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  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January 2003
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2003.

This page was last updated on 18 December, 2003

Map of Armenia

Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Armenia
Definition Field Listing
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
Definition Field Listing
Southwestern Asia, east of Turkey
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
40 00 N, 45 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 29,800 sq km
water: 1,400 sq km
land: 28,400 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly smaller than Maryland
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 1,254 km
border countries: Azerbaijan-proper 566 km, Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave 221 km, Georgia 164 km, Iran 35 km, Turkey 268 km
Definition Field Listing
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
none (landlocked)
Definition Field Listing
highland continental, hot summers, cold winters
Definition Field Listing
Armenian Highland with mountains; little forest land; fast flowing rivers; good soil in Aras River valley
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Debed River 400 m
highest point: Aragats Lerrnagagat' 4,090 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
small deposits of gold, copper, molybdenum, zinc, alumina
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 17.52%
permanent crops: 2.3%
other: 80.18% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
2,870 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
occasionally severe earthquakes; droughts
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
landlocked in the Lesser Caucasus Mountains; Sevana Lich (Lake Sevan) is the largest lake in this mountain range
   People    Armenia
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
note: Armenia's first census since independence was conducted in October 2001; official results are not expected until late 2003 (July 2003 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
total: 32.3 years
male: 30.6 years
female: 34.1 years (2002)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
-0.07% (2003 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
12.57 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
10.16 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-3.15 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
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 (2003 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
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 at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 66.68 years
male: 62.41 years
female: 71.17 years (2003 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.56 children born/woman (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0.2% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
less than 2,400 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
less than 100 (2001 est.)
Definition Field Listing
noun: Armenian(s)
adjective: Armenian
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
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
Definition Field Listing
Armenian Apostolic 94%, other Christian 4%, Yezidi (Zoroastrian/animist) 2%
Definition Field Listing
Armenian 96%, Russian 2%, other 2%
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.6%
male: 99.4%
female: 98% (2003 est.)
   Government    Armenia
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
11 provinces (marzer, singular - marz); Aragatsotn, Ararat, Armavir, Geghark'unik', Kotayk', Lorri, Shirak, Syunik', Tavush, Vayots' Dzor, Yerevan
Definition Field Listing
21 September 1991 (from Soviet Union)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 21 September (1991)
Definition Field Listing
adopted by nationwide referendum 5 July 1995
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on civil law system
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
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 (next to be held NA 2008); 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:
Definition Field Listing
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 the 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 was changed in 2002 so ratio in next elections will be 75 deputies elected by party list, 56 by direct election
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Constitutional Court; Court of Cassation (Appeals Court)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
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 the Democratic Party, National Democratic Party, National Democratic Union, and the 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:
Definition Field Listing
Yerkrapah Union [Manvel GRIGORIAN]
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
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 the US:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
three equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue, and orange
   Economy    Armenia
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
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 (copper, 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 1995-2003. Armenia also has managed to slash inflation, stabilize the local currency (the dram), and privatize most small- and medium-sized enterprises. The chronic energy shortages Armenia suffered in the early and mid-1990s have been offset by the 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. The electricity distribution system was privatized in 2002. Armenia's severe trade imbalance has been offset somewhat by international aid, domestic restructuring of the economy, and foreign direct investment. Economic ties with Russia remain close, especially in the energy sector.
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $12.13 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
12.9% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $3,600 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 30%
industry: 26%
services: 44% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
50% (2002 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 2.3%
highest 10%: 46.2% (1999)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
44.4 (1996)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.1% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.4 million (2001)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 45%, services 30%, industry 25% (2002 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
20% (2001 est.)
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $402 million
expenditures: $482 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
15% (2002 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6.479 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
Definition Field Listing
fossil fuel: 42.3%
hydro: 27%
other: 0% (2001)
nuclear: 30.7%
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.784 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
704 million kWh; note - exports an unknown quantity to Georgia; includes exports to Nagorno-Karabakh region in Azerbaijan (2001)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
463 million kWh; note - imports an unknown quantity from Iran (2001)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5,700 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing
1.4 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
Definition Field Listing
1.4 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
fruit (especially grapes), vegetables; livestock
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$525 million f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
diamonds, mineral products, foodstuffs, energy
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Belgium 21.5%, Russia 14.6%, Israel 10.3%, Iran 9.4%, US 8.2%, Switzerland 6.8%, Germany 6.2% (2002)
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$991 million f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
natural gas, petroleum, tobacco products, foodstuffs, diamonds
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 15.3%, Russia 12.9%, Belgium 12.3%, Iran 10.3%, UAE 6.3%, Germany 5.5%, Italy 4.9% (2002)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$905 million (June 2001)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
ODA $170 million (2000)
Definition Field Listing
dram (AMD)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
drams per US dollar - NA (2002), 555.08 (2001), 539.53 (2000), 535.06 (1999), 504.92 (1998)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Armenia
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
600,000 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
50,000 (2002)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
AM 9, FM 6, shortwave 1 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
3 (plus an unknown number of repeaters); (1998)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Definition Field Listing
9 (2001)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
30,000 (2001)
   Transportation    Armenia
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 852 km in common carrier service; does not include industrial lines
broad gauge: 852 km 1.520-m gauge (779 km electrified) (2002)
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 15,918 km
paved: 15,329 km (includes 7,527 km of expressways)
unpaved: 589 km (2000)
Definition Field Listing
NA km
Definition Field Listing
gas 2,031 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing
15 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
Army, Air and Air Defense Forces, Border Guards
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age (2003 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 919,582 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 727,770 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 37,209 (2003 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$135 million (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6.5% (FY01)
   Transnational Issues    Armenia
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
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 18 December, 2003

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