Demographic Enigma

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The projected number of young Cubans in 2015 seems to have been mistaken. (14ymedio)

The National Electoral Commission recently informed us that 63,441 young people had turned 16 since the previous elections in 2012, which gave them the right to vote on Sunday. However, demographic estimates made in 2006 by the government projected that by 2015, the country would have 275,389 young people aged 17 to 18 years. Where are the 211,948 missing young people?

According to the calculations of the Center for Population Studies, in 2015 Cuba has 138,866 18-year-olds, and 136,523 17-year-olds, totaling 275,389 young people in this age group. That  Projected population for Cuba for the period between 2007 and 2015 was published nine years ago.

Logically, this includes not only those who turned 16 before the municipal elections on 19 April 2015, but also those who were born in 1998 and 1997 who turned, or will turn 17 or 18 in any month in 2015, because none of them had reached age 16 in September 2012 when the last elections were held.

Similarly we also have to add those who were born after September 1996, but who were not old enough to vote in the last election. If we just consider those born in 1997 and 1998, who had not previously been able to exercise the right to vote, the figure of those eligible to vote should be around 275,385 mentioned above. Missing, or having disappeared from the lists, are nothing more nor less than 211,948 young people.

Is it a colossal miscalculation on the part of the National Bureau of Statistics? Perhaps the electoral authorities, who work in coordination with the Identity Card offices, didn’t find these guys, or put them in the wrong account? Or is this number of missing made up of those who have left the country or are in prison?

Most likely we will never know what has happened to these “lost” youth.

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