent measures, to the coexistence of two sectors, one completely nationalized, which covers about 60% of the land, and the other managed by cooperatives or small individual producers; the latter sector, which, strictly speaking, cannot be defined as state, but in which the state intervenes by directing production according to the needs of the plans and reserving for itself the purchase of surpluses. During the post-revolutionary thirty years, considerable technical progress has been made: the consumption of fertilizers and the number of tractors have doubled, the cultivated lands have increased by a third, the irrigated area has almost quadrupled. But these technical advances were not matched by a parallel increase in production, not much higher than that of the late 1950s.

40% of the cultivated area is occupied by sugar cane, which came back into vogue after the period in which it was trying to free itself from its hegemony: Cuba is the third world producer of sugar, after Brazil and India, with 8.1 million t (1989), 80% for export. The other agricultural product of great importance for export is tobacco (400,000 q in 1989), while the production of coffee (in reduction), rice, corn, potatoes, bananas, citrus fruits, tomatoes, the last three, is more modest. increasing. Cattle amount to 5 million heads (1988), numerous compared to the smallness of the territory and of good quality; abundant is poultry. For Cuba 1996, please check

Among the mineral resources only nickel has a real economic importance: 35,800 tons extracted in the Sierra del Cristal (1987) and refined in the plants of Nicaro, Moa and Punta Gorda. The reserves of manganese are very modest and the finds of oil and iron minerals are little or nothing exploited. The energy produced (13.6 million kWh in 1987) is for the most part of thermal origin; it should increase considerably if the Juragua nuclear power plant, which has been under construction for some time, comes into operation. Sugar and tobacco factories, the two traditional sectors, continue to prevail clearly in the panorama of Cuban industry, which absorbs 27% of the active population and accounts for 45% of the gross national product (1989). Among the sugar refineries, numerous in all areas of the country where cane is grown, those of Cienfuegos are noteworthy. The other industries, on the other hand, are more concentrated: especially in the capital, which is the largest manufacturing center in the country (in particular for tobacco, but also for steel mills and oil plants), in Santiago (oil refineries), in Cienfuegos (paper mills), in Matanzas (textiles).

International trade. – The trade balance is always passive, but the deficit is gradually decreasing. From 1972 to 1991 (the year in which it was decided to abolish it) Cuba was a member of COMECON, and established close commercial relations with the USSR. Much less intense are the relations with the EEC countries, among which Spain prevails, due to traditional ties that have never been interrupted; imports from Japan are not insignificant. Sugar, nickel and fruit are the most exported goods.

Cuba International trade