Saturday, March 28, 2009

How will Cuba's youth deal with the island's aging population?


Cuba hikes retirement age by 5 years, pinching pockets as senior population swells

Faced with an aging population and a life expectancy of 77.3 years, nearly the same as the U.S., Cuba's government has raised the retirement threshold by five years, to 60 for women and 65 for men, delaying the second jobs many have counted on to make ends meet in their old age.
The overhaul, to be fully phased in by 2015, means Cuba's retirement age will exceed Latin America's average of 59 for women and 62 for men, according to Carmelo Mesa-Lago, an expert on the Cuban economy at the University of Pittsburgh.

The island's population is aging faster than the rest of the region — some 17 percent will be 60 or older by 2010, compared with 9 percent across Latin America today, according to U.N. data. A quarter of Cubans will top 60 by 2025, a point the rest of the region won't reach until 2050.

As Cuba's work force shrinks, the ratio of workers to retirees has narrowed from seven-to-one in 1970 to three-to-one today. Had the country not raised its retirement age, the ratio would have been two-to-one by 2025, the government said.
Click here for the whole story.

In an environment that already makes it hard to get by (let alone support a family), it's alarming that this is happening considerig the Cuban system makes it so that te burden of dealing with the growing older generation will necessarily be placed squarely and exclusively on the shoulders of Cuba's youth.

What will this mean for Cuba's youth? Will they be able to find a way to support this generation, or will Cuban retirees be forced to get by with less? Could this be an issue that drives people to demand more change?

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