Armenia’s Aging Population Brings Challenges

Garik Hayrapetyan, UNFPA Armenia’s Assistant Representative speaks at a press conference

One third of Armenia’s population to be over 60 by 2050

YEREVAN (ArmRadio)—The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Armenia and the Armenian Ministry of Labor and Social Issues (MLSI) held a joint press conference on Tuesday devoted to the 2013 International Day of Older Persons. Garik Hayrapetyan, UNFPA Armenia’s Assistant Representative, and Anahit Gevorgyan, Head of the MLSI Department for Elderly Issues, spoke at the press conference.

According to the speakers, Armenia is among the countries with a rapidly growing share of elderly people in its population. Around 14.4 percent of the country’s population is already over 60. The decline in childbearing and the migration of economically and reproductively active people contribute to aging in the population. Still, the main contributor to aging is prolonged life expectancy due to the achievements of modern medicine. According to the projections of the recent UNFPA expert analysis, by 2050, almost one third, 31.5 percent, of Armenia’s population will be over 60.

“Such a growing share of elderly people in the population structure implies a significant additional burden for the state, and it is very important to develop and implement appropriate policies beforehand. One of the solutions could be implementation of the concept of “active aging,” according to which elderly people stay active members of society, their communities, and families for as long as possible,” said Garik Hayrapetyan, UNFPA.

Anahit Gevorgyan, Head of the MLSI Department for Elderly Issues, presented the state’s proposed policies regarding elderly people, including current and future measures to tackle the problems of an older population.

The aging of a considerable portion of Armenia’s population would also mean a diminishing ratio for the number of working people aged 15-63 per one 63-year-old or older person, who must be supported. As the UNFPA analysis shows, this ratio can mainly be mitigated by combined growth in fertility and employment. However, whereas overcoming unemployment might be a difficult, but achievable, task, increasing the fertility rate seems to be a prohibitively expensive exercise, especially if taking into account the fact that Armenia’s natural rate of population growth is expected to soon dip into the negatives.

Armenia is 51st among 91 countries in the Global Age Watch Index 2013, which ranks countries by how well their ageing populations are faring. It is based on four domains that are considered key enablers of older people’s wellbeing: income, health, employment and education, and an enabling environment.

Armenia features in the lower half of the Global Age Watch Index, ranking 51. It is one of the top performers globally in terms of employment and education, ranking 3 out of 91 countries, but ranks very poorly in the health status and enabling environment domains at 75 and 80 respectively.

According to the report, Armenia faces significant challenges due to rapid population aging and the lack of reforms in place to mitigate its impact. Armenia is already considered an “ageing” country, with more than 30% of the population predicted to be aged 60 or over by 2050.

Russia is 78th on the Global Age Watch Index, Georgia and Turkey are ranked 37th and 70th respectively. No data is available about Iran and Azerbaijan.

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4 Comments

  1. An Armenian said:

    One solution would be for the government of Armenia to provide extensive monetary and economic incentives to Armenian couples to bear more children. Although with such high corruption rates and the Oligarchic system that is in place in Armenia, I doubt that it would make any difference.

  2. Gazzo said:

    And what is news? We keep identifying the problems, but never its solutions. The European nations identified their demographic crisis of population aging. What did they do ? Open their gates to massive third world invasion-immigration of their lands. This policy continues unabated and it is now being translated into practically a population replacement program. Aging population in a nation requires a psychological mind state of population rebirth. In Armenia case we should be more than capable to bring such conditions around. Encouragement of armenians returning to the homeland, encouragement to the formation of young families . In Armenia one sees wonderful young couples with beautiful children in tow. Contrast this with countries in Europe where such a sight is non existent. We have in ourselves the inner resources to remedy demographic imbalances without having to listened to international bodies and consultants on population trends and demographics.

  3. shahe said:

    There is nothing new in this. The problem again is not related to reproduction but to the corrupt oligarchy, the same old soviet idiots which one day will be gladly slaughtered by us armenians. For those morons who are still in doubt please let us remember our own disaster; whereby our population after destruction of more than two thirds of its number bounced back tremendously in the alleys of Raqa, Aleppo, Beirut, Baghdad and lots of other places. Add upon that we repopulated The Motherland again in 1946!!!! Were are you Mikoyan? Where are our leaders when we need them most?
    Yet again we do not have any problem in reproduction unlike the russians and the ukranians. Our average is still 2 children per family and the total armenian worldwide average especially in western hemisphere is still 3 children per family!!!
    I hope an armenian from armenia reads these articles and stops building useless churches and pays attention to the population.
    Getse hayoutyoune

  4. Pingback: ARMENIA: International Day of Older Persons Celebrated « UNFPA in the News

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