By Rashid Shirinov
Armenia’s population continues decreasing in number thus deepening the demographic crisis in the country caused by economic crisis and migration.
The permanent population of this poor South Caucasian country as of January 1 2017, according to current register based on the census of 2011, is 2,986,500 people, reads a report by the National Statistical Service of the republic.
The country’s population decreased by 12,100 people or 0.4 percent compared to January 1, 2016. A total of 1,901,700 people live in cities, while the number of rural population is 1,084,800 people.
The natural increase, which amounted to 12,509 people in 2015, decreased by 9.9 percent in 2016.
The number of births also decreased: 40,638 children were born in 2016, which is by 2.7 percent less than the same indicator of 2015. The fertility rate has decreased in all the other provinces of the country.
Moreover, Armenia is considered an aging country as there are increasingly more citizens of retirement age among its population. The United Nations says a country is aging if the number of elderly people exceeds 7% of the population; while in Armenia the elderly make up 10.9% of the overall populace.
Worsening economy and political tension affect the life standards in Armenia. Armenian youth mainly prefer the life abroad as they cannot find appropriate jobs in their homeland.
The volume of unemployment exceeds 18 percent of able-to-work population in the country, which is the highest indicator among the CIS.
Almost 150,000 people have emigrated from Armenia over the past 3 years, the newspaper Haykakan Zhamanak states.
This makes up 5 percent of the total population of Armenia.
The data provided by the National Statistical Service of Armenia shows that more than 54,000 people permanently left Armenia last year. For comparison, this figure was equal to 47,676 people in 2015, and 47,074 in 2014.
The newspaper states that the high emigration rate may be associated with the four-day fighting in April as well as the summer events when an armed group seized a police station in Yerevan.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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