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Posted July 05, 2004 by publisher in Cuban Healthcare

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Though known to be among the friendliest people in the world, the divorce rate of Cubans is the highest in Latin America, says a new study.

The number of formalised affairs in that country is also among the highest in the continent, at more than 100,000 marriages every year.

With the cupid running riot, the country has a very high number of non-formal families too, points out the study by the Psychology Faculty of Havana University.

The Cuban National News Agency made available the findings.

Despite all the talk of Cuba being a nation of “joyful, nice, fair, friendly, faithful” people, the study points out the foremost cause for breaking up of the families is “inability to deal with lack of communication among couples”.

There are other causes like strain of housing, the families having to share living space with other members of a joint family.

The immaturity of the couples too young for a mature matrimony and increasing economic independence of women are also seen as reasons for growing divorces.

Despite the early nuptials, fertility among Cuban women has remarkably been on the decline. The reproduction gross rate of its people has come down to 1.6 children per woman.

The direct impact of education on women’s fertility is evident from the fact that it is only a third among women with college education when compared with that of women who had incomplete primary education.

The fall in fertility, the study indicates, is directly linked to the high literacy rate of women in that country that offers free universal education up to college level.

The literacy rate in the country is a whopping 99.8 percent, as against Latin America’s 88.3 percent.

The high women’s literacy rate had its positive impact on the infant mortality rate too, with it falling to 6.3 per 1,000 births, as against a dismal 60 in 1959.

The fact that 99.1 percent of the population is under expert medical coverage through a string of neighbourhood health facilities has also contributed to the decrease in infant mortality.

The health cover has, meanwhile, pushed up Cuba’s life expectancy to 77 years that compares favourably with that of the developed countries.

A fall out of the increased life expectancy has been that the country of 11.2 million people - as of 2003 - has been ageing fast. The average age of the population is 34.5 years, with more than 14 percent above 60 years of age.

If the tendency keeps going, the study says, one out of four Cubans will be above 60 years of age soon, the highest for the continent.

  1. Follow up post #1 added on July 06, 2004 by MJD

    It’ hard to take on the responsibilies of marriage and parenthood when your economic prospects are so grim…....

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