Since January 2011 the municipality of Varadero (aka the Hicacos Peninsula) was abolished and incorporated into the neighbor municipality of Cardenas.
Area and population: 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).
Ethnicity: 65% Spanish descendants (white), 25% mulattos and mixed, 10% African descendants (black) and less than 1% Asian descendants. Human development index: 0.782 (2012).
Language: 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 highest average level 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 with close to 6 physicians per 1000 people. Cuba has ranked in the top 2 countries for the number of physicians/1,000 people since 1995. Life expectancy at birth is 79 years. Infant mortality rate is 5.13 per 1,000 live births.
Religion: Cuba is a secular country with freedom of religion. The Catholic and Afro-Cuban religions are predominant.
Other general information about Cuba:
- Official name: Republic of Cuba
- Population: 11,239,224 inhabitants (2016)
- Area: 109,884 sq km (42,426 sq mi)
- Time zone: Eastern Standard Time (GMT -5)
- Capital: Havana (population 2,1 millions)
- Official language: Spanish
- Political regime: Socialist State
- Legislature: National Assembly of People's Power
- Currencies: The Cuban Peso (code: CUP) also called “moneda nacional”, and the Cuban Convertible Peso (code: CUC). The CUC is pegged to the US Dollar at par.
- Leading industries: Tourism, sugar, tobacco, mining, agriculture and pharmaceuticals.
- Electrical power: 110Volts/60Hz, but most of the newer hotels and resorts have 220 Volts.
- Political and administrative division: Cuba is divided into 15 provinces and a special municipality Isla de la Juventud (Isle of Youth, formerly Isle of Pines).
- GDP (PPP) total: US$ 132.9 billion (2016 estimate)
- Annual growth: 2.8%
- National Holiday: January 1st
- National Anthem: Himno de Bayamo (Hymn of Bayamo), composed by Pedro Figueredo in 1867
Lily & Normand