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Careers, Jobs and Education Resources for: Armenia

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Armenia prides itself on being the first nation to formally adopt Christianity (early 4th century). Despite periods of autonomy, over the centuries Armenia came under the sway of various empires including the Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Persian, and Ottoman. During World War I in the western portion of Armenia, Ottoman Turkey instituted a policy of forced resettlement coupled with other harsh practices that resulted in an estimated 1 million Armenian deaths. The eastern area of Armenia was ceded by the Ottomans to Russia in 1828; this portion declared its independence in 1918, but was conquered by the Soviet Red Army in 1920. Armenian leaders remain preoccupied by the long conflict with Muslim Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, a primarily Armenian-populated region, assigned to Soviet Azerbaijan in the 1920s by Moscow. Armenia and Azerbaijan began fighting over the area in 1988; the struggle escalated after both countries attained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. By May 1994, when a cease-fire took hold, Armenian forces held not only Nagorno-Karabakh but also a significant portion of Azerbaijan proper. The economies of both sides have been hurt by their inability to make substantial progress toward a peaceful resolution. Turkey imposed an economic blockade on Armenia and closed the common border because of the Armenian separatists' control of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas. (from the CIA)


Economic Overview

Since the breakup of the soviet union in 1991, armenia has made progress in implementing many economic reforms including privatization, price reforms, and prudent fiscal policies. the conflict with azerbaijan over the ethnic armenian-dominated region of nagorno-karabakh contributed to a severe economic decline in the early 1990s. by 1994, however, the armenian government launched an ambitious imf-sponsored economic liberalization program that resulted in positive growth rates. economic growth has averaged over 13% in recent years. armenia has managed to reduce poverty, slash inflation, stabilize its currency, and privatize most small- and medium-sized enterprises. under the old soviet central planning system, armenia developed a modern industrial sector, supplying machine tools, textiles, and other manufactured goods to sister republics, in exchange for raw materials and energy. armenia has since switched to small-scale agriculture and away from the large agroindustrial complexes of the soviet era. nuclear power plants built at metsamor in the 1970s were closed following the 1988 spitak earthquake, though they sustained no damage. one of the two reactors was re-opened in 1995, but the armenian government is under international pressure to close it due to concerns that the soviet era design lacks important safeguards. metsamor provides 40 percent of the country's electricity - hydropower accounts for about one-fourth. economic ties with russia remain close, especially in the energy sector. the electricity distribution system was privatized in 2002 and bought by russia's rao-ues in 2005. construction of a pipeline to deliver natural gas from iran to armenia is halfway completed and is scheduled to be commissioned by january 2009. armenia has some mineral deposits (copper, gold, bauxite). pig iron, unwrought copper, and other nonferrous metals are armenia's highest valued exports. armenia's severe trade imbalance has been offset somewhat by international aid, remittances from armenians working abroad, and foreign direct investment. armenia joined the wto in january 2003. the government made some improvements in tax and customs administration in recent years, but anti-corruption measures will be more difficult to implement. despite strong economic growth, armenia's unemployment rate remains high. armenia will need to pursue additional economic reforms in order to improve its economic competitiveness and to build on recent improvements in poverty and unemployment, especially given its economic isolation from two of its nearest neighbors, turkey and azerbaijan.

Environmental Issues

Soil pollution from toxic chemicals such as ddt; the energy crisis of the 1990s led to deforestation when citizens scavenged for firewood; pollution of hrazdan (razdan) and aras rivers; the draining of sevana lich (lake sevan), a result of its use as a source for hydropower, threatens drinking water supplies; restart of metsamor nuclear power plant in spite of its location in a seismically active zone

Government Type



2,968,586 (july 2008 est.)


Southwestern asia, east of turkey


Total: 29,743 sq km land: 28,454 sq km water: 1,289 sq km

Slightly smaller than maryland

Country Aliases

Conventional long form: republic of armenia conventional short form: armenia local long form: hayastani hanrapetut'yun local short form: hayastan former: armenian soviet socialist republic, armenian republic


Name: yerevan geographic coordinates: 40 10 n, 44 30 e time difference: utc+4 (9 hours ahead of washington, dc during standard time) daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last sunday in march; ends last sunday in october

Military Service

18-27 years of age for voluntary or compulsory military service; 2-year conscript service obligation (2007)

International Disputes

Armenia supports ethnic armenian secessionists in nagorno-karabakh and since the early 1990s, has militarily occupied 16% of azerbaijan - organization for security and cooperation in europe (osce) continues to mediate dispute; over 800,000 mostly ethnic azerbaijanis were driven from the occupied lands and armenia; about 230,000 ethnic armenians were driven from their homes in azerbaijan into armenia and nagorno-karabakh; azerbaijan seeks transit route through armenia to connect to naxcivan exclave; border with turkey remains closed over nagorno-karabakh dispute; ethnic armenian groups in javakheti region of georgia seek greater autonomy; armenians continue to emigrate, primarily to russia, seeking employment

Sources: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

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