The year 2020 had a great impact on the demographic situation in Armenia. First, the coronavirus pandemic that broke out at the beginning of the year, then the Artsakh war. The number of deaths registered in Armenia became the highest in the last few decades, after 1988, when the devastating earthquake in Spitak killed more than 35 thousand people.
The Fact Investigation Platform has studied the patterns and dynamics of the causes of death registered in Armenia in recent years.
Indicators for 2020
2020 began with the spread of the coronavirus in the world. Despite the high rate of infection in the country, the high mortality rate, the number of deaths in the first half of the year was lower than in the same period in 2019. You can find the relevant article by the Fact Investigation Platform here.
However, the death toll from coronavirus at the end of 2020 was 3,513, of which 685 were “for other reasons.” The number of deaths from the coronavirus per million inhabitants was about 1050, while the world average was 300.
The war unleashed by Azerbaijan on September 27, 2020 caused about 3,500 deaths (to this date), but the data published by the Statistical Committee include only 2,291 servicemen killed (and 3,405 deaths from coronavirus).
In total, the Statistical Committee has published 35,371 deaths during 2020, which is about 35% more than in the previous year. According to official data, the highest rate was recorded only in 1988, when according to estimated data, the earthquake alone took more than 35,000 lives (according to official information – 25 thousand). It should be noted that this figure will change significantly when the final number of killed servicemen is announced.
The high number of deaths registered in Armenia in 2020 largely depended on external circumstances. However, even in the case of removing the deaths registered as a result of the coronavirus and the war, the number of deaths increased by about 4,500 last year compared to 2019. Thus, the number of deaths due to circulatory system diseases increased by about three thousand or 21%, becoming 17 thousand against 14 thousand the previous year.
The number of deaths from respiratory diseases increased by 841, and the number of deaths from digestive diseases increased by about 100.
Compared to previous years, in 2020 the gender composition of the deaths changed significantly. In contrast to the almost equal figures of the previous few years (the number of males is 100-200 more), the number of men who died in 2020 is more than three thousand more than the number of women, which is due to the number of servicemen killed in the war. In 2020, about 19,286 men and 16,085 women died in Armenia, compared to 13,384 male and 12,802 female deaths in 2019.
In 2020, 663 people attempted suicide compared to 613 the previous year. In 2018, this number was 605. 183 people died due to suicide last year, 30 more than in 2019. You can read the article of the Fact Investigation Platform on the number and patterns of suicides in previous years here.
Mortality by years
The number of deaths registered in Armenia every year since 1988 exceeds 20,000. However, along with the stability of the mortality rate, the average population of the country and the number of births are decreasing. Thus, 74 thousand children were born in Armenia in 1988, 75 thousand in 1989, and 79 thousand in 1990. Whereas in 1989-1990 the number of deaths in the country was about 20 thousand, and the population of the country was about 3․4 million.
The birth rate in Armenia has sharply decreased since 1998-99, and in 2001-2002 it was the lowest – 32 thousand births. One of the main reasons for the increase in the death rate per 1,000 people in Armenia is the change in the composition of the population, namely, ageing. It is accompanied by decrease in the birth rate.
Births, deaths and natural growth registered in Armenia since 1950
In the last few years, the actual population of Armenia does not exceed three million, which is due to “low natural growth rate” and emigration. Thus, in 2017-2019, the difference between the birth and death rates was positive, but did not exceed 10,000. And already in 2020 that difference was the lowest ․ The number of births exceeded the number of deaths by only 1077. However, this indicator may become negative if adjusted, as the data on war victims is still incomplete.
Thus, in 2020, the number of deaths registered in Armenia due to the coronavirus and war reached approximately the level of deaths registered due to the 1988 disaster.