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. During World War I in the western portion of Armenia, the Ottoman Empire instituted a policy of forced resettlement coupled with other harsh practices that resulted in at least 1 million Armenian deaths. The eastern area of Armenia was ceded by the Ottomans to Russia in 1828; this portion declared its independence in 1918, but was conquered by the Soviet Red Army in 1920.
Armenian leaders remain preoccupied by the long conflict with 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, ethnic Armenian forces held not only Nagorno-Karabakh but also seven surrounding regions, approximately 14 percent of Azerbaijan’s territory. The economies of both sides have been hurt by their inability to make substantial progress toward a peaceful resolution.
Turkey closed the common border with Armenia in 1993 in support of Azerbaijan in its conflict with Armenia over control of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas, further hampering Armenian economic growth. In 2009, senior Armenian leaders began pursuing rapprochement with Turkey, aiming to secure an opening of the border, but Turkey has not yet ratified the Protocols normalizing relations between the two countries. In January 2015, Armenia joined Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan as a member of the Eurasian Economic Union.



Southwestern Asia, between Turkey (to the west) and Azerbaijan; note - Armenia views itself as part of Europe; geopolitically, it can be classified as falling within Europe, the Middle East, or both

Geographic coordinates

40 00 N, 45 00 E

Map references



total: 29,743 sq km
land: 28,203 sq km
water: 1,540 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than Maryland

Land boundaries

total: 1,570 km
border countries (4): Azerbaijan 996 km, Georgia 219 km, Iran 44 km, Turkey 311 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


mean elevation: 1,792 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Debed River 400 m
highest point: Aragats Lerrnagagat' 4,090 m

Natural resources

small deposits of gold, copper, molybdenum, zinc, bauxite

Land use

agricultural land: 59.7%
arable land 15.8%; permanent crops 1.9%; permanent pasture 42%
forest: 9.1%
other: 31.2% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

2,740 sq km (2012)

Natural hazards

occasionally severe earthquakes; droughts

Environment - current issues

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

party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants

Geography - note

landlocked in the Lesser Caucasus Mountains; Sevana Lich (Lake Sevan) is the largest lake in this mountain range

People and Society

Population growth rate

-0.18% (2016 est.)


3,051,250 (July 2016 est.)


noun: Armenian(s)
adjective: Armenian

Ethnic groups

Armenian 98.1%, Yezidi (Kurd) 1.1%, other 0.7% (2011 est.)


Armenian (official) 97.9%, Kurdish (spoken by Yezidi minority) 1%, other 1% (2011 est.)


Armenian Apostolic 92.6%, Evangelical 1%, other 2.4%, none 1.1%, unspecified 2.9% (2011 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 19% (male 308,701/female 271,028)
15-24 years: 13.58% (male 213,203/female 201,291)
25-54 years: 43.46% (male 640,070/female 685,958)
55-64 years: 12.96% (male 180,700/female 214,834)
65 years and over: 10.99% (male 134,330/female 201,135) (2016 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 41.3%
youth dependency ratio: 26%
elderly dependency ratio: 15.3%
potential support ratio: 6.5% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 34.6 years
male: 32.8 years
female: 36.5 years (2016 est.)

Birth rate

13.3 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Death rate

9.4 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Net migration rate

-5.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Population distribution

most of the population is located in the northern half of the country; the capital of Yerevan is home to more than three times as many people as the second largest city in the country


urban population: 62.7% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: -0.11% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

YEREVAN (capital) 1,044 (2015)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.13 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.14 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.84 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female
total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2016 est.)

Child labor - children ages 5-14

total number: 19,596
percentage: 4%
note: data represent children ages 7-17 (2007 est.)

Maternal mortality rate

25 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 13.1 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 14.5 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 11.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 74.6 years
male: 71.4 years
female: 78.3 years (2016 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.64 children born/woman (2016 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

54.9% (2010)

Health expenditures

4.5% of GDP (2014)

Physicians density

2.7 physicians/1,000 population (2013)

Hospital bed density

3.9 beds/1,000 population (2012)

Drinking water source

urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

urban: 96.2% of population
rural: 78.2% of population
total: 89.5% of population
urban: 3.8% of population
rural: 21.8% of population
total: 10.5% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

0.2% (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

3,600 (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

100 (2015 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

19.9% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

5.3% (2010)

Education expenditures

2.8% of GDP (2015)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.7%
male: 99.7%
female: 99.6% (2015 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 12 years
male: 11 years
female: 14 years (2009)

Mother's mean age at first birth

24.1 (2013 est.)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 36.1%
male: 31.8%
female: 41.5% (2013 est.)


Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Armenia
conventional short form: Armenia
local long form: Hayastani Hanrapetut'yun
local short form: Hayastan
former: Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, Armenian Republic
etymology: the etymology of the country's name remains obscure; according to tradition, the country is named after Hayk, the legendary patriarch of the Armenians and the great-great-grandson of Noah; Hayk's descendant, Aram, purportedly is the source of the name Armenia

Government type

semi-presidential republic
note: a constituional referendum approved in December 2015 will change the government type to a parliamentary system, replacing the semi-presidential system and becoming effective for the 2017-18 electoral cycle


name: Yerevan
geographic coordinates: 40 10 N, 44 30 E
time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

11 provinces (marzer, singular - marz); Aragatsotn, Ararat, Armavir, Geghark'unik', Kotayk', Lorri, Shirak, Syunik', Tavush, Vayots' Dzor, Yerevan


21 September 1991 (from the Soviet Union)

National holiday

Independence Day, 21 September (1991)


18 years of age; universal


previous 1915, 1978; latest adopted 5 July 1995; amended 2005, 2015; note - the 2015 amendment, approved in December 2015 by a public referendum and effective for the 2017-18 electoral cycle, changes the government type from the current semi-presidential system to a parliamentary system (2016)
note: the 2015 amendment, approved in December 2015 by a public referendum and effective for the 2017-18 electoral cycle, changes the government type from the current semi-presidential system to a parliamentary system (2016)

Legal system

civil law system

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt


citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Armenia
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 3 years

Executive branch

chief of state: President Serzh SARGSIAN (since 9 April 2008)
head of government: Prime Minister Karen KARAPETYAN (since 13 September 2016)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in two rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 18 February 2013 (next to be held in February 2018); prime minister appointed by the president based on majority support in the National Congress; the prime minister and Council of Ministers must resign if the National Congress refuses to accept their program
election results: Serzh SARGSIAN reelected president in one round; percent of vote - Serzh SARGSIAN (RPA) 58.6%, Raffi HOVHANNISIAN (Heritage Party) 36.7%, Hrant BAGRATIAN (ANM) 2.2%, other 2.5%
note: constitutional changes adopted in December 2015 will transform the government to a parliamentary system by 2018; for the scheduled February 2018 election, the president will be indirectly elected by parliament and will serve a single 7-year term; following the 2018 election, the prime minister will be elected based on majority support of the National Assembly

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Assembly (Parliament) or Azgayin Zhoghov (131 seats; 90 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote and 41 directly elected by simple majority vote; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: last held on 6 May 2012 (next to be held in the spring of 2017)
election results: percent of vote by party - RPA 44%, Prosperous Armenia 30.1%, ANC 7.1%, Heritage Party 5.8%, ARF (Dashnak) 5.7%, Rule of Law 5.5%, other 1.8%; seats by party - RPA 69, Prosperous Armenia 37, ANC 7, Rule of Law 6, Heritage Party 5, ARF (Dashnak) 5, independent 2

National symbol(s)

Mount Ararat, eagle, lion; national colors: red, blue, orange

Political pressure groups and leaders

Aylentrank (Impeachment Alliance) [Nikol PASHINIAN]
Yerkrapah Union [Manvel GRIGORIAN]

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Court of Cassation (consists of the court chairman and organized into the criminal chamber and a civil and administrative chamber, each with a chamber chairman and 2 judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges)
judge selection and term of office: Court of Cassation judges nominated by the Judicial Council, a 9-member body of selected judges and legal scholars; judges appointed by the president; Constitutional Court judges - 4 appointed by the president, and 5 elected by National Assembly; judges of both courts can serve until retirement at age 65
subordinate courts: 2 Courts of Appeal (for civil cases and for criminal and military cases); district courts; Administrative Court

Political parties and leaders

Armenian National Congress or ANC (bloc of independent and opposition parties) [Levon TER-PETROSSIAN]
Armenian National Movement or ANM [Ararat ZURABIAN]
Armenian Revolutionary Federation or ARF ("Dashnak" Party) [Hrant MARKARIAN]
Heritage Party [Raffi HOVHANNISIAN]
People's Party of Armenia [Stepan DEMIRCHIAN]
Prosperous Armenia [Naira ZOHRABYAN]
Republican Party of Armenia or RPA [Serzh SARGSIAN]
Rule of Law Party (Orinats Yerkir) [Artur BAGHDASARIAN]

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Grigor HOVHANNISSIAN (since 28 January 2016)
chancery: 2225 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 319-1976
FAX: [1] (202) 319-2982
consulate(s) general: Glendale (CA)

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Richard MILLS (since 13 February 2015)
embassy: 1 American Ave., Yerevan 0082
mailing address: American Embassy Yerevan, US Department of State, 7020 Yerevan Place, Washington, DC 20521-7020
telephone: [374](10) 464-700
FAX: [374](10) 464-742

Flag description

three equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue, and orange; the color red recalls the blood shed for liberty, blue the Armenian skies as well as hope, and orange the land and the courage of the workers who farm it

National anthem

name: "Mer Hayrenik" (Our Fatherland)
lyrics/music: Mikael NALBANDIAN/Barsegh KANACHYAN
note: adopted 1991; based on the anthem of the Democratic Republic of Armenia (1918-1922) but with different lyrics


Industrial production growth rate

4.2% (2016 est.)

Economy - overview

Under the old Soviet central planning system, Armenia developed a modern industrial sector, supplying machine tools, textiles, and other manufactured goods to sister republics, in exchange for raw materials and energy. Armenia has since switched to small-

Armenia joined the WTO in January 2003. The government has made some improvements in tax and customs administration in recent years, but anti-corruption measures have been ineffective. Armenia will need to pursue additional economic reforms and strengthen

Armenia's geographic isolation, a narrow export base, and pervasive monopolies in important business sectors have made it particularly vulnerable to the sharp deterioration in the global economy and the economic downturn in Russia. Armenia is particularly

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$26.56 billion (2016 est.)
$25.73 billion (2015 est.)
$24.97 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$10.75 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate

3.2% (2016 est.)
3% (2015 est.)
3.6% (2014 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$8,900 (2016 est.)
$8,600 (2015 est.)
$8,400 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars

Gross national saving

18.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
18.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
13.2% of GDP (2014 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 72.5%
government consumption: 13.9%
investment in fixed capital: 20%
investment in inventories: 2.5%
exports of goods and services: 31.6%
imports of goods and services: -40.5% (2016 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 19.6%
industry: 29.1%
services: 51.3% (2016 est.)

Agriculture - products

fruit (especially grapes), vegetables; livestock


diamond processing, metal-cutting machine tools, forging and pressing machines, electric motors, knitted wear, hosiery, shoes, silk fabric, chemicals, trucks, instruments, microelectronics, jewelry, software, food processing, brandy, mining

Labor force

1.559 million (2016 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 39%
industry: 17%
services: 44% (2011 est.)

Unemployment rate

18.1% (2016 est.)

Population below poverty line

32% (2013 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 3.7%
highest 10%: 24.8% (2012)

Distribution of family income - Gini index

30.3 (2012)
31.3 (2011)


revenues: $2.445 billion
expenditures: $2.969 billion (2016 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

22.7% of GDP (2016 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-4.9% of GDP (2016 est.)

Public debt

53.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
48.8% of GDP (2015 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

-0.4% (2016 est.)
3.7% (2015 est.)

Central bank discount rate

10.5% (10 February 2015)
8% (11 January 2012)
note: this is the Refinancing Rate, the key monetary policy instrument of the Armenian National Bank

Commercial bank prime lending rate

17.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
17.59% (31 December 2015 est.)
note: average lending rate on loans up to one year

Stock of narrow money

$1.178 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.149 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of broad money

$1.949 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.779 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of domestic credit

$5.307 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$5.022 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

$132.1 million (31 December 2012 est.)
$139.6 million (31 December 2011 est.)
$144.8 million (31 December 2010 est.)

Current account balance

-$267 million (2016 est.)
-$279 million (2015 est.)


$1.678 billion (2016 est.)
$1.626 billion (2015 est.)

Exports - commodities

pig iron, unwrought copper, nonferrous metals, gold, diamonds, mineral products, foodstuffs, energy

Exports - partners

Russia 15.2%, China 11.1%, Germany 9.8%, Iraq 8.8%, Georgia 7.8%, Canada 7.6%, Bulgaria 5.3%, Iran 5.3% (2015)


$2.638 billion (2016 est.)
$2.78 billion (2015 est.)

Imports - commodities

natural gas, petroleum, tobacco products, foodstuffs, diamonds, pharmaceuticals, cars

Imports - partners

Russia 29.1%, China 9.7%, Germany 6.2%, Iran 6.1%, Italy 4.6%, Turkey 4.2% (2015)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$1.512 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.775 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Debt - external

$8.365 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$8.554 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home

$4.817 billion (2013)

Exchange rates

drams (AMD) per US dollar -
492.7 (2016 est.)
477.92 (2015 est.)
477.92 (2014 est.)
415.92 (2013 est.)
401.76 (2012 est.)


Electricity - access

electrification - total population: 100% (2016)

Electricity - production

7.3 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - consumption

5.1 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - exports

1.3 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - imports

26 million kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity

4.1 million kW (2014 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels

32.2% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels

34.3% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants

33.5% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources

0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)

Crude oil - production

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Crude oil - exports

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - imports

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves

0 bbl (1 January 2016 es)

Refined petroleum products - production

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption

8,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports

7,809 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Natural gas - production

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption

2.5 billion cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - exports

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports

2.061 billion cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves

0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy

12 million Mt (2013 est.)


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 551,366
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 18 (July 2015 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular

total: 3.442 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 113 (July 2015 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: telecommunications investments have made major inroads in modernizing and upgrading the outdated telecommunications network inherited from the Soviet era; now 100% privately owned and undergoing modernization and expansion; mobile-cellular services monopo
domestic: reliable modern fixed-line and mobile-cellular services are available across Yerevan and in major cities and towns; mobile-cellular coverage available in most rural areas
international: country code - 374; 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 Sta (2015)

Broadcast media

2 public TV networks operating alongside about 40 privately owned TV stations that provide local to near nationwide coverage; major Russian broadcast stations are widely available; subscription cable TV services are available in most regions; Public Radio (2015)

Internet country code


Internet users

total: 1.78 million
percent of population: 58.2% (July 2015 est.)


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 3
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 5 (2015)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

EK (2016)


11 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 10
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)


gas 2,233 km (2013)


total: 780 km
broad gauge: 780 km 1.520-m gauge (780 km electrified)
note: 726 km operational (2014)


total: 7,792 km (2013)


Military branches

Armenian Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Air Force and Air Defense; "Nagorno-Karabakh Republic": Nagorno-Karabakh Self-Defense Force (NKSDF) (2011)

Military service age and obligation

18-27 years of age for voluntary or compulsory military service; 2-year conscript service obligation; 17 year olds are eligible to become cadets at military higher education institutes, where they are classified as military personnel (2012)

Military expenditures

4.24% of GDP (2015)
4.29% of GDP (2014)
4.1% of GDP (2013)
3.92% of GDP (2012)
3.87% of GDP (2011)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

the dispute over the break-away Nagorno-Karabakh region and the Armenian military occupation of surrounding lands in Azerbaijan remains the primary focus of regional instability; residents have evacuated the former Soviet-era small ethnic enclaves in Armenia and Azerbaijan; Turkish authorities have complained that blasting from quarries in Armenia might be damaging the medieval ruins of Ani, on the other side of the Arpacay valley; in 2009, Swiss mediators facilitated an accord reestablishing diplomatic ties between Armenia and Turkey, but neither side has ratified the agreement and the rapprochement effort has faltered; local border forces struggle to control the illegal transit of goods and people across the porous, undemarcated Armenian, Azerbaijani, and Georgian borders; ethnic Armenian groups in the Javakheti region of Georgia seek greater autonomy from the Georgian Government

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 16,611 (Syria - ethnic Armenians) (2015)
IDPs: 8,400 (conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh) (2015)
stateless persons: 311 (2015)

Illicit drugs

illicit cultivation of small amount of cannabis for domestic consumption; minor transit point for illicit drugs - mostly opium and hashish - moving from Southwest Asia to Russia and to a lesser extent the rest of Europe