Updated 10:08 PM EST, Mon, Nov 23, 2020

Why Cuban Couples are Waiting to Have Children

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Authorities are concerned that fertility rates in Cuba are falling faster than any other country in Latin America. According to Cuba Headlines, the country counts only ten births a year for every thousand people.

Cuba's falling economic situation and political problems also mean that more and more couples are waiting to have children. As The New York Times noted, many of these couples plan to marry and have children, but not until they are able to leave small apartments shared with half a dozen other people, or perhaps when they have enough money to afford formulas and diapers.

In other words, they will have to wait for a long time.

The Daily Mail said that there is an estimate deficit of 500,000 homes and growing, due to the state's difficulties in maintaining publicly owned buildings. This problem is forcing younger people to share homes with other relatives.

Cubans, on average, also only earn about $50 a month, and they depend on higher-quality imported products that are available to them at sky-high prices, which means that they have difficulty in making ends meet, despite the highly subsidized services llike food, education, health, and electricity.

A 24-year-old Cuban woman admitted to having two abortions in order to avoid having children too soon. She said, "You have to take into consideration the world we live in."

The New York Times also noted that since the 1970s, the birthrate in Cuba has declined significantly, which is usually a problem more common in rich, industrialized countries than in developing ones.

Currently, Cuba has the oldest population in Latin America, with experts predicting that 50 years from now, will fall to a third, as more than 40 percent of the country will be 60 years old or older.

The economic crisis is also noted to be a political and economic one, with the aging population requiring a health care system, something that the state cannot afford. Without a viable work force, Cubans are becoming wary of their future.

With little time at home, little space for families and salaries that can't cover basic supplies, couples are waiting until they can afford to have children be born into the world.

A 31-year-old unemployed waitress said, "You wait to have economic stability to bring a child into the world."

Considering the economic and political situation in Cuba, do you think it's a good idea for people to wait to have kids, or are the problems with late pregnancies not worth bringing children into their already falling population?

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