More then Half of Armenia’s Population Considered Poor

MOSCOW (AP Worldstream)–More than half of Armenia’s citizens live below the poverty level of 25,000 drams ($50) a month–officials said Friday.

Only 45 percent of Armenia’s residents have incomes above the subsistence level–the State Statistics Department said–according to the Interfax news agency. The minimum wage in Armenia is 5,000 drams ($10) a month–it said.

The remaining 55 percent of the population is classified either as "poor" or "very poor," the statistics department said.

Many of the poor live in areas stricken by the 1988 earthquake–and also include large families–pensioners–the unemployed and the disabled–Interfax reported. Unemployment in Armenia has reached 20 percent.

Other factors contributing to Armenia’s economic hardships included a devastating war with neighboring Azerbaijan–an ensuing trade embargo imposed by Azerbaijan and Turkey.

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