The permanent population of Armenia decreased by 13.4 thousand people over the past year, according to the National Statistical Service of the republic. At the same time, it was noted that during the year 10.3 thousand more people were born in the country than died. Thus, in total about 23 thousand people left the country in 2017.
In particular, in 2017, 5.5 thousand more people were born in Yerevan than died, but the city's population grew by only 1.2 thousand people.
In regions, this trend has taken a broader scope. According to statistics, the Shirak and Lori regions of the republic lost the most number of people (almost 4 thousand).
Last year, 1,5 thousand people left Gyumri and Vanadzor, the largest cities of the country after Yerevan. In the USSR, these cities were major industrial centers of the region, but to date, most industrial facilities have fallen into decay. Three years ago the Vanadzor chemical plant was completely stopped. In recent years, its staff numbered 300-350 people, while in the Soviet period about 5 thousand people worked here.
According to the statistical service, the Shirak region has had the highest incidence of poverty of 45% for many years. Lori has 36%. At the same time, up to 25% of families in these regions mostly eat only potatoes and bread, Sputnik Armenia reports.
Member of the Tsarukyan's Bloc faction, Naira Zohrabyan, speaking with the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that one of the means to reduce migration from Armenia is to build a law-abiding state under the new government. "We must build a country in which there will be no economic monopoly, corruption and lawlessness, which we had for many years, not only under Serzh Sargsyan, but even before him," she stressed.
"Legal lawlessness has reached such proportions that some factions have divided the entire economy of the country among them. Only 7 oligarchs bring 25 items of industrial products, including food, to the country. If we change it, if Armenia ceases to be a country ruled oligarchs, this will be the first impetus towards stopping migration and returning citizens to the republic," Naira Zohrabyan said.
"In these two weeks after the resignation of Sargsyan, I met dozens of fellow citizens from the UA, Canada and even Hong Kong, who returned to Armenia. To keep them here, we need to create a country of law in the republic. I think that the current movement has a positive potential that will be directed at combating migration, in any case, I really hope so," the member of the Tsarukyan's Bloc faction added.
Former head of the Central Bank of Armenia Bagrat Asatryan, in turn, noted that official statistics underestimate the extent of migration from the country. "Official data show the number of those who registered their departure from Armenia, but if one looks at the statistics of the departed and arrived from abroad, then one will see the difference between these figures of 440 thousand people in the last ten years. The population of all our regions, except for Yerevan, has exceptionally declined these years, the number of births is less than the number of deaths in some areas," he said.
"Of course, we need a purposeful policy in all spheres. An official poll of two years ago showed that 84% of young people do not see their future in the country." We need to restore the sense of justice, enforce the laws, get rid of the lawlessness of the ruling Republican party," Bagrat Asatryan urged.
"Since the beginning of the century, several demographic programs have been proposed, but all of them have been unsuccessful. The problem of employment has not been resolved. The statistics do not reflect the realities, on paper we have more than 350 thousand engaged in agriculture, but up to 90% of these people do not sell any goods to the market. We have at least 200,000 citizens in the category of hidden unemployment in addition to those officially unemployed, and together with their families they form up to half a million of potential migrants," the former head of the Central Bank of Armenia said.
"Now there is a process of forming new government, they have a lot of tasks, but people have renewed their hope for victory over lawlessness. I hope that new people will assume their obligations and eventually fulfill all the tasks they face in order to restore Armenia," Bagrat Asatryan concluded.