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Will Pashinyan be able to stop emigration in Armenia?

10 May 2018 [16:18] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Rashid Shirinov

The Armenians well remember the senseless statement that their former president Serzh Sargsyan made last year in the parliament, when he publicly declared his intention to increase the population of the country up to 4 million by 2040.

Not surprisingly, the population of Armenia did not believe the politician who liked to make empty promises. The emigration continued, taking tens of thousands of doctors, engineers, teachers and scientists away from the country.

As a result, Armenia ended 2017 with a decrease of 13,400 permanent residents, according to the National Statistical Service of the country.

The population grew slightly in Yerevan (1,800 people), but it continued to decline in the regions. Almost 4,000 residents of each of Armenia’s poorest regions Shirak and Lori left the country last year, and about 1,500 people left Gyumri and Vanadzor – the second and third largest cities of the country.

Rather than opening new jobs in the regions in order to stop the growth of poverty and emigration, the government of Armenia was doing its utmost to support the outflow of population. Three years ago, the last large enterprise of Vanadzor – its chemical combine was completely closed. As many as 300-350 people worked there in recent years, while their number was 5,000 in Soviet times.

The official data say that as many as 30 percent of the Armenian population are poor, but the real figure may be much higher. As for emigration, the resident population of Armenia was 3,230,000 on January 1, 2008, but it dropped to 2,972,000 in the beginning of 2018.

Now Sargsyan is gone, but the problems of the country are still out there. The new leader Nikol Pashinyan is now obliged to resolve dozens of problems, including the social and demographic ones.

Some Armenian demographers groundlessly place high hopes in this issue on the new government, saying that “those who left Armenia will begin to come back having seen the victory of the people.” This, of course, is just a fiction. The latest statements by Pashinyan about the future of the country do not yet have credibility among the population.

In addition, his provocative statements about the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict completely cancel out the improvement in the life of the Armenians and the growth of Armenia’s population. The Armenian leaders should finally realize that the current doleful state of Armenia stems from its launch of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and there will be no serious improvement in any sphere of Armenia until the Karabakh problem is resolved.


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