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Introduction Armenia
Armenia prides itself on being first nation to formally adopt Christianity (early 4th century). Despite periods of autonomy, over centuries Armenia came under sway of various empires includes Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Persian, and Ottoman. It previously incorporated into Russia in 1828 and USSR in 1920. Armenian leaders remain preoccupied by long conflict with Muslim Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, a primarily Armenian-populated region, assigned to Soviet Azerbaijan in 1920s by Moscow. Armenia and Azerbaijan began fighting over area in 1988; struggle escalated after both countries attained independence from 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. 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:
limited 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; energy crisis of 1990s led to deforestation when citizens scavenged for firewood; pollution of Hrazdan (Razdan) and Aras Rivers; 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 Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants
Geography - note:
landlocked in Lesser Caucasus Mountains; Sevana Lich (Lake Sevan) is largest lake in this mountain range
People Armenia
Total Population:
note: Armenia's first census since independence previously conducted in October 2001; official results are not expected until late 2003 (July 2003 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 21.1% (male 356,587; female 346,648)
15-64 years: 68.3% (male 1,113,241; female 1,158,245)
65 years and over: 10.6% (male 147,156; female 204,571) (2003 est.)
Median age:
total: 32.3 years
male: 30.6 years
female: 34.1 years (2002)
Population growth rate:
-0.07% (2003 est.)
Birth rate:
12.57 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Death rate:
10.16 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Net migration rate:
-3.15 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 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
Population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 40.86 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 36.24 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
male: 45.27 deaths/1,000 live births
Life Expectancy:
Population: 66.68 years
male: 62.41 years
female: 71.17 years (2003 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.56 children born/woman (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.2% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
less than 2,400 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
less than 100 (2001 est.)
noun: Armenian(s)
adjective: Armenian
Ethnic groups:
Armenian 93%, Azeri 1%, Russian 2%, other (mostly Yezidi Kurds) 4% (2002)
note: as of 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
Population: 98.6%
male: 99.4%
female: 98% (2003 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 prime minister
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 19 February and 5 March 2003 (next to be held NA 2008); prime minister appointed by president; prime minister and Council of Ministers must resign if 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 25 May 2003 (next to be held in spring of 2007)
election results: percent of vote by party - Republican Party 23.5%, Justice Bloc 13.6%, Rule of Law 12.3%, ARF (Dashnak) 11.4%, National Unity Party 8.8%, United Labor Party 5.7%; seats by party - Republican Party 23, Justice Bloc 14, Rule of Law 12, ARF (Dashnak) 11, National Unity 9, United Labor 6; note - seats by party change frequently as deputies switch parties or announce themselves independent
note: electoral law previously 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:
Agro-Industrial Party [Vladimir BADALIAN]; Armenia Party [Myasnik MALKHASYAN]; Armenian National Movement or ANM [Alex ARZUMANYAN, chairman]; Armenian Ramkavar Liberal Party or HRAK [Ruben MIRZAKHANYAN, chairman]; Armenian Revolutionary Federation ("Dashnak" Party) or ARF [Vahan HOVHANISSIAN]; Democratic Party [Aram SARKISYAN]; Justice Bloc (comprised of Democratic Party, National Democratic Party, National Democratic Union, and People's Party); National Democratic Party [Shavarsh KOCHARIAN]; National Democratic Union or NDU [Vazgen MANUKIAN]; National Unity Party [Artashes GEGAMIAN, chairman]; People's Party of Armenia [Stepan DEMIRCHYAN]; Republic Party [Albert BAZEYAN and Aram SARKISYAN, chairmen]; Republican Party or RPA [Andranik MARKARYAN]; Rule of Law Party [Artur BAGDASARIAN, chairman]; Union of Constitutional Rights [Hrant KHACHATURYAN]; United Labor Party [Gurgen ARSENIAN]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Yerkrapah Union [Manvel GRIGORIAN]
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Arman KIRAKOSSIAN
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 US:
chief of mission: Ambassador John M. ORDWAY
embassy: 18 Baghramyan Ave., Yerevan 375019
mailing address: American Embassy Yerevan, Department of State, 7020 Yerevan Place, 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 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 implosion of USSR in December 1991, Armenia has switched to limited -scale agriculture away from large agroindustrial complexes of Soviet era. agricultural sector has long-term needs for more investment and updated technology. privatization of industry has been at a slower pace, but has been given renewed emphasis by current administration. Armenia is a food importer, and its mineral deposits (copper, gold, bauxite) are limited . ongoing conflict with Azerbaijan over ethnic Armenian-dominated region of Nagorno-Karabakh and breakup of centrally directed economic system of former Soviet Union contributed to a severe economic decline in early 1990s. By 1994, however, Armenian Government had launched an ambitious IMF-sponsored economic program that has resulted in positive growth rates in 1995-2003. Armenia also has managed to slash inflation, stabilize local currency (the dram), and privatize most limited - and medium-sized enterprises. chronic energy shortages Armenia suffered in early and mid-1990s have been offset by energy supplied by one of its nuclear power plants at Metsamor. Armenia is now a net energy exporter, although it does not have sufficient generating capacity to replace Metsamor, which is under international pressure to close. electricity distribution system previously privatized in 2002. Armenia's severe trade imbalance has been offset somewhat by international aid, domestic restructuring of economy, and foreign direct investment. Economic ties with Russia remain close, especially in energy sector.
buying power parity - $12.13 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
12.9% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
buying power parity - $3,600 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 30%
industry: 26%
services: 44% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line:
50% (2002 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.3%
highest 10%: 46.2% (1999)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
44.4 (1996)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1.1% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
1.4 million (2001)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 45%, services 30%, industry 25% (2002 est.)
Unemployment rate:
20% (2001 est.)
revenues: $402 million
expenditures: $482 million, includes 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:
15% (2002 est.)
Electricity - production:
6.479 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 42.3%
hydro: 27%
other: 0% (2001)
nuclear: 30.7%
Electricity - consumption:
5.784 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
704 million kWh; note - exports an unknown quantity to Georgia; includes exports to Nagorno-Karabakh region in Azerbaijan (2001)
Electricity - imports:
463 million kWh; note - imports an unknown quantity from Iran (2001)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
5,700 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA (2001)
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
1.4 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
1.4 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Agriculture - products:
fruit (especially grapes), vegetables; livestock
$525 million f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Exports - commodities:
diamonds, mineral products, foodstuffs, energy
Exports - partners:
Belgium 21.5%, Russia 14.6%, Israel 10.3%, Iran 9.4%, US 8.2%, Switzerland 6.8%, Germany 6.2% (2002)
$991 million f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Imports - commodities:
natural gas, petroleum, tobacco products, foodstuffs, diamonds
Imports - partners:
US 15.3%, Russia 12.9%, Belgium 12.3%, Iran 10.3%, UAE 6.3%, Germany 5.5%, Italy 4.9% (2002)
Debt - external:
$905 million (June 2001)
Economic aid - recipient:
ODA $170 million (2000)
dram (AMD)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
drams per US dollar - NA (2002), 555.08 (2001), 539.53 (2000), 535.06 (1999), 504.92 (1998)
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: majority of subscribers and most modern equipment are in Yerevan (this includes paging and mobile cellular service)
international: Yerevan is connected to Trans-Asia-Europe fiber-optic cable through Iran; additional international service is available by microwave radio relay and landline connections to other countries of Commonwealth of Independent States and through Moscow international switch and by satellite to rest of 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) (2002)
total: 15,918 km
paved: 15,329 km (includes 7,527 km of expressways)
unpaved: 589 km (2000)
NA km
gas 2,031 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
15 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 8
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (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 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 919,582 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 727,770 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 37,209 (2003 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; ethnic Armenian groups in Javakheti region of Georgia seek greater autonomy, closer ties with Armenia
Illicit drugs:
illicit cultivation of limited 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 rest of Europe