Saturday, November 12, 2005

Latest Cuba Census Reports 11.2M Residents

By VANESSA ARRINGTON, Associated Press WriterSat Nov 12, 6:13 PM ET

Cuba is home to some 11.2 million residents, three-quarters of whom live in urban areas, according to the communist island's third census since the 1959 revolution that launched Fidel Castro to power.

The census, taken three years ago and presented to officials this week, showed Cuba's population grew by almost 1.5 million since the last census in 1981, according to the Communist Party daily Granma.

It was not clear why it took three years to report the data compiled in September 2002.

The average age of Cubans is 35, though nearly 15 percent of the population is aged 60 or older, state-run newspapers reported Saturday, citing the census results.

The population is split equally by gender, but Juan Carlos Alfonso, who directed the census, predicted that women will be the majority on the island within a few years, according to Juventud Rebelde, Cuba's communist youth newspaper.

An increasing number of Cubans are of mixed ethnicities, with a quarter classified as mestizo in the survey.

There is electricity in about 95 percent of all homes, while 96 percent of households have cooking facilities. The census found there are slightly more than three people per household on the island.

News reports showed that nearly all Cubans took part in the census survey, put together and processed by about 95,000 workers. A digital version of the results was distributed to Cuban ministers and government organizations.

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