From the 1988 earthquake and during the war
on Nagorno-Karabakh 1991-1994, living conditions in
Armenia deteriorated drastically to reach a bottom
position in 1992-1993. Conditions have improved
considerably since then, but there are still major
differences in welfare between city and country.
During the most difficult years, the Armenians
suffered winter after winter without heat in their
houses and lack of food. People fired with their
furniture and with books. In 1993, more than half of the
country's hospitals were closed due to lack of
electricity or equipment. In the same year, 90 percent
of all Armenians were estimated to live below the
Countryaah Official Site:
Official statistics for population in Armenia, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
Conditions have improved over the decades, partly due
to increased tourist incomes and modernization, which
has occurred not least in the IT industry. The country's
economy has shown good growth figures in recent years.
But many still live under small circumstances,
especially in rural areas. In 2012, the government said
that about 30 percent of residents could be described as
poor. According to the state statistical authority, the
poverty line went below a monthly income of less than
53,000 dramas, corresponding to about SEK 950. One
newspaper estimated that in that case, 60-70 percent of
the population was poor. In the country, life is
characterized not only by a lack of money but also by
poor access to running water, gas for heating and
cooking and poor sanitary conditions.
For a temporary visitor, Armenia may seem very calm,
and public crime is low. However, corruption is
widespread, and the country's economy is considered
permeated by organized crime ruled by criminal clans and
mafia-like leagues. It has also created such
dissatisfaction with the country's politicians that it
has led to a shift in power (see Current policy).
Armenia is one of the countries where "trafficking"
in the form of trafficking in women and girls for sexual
exploitation is most common. Turkey and the United Arab
Emirates have been identified as the most common
recipients of Armenian women being lured abroad with
promises of work. Armenian authorities have been accused
of looking between the fingers of human trafficking. Few
human traffickers are arrested and most of them escape
Organized illegal trafficking in male labor also
occurs. Then the victims usually end up in Russia.
At the end of 2017, a new law was passed to reduce
the incidence of domestic violence. But both women and
children are still at risk of being abused, and the
justice system's response to the victims must be better
as well as access to sheltered housing, the organization
Human Rights Watch 2018 wrote after interviewing people
exposed to the crimes.
Abortions are legal. Alarming numbers have been
reported for the proportion of aborted girl fetuses,
among the highest in the world after China and
neighboring Azerbaijan. In 2012, according to the UN,
114 boys were born per 100 girls. In 2016, Parliament
passed several laws to make it more difficult to abort
girl fetuses. Among other things, doctors are not
allowed to perform abortions if the woman says she does
not want to give birth to a girl. Women's organizations
object that the laws are inadequate and create the risk
of illegal abortions.
At independence in 1991, Armenia basically retained
the social security system that existed during the
Soviet era, but the economic crisis caused many
contributions to be cut or withdrawn. The help of
hundreds of thousands of earthquake victims and refugees
brought a huge strain on the grant system. Some grants
have been paid for with assistance from abroad.
Voluntary contributions from Armenians living abroad
have also played an important role. As of year-end 2014,
all born after 1974 must dedicate five percent of their
salary to private pension funds.
In a World Bank study published in 2018, it was noted
that the number of hospital beds and the number of
doctors per thousand residents was still lower than
during the Soviet era (1920–1991).
In 2018, the health insurance for children was
expanded. Until now, healthcare had been free for
children under school age. The decision extended the
free health care to children and adolescents up to the
age of 18, but only in the end-of-life care. In 2019,
the government announced plans to also make visits to
the outpatient hospital free of charge for Armenians of
FACTS - SOCIAL CONDITIONS
11 per 1000 births (2018)
Percentage of HIV infected
0.2 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young women
0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young men
0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of population with access to clean
98.9 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to
93.6 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on health care as a
percentage of GDP
10.1 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person
$ 359 (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament
18 percent (2018)
Requirements for new elections
The opposition is conducting new demonstrations with around 10,000
participants in Yerevan. Opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosyan demands new
elections and imprisoned opposition members should be released.
Protest campaign against the government
The opposition party National Congress (HAK) is launching a campaign with
protests against the government. These are the biggest demonstrations since the
bloody protests following the 2008 presidential election.