An earthquake in 1988 killed 25,000 Armenians and left
400,000 homeless, ie. 1/8 of the residents. In the early
1990s, hundreds of thousands of refugees came from the
Armenian-dominated region of Nagorno-Karabakh in Azerbaijan,
and the war that followed between Armenia and Azerbaijan led
to a sharp decline in the Armenian economy, resulting in
increased poverty and malnutrition. Between 1992 and 1997,
600,000 emigrated, and emigration has continued even after
that. In 2010, at least 4 million Armenians were estimated
to live abroad, most of them in the Russian Federation and
the United States. During the 1990s, conditions were
stabilized and economic growth increased. Social conditions
improved significantly, especially in the cities. The
proportion of extremely poor people fell from 15.5 per cent
in the entire country in 1996 to 3.7 per cent in 2007.
The large emigration since independence has made cities
grow very slowly, and there has improved housing and service
conditions. However, the countryside is slipping by the
level of living. Money that emigrated Armenians send to
their families is of great importance in the families'
finances. During the global economic crisis of 2008-09,
these cash flows drastically decreased and poverty increased
in the country. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of ARM and acronym for Armenia.
From Soviet times, Armenia inherited specialist and
hospital-focused healthcare, free of charge but centralized
to the capital and infiltrated by corruption. The country
has received extensive development assistance from the
United States and from humanitarian organizations. Thus, it
has been possible to focus healthcare on decentralized
primary care and preventive measures, and the state of
health improved significantly during the 1990s. Since the
1990s, there is also private healthcare. In 2006, there were
37 doctors and 44 beds per 10,000 residents in the country.
At all births there are qualified healthcare personnel.
In 2008, about 95 percent of the population had access to
clean water and 88 percent had good sanitary conditions.
The retirement age has been raised for women and in 2011
it was 63 years for both men and women. Old-age pensions and
other benefits in social insurance have increased
significantly since the mid-1990s, from a previously very
In 2007-08, unemployment was estimated to be just over 7
per cent, but it rose significantly in 2009. However, the
scope is difficult to estimate, as many work in a ※grayž