The population of Armenia has fallen below 3 million people for the first time in 40 years. According to the National Statistical Service, based on the 2011 census, 2,998,600 people live in the country as of January 1st 2016.
During the year the republic’s population decreased by 12,000 people. At the same time, it fell by 35,000 people in five years, and by 634.7 thousand people since independence in 1991.
According to the ministry, 41,815 children were born in the country in 2015, which is 2.8% less than in 2014. The mortality rate increased 0.4% to 27,835 cases. Thus, the population increased by 13,980 people in the year, a decrease of 8.7%, ARKA reports.
Recall that 2.9 million people lived in the republic in 1977. Its population exceeded 3 million in 1978. It then significantly increased in the 1980s. As a result, 3.6 million people lived in the country by the end of 1992.
The director of the Armenian branch of the Institute of CIS countries, Alexander Markarov, said in an interview with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza that “the overall trend, which began in the late 80’s – early 90’s, was quite negative in terms of the population of Armenia.” “There are several factors. The first is the migration of the republic, which was caused by the rather complex social and economic situation in the country in the early 90’s. It was quite disadvantageous during the siege situation. The beginning of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh and its continuation did not help the increase of the population of Armenia,” he said.
“And the second factor that continues to exist is the periodic seasonal labor migration. It takes place in Armenia. Elements of the seasonal labor migration affect the whole of the population of Armenia and they are still systemic development factors which determine the number of people of the republic,” the expert added.
The head of the parliamentary faction of the Armenian National Congress, Aram Manukyan, assesses the situation more categorically.
“If the government cannot keep its citizens at home, citizens cannot find work and cannot support their families, they will leave the country. It happens basically due to the politicians in power. This is the main reason,” he stressed.
At the same time, according to the deputy, the government does absolutely nothing to solve this problem. “They even organized the migration of their people because they don’t need active people. In fact, a few years ago former Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan asked why they needed people, adding that they could organize a revolution. This process is beneficial for our government,” Manukyan said.