Armenia ›  


Armenia has a population of 2,982,904 (July 2005 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. The rates of emigration and population decline, however, have been decreasing in the recent years, a trend which is expected to continue. In fact Armenia is expected to resume its positive population growth by 2010.

Ethnic Armenians make up 97.9% of the population. Kurds make up 1.3%, and Russians 0.5%. There are smaller communities of Assyrians, Georgians, Greeks and Ukrainians. Most Azerbaijanis, once a sizable population, have been forced to leave their homes since the independence and the occupation.

Armenia has a very large diaspora (8 million by some estimates, greatly exceeding the 3 million population of Armenia itself), with communities existing across the globe, including France, Russia, Iran, Lebanon, and North America. Approximately 120,000 Armenians now live in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

The predominant religion in Armenia is Christianity. The roots of the Armenian Church go back to the 1st century AD. According to tradition, the Armenian Church was founded by two of Jesus' twelve apostles--Thaddaeus and Bartholomew--who preached Christianity in Armenia in the 40s-60s AD. Because of these two founding apostles, the official name of the Armenian Church is Armenian Apostolic Church. Armenia was the first nation to adopt Christianity as a state religion, in AD 301. Over 93% of Armenian Christians belong to the Armenian Apostolic Church, a form of Oriental (Non-Chalcedonian) Orthodoxy, which is a very ritualistic, conservative church, roughly comparable to the Coptic and Syriac churches. Armenia also has a population of Catholics (both Roman and Mekhitarist - Armenian Uniate (180,000)), evangelical Protestants and followers of the Armenian traditional religion. The Yazidi Kurds, who live in the western part of the country, practise Yazidism. The Armenian Catholic Church is headquartered in Bzoummar, Lebanon.