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The main demographic problem Cuba currently faces is fertility, with a continually declining birthrate. Statistics offered by Grissell Rodriguez, a researcher from the Center for Demographic Studies (Cedem), show that as of 1990, the fertility rate for teenagers began to decrease, becoming quite stable and with a slight continued decline until 2006.

However, starting in 2007, the decline accelerated sharply, reaching a rate of 57.3 per 1,000 women from 15 to 19 years old by 2011, the expert told Granma newspaper.

Multiple theories are offered, from the role women have reached in different parts of society, encouraging some women to delay reproduction until the end of their studies and even extend it to continue their education, so they can be more successful in the workplace.

Another element associated with women's sexual and reproductive health and affecting fertility is abortion. Although it is an earned right, it is even used by a group of women as a "birth control," without considering future implications.

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.


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