July 11, 2014

Armenia faces low birth rate, ageing society problems

Armenia faces low birth rate, ageing society problems -

Armenianow - July 11 is marked as World Population Day in honor of the 1987 milestone when by the UN data the world’s population crossed the threshold of 5 billion. And despite the fact that by 2050 the world population is expected to reach 9.3 billion and by the end of the century – 10 billion, Armenia’s population is likely to be less than today’s – 2.3-2.5 million people. 

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Armenian office head Garik Hayrapetyan says the situation in Armenia is conditioned by a lower birth rate and ageing society. According to him, the average number of children in Armenian families is two. And only 16 percent of respondents in a survey expressed a desire to have children in the next three years.

Head of the Sociometer Independent Sociological Center Aharon Adibekyan introduced the “Well-being index of provincial population in Armenia” research mentioning that during the years after the global crisis the well-being index in Armenia has sharply declined.

The survey was conducted in April-May of 2014 among 5,000 citizens in 81 populated areas of Armenia. To measure the well-being in provinces and Yerevan seven criteria were selected: territory improvement, change in community conditions, desire to emigrate, frequency of expressing discontent, independence, unemployment and income.

The results of the research showed that the lowest population well-being index was recorded in Lori Province, the highest – in Gegharkunik. “Population well-being” ranking from the lowest to the highest goes as follows – Syunik, Armavir, Aragotsotn, Shirak, Ararat, Kotayk, Tavush, Vayots Dzor.

The sociologist mentions that the high index in Gegharkunik Province is contributed by the fact that people do a lot of fishing and meat production here.

“The tradition to emigrate has long been adopted in this province, mostly people from this province leave for cheap labor. And in general it is not the poor, but representatives of the middle or higher classes that emigrate from Armenia, that is those who have money and can afford to buy a plane ticket,” Adibekyan said.

Twenty-five percent of the respondents had a positive attitude toward the economic state of the country, 20 percent – to employment, 32 percent – to protection. The picture was different in 2013: 56, 47 and 39 percent respectively.

To the question “What would you do when facing vital problems?”, citizens mentioned mass signature-collection, mass protests, public uprising – with and without use of force – revolution.

“When I was saying that Armenians are not a revolutionary nation, nobody believed me. Every sixth person is capable of doing something, the rest five can accompany, the rest four can peacefully express their discontent,” the sociologist said.
The survey conducted in Yerevan showed that the highest well-being index is in the Avan-Arinj, Arabkir, Malatia and Kentron districts, the lowest – in Shengavit and Erebuni.

Gayane Mkrtchyan

         
       Kantsasar Weekly  Diario Armenia