Armenian politicians and Western publications continue to warn about the deteriorating demographic crisis in Armenia. "Over 60 thousand people left Armenia in 2016. This is ever more than the previous year”. These comments were made by Aram Manukyan, Armenian MP and Secretary of parliamentary fraction of Armenian National Congress. According to him, 60 thousand people who left the country last year was the biggest loss of Armenia: "The most painful page of the year was the April events and unfortunately, the government didn’t learn any lessons from it. Siege of patrol regiment was the cry of powerless people. It was the voice of people’s protest. A new government was formed in 2016. At first, the new cabinet looked promising, but the hopes proved to be in vain not soon long after. This government came up with a horrible budget and we witnessed the worst budget in the last 25 years. Neither salaries nor pensions were raised” – he said. According to him, 2016 was the year of economic regression in Armenia. "Reformist government increased our debt by 180 million dollars. Our national debt per capita is now 1800-2100 dollars”.
In his turn, Ruben Hakobyan, head of the opposition party "Jarangutyun”, thinks it’s impossible to stop the flow of people leaving the country by banning it: "Against the backdrop of rapidly declining welfare in the country, there is a dynamic increase in the number of people leaving the country. The government has been unable to stop the problem for years. That’s why more and more people are permanently leaving Armenia. Armenians themselves have confessed that if it continues like this, there won’t be any people left in Armenia”.
Armenian demographer Ruben Yeganyan says that the situation has become dangerous a long time ago and that the population in the country has been steadily falling. He noted that the population is decreasing by at least 1% in the country every year and this mainly happens as a result of migration: "It’s because it’s almost impossible to find a job and feed your family in Armenia. People leave to seek a better life. The number of working-age population is decreasing and this has resulted in a reduction in labor resources”. Demographer also stressed that if the leaders do not seriously handle economy, the situation will become worse.
Newspaper "Jamanak” also wrote about how bad the situation was and cited falling export rates and declining small and medium businesses as an evidence of this.
Incidentally, reputable Western publication "Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso” has published an article about deteriorating demographic situation in Armenia. "31 years old Maryam lives in Armenia. She has three children. She was hoping that her next offspring would be a son. But she decided to abort the child once she found out that it would be a girl. She feels guilty about it but has a justification for it. She says that the social problem concerns them. And she adds that a son is more advantageous” – the article quotes. The author writes that many women in Armenia thinks the same: "They don’t view children as a successor but rather a source of profit. The results of demographics and health survey conducted in Armenia shows that 14% of children aged 4-5 are subjected to forced labor and 4.7% children work in family businesses. Only wanting boys have made the demographic situation even worse. This tendency has been going on for over 20 years. While the birthrate was 79.822 in 1990, it was 44.825 in 2010. One of the main reasons behind demographic problems in Armenia is migration. The rate of youth unemployment in recent years is a source of concern in Armenia. This is only the tip of the iceberg. The unseen part of it is the female to male ratio. According to the results of a global report on gender equality, Armenia comes second after China for the number of selective abortions”.
Tarik Ayrapetyan, representative of the UN Foundation operating in Armenia, the gender of children is the reason behind artificial abortions in Armenia: "Every year, about 1400 children are killed because of their gender. According to a UN report, Armenia leads many countries for the number of male children born in the country. The male to female ratio in the country is 115:100. The average global male to female infant birth ratio is 105-100”.
Jilozyan Ani, member of Center for Supporting Women in Yerevan, said that the laws in this area are not effective: "There is no mechanism to make sure those laws work. On the other hand, a son is a potential source of income. But this will lead the country into a disaster. If this is not prevented, there will be shortages of women in the country. As a result, men will have to head overseas to find a wife. On the other hand, if there are no women, who will give birth? The estimates show if the problem is not solved, there will be 93 thousand less women in the coming years. Migration is already high. The demographic balance of the country will be endangered in the end”.
So, another group of experts and reputable publications announce that the situation in the country is reaching critical levels. Armenian leadership is still ignoring the problem. On the contrary, they continue their occupying policies and making the situation in the country even worse. There’s no doubt that all of this will be reflected in the upcoming April elections”.