The Statistical Committee of the Republic of Armenia has published the figures for deaths and births in the country in 2021. The year 2020 registered record numbers of demographic decline due to the second Nagorno Karabakh war and COVID-19, but the demographic situation in Armenia continues to show a negative trend.
According to the Statistical Committee, 36,585 children were born in 2021, 34,658 people died, the number of births exceeded the number of deaths by 1927 (natural increase).
It is noteworthy that the natural increase in the war year 2020 was only 183, while before that, in 2019, the number of births in the country exceeded the deaths by 9855.
The number of deaths registered in 2021 decreased by about 1,500 compared to the previous year, but compared to 2019, this number was about 35% higher. According to official data, a higher mortality rate was registered only in 1988.
According to official data, Armenia had about 4000 fatalities in the 44-day war, of which 250 deaths were registered by the Statistical Committee as deaths pertaining to 2021. At the same time, the Statistical Committee informs that the indicators for 2020 and 2021 are still subject to a comprehensive review.
In 2020, about 20,000 males died, exceeding the number of females by 4,000 (due to the war). In 2021, the difference between these figures was significantly reduced․ 544 more males died compared to females, and 1543 more boys were born compared to girls.
As always, the predominant causes of death are the circulatory system diseases – more than 16 thousand or about 48%.
COVID-19 killed 5,450 people in 2021, compared to 3,540 in 2020.
Demographic changes in the country
The demographic indicators of the last two years are comparable only to 1988, the year of the devastating Spitak earthquake, when according to different reports, more than 35 thousand deaths were registered in the country. However, the number of births was about 74 thousand that year, and the natural increase was about 39 thousand.
The difference between birth and death rates in Armenia started to decrease significantly since 1993, when the index was about 31 thousand, and seven years later, in 2000, it became about 10 thousand. For comparison, fifty years ago (in the 1970s) the natural increase in the country was 45,000 people on average.
Due to the continuous decline in natural growth and emigration, the actual population of Armenia has become less than three million in the last few years.
The difference between the birth and death rates in 2017-2019, although positive, did not exceed 10,000. And already in 2020, this difference was record low for at least the last 70 years․ The number of births exceeded the number of deaths by only 183. This figure may even become negative when the Statistical Committee reviews the data of the victims of the 44-day war. And in 2021, despite a small increase, the rate of natural population growth remains very low.
In conclusion, in addition to the fact that the death rate in the previous two years was the highest in the last three decades and was comparable to the death toll from the devastating 1988 earthquake, the demographic situation in Armenia is becoming increasingly worrying due to the continuing decline in natural increase.