Press Conference on Prenatal Sex Selection Trends in Armenia

4 April 2019

On April 4, 2019, Ms. Tsovinar Harutyunyan, UNFPA Armenia Assistant Representative and Mr. Arman Sargsyan, Director of the National Institute of Labor and Social Research, spoke about the current trends in prenatal sex selection in Armenia at a press conference held at Armenpress news agency.

The speakers noted that Armenia has seen a positive trend in sex-at-birth ratio that had decreased from 115 boys to 100 girls in 2013 to 111 boys to 100 girls in 2018.

UNFPA Assistant Representative mentioned that although the ratio had gone up by 1 point in the last year, the trend still remains positive, as in small countries like ours, one point in one year may be misleading, and it is necessary to observe the indicators for a longer time.

Mr. Sargsyan spoke about the sex-at-birth ratio in the provinces of Armenia. According to him, in 2017 the lowest ratio was observed in Shirak province at 103 boys to 100 girls, while the highest ratio was seen in Tavush province - 122 boys to 100 girls. In Gegharkunik province the problem has been acute for years, but in 2017 the image has significantly changed in a positive way. The ratio is quite high also in Lori and Aragatsotn provinces. 

Both speakers stressed that the skewed sex-at-birth ratio has a negative impact on the demographic situation in Armenia. This is accompanied by a decrease in fertility, and also migration has a negative impact on demography. Tsovinar Harutyunyan mentioned that problems were presented at the meeting with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. He underlined that the government is very interested in these issues, it is serious about the issue and tries to take targeted steps to address demographic problems. For that purpose, a National Council for Demographic Issues chaired by the Prime Minister will be established in the near future.