There are an estimated three million people living in Armenia. Armenians constitute more than 95 percent of the republic’s population, with Yezidis comprising the largest minority and Russians, Ukrainians, Georgians, Greeks, and Assyrians making up the rest.
Today, more Armenians live outside their country than in it, due to the 1915 Armenian Genocide and the more recent large-scale emigration after the 1988 earthquake and the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.
Traditions and Holidays
Armenians are extremely proud of their rich heritage and cultural traditions and celebrate often with a level of hospitality unseen by most Westerners. Visitors are welcomed with open arms and usually with a party, as many AECP physicians will tell you.
Armenia is a parliamentary democracy with a strong executive branch. Many political parties have formed and disappeared in Armenia’s first decade of independence, and the parties are often based on the popularity of one leader, or dislike of a current leader.
The difficulty of Armenia’s transition from a communist economy to a capitalist one has been exacerbated by the devastating earthquake of 1988, and the continuing blockade of Armenia by Azerbaijan and Turkey. Additional factors have caused a severe shrinking of the economy.
Just 17 percent of Armenia’s land area is arable, yet as a result of unemployment, residents are increasingly turning to agriculture for livelihood. Among the products maintained are fruits (especially grapes), vegetables, flowers, and minor livestock; vineyards are used for brandy and other liqueurs.
Before declaring its independence in 1991, Armenia had an industry-based economy, which has since collapsed. Agriculture now accounts for more than 25 percent of GDP.
Armenia’s natural resources are small deposits of gold, copper, molybdenum, zinc, and alumina. The land consists of 24 percent permanent pastures, 17 percent arable land, 15 percent forests and woodland, 3 percent permanent crops, and 41 percent other types of land.
Donate Now to Bring Sight to Armenian Eyes!
Two years ago, Umud started to have problems with his eyes. It started with a cataract and then many other problems started to occur with his vision. As the complications mounted, the doctors had no choice but to remove his corneas. “It has been seven months since I was able to see at all. After doctors removed my corneas, my only hope for being able to see again was to wait for the corneal transplants. It is very hard to lose your sight all of a sudden. I have already started to forget the faces of my dear ones in my memory,” said Umud.