YEREVAN (Arka)—The poverty rate in Armenia climbed 17.4% from 2008 to 32.4% in 2012, according to the Armenian National Statistical Service’s report, titled, “Poverty and the Social Panorama in Armenia, 2013.”
In its report, the National Statistical Service divides the poor into three categories – extremely poor, very poor, and poor. The extreme poverty rate in Armenia rose 1.8 times in the last five years while the rate of very poor people increased by 7.1%.
According to the statistical report, every third resident of the country – 32.4% (980,000 people) – lived in poverty in 2012. 13.5% (408,000) were very poor and 2.8% (85,000) extremely poor.
Poverty rates in urban and rural areas are similar – in cities it stood at 32.5% in 2012 after rising 17.7% from 2008, while in villages the rate rose 16.7% to 32.1%.
The lowest poverty rate was recorded in Yerevan – about 25.6% (1.6 times lower than other urban areas’ indicators). The poverty rate overall climbed 27.3% over the last five years in Yerevan, while in other cities it rose by 12.3%. 64.4% of poor people are urban residents.
The main factor of the 2008-2012 poverty rate increase was a sharp economic decline in 2009.
Earlier, Finance Minister David Sargsyan said that the poverty rate in Armenia is gradually decreasing. This slow but sustainable downward movement will continue along in 2014 thanks to increases in salaries and pensions, Sargsyan says.
The minimum salary in the country was 32,500 dram in 2012. The average monthly salary was 113,163 dram.
In July 2013, the minimum salary was raised by 30% to 45,000 dram.