Sandor Gyula Nagy, Sejla Almadi, Dzenita Siljak


Cuba has been a significant player in international and regional politics for a long while, particularly compared to its size. However, reliable data on the standard of living of its society is scarce. The literature review reflects how the Cuban state manipulated certain data forwarded to international organisations. Our objective was to implement field research and gain primary data on Cubans’ quality of life and income structure that could help to identify the extent of income inequality among the different demographic clusters in the country. We used individual questionnaires, as well as descriptive, frequency and inferential statistics. The results show varying income inequalities among the different demographic clusters and a “perverse effect” in income distribution, leading to the formation of a “parasite” stratum in Cuban society.


Cuba; field research; income inequality; income structure; quality of life; standard of living

Full Text:



Agência Angola Press (2018) Angola emerge para classificação média no IDH. September 21.,80392bbc-219f-4076-9da5-1128d6e6f999.html

Agência Angola Press (2019) Minimum Wage for Private Sector in Angola Set at 30 Percent. February 23.,28ee0232-7e36-426e-968d-02b9f8323848.html

Astroga, Pablo - Berges, Ame R. - Fitzgerald, Valpy (2005) The Standard of Living in Latin America During the Twentieth Century. Economic History Review 63(4), pp. 765–796.

Banco Central de Cuba (2017) La Economía Cubana en el Periodo Especial 1990–2000. Accessed: January 11, 2017.

BBC (2019) Cuba to Increase Rationing amid Shortages. May 11.

Bernardelli, Michał, Próchniak, Mariusz - Witkowski, Bartosz (2021) Economic Growth and Convergence: Global Analysis Through Econometric and Hidden Markov Models. Routledge.

Blue, Sara A. (2007) The Erosion of Racial Equality in the Context of Cuba’s Dual Economy. Latin American Politics and Society 49(3), pp. 35–68.

Breier, Ádám (2016) Havanna, csak oda (“Havana, One Way”). Documentary.

Brundenius, Claes (2009) Revolutionary Cuba at 50: growth with equity revisited. Latin American Perspectives 36(2), pp. 31-48.

Burchardt, Hans-Jürgen (2002) Contours of the Future: The New Social Dynamics in Cuba. Latin American Perspectives 29(3), pp. 57–74.

Christensen, Larry B. - Johnson, R. Burke - Turner, Lisa A. (2015) Research Methods, Design, and Analysis. London: Pearson.

CONAPO, BBVA Foundation and BBVA Research (2019) Yearbook of migration and remittances Mexico 2019


Cruise Lines International Association (2016) Cruise Industry Outlook. Accessed January 18, 2017.

Dana Anderson, Charles (2016) Rose Unveils the New Cuban Consumer Survey at Their Presentation in Havana. Rose Marketing Ltd., September 23.

De la Fuente, Alejandro (2011) Race and Income Inequality in Contemporary Cuba. NACLA Report on the Americas 44(4), pp. 30–33.

De La Torre, Miguel A. (2018) Castro ’s Negra/os, Black Theology, 16(2), pp. 95-109

Deutsche Welle (2020) Misiones médicas″ cubanas: ¿cuántas, dónde y por qué?

Díaz-Briquets, Sergio (1988) Regional Differences in Development and Living Standards in Revolutionary Cuba. Cuban Studies, 18, pp. 45–63.

Domínguez, Jorge I. (1976) Racial and Ethnic Relations in the Cuban Armed Forces. A Non-Topic. Armed Forces and Society, 2(2), pp. 273–290.

Ehrenberg, Ronald G. - Smith, Robert S. (2016) Modern labor economics: Theory and public policy. Routledge.

Pentón, Mario J. - Escobar, Luz (2017) El salario medio sube pero nadie vive de su sueldo en Cuba., July 14.

Espina, Rodrigo - Rodríguez, Pablo (2010) Race and Inequality in Cuba Today. Socialism and Democracy, 24(1), pp. 161-77.

European Commission (2018) Income quantile share ratio.

Expansión (2019) Más de 1,4 millones de cubanos trabaja en el sector privado. February 2.

Fitzgerald, Marguerite - Brennan, Jim - Stoke, Russell (2016) Understanding the Evolving Cuban Consumer. Boston Consulting Group, June 2.

Font, Mauricio - Jancsics, David (2016) From Planning to Market: A Framework for Cuba. Bulletin of Latin American Research, 35(2), pp. 154.

Frank, Marc (2008) Cuba grapples with growing inequality. Reuters, April 10.

Granma (2019) Aprueba Gobierno cubano medidas para impulsar la economía. June 27.

Granma (2020) En vivo: Presidente y Primer Ministro de Cuba en la Mesa Redonda. October 8.

Hansing, Katrin (2017) Race and Inequality in the New Cuba: Reasons, Dynamics, and Manifestations. An International Quarterly, 84(2), pp. 331-349.

Hansing, Katrin - Orozco, Manuel (2014) The Role and Impact of Remittances on Small Business Development During Cuba’s Current Economic Reforms, Working paper, no. 69, Berlin Freie Universität

Hellwig, Zdzisław (1968) Usage of Taxonomic Methods for the Typological Divisions Countries. Stat Overview, 15(4), pp. 307–327. In: Dorota Wawrzyniak. (2016) „Standard of Living in the European Union.” Comparative Economic Research 19(1), pp. 141–154.

International Labour Organization (2019) Global Wage Report 2018/19. Accessed March 26, 2019.

International Monetary Fund (2017) Migration and Remittances in Latin America and the Caribbean: Engines of Growth and Macroeconomic Stabilizers?. IMF Working Papers WP/17/144.

Kaufmann Purcell, Susan (1991/92) Collapsing Cuba. Foreign Affairs, 71(1), pp. 130-145.

Kahn, Carrie (2015) Internet Access Expands In Cuba — For Those Who Can Afford It, National Public Radio, October 6,

Kingstone, Peter (2018) The Political Economy of Latin America. Abingdon: Routledge.

Kovácsy, Tibor (1999) Kuba: helyben járás mindhalálig. Beszélő 6(1). Accessed March 19, 2019.

Kornai, János (1980) Economics of shortage. Vol. A-B. Amsterdam: North-Holland.

Mesa-Lago, Carmelo (2002) Growing Economic and Social Disparities in Cuba: Impact and Recommendations for Change. Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies, University of Miami, Available Online:

González Alonso, Pablo - Lee, Alec (2016) The Potential and Pitfalls of Doing Business in Cuba. Harvard Business Review

Mesa-Lago, Carmelo (2015) La desigualdad del ingreso y la experiencia de América Latina. Temas (84), pp. 22–30.

Morris, Emily (2014) Unexpected Cuba. New Left Review (88), pp. 5–45.

Nagy, Sándor Gyula. and Drexler, András (2017) Kubai–amerikai kapcsolatok az Obama-adminisztráció alatt. Külügyi Szemle 16 (Különszám), pp. 69-90.

NUMBEO Cost of Living in Cuba. Accessed August 25, 2019.

Oficina Nacional de Estadística e Información (2017) Panorama Económico y Social. Cuba 2016. República de Cuba, April 24.

Perelló, José Luis (2019) Se recupera el Turismo en Cuba al despedir el 2018. Excelencias Cuba, January 16.

Pineo, Ronn (2019) Cuban Public Healthcare: A Model of Success for Developing Nations. Journal of Developing Societies, 35(1), pp. 16-61.

Population Pyramid (2018) Cuba 2018.

Rapoza, Kenenth (2016) Guess How Much Cubans Earn per Month. Forbes, April 26.

Rodriguez Calderon, Mirta (1995) Life in the Special Period. NACLA Report on the Americas, 29(2), pp.18–19

Roland, L. Kaifa (2013) T/racing Belonging through Cuban Tourism. Cultural Anthropology, 28(3), pp. 396-419.

Saunders, Mark - Lewis, Philip - Thornhill, Adrian (2016) Research Methods for Business Students. London: Pearson.

Stusser, Rodolfo J. (2012) Access to Human Health, Freedoms and Other Standard of Living Development in Cuba. Cuba in Transition 22 (August 4), pp. 315-331. Available at: ASCE.

Sweig, Julia E. (2007) Fidel’s Final Victory. Foreign Affairs 86(1), pp. 39–56.

Sweig, Julia E. - Bustamante, Michael J. (2013) Cuba After Communism - The Economics Reforms That Are Transforming the Island. Foreign Affairs 92(4), pp. 101-114.

The Havana Consulting Group and Tech (2017) Remittances to Cuba in 2016 Grow by 2.7%. July 20.

The Havana Consulting Group and Tech (2018) Remittances to Cuba Diversify and Heat up the Payment Channels. March 3.

The World Bank (2019a) GDP/Capita (Current US$), Cuba, United States. Accessed July 25, 2019.

The World Bank Group (2019b) Life expectancy at birth.

The World Bank Group (2019c) Personal remittances, received (% of GDP).

The World Bank Group (2019d) World Development Indicators: GINI-index. Accessed March 26, 2019.

Toro, Francisco (2015) Cuba Is Hoping To Replace Venezuelan Oil With American Tourists. Five Thirty Eight, January 16.

Totten, Michael J. (2014) Letter from Cuba: To Embargo or Not. World Affairs 176(6), pp. 31-37.

Ward, Marianne - Devereux, John (2012) The Road Not Taken: Pre-Revolutionary Cuban Living Standards in Comparative Perspective. The Journal of Economic History 72(1), pp. 104–133.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2022 Epiphany

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Epiphany (pISSN 2303-6850, eISSN 1840-3719) is currently Indexed/Abstracted