Map Armenia
Maps copyright Hammond World Atlas Corp.

Flag of Armenia


Background: 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, ethnic 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 closed the common border with Armenia in 1994 because of the Armenian separatists' 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; this process is currently dormant.
Location: Southwestern Asia, east of Turkey
Area land: 28,203 sq km
Area water: 1,540 sq km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Country name conventional long form: Republic of Armenia
Country name conventional short form: Armenia
Country name former: Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, Armenian Republic
Population: 2,967,975 (July 2011 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 17.6% (male 279,304/female 242,621); 15-64 years: 72.4% (male 1,006,312/female 1,141,430); 65 years and over: 10.1% (male 112,947/female 185,361) (2011 est.);
Population growth rate: 0.063% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 12.85 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 8.46 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: -3.76 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.124 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.15 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 0.88 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.62 male(s)/female; total population: 0.89 male(s)/female (2011 est.);
Infant mortality rate: total: 18.85 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 23.38 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 13.75 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.);
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 73.23 years; male: 69.59 years; female: 77.31 years (2011 est.);
Total fertility rate: 1.37 children born/woman (2011 est.);
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.1% (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 1,900 (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - deaths: fewer than 100 (2009 est.);
Nationality: noun: Armenian(s); adjective: Armenian;
Ethnic groups: Armenian 97.9%, Yezidi (Kurd) 1.3%, Russian 0.5%, other 0.3% (2001 census);
Religions: Armenian Apostolic 94.7%, other Christian 4%, Yezidi (monotheist with elements of nature worship) 1.3%;
Languages: Armenian (official) 97.7%, Yezidi 1%, Russian 0.9%, other 0.4% (2001 census);
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 99.4%; male: 99.7%; female: 99.2% (2001 census);
GDP (purchasing power parity): $17.27 billion (2010 est.); $16.5 billion (2009 est.); $19.23 billion (2008 est.);

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate): $8.83 billion (2010 est.);
GDP - real growth rate: 4.7% (2010 est.); -14.2% (2009 est.); 6.9% (2008 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $5,800 (2010 est.); $5,600 (2009 est.); $6,500 (2008 est.);
note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 22%; industry: 46.6%; services: 31.4% (2010 est.);
Population below poverty line: 26.5% (2006 est.);
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 1.6%; highest 10%: 41.3% (2004);
Labor force: 1.481 million (2007 est.);
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 46.2%; industry: 15.6%; services: 38.2% (2006 est.);
Unemployment rate: 7.1% (2007 est.);
Budget: revenues: $2.063 billion; expenditures: $2.607 billion (2010 est.);
Industries: 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: 8% (2010 est.);
Electricity - production: 5.584 billion kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - consumption: 4.776 billion kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - exports: 451.3 million kWh; note - exports an unknown quantity to Georgia; includes exports to Nagorno-Karabakh region in Azerbaijan (2007 est.);
Electricity - imports: 418.7 million kWh; note - imports an unknown quantity from Iran (2007 est.);

Statistics: CIA World Factbook.

Armenia in the News

Turn the Page, but Read It First: Why Europe and Turkey Must Now Address the Armenian Genocide

Nicolas Tavitian, Director of European Programmes for the Armenian General Benevolent Union, responds to French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier’s announcement that Turkey is expected to recognize the 1915 Armenian genocide during negotiations for accession to the European Union.

Talking Points: Turkish ‘Political Earthquake’ Leaves Armenia’s Skepticism Unshaken

Tigran Martirosyan, a former senior Armenian diplomat, writes that the change in political leadership is unlikely to affect the sour relations between Turkey and Armenia.

Terror in Parliament

In the aftermath of the shocking assassination of Prime Minister Vazgen Sarkisian and Speaker Karen Demirchian, people in Armenia are mystified about the possible motives of the five terrorists who carried out the deadly attack.