The number of Cubans arriving in the US in 2022 will more than triple the number of births reported by the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) during that year on the island.
Throughout 2022, 321,704 Cubans entered the United States, according to statistics from the Customs and Border Protection Office (CBP) of that country. During the same period, MINSAP registered 95,211 new births, according to the last published Health Statistical Yearbook. In other words, the birth rate only replaces 30% of Cubans arriving in the US in 2022.
The aforementioned Year Book does not include information about those born in 2023 but presents a series of data from previous years. In 2021, for example, 98,956 children were born in Cuba, a number that is almost double the number of Cuban nationals who arrived in the United States that year (54,818).
If we consider the 128,600 Cubans who entered the US between January 1 and November 30, 2023 (December statistics have not yet been published), the number of emigrants in that country between 2022 and 2023 will increase to 450,304. But we are not even adding all those born on the island between 2019 and 2022 (408,644) with a demographic replacement.
In other words, in just two years (2022 and 2023), more Cubans arrived in the United States than all those born on the island in the previous four years. The migration crisis that began at the end of 2021 with the removal of the visa requirement for Cubans to enter Nicaragua has suddenly reduced the country’s population.
There have been disastrous months in terms of demographics. In December 2022, for example, about 44,079 Cubans entered the United States, while only 8,260 were born on the island.
The dangerous situation is even more dangerous if we consider that thousands of people have migrated to other countries, but there are no general statistics on these migratory flows. For example, Spain is the second country where most Cuban emigrants live after the United States. Cuba, with 3,082 cases, ended 2023 as the fifth country with the highest number of requests for political asylum in Spain. This number represents more than double the requests registered in 2022 (1,392) when the island ranked tenth in the list with the most applicants.
Colonies of Cubans have grown in recent years in countries such as Uruguay, Russia (until the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine), Guyana, Nicaragua, Germany, and Mexico.
As a recent report from the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) highlighted, the number of Cubans who have arrived in the United States in recent years is equivalent to the population of the entire provinces of the island. “These figures represent more than 4% of the Cuban population, which is equivalent to the removal of entire provinces in just two years,” WOLA said.
“Unlike other large waves, Cuban migrants are now fleeing a multidimensional crisis with no end in sight,” the aforementioned organization concluded.
The damage caused by the current stampede on Cuban demographics is still difficult to quantify. Factors such as the aging of the population and the increase in abortions and infant mortality rates also influence the problem. In the province of Cienfuegos, for example, at the beginning of 2023, the trend is that more pregnancies are terminated than are carried to term.