UNFPA Armenia participated at a discussion in Media Center devoted to the issue of migration in Armenia in 2016-2017.
Mr. Ruben Yeganyan, demographer, Mrs. Hranush Kharatyan, ethnographer, and Mrs. Anna Hovhannisyan, project coordinator for UNFPA Armenia "Support to implementation of population policies" project were the speakers at the discussion.
"This is a systemic phenomenon connected with our social, economic, political and pschological realities. Every year we have around 15-20 thousand people leaving Armenia permanently", says Mr. Yeganyan.
He refered to annual sociological studies of migration conducted with Armenian-Russian (Slavonic) University. According to 2016 study, the ratio between permanent migrants and temporary migrants has changed in favour of the former.
"The study showed that 47 per cent of migrant are working migrants and 53 per cent are permanent migrants. Migrants have been and will be leaving the country due to socio-economic conditions. However, financial inflows from migrants have decreased around 2.5 times since 2013. In 2015 remittances amounted to 245 mln USD, while in 2016 they amounted to 201 mln USD," says Mr. Yeganyan.
According to him, the real picture will become clearer after the next census.
In ethnographer Hranush Kharatyan's opinion, the internal situation in the country is the cause for the migration.
I have compared age groups data from 2011 census. I have to say that we face serious demographic challenges. There is up to 42 per cent deficit among age groups 39-49 19-29 in Armenia. This is indicative of working and permanent migration," says Ms. Kharatyan.
Anna Hovhannisyan, Project Coordinator for UNFPA "Support to Implementation of Population Policies" Project mentioned that in a country, where the fertility level is below the simple reproduction level, migration outflows create strong deviation in age group composition.
"The number of aged people increases in Armenia. As was mentioned multiple times, Armenia is an ageing country, and one of the cuases for that is migration. According to teh National Statistical Service of Armenia, 24 thousand people migrated from Armenia in 2016. If not for that, we would have population growth, as we had a surplus of 12500 births over deaths in 2016. However, because of migration we had decreasing population in 2016", says Mrs. Hovhannisyan.
She added that in 2017 UNFPA Armenia is planning a new study on fertility preferences and other demographic issues to assess changes in population behaviour.
Watch the discussion in Armenian here.