National Arts Gallery, Yerevan. Photo: flickr/517design
National Arts Gallery, Yerevan. Photo: flickr/517design

ESI Manual: Turkey-Armenia Manual (January 2011). Also available in Armenian: Թուրքիա-Հայաստան ձեռնարկ (Հունվար 2011)

ESI Picture Story: Armenia-Turkey: A Difficult Rapprochement (August 2009). Also available in Armenian: Հայաստան-Թուրքիա: Մեծ Բանավեճը

ESI report: Noah's Dove Returns. Armenia, Turkey and the Debate on Genocide (21 April 2009). Also available in Armenian: Նոյի Աղավնին Վերադառնում է. Հայաստանը, Թուրքիան և քննարկումները Ցեղասպանության շուրջ. Executive summary in Armenian, German, French, and Turkish

Armenia's population is 3,2 million, its population growth negative, at around -0.3.[1] It is estimated that over 0.5 percent of the population migrate out of the country each year. Close to half the population is concentrated in Yerevan, with approximately 1.3 million inhabitants. The next largest city, Gyumri, has a population of around 210.100. The country is composed of 10 regions, also called marzes.

According to the Human Development Index (HDI) of 2006 published by UNDP, Armenia ranks 80th out of 177 countries.[2] Armenia is a remarkable 12th - with 99.4 percent - in adult literacy.

In 1994 the Armenian Government launched an ambitious IMF-sponsored economic liberalization program that resulted in positive growth rates in 1995-2005 after the economic collapse following the break-up of the Soviet Union. After an average of double-digit growth rates annually for over a decade, the World Bank termed Armenia an "Caucasian Tiger" in a 2006 report. GDP had reached 4.9 billion dollars as of 2005 (GDP per capita, 1,625 USD), and a 14 percent growth rate was registered in 2005, 13.3% in 2006 (with 6.4 billion USD of GDP) and 12 % in 2007 (with estimated 9.2 billion USD of GDP). Construction makes up the biggest share of GDP with 24.5 %. Interconnected with it the industrial development in mining, energy and metals is increasing too (17.9 % of the GDP). Economic growth though is more broadly based on trade and communications/transport having their impact on the overall economic development with respectively 11.4% and 6.3% of GDP. Agriculture which has had the second largest share in the GDP with 18.1% after the construction is likely to prosper even more due to the MCC (Millenium Challenge Corporation) funded upgrading of the irrigation networks.[3]

However, unemployment remains high. As of 2005, 8.2 % of the economically active population (labour force) were reported unemployed, which in 2007 is reported to have dwindled to 7.2 %.[4] According to World Bank evaluations (of 2005) 31 percent of the population still remain at poverty level.

Around 35 percent of the population livein rural areas while 47 percent of the labor force are employed in agriculture. The country has benefited from international aid, remittances from Armenians working abroad, and foreign direct investment (1.4 billion dollars long term debt and 193.3 million official development assistance as of 2005 according to the World Bank Group Data).

Yerevan's Republic Square, from above - Copyright by Armeniapedia.org
Yerevan's Republic Square from above

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[1] World Bank data, Armenia's National Statistical Service's puts it at +0.2 to 0.3.
[2] The HDI provides a composite measure of three dimensions of human development: living a long and healthylife (measured by life expectancy), being educated (measured by adult literacy and enrolment at the primary, secondary and tertiarylevel) and having a decent standard of living (measured by purchasingpower parity, PPP, income).
[4] The Economist Intelligence Unit, Country Report, November 2007, p. 6
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