YEREVAN, October 1. /ARKA/. Armenia has about 364,000 senior citizens aged over 65, according to Anahit Gevorgyan, head of a labor and social affairs ministry department in charge of senior citizens’ issues. Speaking at a news conference today she said although the government works to secure a decent old age for this segment, the ministry believes much more should be done.
According to Gevorgyan, creation of special recreation centers and healthy lifestyle clubs as well as expansion of services provided to senior citizens at their homes could improve the quality of their life.
Garik Hayrapetyan fr om the UN Population Fund’s Armenia Office said Armenians had long been included in the list of "aging" nations and the government should take immediate steps to stop this trend.
He said people aged over 60 make up 14.4 % of the overall population of the country and if this pace of aging continues, by 2050 they will make up 31.5 %, or more than a third of the population.
Presenting the findings of a study conducted by the UN Population Fund he said for comparison the share of people aged over 60 in Azerbaijan is 8.5 %, in Georgia they make 19.7 % and 10 percent in Turkey.
He said the best numbers among Eastern European and Central Asian nations were in Tajikistan, wh ere senior citizens make only 5 % of the total population, while the worst were in Ukraine - 21.3 %.
According to Hayrapetyan , the "aging" of Armenia is due primarily to the decline in the birth rate and mass migration.
According to the National Statistical Service (NSS) of Armenia, the resident population in the first six months of 2013 decreased by 15,000 people. The negative net migration was 106,233 against 73,451 in January- June 2012. According to the NSS, the negative migration balance exceeds the natural growth rate. At the end of June, the number of resident population in Armenia was 3. 011.9 million, of which 1. 904.4 million were urban residents and 1.107.5 million -rural residents. -0-