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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. It was incorporated into Russia in 1828 and the USSR 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.
Geography Armenia
Southwestern Asia, east of Turkey
Geographic coordinates:
40 00 N, 45 00 E
Map references:
total: 29,800 sq km
water: 1,400 sq km
land: 28,400 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: 17.52%
permanent crops: 2.3%
other: 80.18% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
2,870 sq km (1998 est.)
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, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, 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
note: Armenia's first census since independence was conducted in October 2001, but official figures have not yet been released (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 22.2% (male 374,597; female 363,115)
15-64 years: 67.7% (male 1,104,100; female 1,150,282)
65 years and over: 10.1% (male 141,330; female 196,675) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
-0.15% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
12 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
9.94 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
-3.51 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
41.07 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 66.59 years
female: 71.12 years (2002 est.)
male: 62.27 years
Total fertility rate:
1.53 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.01% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
less than 500 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
less than 100 (1999 est.)
noun: Armenian(s)
adjective: Armenian
Ethnic groups:
Armenian 93%, Azeri 1%, Russian 2%, other (mostly Yezidi Kurds) 4% (2002)
note: as of the end of 1993, virtually all Azeris had emigrated from Armenia
Armenian Apostolic 94%, other Christian 4%, Yezidi (Zoroastrian/animist) 2%
Armenian 96%, Russian 2%, other 2%
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 98% (1989 est.)
Government Armenia
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Armenia
conventional short form: Armenia
local short form: Hayastan
former: Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic; Armenian Republic
local long form: Hayastani Hanrapetut'yun
Government type:
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
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 MARKARYAN (since 12 May 2000)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 19 February and 5 March 2003); prime minister appointed by the president; 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; 75 members selected by direct vote, 56 by party list)
elections: last held 30 May 1999 (next to be held in the spring of 2003)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Unity Bloc 61 (Republican Party 41, People's Party of Armenia 20), Stability Group (independent Armenian deputies who have formed a bloc) 21, ACP (Communists) 10, ARF (Dashnak) 8, Law and Unity Party 7, NDU 6, Law-Governed Party 6, independents 11, ANM 1; note - seats by party change frequently as deputies switch parties or announce themselves independent
note: electoral law was changed in 2002 so ratio in next elections will be 75 deputies elected by party list, 56 by direct election
Judicial branch:
Constitutional Court; Court of Cassation (Appeals Court)
Political parties and leaders:
Armenian National Movement or ANM [Ararat ZURABIAN, chairman]; Agro-Technical People's Group (formerly Stability Group) (parliamentary bloc); Armenian Communist Party or ACP [Vladimir DARBINYAN, First Secretary]; Armenia Democratic Party [Aram SARGSIAN]; Armenian Revolutionary Federation ("Dashnak" Party) or ARF [Armen RUSTAMIAN and Aghvan VARTANYAN]; Christian Democratic Union or CDU [Khosrev HARUTYUNIAN]; Constitutional Rights Union [Hrant KHACHATRYAN]; Democratic Liberal Party/Ramkvar Azatakyan or DL/RA [Ruben MIRZAKHANIAN]; Law-Governed Party [Artur BAGDASARIAN, chairman]; National Accord Front [Ashot MANUTCHARIAN]; National Accord Party [Artashes GEGAMIAN, chairman]; National Democratic Alliance [Arshak ZADOYAN]; National Democratic Party [Shavarsh KOCHARIAN]; National Democratic Union or NDU [Vazgen MANUKIAN]; People's Democratic Party [Gagik ASLANYAN]; People's Deputies Group [Hovhannes HOVHANISSIAN] (parliamentary bloc); People's Party of Armenia [Stepan DEMIRCHYAN]; Republic Party [Albert BAZEYAN, chairman]; Republican Party or RPA [Andranik MARKARYAN]; Shamiram Women's Movement or SWM [Shogher MATEVOSIAN]; Social Democratic (Hunchak) Party [George HAKOPIAN]; Social Democratic Union (formerly National Self-Determination Union) [Paruyr HAYRIKIAN]; Unity Bloc [Stepan DEMIRCHIAN and Andranik MARKARYAN] (a coalition of the Republican Party and People's Party of Armenia)
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Yerkrapah Union [Manvel GRIGORIAN]
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Arman KIRAKOSIAN
chancery: 2225 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles
FAX: [1] (202) 319-2982
telephone: [1] (202) 319-1976
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador John M. ORDWAY
embassy: 18 Baghramyan Ave., Yerevan 375019
mailing address: American Embassy Yerevan, Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-7020
telephone: [374](1) 521-611, 520-791, 542-177, 542-132, 524-661, 527-001, 524-840
FAX: [374](1) 520-800
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 (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 program that has resulted in positive growth rates in 1995-2001. Armenia also managed to slash inflation and to privatize most small- and medium-sized enterprises. The chronic energy shortages Armenia suffered in recent years have been largely offset by the energy supplied by one of its nuclear power plants at Metsamor. Armenia's severe trade imbalance has been offset somewhat by international aid, domestic restructuring of the economy, and foreign direct investment.
purchasing power parity - $11.2 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
9.6% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $3,350 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 29%
industry: 32%
services: 39% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
55% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 35% (1996)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
44 (1996)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
3.1% (2000 est.)
Labor force:
1.4 million (2001)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 44%, services 14%, industry 42% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate:
note: official rate is 10.9% for 2000 (2001 est.)
revenues: $358 million
expenditures: $458 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)
metal-cutting machine tools, forging-pressing machines, electric motors, tires, knitted wear, hosiery, shoes, silk fabric, chemicals, trucks, instruments, microelectronics, gem cutting, jewelry manufacturing, software development, food processing, brandy
Industrial production growth rate:
3.8% (2001)
Electricity - production:
5.69 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 36%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 32%
hydro: 31%
Electricity - consumption:
4.89 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
704 million kWh
note: exports an unknown quantity to Georgia; includes exports to Nagorno-Karabakh region in Azerbaijan (2000)
Electricity - imports:
300 million kWh
note: imports an unknown quantity from Iran (2000)
Agriculture - products:
fruit (especially grapes), vegetables; livestock
$338.5 million f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Exports - commodities:
diamonds, scrap metal, machinery and equipment, brandy, copper ore
Exports - partners:
Belgium 23%, Russia 15%, US 13%, Iran 10% (2000)
$868.6 million f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Imports - commodities:
natural gas, petroleum, tobacco products, foodstuffs, diamonds
Imports - partners:
Russia 15%, US 12%, Belgium 10%, Iran 9% (2000)
Debt - external:
$839 million (June 2001)
Economic aid - recipient:
$245.5 million (1995) (1995)
dram (AMD)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
drams per US dollar - 564.08 (January 2002), 555.08 (2001), 539.53 (2000), 535.06 (1999), 504.92 (1998), 490.85 (1997)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Armenia
Telephones - main lines in use:
600,000 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
50,000 (2002)
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: 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 - 1 Intelsat (2000)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 9, FM 6, shortwave 1 (1998)
850,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
3 (plus an unknown number of repeaters) (1998)
825,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
9 (2001)
Internet users:
30,000 (2001)
Transportation Armenia
total: 852 km in common carrier service; does not include industrial lines
broad gauge: 852 km 1.520-m gauge (779 km electrified) (2001 est.)
total: 11,300 km
paved: 10,500 km (includes some all-weather gravel-surfaced roads)
unpaved: 800 km (these roads are made of unstabilized earth and are difficult to negotiate in wet weather) (1990)
NA km
natural gas 900 km (1991)
Ports and harbors:
12 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 5
over 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 7
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 1 (2002)
Military Armenia
Military branches:
Army, Air and Air Defense Forces, Border Guards
Military manpower - military age:
18 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 912,650 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 722,035 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 34,998 (2002 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 militarily occupies 16% of Azerbaijan - Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) continues to mediate dispute; border with Turkey remains closed over Nagorno-Karabakh dispute; traditional demands regarding former Armenian lands in Turkey have subsided
Illicit drugs:
illicit cultivation of small amount of cannabis for domestic consumption; used as a 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 19 March 2003