Cuba continues to experience low birth rates and an aging and declining population that were discussed in previous blog posts.
The latest statistic on live births on the island is 116,333 for 2018, which was a 19% decline from 143,528 in 2000. Now Cuba has one of the world’s lowest gross birth rates, 10.4 per thousand (compared to 33.4 per thousand registered in 1965). Coupling this with the island’s increasing life expectancy, Cuba is facing “a demographic time bomb.”
According to an author in Diario de Cuba, Elijah Love, “the social and economic conditions in Cuban society are the main obstacle to the growth of birth rates.”
In short, the low birth rate “demonstrates the failure of the Cuban economic system and the need to “return to a market economy system, in which productive capital and wealth, savings and investment, are the axes of the economic system.” This would include policies “aimed at effectively promoting economic growth, prosperity and the improvement of the standard of living of all Cubans, the accumulation of capital and wealth, savings and investment.”
This analysis surprisingly did not discuss the additional negative impact on Cuba’s population and economy of the emigration of younger Cubans seeking greater opportunities elsewhere.
However, on December 11, the Cuban Government announced that in April 2020 it would hold a conference in Havana about emigration. The stated purpose is to strengthen relations with the emigrants although the Government’s statement emphasized improving relations with Cubans born abroad and those “who do not have a position that is openly against the island’s government.”
 See these posts to dwkcommentaries.com: Projected Cuban Population: Stabilizing and Aging (Sept. 6, 2016); Cuba Addresses Its Aging and Declining Population (Oct. 17, 2016); Cuba’s Success and Problems with an Aging, Declining Population (Mar. 10, 2019).
 Love, A new policy is needed to reverse the birth crisis in Cuba, Diario de Cuba (Dec. 13, 2019).
 Cuban Government announces 4th The Nation and Emigration Conference, On Cuba News (Dec. 12, 2019).