Armenia's "de facto" Population Drops Below 3 Million

Armenian Census Data from 2001 and 2011 Compared (Red Column stands for 2011 data)

National Statistical Service of the Republic of Armenia released the preliminary findings of the 2011 Armenia population census earlier this week.
Published figures indicate, that while the “De Jure” population of Armenia has been growing slightly over the past 10 years, “De Facto” poplulation in the country has declined by about 130 thousand compared to the 2001 census figures and has dropped below the 3 million mark for the first time since 1970’s.
Hence, according to the NSS press release, the preliminary number of population during the 2011 Population Census (as of 12, October) is 3,285,767 persons, while the preliminary operational indicator of de facto population is 2,871,509 person.

Year 2001 2011
De Jure 3,213,011 3,285,767
De Facto 3,002,590 2,871,509

PS: I don’t know about you, but I’m really worried!

Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant


  1. I wish many more armenians came back to their homeland, I don’t know about others, even though I am married to a foreigner and at the moment we are living in his country, we are planning in several years time to come back to Armenia, we both would like to live there…

    1. You chose to marry a foreigner, left Armenia, and now claiming more Armenians need to go back to Armenia? If everyone did like you there would be no Armenia. Did your parents approve of your actions?

      1. it’s not right to blame someone for marrying a foreigner. the circumstances in life is not always in one’s hands. and sometimes even Armenian men or women are not the best choice for an Armenian. on the contrary we should respect anyone who has mixed with a foreignor and encourage them to strengthen their Armenian sentiments and ensure their kids are raised as Armenians. with less than 3 million people, we cannot afford distancing our own people. negative comments are not so constructive….whoever is without sin, let him throw the first stone

        1. I agree that stuff happens in life sometimes beyond our control and some Armenians are bad matches etc. But once an Armenian marries a foreigner the odds are against them that they will save their and their children’s identities as Armenians, especially if they are women who take on their husband’s name, and especially if they leave and go to foreign countries and especially if those foreign countries do not have Armenian communities.
          I am not saying that a marriage with a foreigner will not work, but by no means should it be encouraged if one wants to preserve his Armenian identity because it will require a lot of work. The way I see it, Armenians in the diaspora assimilating with foreigners is pretty sad, but when it is also happening on Armenia’s own soil, it is time to stop and take a good hard look around because things are not headed to the right direction, and we are in serious trouble.

  2. I will not be surprised if the accurate figure is much lower than showed above. The saddest situation is that the figure will continue to downgrade and if the government do not want to see this I can say they are either blind or they blankly do not want to care about this major demographic issue. This will be a major national security problem, WAKE UP SERZH….

  3. It is a worrisome trend but everything is being done to make sure that the population decreases. As the prime minister noted a few months ago, the exodus of the population ensures the impossibility of a revolution and the tossing of the regime into the dust bin.

  4. So what’s the news? I believe anyone with a little common sense could understand that the de-facto (most likely the real) population has been well beyond 3 million since at least 2005. I am surprised though, I expected it would be 2.4 or 2.5 million.
    I also think we’re missing the whole point here. Saving Armenia’s population is not about getting the diasporans to come back, but to create the necessary conditions for the natives to stay here. What are the possibilities for economic stability (stability, not even prosperity) for people outside of Yerevan? We cannot convince people to remain in the small cities and the villages if they haven’t got what’s necessary to get their children to go to school, to be able to access a hospital, or simply to get enough supplies to survive the winter. Not even the most hardliner patriot would be able to withstand such conditions. Anyone desperate enough would realize going to Russia, the USA, Europe, is way more viable than remaining in Armenia.
    Sorrily, Armenia is going through the post-Soviet syndrome all countries are undergoing, rampant corruption and economic stagnation resulting in widespread poverty and inequality. Hopefully, in about 15 or 20 years, the youngsters of the nation who never had the experience of living in the Soviet Union nor the disgraceful 1990s will reform the country. They’re sincerely our only hope.

    1. “Saving Armenia’s population is not about getting the diasporans to come back, but to create the necessary conditions for the natives to stay here.”
      I would hope that you are not in any kind of influential position in the Armenian community, and just have an average job somewhere. The oligarch crooks of Armenia are thinking precisely what you’re thinking.

  5. @Observer,
    Do you know what the # is of people leaving Armenia every year?

    1. Well – we’ve been given various figures. This year, for example,the difference between the number of people who left the country by various means of transportation and those who came back, was -46,800 people. That is to say, 46,8 thousand left and didn’t come back last year. In the previous two-three years the figure was smaller, because economic crisis narrowed employment opportunities in Russia. Still, this figure is not the same as emigrating and should be treated with caution.

      1. What a horrifying statistic this is. A combination of abortion and emigration might not be felt immediately, but can you imagine what our population can be in 20, 30, 40 years? ,

  6. Armenian couples should have 4 to 6 children per average. One should not attach having kids with socio-economic well being. As long as we can feed our kids and offer them shelter then we shouldnt hesitate much about procreating. Prosper and be abundant, God will deal with the rest

  7. What do “de facto population”, “enumerated population”, and “de jure population” mean? These seem to be technical terms that the National Statistical Service press release do not make clear.
    In other words, what does having a 3.2 million “de jure” and 2.8 million “de facto” population indicate? Are there 400,000 citizens of the Republic of Armenia absent from the country? Are these expressions of statistical error?

    1. Nareg, “De facto” stands for the real number of calculated people, those are the people “enumerated” during the census – that is to say physically counted.
      “De Jure” population stands for the number of people, who are officially registered as living in Armenia. Many of them might be in Russia or elsewhere, but still registered as inhabitants of Armenia.

      1. any idea what are the chances of falsifying (inflating) these de facto numbers? I heard sometimes from regular citizens in Armenia that the number might be much lower…in the range of 1.5 – 2 millions

      2. Well, the National Statistical Service press release seems to differentiate among those three categories. Comparing with the Armenian, which I just had a look at (, it seems that
        1) the “enumerated” population is «հաշվեգրված» – individuals counted by the census-taker and being registered as resident, even if absent at the time of the census;
        2) the “de facto” is population is «առկա» – individuals present in the country at the time of the census, regardless of residence or citizenship;
        3) and the “de jure” population is «մշտական» – individuals present in the country at the time of the census, plus residents who were absent at the time of the census, to be calculated by October 2012.

  8. […] The bottom line is that free and fair elections would make a real political difference for the people of Armenia. The inhabitants of the country have been robbed of their vote on just about every occasion. A disenfranchised citizenry leads to a disenchanted people and, indeed, emigration has been on the rise—a worrying phenomenon for an already underpopulated country. […]

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