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The Cuban population decreased in number for the third year in a row by the end of 2008, according to official figures released by National Statistics Office (ONE).

According to the information, there were 11, 236, 099 Cubans residing in the country by the end of December last year, 691 citizens less than the year before.

The year 2006 marked a turning point for demographic indicators, since it was the first in a three-year period to witness a progressive reduction in the number of inhabitants.

The negative balance between 2006 and 2005 reached 4, 793 persons, while that relationship between 2007 and 2006 reported 2, 253; the decreasing trend has progressively slowed down and it almost stood still based on the fact that the birth rate increased in 2008.

A slight growth of general mortality might have a negative impact, but it is a natural phenomenon related to the aging of the population, whose average age has increased with some 2 million inhabitants over 60 years, nearly half of them are in their 70´s and more than 85 years old.

In Cuban demographic history there were only two occasions in which the population decreased; first in 1899, close to the end of the Independence War (1895-1898) and later in 1980, following a mass emigration.

Source: ACN

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