Social & Health


Armenian population down by 10,000 in first half-year, UN report shows
/Oct 17/Panorama/

Armenia saw a significant decline in population numbers in the first half of 2018, according to the State of World Population (SWOP) 2018 report launched by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

The country’s population dropped by 10,000 people in the first half-year, Anna Hovhannisyan, UNFPA Armenia “Support to Implementation of Population Policies” Project Coordinator, told a news conference on Wednesday, presenting the report.  

According to the figures, Armenia’s fertility rates continue to drop, falling by 1,000 children from January to June 2018 compared to the same period last year, keeping up with the global trend.

Meantime, the country’s mortality rates have fallen by 1,500 to 13,000 deaths this year against 14,500 deaths recorded in the same period last year.  

“The figure is lower than that of the birth rate. In terms of demography, this means that we have recorded a natural increase. In this case why has the number of population reduced by 10,000? This is the result of negative net migration rate,” Hovhannisyan said.

Marriages are dropping, while divorces are rising in Armenia, with average marriage age increasing in the country, the report revealed.   

Armenia is among the aging countries with people aged 63 and over comprising 13 percent of its population in the first half-year, the UNFPA Armenia official said.

She also pointed to the high unemployment rate in the country. “A serious government intervention, state policy is expected in this regard. Equal conditions should be ensured for women to be competitive. After childbirth, a woman should be able to get back to work, combining it with the childcare,” she said.

Tsovinar Harutyunyan, UNFPA Armenia Assistant Representative, in attendance of the conference, said Niger has the world’s highest birth rate with 6.6 children per woman, while China has the lowest – 1.1 children per woman.   

Armenia’s population continues to dwindle, UNFPA representative says
/Oct 17/ARKA/

YEREVAN- In the first half of 2018 Armenia’s population dwindled by another 10,000 people, when compared to the same period in 2017, Anna Hovhannisyan, a representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Armenia, said today.
According to her, on July 1, 2017, Armenia’s population stood at 2,979,900 people, falling to 2,969,800 people as of July 1, 2018.
According to an annual UNFPA report titled ‘Population of the World,’ the main reasons for the population decline, including in Armenia, are low birth rates, migration and emigration.
Speaking at a news conference today Hovhannisyan said the number of births in Armenia in the reporting period decreased by 1,000, from 17,170 in the first half of 2017 to 16,189 in the first half of this year.
She also said the Armenian government’s latest decision to increase one-time benefits paid to the parents of the child have no strong influence on the birth rate.
Earlier this year the Armenian government decided to triple the one-time payments to the parents for the birth of second child, saying the move was prompted by the worsening demographic situation. ‘
“World practice shows that increased benefits to parents do not affect noticeably the birth rate. Instead, governments should strengthen the role of women. A woman should herself decide when and how many children she wants and she should be able to combine work and family,’ said Hovhannisyan.
She also attached importance to ensuring the competitiveness of women in the labor market after the birth of child and increasing the working hours of kindergartens, which often close before the working day of their parents is over.
Regarding the measures that the government can take to help women with children who choose to work, Hovhannisyan named parental leave, including for fathers as well and full social security for mothers who work part time.
The executive representative of the UN Population Fund, Tsovinar Harutyunyan, in turn, noted that in order to have population growth, the total fertility rate should be 2.1 children per woman and higher, whereas in Armenia it is 1.6, the lowest in the region.

 630 workers do not know why Armenia copper-smelting plant is being shut down
/Oct 20/

About 630 workers of the Alaverdi copper-smelting plant of Armenia are awaiting the talk to be held on October 22, between acting Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan and chairman Valeri Mejlumyan of the Vallex Group companies, to learn the fate of this plant.

Several days ago, the plant’s management announced—but without notifying its workers in advance—that, technically, the plant does not operate.

“There are two [respective] problems: environmental and financial,” “SOS Alaverdi” initiative member Oleg Dulgaryan told Armenian “[But] it’s not clear now as to for which reason the plant has stopped operating.”

According to some reports, the Alaverdi copper-smelting plant will no longer operate, and it already has become the property of a bank. These reports have caused a wave of protests and concerns among the plant workers.

If the plant is shut down, 630 people will lose their jobs.