YEREVAN, October 8. / ARKA /. High poverty level, which is 35 % and high unemployment remain the most common causes of migration in Armenia, deputy labor and social affairs minister Ara Petrosyan told a conference on demographic challenges of Armenia, organized by labor and social affairs ministry and the Armenian office of UN.
According to the deputy minister, the causes are the devastating earthquake in 1988 that was followed by the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Karabakh war and the transport blockade imposed by Azerbaijan and Turkey.
Among other acute problems Petrosyan also mentioned low birth rate, which does not ensure a simple reproduction. "The birth rate is a serious headache and an acute problem in developed countries, and Armenia is also affected by this demographic problem,” he said.
UN Resident Coordinator in Armenia Bradley Buzetto spoke about the importance of developing a policy that will not only mitigate the negative impact of these challenges, but also identify the positive sides and benefits of the current situation.
A research professor of Arizona State University, Dr. Victor Aghajanyan and Arusyak Sevoyan, a researcher from the Australian Center for Migration and Population Studies, University of Adelaide (South Australia) presented the findings of their studies.
The conference was attended by representatives of concerned government departments and agencies and parliament members.
According to the National Statistical Service (NSS), Armenia’s population decreased by 15 thousand people in the first six months of this year when compared with the beginning of the year.
According to the NSS, the negative migration balance exceeds the natural growth of the population. In Jan. -June the birth rate exceeded the death rate by 1.3 times. At the end of June the number of permanent population stood at 3. 011.9 million -1. 904.4 million were urban residents and the rest –rural. -0-