The Cuban Diaspora

BY LEONARDO RODRIGUEZ

 

Before the Castro Revolution turned Cuba into a Communist regime, Cuba was a nation of immigrants. In the fifty-two years the Castro brothers have ruled Cuba; it has become a nation of emigrants. This is the story of their exodus to all corners of the earth, strictly by the numbers-a detailed accounting of the information that describes the Cuban Diaspora.

 

Table I presents the gradual increase of the number of Cubans in the United States as reflected by the U.S. Census Bureau in its last five decennial censuses.

 

Table II describes the progressive “Cubanization” of Miami. Various local, academic, and federal sources outline the successive arrival of the exiles to their preferred geographical location in the U.S. Miami-Dade County in Florida.

 

Table I

Cuban Presence in the United States
(1970-2010)
U.S. Census Bureau19701980199020002010
Total Population203,211,926226,709,899248,709,873281,421,906308,745,538
Hispanic Population9,072,60214,608,67322,354,05935,305,81850,477,594
Hispanic Population as % of Total Population4.5%6.4%8.9%12.5%16.3%
Cuban Population544,600803,2261,043,9321,241,6851,785,547
Cuban Population as % of Total Population0.26%0.35%0.42%0.44%0.58%
Cuban Population as % of Hispanic Population6.0%5.5%4.7%3.5%3.5%

 

Table II

Cuban Presence in Miami-Dade
(1960-2010)
U.S. Census Bureau196019701980199020002010
Miami-Dade Population935,0471,267,7921,625,7811,967,0002,253,3622,496,435
Hispanic Population50,000299,065580,994949,0001,291,7371,623,859
Hispanic Population as % of Total Population5.3%23.6%35.7%48.2%57.3%65.0%
Cuban Population24,400185,411407,253561,868650,601856,007
Cuban Population as % of Total Population2.6%14..6%25.0%28.6%28.9%34.3%
Cuban Population as % of Hispanic Population48.8%62.0%70.0%59.2%50.4%52.7%

 

The next three tables outline the three sites in New Jersey which originally became home to a relatively large number of Cubans during the last fifty years. They are Union City (Table III) and Hudson County (Table IV), where the number of Cubans has decreased over time, and Bergen  County (Table V), where according to the 2010 U.S. Census the number of Cuban immigrants has increased.

 

Table III

Cuban Presence in Union City, New Jersey
(1990-2010)
U.S. Census Bureau199020002010
Union City Population56,57367,08866,455
Hispanic Population42,88455,22656,291
Hispanic Population as % of Total Population75.8%82.3%84.7%
Cuban Population14,70910,2967.510
Cuban Population as % of Total Population26.0%15.3%11.3%
Cuban Population as % of Hispanic Population34.3%18.6%13.3%

 

Table IV

Cuban Presence in Hudson County, New Jersey
(1990-2010)
U.S. Census Bureau199020002010
Hudson County Population553,099608,975634,266
Hispanic Population183,465242,123267,853
Hispanic Population as % of Total Population33.17%39.8%42.2%
Cuban Population44,11533,90128,652
Cuban Population as % of Total Population7.98%5.56%4.5%
Cuban Population as % of Hispanic Population24.0%14.0%10.7%

 

Table V

Cuban Presence in Bergen County, New Jersey
(1990-2010)
U.S. Census Bureau199020002010
Bergen County Population825,380884,118905,116
Hispanic Population49,77691,377145,281
Hispanic Population as % of Total Population6.0%10.3%16.1%
Cuban Population6,9849,38112,708
Cuban Population as % of Total Population0.85%1.06%1.4%
Cuban Population as % of Hispanic Population14.0%10.27%8.7%

 

Table VI presents the official U.S. Census Bureau’s figures of Cubans living in Puerto Rico. These numbers represent a decrease from the estimated 30,410 Cubans living in the island in 1971.

 

Table VI

Cuban Presence in Puerto Rico
(2000-2010)
U.S. Census Bureau20002010
Total Population3,808,6103,725,789
Cuban Population19,97317,860
Cuban Population as % of Total Population0.5%0.5%

 

The Cuban immigration to Spain has been documented by that country’s decennial census, published by el Instituto Nacional de Estadística as well as recent newspaper accounts. Table VII discloses the fluctuations in number of the Cuban population in Spain since 1981 to the present.

 

Table VII

Cuban Presence in Spain
(1981-2006)
Instituto Nacional de Estadística (Spain)198120012006
Total Population37,683,36340,847,371-----
Cuban Population21,37225,79744,739

 

As the reader can surmise, Cubans which had never emigrated in quantity before 1959 continue to do so fifty-two years later.

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