Since January 2011 the municipality of Varadero (aka the Hicacos Peninsula) was abolished and incorporated into the neighbor municipality of Cardenas.
The Hicacos Peninsula itself (Varadero town and beach area) has a population of about 8,000 and covers 14.4 square km (5.6 square miles), and the total population of the municipality of Cardenas is about 20,000 and covers 32 square km (12.4 square miles).
65% Spanish descendants (white), 25% mulattos and mixed, 10% African descendants (black) and less than 1% Asian descendants. Human development index: 0.782 (2012).
Official language is Spanish but English (and sometimes other languages such as French, Italian and German) is understood and spoken by many Cuban who work in the tourism industry.
- Education has been one of the government's priorities for many decades, resulting in having one of the heist levels of education and school attendance in the Caribbean and Latin America, and a literacy rate of 99.8% (tenth-highest globally). The school system is free at all levels and compulsory through the ninth grade.
Public health has also been a top priority of the Cuban government since the Revolution (1959). Cuba has free and universal health care and although shortages of medical supplies persist, there is no shortage of medical personnel, one doctor per 300 inhabitants. Life expectancy at birth: 78 years. Infant mortality rate: 5.13 per 1,000 live births.
Cuba is a secular country with freedom of religion. The Catholic and Afro-Cuban religions are predominant.