Top banner
The World Factbook 2002 Banner

Flag of Cuba
Click to enlarge
Categories Banner
  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January 2002
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2002.

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003

Map of Cuba

Legend: Definition Definition Field Listing Field Listing
   Introduction    Cuba
Definition Field Listing
Fidel CASTRO led a rebel army to victory in 1959; his iron rule has held the country together since then. Cuba's Communist revolution, with Soviet support, was exported throughout Latin America and Africa during the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. The country is now slowly recovering from a severe economic recession in 1990, following the withdrawal of former Soviet subsidies, worth $4 billion to $6 billion annually. Havana portrays its difficulties as the result of the US embargo in place since 1961. Illicit migration to the US - using homemade rafts, alien smugglers, or falsified visas - is a continuing problem. Some 2,600 Cubans attempted the crossing of the Straits of Florida in 2001; the US Coast Guard apprehended only about 35% of the individuals.
   Geography    Cuba
Definition Field Listing
Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, 150 km south of Key West, Florida
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
21 30 N, 80 00 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Central America and the Caribbean
Definition Field Listing
total: 110,860 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 110,860 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly smaller than Pennsylvania
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 29 km
border countries: US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay 29 km
note: Guantanamo Naval Base is leased by the US and thus remains part of Cuba
Definition Field Listing
3,735 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
Definition Field Listing
tropical; moderated by trade winds; dry season (November to April); rainy season (May to October)
Definition Field Listing
mostly flat to rolling plains, with rugged hills and mountains in the southeast
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Pico Turquino 2,005 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
cobalt, nickel, iron ore, copper, manganese, salt, timber, silica, petroleum, arable land
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 33.04%
other: 59.35% (1998 est.)
permanent crops: 7.61%
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
870 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
the east coast is subject to hurricanes from August to October (in general, the country averages about one hurricane every other year); droughts are common
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
air and water pollution; biodiversity loss; deforestation
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Marine Life Conservation
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
largest country in Caribbean and westernmost island of the Greater Antilles
   People    Cuba
Definition Field Listing
11,224,321 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 20.6% (male 1,188,125; female 1,125,743)
15-64 years: 69.3% (male 3,902,162; female 3,880,531)
65 years and over: 10.1% (male 520,849; female 606,911) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.35% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing
12.08 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing
7.35 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-1.21 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing
7.27 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing
total population: 76.6 years
female: 79.15 years (2002 est.)
male: 74.2 years
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.6 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.03% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing
2,800 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing
120 (1999 est.)
Definition Field Listing
noun: Cuban(s)
adjective: Cuban
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
mulatto 51%, white 37%, black 11%, Chinese 1%
Definition Field Listing
nominally 85% Roman Catholic prior to CASTRO assuming power; Protestants, Jehovah's Witnesses, Jews, and Santeria are also represented
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
male: 96.2%
female: 95.3% (1995 est.)
total population: 95.7%
People - note:
Definition Field Listing
illicit migration is a continuing problem; Cubans attempt to depart the island and enter the US using homemade rafts, alien smugglers, direct flights, or falsified visas; some 3,000 Cubans took to the Straits of Florida in 2001; the US Coast Guard interdicted about 25% of these migrants; Cubans also use non-maritime routes to enter the US; some 2,400 Cubans arrived overland via the southwest border and direct flights to Miami in 2000
   Government    Cuba
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Republic of Cuba
conventional short form: Cuba
local short form: Cuba
local long form: Republica de Cuba
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
Communist state
Definition Field Listing
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
14 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia) and 1 special municipality* (municipio especial); Camaguey, Ciego de Avila, Cienfuegos, Ciudad de La Habana, Granma, Guantanamo, Holguin, Isla de la Juventud*, La Habana, Las Tunas, Matanzas, Pinar del Rio, Sancti Spiritus, Santiago de Cuba, Villa Clara
Definition Field Listing
20 May 1902 (from Spain 10 December 1898; administered by the US from 1898 to 1902)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 10 December (1898); note - 10 December 1898 is the date of independence from Spain, 20 May 1902 is the date of independence from US administration
Definition Field Listing
24 February 1976, amended July 1992
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on Spanish and American law, with large elements of Communist legal theory; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Definition Field Listing
16 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President of the Council of State and President of the Council of Ministers Fidel CASTRO Ruz (prime minister from February 1959 until 24 February 1976 when office was abolished; president since 2 December 1976); First Vice President of the Council of State and First Vice President of the Council of Ministers Gen. Raul CASTRO Ruz (since 2 December 1976); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
elections: president and vice president elected by the National Assembly; election last held 6 March 2003 (next to be held in 2007)
election results: Fidel CASTRO Ruz reelected president; percent of legislative vote - 100%; Raul CASTRO Ruz elected vice president; percent of legislative vote - 100%
cabinet: Council of Ministers proposed by the president of the Council of State, appointed by the National Assembly; note - there is also a Council of State whose members are elected by the National Assembly
head of government: President of the Council of State and President of the Council of Ministers Fidel CASTRO Ruz (prime minister from February 1959 until 24 February 1976 when office was abolished; president since 2 December 1976); First Vice President of the Council of State and First Vice President of the Council of Ministers Gen. Raul CASTRO Ruz (since 2 December 1976); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral National Assembly of People's Power or Asemblea Nacional del Poder Popular (609 seats, elected directly from slates approved by special candidacy commissions; members serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 19 January 2003 (next to be held in 2008)
election results: percent of vote - PCC 97.6%; seats - PCC 609
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
People's Supreme Court or Tribunal Supremo Popular (president, vice president, and other judges are elected by the National Assembly)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
only party - Cuban Communist Party or PCC [Fidel CASTRO Ruz, first secretary]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
CCC, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IAEA, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IFAD, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, NAM, OAS (excluded from formal participation since 1962), OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
none; note - Cuba has an Interests Section in the Swiss Embassy, headed by Principal Officer Dagoberto RODRIGUEZ Barrera (since August 2001); address: Cuban Interests Section, Swiss Embassy, 2630 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009; telephone: [1] (202) 797-8518
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
none; note - the US has an Interests Section in the Swiss Embassy, headed by Principal Officer James C. CASON; address: USINT, Swiss Embassy, Calzada between L and M Streets, Vedado Seccion, Havana; telephone: 33-3551 through 3559 (operator assistance required); FAX: 33-3700; protecting power in Cuba is Switzerland
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
five equal horizontal bands of blue (top and bottom) alternating with white; a red equilateral triangle based on the hoist side bears a white, five-pointed star in the center; design influenced by the US flag
   Economy    Cuba
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
The government continues to balance the need for economic loosening against a concern for firm political control. It has undertaken limited reforms in recent years to stem excess liquidity, increase enterprise efficiency, and alleviate serious shortages of food, consumer goods, and services, but is unlikely to implement extensive changes. A major feature of the economy is the dichotomy between relatively efficient export enclaves and inefficient domestic sectors. The average Cuban's standard of living remains at a lower level than before the severe economic depression of the early 1990s, which was caused by the loss of Soviet aid and domestic inefficiencies. High oil prices, recessions in key export markets, and damage from Hurricane Michelle hampered growth in 2001. Cuba paid high prices for oil imports in the face of slumping prices in the key sugar and nickel industries and suffered a slowdown in tourist arrivals following September 11. The government aimed for 3% growth in 2002, but growth was held back by hurricanes, depressed tourism, and faltering world economic conditions, including low world sugar prices and a shortage of external financing.
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $25.9 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
0% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $2,300 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 8%
industry: 35%
services: 58%
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing
7.1% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing
4.3 million
note: state sector 78%, non-state sector 22% (1999) (2000 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 24%, industry 25%, services 51% (1999) (1999)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing
4.1% (2001 est.)
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $14.9 billion
expenditures: $15.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.) (2000 est.)
Definition Field Listing
sugar, petroleum, tobacco, chemicals, construction, services, nickel, steel, cement, agricultural machinery, biotechnology
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.2% (2001 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing
14.87 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
Definition Field Listing
fossil fuel: 95%
hydro: 0%
other: 5% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing
13.829 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
sugar, tobacco, citrus, coffee, rice, potatoes, beans; livestock
Definition Field Listing
$1.8 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
sugar, nickel, tobacco, fish, medical products, citrus, coffee
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Netherlands 22.4%, Russia 13.3%, Canada 13.3%, Spain 7.3%, China 6.2% (2001)
Definition Field Listing
$4.8 billion f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
petroleum, food, machinery and equipment, chemicals
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Spain 12.7%, France 6.5%, Canada 5.7%, China 5.3%, Italy 5.0% (2001)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing
$12.3 billion (convertible currency, 2000 est.); another $15 billion -$20 billion owed to Russia (2001) (2002 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$68.2 million (1997 est.)
Definition Field Listing
Cuban peso (CUP)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Cuban pesos per US dollar - 1.0000 (nonconvertible, official rate, for international transactions, pegged to the US dollar); convertible peso sold for domestic use at a rate of 1.00 US dollar per 27 pesos by the Government of Cuba (January 2002)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Cuba
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing
473,031 (2000)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing
2,994 (1997)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: NA
domestic: principal trunk system, end to end of country, is coaxial cable; fiber-optic distribution in Havana and on Isla de la Juventud; 2 microwave radio relay installations (one is old, US-built; the other newer, built during the period of Soviet support); both analog and digital mobile cellular service established
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 169, FM 55, shortwave 1 (1998)
Definition Field Listing
3.9 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
58 (1997)
Definition Field Listing
2.64 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Definition Field Listing
5 (2001)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing
120,000 (2002)
   Transportation    Cuba
Definition Field Listing
total: 4,807 km
standard gauge: 4,807 km 1.435-m gauge, in public use (147 km electrified)
note: in addition to the 4,807 km of standard-gauge track in public use, 7,162 km of track is in private use by sugar plantations; about 90% of the private use track is standard gauge and the rest is narrow gauge (2000 est.)
Definition Field Listing
total: 60,858 km
paved: 29,820 km (including 638 km of expressway)
unpaved: 31,038 km (1997)
Definition Field Listing
240 km
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Cienfuegos, Havana, Manzanillo, Mariel, Matanzas, Nuevitas, Santiago de Cuba
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 14 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 44,187 GRT/63,416 DWT
ships by type: bulk 3, cargo 6, liquefied gas 1, petroleum tanker 1, refrigerated cargo 3 (2002 est.)
Definition Field Listing
172 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 78
over 3,047 m: 7
2,438 to 3,047 m: 9
1,524 to 2,437 m: 20
914 to 1,523 m: 6
under 914 m: 36 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 94
914 to 1,523 m: 30
under 914 m: 64 (2002)
   Military    Cuba
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) including Ground Forces, Revolutionary Navy (MGR), Air and Air Defense Force (DAAFAR), Territorial Militia Troops (MTT), and Youth Labor Army (EJT); note - the Border Guard Troops (TGF) are controlled by the Interior Ministry
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
17 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 3,102,312
females age 15-49: 3,036,549 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 1,915,586
females age 15-49: 1,869,867 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 86,632
females: 79,562 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing
roughly 4% (FY95 est.)
Military - note:
Definition Field Listing
Moscow, for decades the key military supporter and supplier of Cuba, cut off almost all military aid by 1993
   Transnational Issues    Cuba
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay is leased to US and only mutual agreement or US abandonment of the area can terminate the lease
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
territorial waters and air space serve as transshipment zone for cocaine and heroin bound for the US and Europe; established the death penalty for certain drug-related crimes in 1999

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003

Bottom Banner