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Flag of Armenia
Map of Armenia
Introduction Armenia
Armenia prides itself on being the first nation to formally adopt Christianity (early 4th century). Despite periods of autonomy, over the centuries Armenia came under the sway of various empires including the Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Persian, and Ottoman. During World War I in the western portion of Armenia, Ottoman Turkey instituted a policy of forced resettlement coupled with other harsh practices that resulted in an estimated 1 million Armenian deaths. The eastern area of Armenia was ceded by the Ottomans to Russia in 1828; this portion declared its independence in 1918, but was conquered by the Soviet Red Army in 1920. Armenian leaders remain preoccupied by the long conflict with Muslim Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, a primarily Armenian-populated region, assigned to Soviet Azerbaijan in the 1920s by Moscow. Armenia and Azerbaijan began fighting over the area in 1988; the struggle escalated after both countries attained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. By May 1994, when a cease-fire took hold, Armenian forces held not only Nagorno-Karabakh but also a significant portion of Azerbaijan proper. The economies of both sides have been hurt by their inability to make substantial progress toward a peaceful resolution. Turkey imposed an economic blockade on Armenia and closed the common border because of the Armenian occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas.
Geography Armenia
Southwestern Asia, east of Turkey
Geographic coordinates:
40 00 N, 45 00 E
Map references:
total: 29,800 sq km
land: 28,400 sq km
water: 1,400 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Maryland
Land boundaries:
total: 1,254 km
border countries: Azerbaijan-proper 566 km, Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave 221 km, Georgia 164 km, Iran 35 km, Turkey 268 km
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)
highland continental, hot summers, cold winters
Armenian Highland with mountains; little forest land; fast flowing rivers; good soil in Aras River valley
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Debed River 400 m
highest point: Aragats Lerrnagagat' 4,090 m
Natural resources:
small deposits of gold, copper, molybdenum, zinc, alumina
Land use:
arable land: 16.78%
permanent crops: 2.01%
other: 81.21% (2005)
Irrigated land:
2,860 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:
occasionally severe earthquakes; droughts
Environment - current issues:
soil pollution from toxic chemicals such as DDT; the energy crisis of the 1990s led to deforestation when citizens scavenged for firewood; pollution of Hrazdan (Razdan) and Aras Rivers; the draining of Sevana Lich (Lake Sevan), a result of its use as a source for hydropower, threatens drinking water supplies; restart of Metsamor nuclear power plant in spite of its location in a seismically active zone
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants
Geography - note:
landlocked in the Lesser Caucasus Mountains; Sevana Lich (Lake Sevan) is the largest lake in this mountain range
People Armenia
2,976,372 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 20.5% (male 322,189/female 286,944)
15-64 years: 68.4% (male 949,975/female 1,085,484)
65 years and over: 11.1% (male 133,411/female 198,369) (2006 est.)
Median age:
total: 30.4 years
male: 27.8 years
female: 33.2 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
-0.19% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
12.07 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
8.23 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
-5.72 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.17 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.12 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.88 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female
total population: 0.9 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 22.47 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 27.59 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 16.51 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 71.84 years
male: 68.25 years
female: 76.02 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.33 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.1% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
2,600 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
less than 200 (2003 est.)
noun: Armenian(s)
adjective: Armenian
Ethnic groups:
Armenian 97.9%, Yezidi (Kurd) 1.3%, Russian 0.5%, other 0.3% (2001 census)
Armenian Apostolic 94.7%, other Christian 4%, Yezidi (monotheist with elements of nature worship) 1.3%
Armenian 97.7%, Yezidi 1%, Russian 0.9%, other 0.4% (2001 census)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.6%
male: 99.4%
female: 98% (2003 est.)
Government Armenia
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Armenia
conventional short form: Armenia
local long form: Hayastani Hanrapetut'yun
local short form: Hayastan
former: Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic; Armenian Republic
Government type:
name: Yerevan
geographic coordinates: 40 11 N, 44 30 E
time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions:
11 provinces (marzer, singular - marz); Aragatsotn, Ararat, Armavir, Geghark'unik', Kotayk', Lorri, Shirak, Syunik', Tavush, Vayots' Dzor, Yerevan
21 September 1991 (from Soviet Union)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 21 September (1991)
adopted by nationwide referendum 5 July 1995; amendments adopted through a nationwide referendum 27 November 2005
Legal system:
based on civil law system
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Robert KOCHARIAN (since 30 March 1998)
head of government: Prime Minister Andranik MARGARYAN (since 12 May 2000)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 19 February and 5 March 2003 (next to be held in 2008); prime minister appointed by the president and confirmed with the majority support of the National Assembly; the prime minister and Council of Ministers must resign if the National Assembly refuses to accept their program
election results: Robert KOCHARIAN reelected president; percent of vote - Robert KOCHARIAN 67.5%, Stepan DEMIRCHYAN 32.5%
Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly (Parliament) or Azgayin Zhoghov (131 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms; 90 members elected by party list, 41 by direct vote)
elections: last held 25 May 2003 (next to be held in the spring of 2007)
election results: percent of vote by party - Republican Party 23.5%, Justice Bloc 13.6%, Rule of Law 12.3%, ARF (Dashnak) 11.4%, National Unity Party 8.8%, United Labor Party 5.7%; seats by faction - Republican Party 39, Rule of Law 20, Justice Bloc 14, ARF (Dashnak) 11, National Unity 7, United Labor 6, People's Deputy Group 16, independent (not in faction or group) 18; note - as of 10 March 2006; voting blocs in the legislature are more properly termed factions and can be composed of members of several parties; seats by faction change frequently as deputies switch parties or announce themselves independent
Judicial branch:
Constitutional Court; Court of Cassation (Appeals Court)
Political parties and leaders:
Agro-Industrial Party [Vladimir BADALYAN]; Armenia Party (Hayastan) [Myasnik MALKHASYAN]; Armenian National Movement or ANM [Artashes ZURABYAN]; Armenian Ramkavar Liberal Party or HRAK [Harutyun MIRZAKHANYAN, chairman]; Armenian Revolutionary Federation ("Dashnak" Party) or ARF [Hrant MARKARYAN]; Democratic Party [Aram SARKISYAN]; Justice Bloc (comprised of the Democratic Party, National Democratic Party, National Democratic Union, the People's Party, and the Republic Party) [Stepan DEMIRCHYAN]; National Democratic Party [Shavarsh KOCHARIAN]; National Democratic Union or NDU [Vazgen MANUKIAN]; National Revival Party [Albert BAZEYAN]; National Unity Party [Artashes GEGHAMYAN, chairman]; People's Party of Armenia [Stepan DEMIRCHYAN]; Republic Party [Aram SARKISYAN, chairman]; Republican Party or RPA [Andranik MARGARYAN]; Rule of Law Party [Artur BAGHDASARYAN]; Union of Constitutional Rights [Hrant KHACHATURYAN]; United Labor Party [Gurgen ARSENYAN]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Yerkrapah Union [Manvel GRIGORIAN]
International organization participation:
ACCT (observer), AsDB, BSEC, CE, CIS, EAEC (observer), EAPC, EBRD, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, MIGA, NAM (observer), OAS (observer), OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Tatoul MARKARIAN
chancery: 2225 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 319-1976
FAX: [1] (202) 319-2982
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Anthony F. GODFREY
embassy: 1 American Ave., Yerevan 375082
mailing address: American Embassy Yerevan, US Department of State, 7020 Yerevan Place, Washington, DC 20521-7020
telephone: [374](10) 464-700
FAX: [374](10) 464-742
Flag description:
three equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue, and orange
Economy Armenia
Economy - overview:
Under the old Soviet central planning system, Armenia had developed a modern industrial sector, supplying machine tools, textiles, and other manufactured goods to sister republics in exchange for raw materials and energy. Since the implosion of the USSR in December 1991, Armenia has switched to small-scale agriculture away from the large agroindustrial complexes of the Soviet era. The agricultural sector has long-term needs for more investment and updated technology. The privatization of industry has been at a slower pace, but has been given renewed emphasis by the current administration. Armenia is a food importer, and its mineral deposits (copper, gold, bauxite) are small. The ongoing conflict with Azerbaijan over the ethnic Armenian-dominated region of Nagorno-Karabakh and the breakup of the centrally directed economic system of the former Soviet Union contributed to a severe economic decline in the early 1990s. By 1994, however, the Armenian Government had launched an ambitious IMF-sponsored economic liberalization program that resulted in positive growth rates in 1995-2006. Armenia joined the WTO in January 2003. Armenia also has managed to slash inflation, stabilize its currency, and privatize most small- and medium-sized enterprises. Armenia's unemployment rate, however, remains high, despite strong economic growth. The chronic energy shortages Armenia suffered in the early and mid-1990s have been offset by the energy supplied by one of its nuclear power plants at Metsamor. Armenia is now a net energy exporter, although it does not have sufficient generating capacity to replace Metsamor, which is under international pressure to close. The electricity distribution system was privatized in 2002 and bought by Russia's RAO-UES in 2005. Armenia's severe trade imbalance has been offset somewhat by international aid, remittances from Armenians working abroad, and foreign direct investment. Economic ties with Russia remain close, especially in the energy sector. The government made some improvements in tax and customs administration in 2005, but anti-corruption measures will be more difficult to implement. Construction of a natural gas pipeline between Iran and Armenia is set to be finalized by the end of 2006 with gas flowing by mid 2007. Investment in the construction and industrial sectors is expected to continue in 2007 and will help to ensure annual average real GDP growth of more than 10%.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$15.99 billion (2006 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$6.6 billion (2006 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
10.5% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$5,400 (2006 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 23.9%
industry: 32.8%
services: 43.3% (2006 est.)
Labor force:
1.2 million (2005)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 45%
industry: 25%
services: 30% (2002 est.)
Unemployment rate:
7.6% (2004 est.)
Population below poverty line:
43% (2003 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 1.6%
highest 10%: 41.3% (2004)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
41.3 (2004)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1.1% (2006 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
20.9% of GDP (2006 est.)
revenues: $1.004 billion
expenditures: $1.6 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2006 est.)
Agriculture - products:
fruit (especially grapes), vegetables; livestock
diamond-processing, metal-cutting machine tools, forging-pressing machines, electric motors, tires, knitted wear, hosiery, shoes, silk fabric, chemicals, trucks, instruments, microelectronics, jewelry manufacturing, software development, food processing, brandy
Industrial production growth rate:
7.5% (2005 est.)
Electricity - production:
6.317 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 42.3%
hydro: 27%
nuclear: 30.7%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
4.374 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports:
1.012 billion kWh; note - exports an unknown quantity to Georgia; includes exports to Nagorno-Karabakh region in Azerbaijan (2004)
Electricity - imports:
260 million kWh; note - imports an unknown quantity from Iran (2004)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2005)
Oil - consumption:
41,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA bbl/day
Oil - imports:
NA bbl/day
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
1.33 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
1.33 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Current account balance:
$-229.5 million (2006 est.)
$1.056 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports - commodities:
diamonds, mineral products, foodstuffs, energy
Exports - partners:
Germany 15.6%, Netherlands 13.7%, Belgium 12.8%, Russia 12.2%, Israel 11.5%, US 11.2%, Georgia 4.8% (2005)
$1.684 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports - commodities:
natural gas, petroleum, tobacco products, foodstuffs, diamonds
Imports - partners:
Russia 13.5%, Belgium 8%, Germany 7.9%, Ukraine 7%, Turkmenistan 6.3%, US 6.2%, Israel 5.8%, Iran 5%, Romania 4.2% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$761 million (2006 est.)
Debt - external:
$1.936 billion (30 June 2006)
Economic aid - recipient:
ODA, $254 million (2004)
Currency (code):
dram (AMD)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
drams per US dollar - 436.8 (2006), 457.69 (2005), 533.45 (2004), 578.76 (2003), 573.35 (2002)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Armenia
Telephones - main lines in use:
582,500 (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
320,000 (2005)
Telephone system:
general assessment: system inadequate; now 90% privately owned and undergoing modernization and expansion
domestic: the majority of subscribers and the most modern equipment are in Yerevan (this includes paging and mobile cellular service)
international: country code - 374; Yerevan is connected to the Trans-Asia-Europe fiber-optic cable through Iran; additional international service is available by microwave radio relay and landline connections to the other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States and through the Moscow international switch and by satellite to the rest of the world; satellite earth stations - 3 (2005)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 9, FM 16, shortwave 1 (2006)
850,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
40 (private television stations alongside two public networks; major Russian channels widely available) (2006)
825,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
8,163 (2006)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
9 (2001)
Internet users:
150,000 (2005)
Transportation Armenia
13 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 11
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 3 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2006)
gas 2,002 km (2006)
total: 845 km
broad gauge: 845 km 1.520-m gauge (828 km electrified)
note: some lines are out of service (2005)
total: 7,633 km
paved: 7,633 km (includes 1,561 km of expressways) (2003)
Military Armenia
Military branches:
Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Nagorno-Karabakh Self Defense Force (NKSDF), Air Force, Air Defense Force (2006)
Military service age and obligation:
18 to 27 years of age for compulsory military service, conscript service obligation - 12 months; 18 years of age for voluntary military service (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 18-49: 722,836
females age 18-49: 795,084 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 551,938
females age 18-49: 656,493 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
males age 18-49: 31,774
females age 18-49: 31,182 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$135 million (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
6.5% (FY01)
Transnational Issues Armenia
Disputes - international:
Armenia supports ethnic Armenian secessionists in Nagorno-Karabakh and since the early 1990s, has militarily occupied 16% of Azerbaijan - Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) continues to mediate dispute; over 800,000 mostly ethnic Azerbaijanis were driven from the occupied lands and Armenia; about 230,000 ethnic Armenians were driven from their homes in Azerbaijan into Armenia; Azerbaijan seeks transit route through Armenia to connect to Naxcivan exclave; border with Turkey remains closed over Nagorno-Karabakh dispute; ethnic Armenian groups in Javakheti region of Georgia seek greater autonomy; tens of thousands of Armenians emigrate, primarily to Russia, to seek employment
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
refugees (country of origin): 235,101 (Azerbaijan)
IDPs: 50,000 (conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh) (2005)
Trafficking in persons:
current situation: Armenia is a major source and, to a lesser extent, a transit and destination country for women and girls trafficked for sexual exploitation largely to the UAE and Turkey; traffickers, many of them women, route victims directly into Dubai or through Moscow; profits derived from the trafficking of Armenian victims reportedly increased dramatically from 2005
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Armenia has failed to show evidence of increasing efforts, particularly in the areas of enforcement, trafficking-related corruption, and victim protection; the government increased implementation of its anti-trafficking law, but failed to impose significant penalties for convicted traffickers and failed to vigorously investigate and prosecute ongoing and widespread allegations of public officials' complicity in trafficking; victim protection efforts remain in early, formative stages and a lack of sensitivity for victims remains a problem, particularly in the judiciary
Illicit drugs:
illicit cultivation of small amount of cannabis for domestic consumption; minor transit point for illicit drugs - mostly opium and hashish - moving from Southwest Asia to Russia and to a lesser extent the rest of Europe

This page was last updated on 18 January, 2007