Cuba's population is very multiethnic and intermarriage between many groups is widespread. Accurate figures on Cuba's demographics are hard to come by. The University of Miami's Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies found that 62% of the population is black while the official 2002 census found 65% were white. An autosomal study in 2014, however, found Cuba's genetic ancestry is 72% European, 20% African and 8% Native American.
Immigration over centuries has played a large role in Cuba's population. From the 18th through 20th centuries, there were many waves of Canarian, Andalusian, Galician, Catalan, and other Spanish immigrants. Later, many immigrants from Italy, Great Britain, Ireland, Greece, Portugal, and France moved to the island.
Figures from 2002, which use a Cuban population of 11,177,743, give us a clearer picture of age splits and other key demographic factors. From those numbers, it was shown that 19.1% of the population were aged between 0 and 14. In addition, 70.3% of Cubans were between 15 and 64 while 10.6% of the Cuba population in 2002 were aged over 65.
Overall life expectancy in 2006 was 77.41 years and this was divided between 75.11 years for males and 79.85 for females.
Cuba Religion, Economy and Politics
Although Roman Catholicism has the majority, with 60% of the population, the remaining 40% is relatively diverse. 24% of people in Cuba are non-religious, 5% are Protestant, and the remaining 11% practice a different religion or some form of African spirituality. A common example of a syncretic religion (a faith system made up of merged indigenous beliefs), is Santeria which combines Yoruba (the religion of African slaves) with Catholicism. Other religions like Hinduism, Judaism, and Buddhism are in extreme minority.
The Cuban government has complete control over the economy, and they have not been doing a good job of managing things. The country is nearly bankrupt, and the government continually says that they are making strides towards pro-market reforms yet their actions say otherwise as nothing has been implemented. Private property is strictly regulated, courts can be politically interfered with, and there is excessive bureaucracy, all of which seriously limit the amount other countries are willing to trade or invest with them.
Cuba is a socialist democracy. Since 1959, Cuba has had a socialist political system and is constitutionally defined as a Marxist-Leninist socialist state. In 2019, the present Constitution was passed and describes the role of the Communist Party of Cuba to be the “leading force of society and of the state.”
In March 2018, parliamentary elections were held in Cuba to elect members of the National Assembly of People’s Power. The National Assembly of People’s Power has over 600 members who serve five-year terms. The Nationals Assembly holds a session twice a year where it appoints a 31-member Council of State, headed by the president. Legislative authority rests with the National Assembly.
The government exercises executive power. From 1959 to 2008, Fidel Castro was the chief of state and head of government. In 2008, his brother Raúl Castro relinquished power. Raúl Castro is current the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, the most powerful position within the Community Party of Cuba. As of 2019, Miguel Díaz-Canel is now the President of Cuba and is likely to succeed Raúl Castro as First Secretary in 2021. Since the 2019 Constitution, the President of Cuba is limited to two five-year terms.
Cuba Population History
The first nationwide census in Cuba was carried out in 1771 and it was confirmed at the time that 171,600 people were living here. Surveys from then on were sporadic and at the next census of 1792, that figure had climbed to 274,300.
Similar growth continued through the 19th century and as the 1900’s rolled in, the census of 1910 confirmed that the population of Cuba had jumped to an impressive 2,219,000.
By the end of the century however, there had been a number of huge population spikes that ultimately led to a fourfold increase in 90 years as the census of 2000 showed the Cuba population to be 11,142,000.
The increase from 2000 to 2010 has therefore been relatively small and as such, it may be correct to assume that the population of Cuba in 2014 has only just exceeded 11,271,000.