Abstract This study identifies and discusses sociodemographic structures, processes and trends that entail risks for individuals, households and communities in the small island developing States of the Caribbean, on the basis of the analysis of the environmental, geographical, economic and institutional vulnerability of these States conducted by ECLAC in the document Equity, development and citizenship, which was presented at the twenty-eighth session of the Commission. The analysis focuses on three sociodemographic issues. First, fertility, which continues to occur early and at high rates among poor groups of the population and entails pronounced gender inequalities, especially for female heads of household who are required to undertake the responsibility of bringing up children. Second, population ageing, which is fairly advanced in a number of the Caribbean islands and calls for carefully planned measures. Third, migration —in particular of the international type— which reaches very high levels in some of the region's countries. Migration offers opportunities for individuals and households, but it also drains part of the skilled labour force from the countries of the Caribbean and exposes migrants, in particular the least skilled, to discriminatory and unfair treatment. The document concludes with policy guidelines for addressing these issues, which together comprise the sociodemographic vulnerability of the Caribbean.