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  Introduction Back To Top

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 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 separatists' control of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas.

  Geography Back To Top

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 2.95 cu km/yr (30%/4%/66%)
per capita: 977 cu m/yr (2000)

Total renewable water resources:
10.5 cu km (1997)

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

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

highland continental, hot summers, cold winters

Map references:

Geographic coordinates:
40 00 N, 45 00 E

Natural resources:
small deposits of gold, copper, molybdenum, zinc, bauxite

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Debed River 400 m
highest point: Aragats Lerrnagagat' 4,090 m

Armenian Highland with mountains; little forest land; fast flowing rivers; good soil in Aras River valley

Geography - note:
landlocked in the Lesser Caucasus Mountains; Sevana Lich (Lake Sevan) is the largest lake in this mountain range

total: 29,743 sq km
land: 28,454 sq km
water: 1,289 sq km

Southwestern Asia, east of Turkey

0 km (landlocked)

Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Maryland

Irrigated land:
2,860 sq km (2003)

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

Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)

Natural hazards:
occasionally severe earthquakes; droughts

Land use:
arable land: 16.78%
permanent crops: 2.01%
other: 81.21% (2005)

  People Back To Top

Total fertility rate:
1.35 children born/woman (2008 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.15 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.14 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.88 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.65 male(s)/female
total population: 0.89 male(s)/female (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.1% (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
2,600 (2003 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 72.4 years
male: 68.79 years
female: 76.55 years (2008 est.)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.4%
male: 99.7%
female: 99.2% (2001 census)

Net migration rate:
-4.95 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Ethnic groups:
Armenian 97.9%, Yezidi (Kurd) 1.3%, Russian 0.5%, other 0.3% (2001 census)

Median age:
total: 31.1 years
male: 28.4 years
female: 34 years (2008 est.)

2,968,586 (July 2008 est.)

Education expenditures:
3.2% of GDP (2001)

Population growth rate:
-0.077% (2008 est.)

Armenian 97.7%, Yezidi 1%, Russian 0.9%, other 0.4% (2001 census)

Death rate:
8.34 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 20.94 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 25.82 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 15.33 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
fewer than 200 (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 11 years
male: 11 years
female: 12 years (2006)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 18.7% (male 296,401/female 259,594)
15-64 years: 70.3% (male 975,438/female 1,111,989)
65 years and over: 11% (male 128,398/female 196,766) (2008 est.)

Birth rate:
12.53 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Armenian Apostolic 94.7%, other Christian 4%, Yezidi (monotheist with elements of nature worship) 1.3%

noun: Armenian(s)
adjective: Armenian

  Government Back To Top

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Marie L. YOVANOVITCH
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

National holiday:
Independence Day, 21 September (1991)

18 years of age; universal

Government type:

Political pressure groups and leaders:
Aylentrank (Impeachment) [Nikol PASHINYAN]; Yerkrapah Union [Manvel GRIGORIAN]

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

International organization participation:
ACCT (observer), ADB, BSEC, CE, CIS, CSTO, EAEC (observer), EAPC, EBRD, FAO, GCTU, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, MIGA, NAM (observer), OAS (observer), OIF (associate member), OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly (Parliament) or Azgayin Zhoghov (131 seats; members elected by popular vote, 90 members elected by party list and 41 by direct vote; to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 12 May 2007 (next to be held in the spring of 2012)
election results: percent of vote by party - HHK 33.9%, Prosperous Armenia 15.1%, ARF (Dashnak) 13.2%, Rule of Law 7.1%, Heritage Party 6%, other 24.7%; seats by party - HHK 64, Prosperous Armenia 18, ARF (Dashnak) 16, Rule of Law 9, Heritage Party 7, independent 17

Legal system:
based on civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Flag description:
three equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue, and orange

21 September 1991 (from Soviet Union)

Country name (Goverment):
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

Political parties and leaders:
Armenian National Movement or ANM [Ararat ZURABYAN]; Armenian People's Party [Tigran KARAPETYAN]; Armenian Ramkavar Azadagan Party Alliance or HRAK (includes former Dashink Party, National Revival Party, and Ramkavar Liberal Party); Armenian Revolutionary Federation ("Dashnak" Party) or ARF [Hrant MARKARYAN]; Heritage Party [Raffi HOVHANNISYAN]; National Democratic Party [Shavarsh KOCHARIAN]; National Democratic Union or NDU [Vazgen MANUKIAN]; National Unity Party [Artashes GEGHAMYAN]; People's Party of Armenia [Stepan DEMIRCHYAN]; Prosperous Armenia [Gagik TSAROUKYAN]; Republic Party [Aram SARKISYAN]; Republican Party of Armenia or HHK [Serzh SARGSIAN]; Rule of Law Party (Orinats Yerkir) [Artur BAGHDASARIAN]; Union of Constitutional Rights [Hrant KHACHATURYAN]; United Labor Party [Gurgen ARSENYAN]

name: Yerevan
geographic coordinates: 40 10 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

adopted by nationwide referendum 5 July 1995; amendments adopted through a nationwide referendum 27 November 2005

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Serzh SARGSIAN (since 9 April 2008)
head of government: Prime Minister Tigran SARGSIAN (since 9 April 2008)
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 2008 (next to be held February 2013); 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 elected president; percent of vote - Serzh SARGSIAN 52.9%, Levon TER-PETROSSIAN 21.5%, Artur BAGHDASARIAN 16.7%

Administrative divisions:
11 provinces (marzer, singular - marz); Aragatsotn, Ararat, Armavir, Geghark'unik', Kotayk', Lorri, Shirak, Syunik', Tavush, Vayots' Dzor, Yerevan

Judicial branch:
Constitutional Court; Court of Cassation (Appeals Court)

  Economy Back To Top

Exports - partners:
Russia 17.5%, Germany 14.7%, Netherlands 13.5%, Belgium 8.7%, Georgia 7.6%, US 6.6%, Switzerland 4.3%, Bulgaria 4.1%, Ukraine 4% (2007)

Electricity - consumption:
4.539 billion kWh (2006 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
note: this is the Refinancing Rate, the key monetary policy instrument of the Armenian National Bank (2 December 2008)

Electricity - imports:
400.6 million kWh; note - imports an unknown quantity from Iran (2007 est.)

Current account balance:
-$877 million (2008 est.)

Debt - external:
$1.372 billion (31 December 2007 est.)

Unemployment rate:
7.1% (2007 est.)

Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2005)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$6,600 (2008 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):
34.1% of GDP (2008 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$1.256 billion (31 December 2007)

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$19.6 billion (2008 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$12.07 billion (2008 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
37 (2006)

Exchange rates:
drams (AMD) per US dollar - 303.93 (2008 est.), 344.06 (2007), 414.69 (2006), 457.69 (2005), 533.45 (2004)

GDP - real growth rate:
9.4% (2008 est.)

Stock of money:
$1.507 billion (31 December 2007)

Labor force:
1.2 million (2007 est.)

Imports - partners:
Russia 15.1%, Ukraine 7.7%, Kazakhstan 7.4%, Germany 6.8%, China 6%, France 4.6%, US 4.5%, Iraq 4.3% (2007)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
10.2% (2008 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 17.2%
industry: 36.4%
services: 46.4% (2007 est.)

Oil - imports:
44,670 bbl/day (2005)

$1.225 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:
2.05 billion cu m (2007 est.)

Currency (code):
dram (AMD)

Economy - overview:
Since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Armenia has made progress in implementing many economic reforms including privatization, price reforms, and prudent fiscal policies. The conflict with Azerbaijan over the ethnic Armenian-dominated region of Nagorno-Karabakh contributed to a severe economic decline in the early 1990s. By 1994, however, the Armenian Government launched an ambitious IMF-sponsored economic liberalization program that resulted in positive growth rates. Economic growth has averaged over 10% in recent years. Armenia has managed to reduce poverty, slash inflation, stabilize its currency, and privatize most small- and medium-sized enterprises. 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. Nuclear power plants built at Metsamor in the 1970s were closed following the 1988 Spitak Earthquake, though they sustained no damage. One of the two reactors was re-opened in 1995, but the Armenian government is under international pressure to close it due to concerns that the Soviet era design lacks important safeguards. Metsamor provides 40 percent of the country's electricity - hydropower accounts for about one-fourth. Economic ties with Russia remain close, especially in the energy sector. The electricity distribution system was privatized in 2002 and bought by Russia's RAO-UES in 2005. Construction of a pipeline to deliver natural gas from Iran to Armenia is scheduled for completion in Spring 2009. Armenia has some mineral deposits (copper, gold, bauxite). Pig iron, unwrought copper, and other nonferrous metals are Armenia's highest valued exports. Armenia's severe trade imbalance has been offset somewhat by international aid, remittances from Armenians working abroad, and foreign direct investment. Armenia joined the WTO in January 2003. The government made some improvements in tax and customs administration in recent years, but anti-corruption measures will be more difficult to implement. Despite strong economic growth, Armenia's unemployment rate remains high. Armenia will need to pursue additional economic reforms in order to improve its economic competitiveness and to build on recent improvements in poverty and unemployment, especially given its economic isolation from two of its nearest neighbors, Turkey and Azerbaijan. The disruption of rail transit into Armenia during the Georgia-Russia conflict in August 2008 highlighted how Armenia's supply chains for key goods - such as gasoline - were vulnerable to instances of regional instability.

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities:
natural gas, petroleum, tobacco products, foodstuffs, diamonds

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

Electricity - exports:
322.6 million kWh; note - exports an unknown quantity to Georgia; includes exports to Nagorno-Karabakh region in Azerbaijan (2007 est.)

Population below poverty line:
26.5% (2006 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
17.52% (31 December 2007)

Stock of quasi money:
$765.2 million (31 December 2007)

Electricity - production:
5.544 billion kWh (2007 est.)

$3.546 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 46.2%
industry: 15.6%
services: 38.2% (2006 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2006)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$1.954 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Oil - consumption:
41,090 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$105 million (31 December 2007)

Currency code:

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 1.6%
highest 10%: 41.3% (2004)

Exports - commodities:
pig iron, unwrought copper, nonferrous metals, diamonds, mineral products, foodstuffs, energy

Economic aid - recipient:
ODA, $180 million (2007)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 42.3%
hydro: 27%
nuclear: 30.7%
other: 0% (2001)

Natural gas - imports:
2.05 billion cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

revenues: $2.438 billion
expenditures: $2.696 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2008 est.)

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)

  Communications Back To Top

Internet users:
172,800 (2006)

Telephones - main lines in use:
603,900 (2006)

825,000 (1997)

Internet country code:

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 9, FM 16, shortwave 1 (2006)

850,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:
1,185,400 (2006)

Television broadcast stations:
48 (private television stations alongside 2 public networks; major Russian channels widely available) (2006)

Telephone system:
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 landline 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 (2007)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
9 (2001)

Internet hosts:
26,081 (2008)

  Transportation Back To Top

gas 2,036 km (2007)

total: 839 km
broad gauge: 839 km 1.520-m gauge (828 km electrified)
note: some lines are out of service (2006)

Airports - with paved runways:
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 (2007)

total: 7,700 km
paved: 7,700 km (includes 1,561 km of expressways) (2006)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2007)

12 (2007)

  Military Back To Top

Military service age and obligation:
18-27 years of age for voluntary or compulsory military service; 2-year conscript service obligation (2007)

Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 809,576
females age 16-49: 870,864 (2008 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 637,776
females age 16-49: 729,846 (2008 est.)

Military branches:
Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Nagorno-Karabakh Self Defense Force (NKSDF), Air Force and Air Defense (2008)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 30,548
female: 29,170 (2008 est.)

Military expenditures:
6.5% of GDP (FY01)

  Transnational Issues Back To Top

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 and Nagorno-Karabakh; 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; Armenians continue to emigrate, primarily to Russia, seeking employment

Refugees and internally displaced persons:
refugees (country of origin): 113,295 (Azerbaijan)
IDPs: 8,400 (conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, majority have returned home since 1994 ceasefire) (2007)

Trafficking in persons:
current situation: Armenia is primarily a source country for women and girls trafficked to the UAE and Turkey for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation; Armenian men and women are trafficked to Turkey and Russia for the purpose of forced labor
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Armenia is placed on the Tier 2 Watch List for a fourth consecutive year; its efforts to increase compliance with the minimum standards were assessed based on its commitments to undertake future actions, particularly in the areas of improving victim protection and assistance; while the government elevated anti-trafficking responsibilities to the ministerial level, adopted a new National Action Plan, and drafted a National Referral Mechanism, it has yet to show tangible progress in identifying and protecting victims or in tackling trafficking complicity of government officials; the Armenian Government made some notable improvements in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts, but it failed to demonstrate evidence of investigations, prosecutions, convictions, and sentences of officials complicit in trafficking (2008)

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

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