This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Cuba's Response to Low Fertility

Cuba currently has a population of just under 12 million people. Demographers at the UN project that this is the peak of Cuban population size and their projections show a decline to 9 million by the middle of this century. This is largely due to the fact that fertility has been below replacement level in Cuba since the 1980s. It seems that the government is finally figuring out a way to deal with this, as noted by my son, Greg Weeks, in his blog (which I reproduce here):
I took this directly from Patrick Oppmann, a CNN reporter in Havana, so I can't claim originality but this is a great juxtaposition. On the one hand, the Cuban government is concerned about the low birth rate in the country:

According to experts, the decreasing fertility trend in Cuba, low mortality rate, and negative results from external migrations (-4.2 per 1,000 inhabitants according to the 2012 Statistical Yearbook) has caused a low population growth in Cuba for many years, and is the lowest one in Latin America when compared at the regional level.

Hence, the Ministry of Public Health has already implemented certain policies to encourage fertility and ensure safe gestation, providing attention to women before, during and after pregnancy, as well as encouraging reproduction among women from 30 to 39 years old, and carrying out other actions to increase medical assistance for infertile couples.

On the other hand , condoms are suddenly and mysteriously in short supply.

The Communist Party’s newspaper in the province of Villa Clara, Vanguardia, tried to explain the reasons for the condom shortage in an April 3 report, and all but drowned in a sea of unanswered questions and typically complex acronyms for government agencies.

Here are some ways other countries have dealt with low fertility. Do it for Denmark!
You gotta love the Danes! (and their total fertility rate is already higher than in Cuba...)

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