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Middle East :: Armenia
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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, the Ottoman Empire instituted a policy of forced resettlement coupled with other harsh practices that resulted in at least 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 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, ethnic Armenian forces held not only Nagorno-Karabakh but also seven surrounding regions, approximately 14 percent of Azerbaijan’s territory. The economies of both sides have been hurt by their inability to make substantial progress toward a peaceful resolution. Turkey closed the common border with Armenia in 1993 in support of Azerbaijan in its conflict with Armenia over control of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas, further hampering Armenian economic growth. In 2009, senior Armenian leaders began pursuing rapprochement with Turkey, aiming to secure an opening of the border, but Turkey has not yet ratified the Protocols normalizing relations between the two countries. In January 2015, Armenia joined Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan as a member of the Eurasian Economic Union.
  • Geography :: ARMENIA

  • Southwestern Asia, between Turkey (to the west) and Azerbaijan
    40 00 N, 45 00 E
    Asia
    total: 29,743 sq km
    land: 28,203 sq km
    water: 1,540 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 143
    slightly smaller than Maryland
    total: 1,570 km
    border countries (4): Azerbaijan 996 km, Georgia 219 km, Iran 44 km, Turkey 311 km
    0 km (landlocked)
    none (landlocked)
    highland continental, hot summers, cold winters
    Armenian Highland with mountains; little forest land; fast flowing rivers; good soil in Aras River valley
    lowest point: Debed River 400 m
    highest point: Aragats Lerrnagagat' 4,090 m
    small deposits of gold, copper, molybdenum, zinc, bauxite
    arable land: 15.75%
    permanent crops: 1.99%
    other: 82.26% (2012 est.)
    2,735 sq km (2006)
    7.77 cu km (2011)
    total: 2.86 cu km/yr (40%/6%/54%)
    per capita: 929.7 cu m/yr (2010)
    occasionally severe earthquakes; droughts
    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
    party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants
    landlocked in the Lesser Caucasus Mountains; Sevana Lich (Lake Sevan) is the largest lake in this mountain range
  • People and Society :: ARMENIA

  • noun: Armenian(s)
    adjective: Armenian
    Armenian 98.1%, Yezidi (Kurd) 1.1%, other 0.7% (2011 est.)
    Armenian (official) 97.9%, Kurdish (spoken by Yezidi minority) 1%, other 1% (2011 est.)
    Armenian Apostolic 92.6%, Evangelical 1%, other 2.4%, none 1.1%, unspecified 2.9% (2011 est.)
    3,060,631 (July 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    0-14 years: 19.1% (male 312,955/female 272,065)
    15-24 years: 15.2% (male 236,317/female 228,943)
    25-54 years: 43.5% (male 638,141/female 693,397)
    55-64 years: 11.7% (male 161,102/female 195,714)
    65 years and over: 10.5% (male 128,568/female 193,429) (2014 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 44.1%
    youth dependency ratio: 29.1%
    elderly dependency ratio: 14.9%
    potential support ratio: 6.7% (2014 est.)
    total: 33.7 years
    male: 31.8 years
    female: 35.8 years (2014 est.)
    -0.13% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 209
    13.92 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    9.3 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    -5.88 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 197
    urban population: 62.8% of total population (2014)
    rate of urbanization: -0.11% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    YEREVAN (capital) 1.049 million (2014)
    at birth: 1.14 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.15 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.59 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.89 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
    23.5 (2011 est.)
    29 deaths/100,000 live births (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    total: 13.97 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 15.39 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 12.36 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 113
    total population: 74.12 years
    male: 70.9 years
    female: 77.78 years (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    1.64 children born/woman (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 178
    54.9% (2010)
    4.5% of GDP (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 152
    2.69 physicians/1,000 population (2012)
    3.9 beds/1,000 population (2012)
    improved:
    urban: 99.7% of population
    rural: 100% of population
    total: 99.8% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 0.3% of population
    rural: 0% of population
    total: 0.2% of population (2012 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 95.9% of population
    rural: 80.9% of population
    total: 90.5% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 4.1% of population
    rural: 19.1% of population
    total: 9.5% of population (2012 est.)
    0.19% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 95
    3,700 (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    200 (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    24% (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    5.3% (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 89
    3.3% of GDP (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 99.6%
    male: 99.7%
    female: 99.5% (2012 est.)
    total: 12 years
    male: 11 years
    female: 14 years (2009)
    total number: 19,596
    percentage: 4%
    note: data represents children ages 7-17 (2007 est.)
    total: 39.2%
    male: 35%
    female: 45% (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
  • Government :: ARMENIA

  • 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
    republic
    name: Yerevan
    geographic coordinates: 40 10 N, 44 30 E
    time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    11 provinces (marzer, singular - marz); Aragatsotn, Ararat, Armavir, Geghark'unik', Kotayk', Lorri, Shirak, Syunik', Tavush, Vayots' Dzor, Yerevan
    21 September 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
    Independence Day, 21 September (1991)
    previous 1915, 1978; latest adopted 5 July 1995; amended 2005 (2013)
    civil law system
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Serzh SARGSIAN (since 9 April 2008)
    head of government: Prime Minister Hovik ABRAHAMYAN (since 13 April 2014)
    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 on 18 February 2013 (next to be held February 2018); prime minister appointed by the president based on majority or plurality support in parliament; the prime minister and Council of Ministers must resign if the National Assembly refuses to accept their program
    election results: Serzh SARGSIAN reelected president; percent of vote - Serzh SARGSIAN 58.6%, Raffi HOVHANNISIAN 36.7%, Hrant BAGRATIAN 2.2%, other 2.5%
    description: unicameral National Assembly (Parliament) or Azgayin Zhoghov (131 seats; 90 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote and 41 directly elected by simple majority vote; members serve 5-year terms)
    elections: last held on 6 May 2012 (next to be held in the spring of 2017)
    election results: percent of vote by party - RPA 44%, Prosperous Armenia 30.1%, ANC 7.1%, Heritage Party 5.8%, ARF (Dashnak) 5.7%, Rule of Law 5.5%, other 1.8%; seats by party - RPA 69, Prosperous Armenia 37, ANC 7, Heritage Party 5, ARF (Dashnak) 5, Rule of Law 6, independent 2
    highest court(s): Court of Cassation (consists of the court chairman and organized into a criminal chamber and a civil and administrative chamber, each with a court chairman and 2 judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges)
    judge selection and term of office: Court of Cassation judges nominated by the Judicial Council, a 9-member body of selected judges and legal scholars; judges appointed by the president; Constitutional Court judges - 4 appointed by the president, and 5 elected by National Assembly; judges of both courts can serve until retirement at age 65
    subordinate courts: 2 Courts of Appeal (for civil cases and for criminal and military cases); district courts; Administrative Court
    Armenian National Congress or ANC (bloc of independent and opposition parties) [Levon TER-PETROSSIAN]
    Armenian National Movement or ANM [Ararat ZURABIAN]
    Armenian Revolutionary Federation ("Dashnak" Party) or ARF [Hrant MARKARIAN]
    Heritage Party [Raffi HOVHANNISIAN]
    People's Party of Armenia [Stepan DEMIRCHIAN]
    Prosperous Armenia [Gagik TSARUKIAN]
    Republican Party of Armenia or RPA [Serzh SARGSIAN]
    Rule of Law Party (Orinats Yerkir) [Artur BAGHDASARIAN]
    Aylentrank (Impeachment Alliance) [Nikol PASHINIAN]
    Yerkrapah Union [Manvel GRIGORIAN]
    ADB, BSEC, CD, CE, CIS, CSTO, EAEC (observer), EAPC, EBRD, FAO, GCTU, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, MIGA, NAM (observer), OAS (observer), OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    chief of mission: Ambassador Tigran SARGSIAN (since 14 July 2014)
    chancery: 2225 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 319-1976
    FAX: [1] (202) 319-2982
    consulate(s) general: Glendale (CA), Los Angeles
    chief of mission: Ambassador Richard MILLS (since 13 February 2015)
    embassy: 1 American Ave., Yerevan 0082
    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
    three equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue, and orange; the color red recalls the blood shed for liberty, blue the Armenian skies as well as hope, and orange the land and the courage of the workers who farm it
    Mount Ararat, eagle, lion; national colors: red, blue, orange
    name: "Mer Hayrenik""(Our Fatherland)
    lyrics/music: Mikael NALBANDIAN/Barsegh KANACHYAN
    note: adopted 1991; based on the anthem of the Democratic Republic of Armenia (1918-1922) but with different lyrics
  • Economy :: ARMENIA

  • Under the old Soviet central planning system, Armenia developed a modern industrial sector, supplying machine tools, textiles, and other manufactured goods to sister republics, in exchange for raw materials and energy. Armenia has since switched to small-scale agriculture and away from the large agroindustrial complexes of the Soviet era. Armenia has only two open trade borders - Iran and Georgia - because its borders with Azerbaijan and Turkey have been closed since 1991 and 1993, respectively, as a result of Armenia's ongoing conflict with Azerbaijan over the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region. Armenia's geographic isolation, a narrow export base, and pervasive monopolies in important business sectors have made it particularly vulnerable to the sharp deterioration in the global economy and the economic downturn in Russia. Armenia’s economy declined in the 2009 global downturn, but growth has been positive since then. Armenia is particularly dependent on Russian commercial and governmental support and most key Armenian infrastructure is Russian-owned and/or managed, especially in the energy sector, including electricity and natural gas. Remittances from expatriates working in Russia are equivalent to 45% of GDP and partly offset the country's severe trade imbalance. Armenia planned to join Russia in the Eurasian Economic Union upon the bloc’s launch in January 2015, even though the ruble’s sharp depreciation in December 2014 led to currency instability, inflation, and bank runs in Armenia. Armenia joined the WTO in January 2003. The government has made some improvements in tax and customs administration in recent years, but anti-corruption measures have been ineffective. Armenia will need to pursue additional economic reforms and to strengthen the rule of law in order to regain economic growth and improve economic competitiveness and employment opportunities, especially given its economic isolation from two of its nearest neighbors, Turkey and Azerbaijan.
    $24.26 billion (2014 est.)
    $23.51 billion (2013 est.)
    $22.72 billion (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 136
    $11.11 billion (2014 est.)
    3.2% (2014 est.)
    3.5% (2013 est.)
    7.1% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    $7,400 (2014 est.)
    $7,200 (2013 est.)
    $6,900 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2013 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 152
    14.7% of GDP (2014 est.)
    13.7% of GDP (2013 est.)
    12.4% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    household consumption: 87.7%
    government consumption: 14.8%
    investment in fixed capital: 20.5%
    investment in inventories: -3.3%
    exports of goods and services: 27.2%
    imports of goods and services: -46.9%
    (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 21.9%
    industry: 31.5%
    services: 46.6% (2014 est.)
    fruit (especially grapes), vegetables; livestock
    diamond processing, metal-cutting machine tools, forging and pressing machines, electric motors, tires, knitted wear, hosiery, shoes, silk fabric, chemicals, trucks, instruments, microelectronics, jewelry, software, food processing, brandy, mining
    2.5% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    1.489 million (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 131
    agriculture: 44.2%
    industry: 16.8%
    services: 39% (2008 est.)
    15.9% (2013 est.)
    15.9% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    35.8% (2010 est.)
    lowest 10%: 3.7%
    highest 10%: 25.4% (2008)
    30.9 (2008)
    44.4 (1996)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    revenues: $2.825 billion
    expenditures: $3.01 billion (2014 est.)
    25.4% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    -1.7% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    42.4% of GDP (2014 est.)
    43.5% of GDP (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 89
    calendar year
    3.2% (2014 est.)
    5.8% (2013 est.)
    8% (11 January 2012)
    7.25% (2 December 2008)
    note: this is the Refinancing Rate, the key monetary policy instrument of the Armenian National Bank
    country comparison to the world: 37
    15.9% (31 December 2014 est.)
    16% (31 December 2013 est.)
    note: average lending rate on loans up to one year
    country comparison to the world: 31
    $1.378 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $1.438 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    $2.098 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $2.091 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    $4.845 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $4.827 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 124
    $132.1 million (31 December 2012 est.)
    $139.6 million (31 December 2011)
    $144.8 million (31 December 2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    -$1.038 billion (2014 est.)
    -$1.099 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    $1.75 billion (2014 est.)
    $1.643 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    pig iron, unwrought copper, nonferrous metals, diamonds, mineral products, foodstuffs, energy
    Russia 22.6%, Bulgaria 10.3%, Belgium 8.9%, Iran 6.5%, US 6%, Canada 5.9%, Georgia 5.8%, Germany 5.8%, China 4.7%, Netherlands 4.5% (2013)
    $4.02 billion (2014 est.)
    $3.996 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    natural gas, petroleum, tobacco products, foodstuffs, diamonds
    Russia 24.8%, China 8.6%, Germany 6.3%, Ukraine 5.1%, Turkey 4.7%, Iran 4.4% (2013)
    $1.977 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $2.252 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 122
    $7.943 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $8.23 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 110
    drams (AMD) per US dollar -
    421.3 (2014 est.)
    409.63 (2013 est.)
    401.76 (2012 est.)
    372.5 (2011 est.)
    373.66 (2010 est.)
  • Energy :: ARMENIA

  • 7.075 billion kWh (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    5.089 billion kWh (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    1.383 billion kWh (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    301 million kWh (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    3.475 million kW (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 84
    54.9% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 146
    10.8% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    34.3% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 65
    0.1% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    0 bbl (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 104
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 118
    49,280 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    32 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 122
    46,550 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 72
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    2.1 billion cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 80
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 54
    2.1 billion cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 49
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    12.12 million Mt (2012 est.)
  • Communications :: ARMENIA

  • 584,000 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 92
    3.223 million (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    general assessment: telecommunications investments have made major inroads in modernizing and upgrading the outdated telecommunications network inherited from the Soviet era; now 100% privately owned and undergoing modernization and expansion; mobile-cellular services monopoly terminated in late 2004 and a second provider began operations in mid-2005
    domestic: reliable modern fixed-line and mobile-cellular services are available across Yerevan in major cities and towns; significant but ever-shrinking gaps remain in mobile-cellular coverage in rural areas
    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, through the Moscow international switch, and by satellite to the rest of the world; satellite earth stations - 3 (2008)
    2 public TV networks operating alongside more than 40 privately owned TV stations that provide local to near nationwide coverage; major Russian broadcast stations are widely available; subscription cable TV services are available in most regions; Public Radio of Armenia is a national, state-run broadcast network that operates alongside about 20 privately owned radio stations; several major international broadcasters are available (2008)
    AM 9, FM 16, shortwave 1 (2006)
    48 (private television stations alongside 2 public networks; major Russian channels widely available) (2006)
    .am
    194,142 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    208,200 (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 135
  • Transportation :: ARMENIA

  • 11 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 154
    total: 10
    over 3,047 m: 2
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
    914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)
    total: 1
    914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)
    gas 2,233 km (2013)
    total: 869 km
    broad gauge: 869 km 1.520-m gauge (818 km electrified)
    note: some lines are out of service (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    total: 7,705 km (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 143
  • Military :: ARMENIA

  • Armenian Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Air Force and Air Defense; "Nagorno-Karabakh Republic": Nagorno-Karabakh Self-Defense Force (NKSDF) (2011)
    18-27 years of age for voluntary or compulsory military service; 2-year conscript service obligation; 17 year olds are eligible to become cadets at military higher education institutes, where they are classified as military personnel (2012)
    males age 16-49: 805,847
    females age 16-49: 854,296 (2010 est.)
    males age 16-49: 644,372
    females age 16-49: 717,272 (2010 est.)
    male: 23,470
    female: 21,417 (2010 est.)
    4.1% of GDP (2013)
    3.92% of GDP (2012)
    3.87% of GDP (2011)
    3.92% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 10
  • Transnational Issues :: ARMENIA

  • the dispute over the break-away Nagorno-Karabakh region and the Armenian military occupation of surrounding lands in Azerbaijan remains the primary focus of regional instability; residents have evacuated the former Soviet-era small ethnic enclaves in Armenia and Azerbaijan; Turkish authorities have complained that blasting from quarries in Armenia might be damaging the medieval ruins of Ani, on the other side of the Arpacay valley; in 2009, Swiss mediators facilitated an accord reestablishing diplomatic ties between Armenia and Turkey, but neither side has ratified the agreement and the rapprochement effort has faltered; local border forces struggle to control the illegal transit of goods and people across the porous, undemarcated Armenian, Azerbaijani, and Georgian borders; ethnic Armenian groups in the Javakheti region of Georgia seek greater autonomy from the Georgian Government
    refugees (country of origin): 12,037 (Syria - ethnic Armenians) (2014)
    IDPs: 8,400 (conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh) (2014)
    stateless persons: 180 (2013)
    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
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