About Armenia

About Armenia

Armenia is a landlocked country in the geopolitical Transcaucasia (South Caucasus) region, that is located in the Southern Caucasus Mountains and their lowlands between the Black Sea and Caspian Sea, and northeast of the Armenian Highlands. Armenia is bordered on the north by Georgia, the east by Azerbaijan; the south by Iran; and the southwest and west by Turkey. Armenia lies between latitudes 38° and 42° N, and meridians 43° and 47° E.

Topography

The Republic of Armenia has a territorial area of 29,743 square kilometres (11,484 sq mi). The terrain is mostly mountainous, with fast flowing rivers, and few forests. The climate is highland continental, which means that Armenia is subjected to hot summers and cold winters. The land rises to 4,090 metres (13,419 feet) above sea level at Mount Aragats, and no point is below 390 metres (1,280 ft) above sea level.

Mount Ararat, which was historically part of Armenia, is the highest mountain in the region. Now located in Turkey, but clearly visible in Armenia, it is regarded by the Armenians as a symbol of their land. Because of this, the mountain is present on the Armenian national emblem today.

Environment

Armenia has established a Ministry of Nature Protection and introduced taxes for air and water pollution and solid-waste disposal, whose revenues are used for environmental protection activities. Waste management in Armenia is underdeveloped, as no waste sorting or recycling takes place at Armenia’s 60 landfills.

Despite the availability of abundant renewable energy sources in Armenia (especially hydroelectric and wind power), the Armenian Government is working toward building a new nuclear power plant at Metsamor near Yerevan.

 

Kotayk Province. Photography by Robert K.

 

Climate

Winters are quite cold with plenty of snow, with temperatures ranging between −10 and −5 °C (14 and 23 °F). Winter sports enthusiasts enjoy skiing down the hills of Tsakhkadzor, located thirty minutes outside Yerevan. Lake Sevan, nestled up in the Armenian highlands, is the second largest lake in the world relative to its altitude, at 1,900 metres (6,234 ft) above sea level.

 

Armenia has a population of 3,238,000 (2008 est.) and is the second most densely populated of the former Soviet republics. There has been a problem of population decline due to elevated levels of emigration after the break-up of the USSR. In the past years emigration levels have declined and there is steady population growth.

The Armenian population around the world.

Armenia has a relatively large external diaspora (8 million by some estimates, greatly exceeding the 3 million population of Armenia itself), with communities existing across the globe. The largest Armenian communities outside of Armenia can be found in Russia, France, Iran, the United States, Georgia, Syria, Lebanon, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Greece, Cyprus, Israel, Poland, Ukraine and Brazil. 40,000 to 70,000 Armenians still live in Turkey (mostly in and around Istanbul).

About 1,000 Armenians reside in the Armenian Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem, a remnant of a once-larger community. Italy is home to the San Lazzaro degli Armeni, an island located in the Venetian Lagoon, which is completely occupied by a monastery run by the Mechitarists, an Armenian Catholic congregation. Approximately 139,000 Armenians live in the de facto country of Nagorno-Karabakh where they form a majority.[126]

Ethnic groups

Ethnic Armenians make up 98.1% of the population. Yazidis make up 1.2%, and Russians 0.4%. Other minorities include Assyrians, Ukrainians, Greeks (usually called Caucasus Greeks), Kurds, Georgians, Belorussians, and Jews. There are also smaller communities of Vlachs, Mordvins, Ossetians, Udis, and Tats. Minorities of Poles and Caucasus Germans also exist though they are heavily Russified. As of 2016, there are an estimated 35,000 Yazidis in Armenia.

During the Soviet era, Azerbaijanis were historically the second largest population in the country (forming about 2.5% in 1989). However, due to the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, virtually all of them emigrated from Armenia to Azerbaijan. Conversely, Armenia received a large influx of Armenian refugees from Azerbaijan, thus giving Armenia a more homogeneous character.

Languages

Armenian is the only official language. Due to its Soviet past, Russian is still widely used in Armenia and could be considered as a de facto second language. According to a 2013 survey, 95% of Armenians said they had some knowledge of Russian (24% advanced, 59% intermediate) compared to 40% who said they knew some English (4% advanced, 16% intermediate and 20% beginner). However, more adults (50%) think that English should be taught in public secondary schools than those who prefer Russian (44%)

 

Capital
and largest city
Yerevan
40°11′N 44°31′E
Official languages Armenian[1]
Recognised national languages Armenian, Assyrian, Greek, Kurdish and Russian
Spoken and written language Eastern Armenian[2][3]
Official script Armenian alphabeta
Ethnic groups ([4][5])
  • 98.1% Armenians
  •  1.2% Yazidis
  •  0.4% Russians
  •  0.3% other
Demonym Armenian
Government Unitary semi-presidentialrepublic[6]
• President
Serzh Sargsyan
• Prime Minister
Karen Karapetyan
Legislature National Assembly
Formation and independence
• Traditional date
2492 BC
• Hayasa-Azzi
1500–1290 BC
• Arme-Shupria[7][8]
14th century–1190 BC
• Urartu[9]
860–590 BC
• Orontid dynasty
6th century BC
• Kingdom of Greater
Armenia united under
the Artaxiad Dynasty[10]
190 BC[11]
• Arsacid dynasty
52–428
• Bagratid Armenia
885–1045
• Kingdom of Cilicia
1198–1375
• First Republic of Armenia declared
28 May 1918
• Independence from Soviet Union
23 August 1990b
21 September 1991c
26 December 1991d
Area
• Total
29,743 km2(11,484 sq mi) (141st)
• Water (%)
4.71[12]
Population
• 2016 estimate
3.0 million[13]
• 2011 census
Decrease 3,018,854[14][15](134th)
• Density
101.5/km2(262.9/sq mi) (99th)
GDP (PPP) 2016 estimate
• Total
$26.560 billion[16]
• Per capita
$8,881[16]
GDP (nominal) 2016 estimate
• Total
$10.754 billion[16]
• Per capita
$3,595[16]
Gini (2013) 31.5[17]
medium
HDI (2014) Increase 0.733[18]
high · 85th
Currency Dram (֏) (AMD)
Time zone AMT (UTC+4)
Drives on the right
Calling code +374
Patron saint St. Gregory
ISO 3166 code AM
Internet TLD .am .հայ