Armenia, situated along the route of the Great Silk Road, is a landlocked country of rugged mountains and extinct volcanoes, located in the southern Caucasus, between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.
It is the smallest of the former Soviet republics, bounded by Georgia on the north, Azerbaijan on the east, Iran on the south, and Turkey on the west.
The total Armenian population living worldwide is estimated to be 11,000,000. Of those, approximately 3,300,000 live in Armenia, 140,000 in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and 120,000 in the region of Javakhk in neighboring Georgia. This leaves approximately 7,000,000 in diaspora (with the largest populations in Russia, the United States, France, Argentina, Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Canada, Ukraine, Greece, and Australia). Only one-third of the world's Armenian population lives in Armenia, and their pre-World War I homeland was six times larger than that of present-day Armenia.
COUNTRY PROFILE | ARMENIA
Armenia was a regional empire with a rich culture in the years leading up to the 1st Century CE, at one period controlling all the land between the Black and Caspian Seas.
In 301, Armenia was the first state to formally adopt Christianity as its official state religion, twelve years before Rome. It also changed between various dynasties. But after Parthian (Iranian), Roman, Arab, Mongol and Persian occupation, Armenia had been substantially weakened. In 1454, the Ottoman Empire and Safavid Persia divided Armenia among themselves. Although the Russian army succeeded in gaining most of Ottoman Armenia during World War I, their gains were lost with the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. As a result, Eastern Armenia became independent as the Democratic Republic of Armenia (DRA) on 28 May 1918, but was conquered by the Soviet Red Army in 1920.
On 23 August 1990, Armenia declared independence, becoming the first non-Baltic republic to secede from the Soviet Union. When, in 1991, the Soviet Union was dissolved, Armenia's independence was officially recognized. Modern Armenia is a small, strategically important country located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia.
Population and language:
The population of Armenia numbered 2,970,495 people as in 2012. Only about two percent of the population is non-Armenians. There are an estimated six million ethnic Armenians living outside the Republic, spread over Russia, North and South Americas, the Near and Middle East, and Western Europe (a total of 66 countries).
The population is highly educated and well-trained, particularly in engineering and technology. Close to one hundred percent of the adult Armenian population is literate. Of special significance are the teams of qualified scientists who have conducted research in many areas of science and technology. The State language is Armenian, which forms a separate branch of the IndoEuropean language family. Armenian has its own unique alphabet, invented between 401-406 AD by St. Mesrop Mashtots (361-440 AD). Despite the homogeneity of the population, many Armenians are fluent in foreign languages. The majority of them speak Russian and an increasing number are becoming fluent in English, French and German as a consequence of Armenia’s deeper integration in the world economy.
Since establishing its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Armenia has pursued socioeconomic reforms, transitioning from a centrally planned economy to a sophisticated market economy. As a result, it has made considerable progress fighting poverty, and improving governance and social services. Promoting utility regulation, expanding financial intermediation, and cultivating the investment climate have sharpened the country’s competitiveness, helping it face the most recent challenge—minimizing the effects of the global financial crisis. In 2010 GDP growth of 2.1% and in 2011 GDP growth of 4.7% were recorded, in contrast to the GDP decrease of 14.4% in 2009. The economic growth is stimulated mostly by the development of internal consumption, services and construction fields and is mainly recorded due to the incomes earned by business migrants. This currency flow from the Diaspora provides for the development of trade and construction fields, as well as stimulates export and private consumption.
In January 2015, Armenia joined Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan as a member of the Eurasian Economic Union. In November 2017, Armenia signed a Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with the EU.
Area: 29,800 sq km
Population: 2,970,495 (2012 est.)
Life expectancy: 73,49
Literacy rate: 98%
Capital City: Yerevan (population: 1 million)
Time zone: UTC +4
Government type: parliamentary democracy
Ethnic Group: Armenian 98%, Yezidi 1.2%, Russian 0.5%, other 0.3% (2001)
Languages: Eastern Armenian 96%, Western Armenian 2% Yezidi 1%, Russian 1%
Religion(s): Armenian Apostolic Church 94.7%, other Christian 4%, Yezidi 1.3%
Currency: Armenian Dram (check current rate)
Number of tourists in 2017: 1,494,779 (Growth: 18.7%)
GDP- PPP (in USD bn): 28,282 (2017)
GDP - per capita (PPP): USD 9,456 (2017)
GDP real growth 2017: 7,5%
Inflation(consumer prices): 2017: -1.25%
Unemployment rate 2017: 17.7%
Average monthly nominal wage (2017): USD 390 (official)
Average monthly nominal wage (2017): USD 600 (non official)
Failed States Index 2017: 102 (best rank in the region)
HDI: 0.74 (high)
Gini: 31.5 (medium)
Internet users: 70% (Digital In 2016)
Economic freedom index: 44th (Heritage Foundation)
Ease of doing business rank: 47 (The World Bank 2018)
Starting a Business rank: 15 (The World Bank 2018)
Registering Property rank: 13 (The World Bank 2018)
Paying Taxes: 87 (The World Bank 2018)
VAT Rate: 20%
Corporate TAX Rate: 20%