The main unit of measurement of the economy of any country is the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). And in order to make a comparison between different countries, the size of the GDP per capita is used.
In this respect, Armenia and its two neighboring states, Georgia and Azerbaijan, are almost at the same level, although since 2010, Armenia has always been behind the two neighboring states in terms of this indicator.
However, at the end of 2019, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced that according to preliminary estimates, Armenia surpassed Georgia in terms of GDP per capita, and according to forecasts, it will surpass Azerbaijan in 2020.
However, back in 2021, we demonstrated that the Prime Minister’s “forecast” was actually made by the International Monetary Fund and contradicted the data of the national statistical services of these countries.
Now let us see how the GDP per capita has changed in the three countries in the last few years.
According to the data of the national statistical services of the three countries, in the last 5 years, Armenia has been behind the neighboring countries in terms of this indicator. An exception is the year 2020, when Armenia was slightly ahead of Georgia in GDP per capita.
The data of the International Monetary Fund are almost identical to the data of the national statistical services of these countries. The year 2020 is an exception, according to which Armenia surpassed both Georgia and Azerbaijan in terms of GDP per capita.
According to the World Bank, in 2019-20, the GDP per capita in Armenia exceeded the index of the other two countries. However, these data are not very accurate, because, for example, according to the same World Bank, in 2019, the GDP per capita in Armenia surpassed that of the two neighboring countries, which is not confirmed by the data of either the national statistical services or the International Monetary Fund.
It becomes more apparent when comparing with 2020. Armenia was the country with the largest economic decline among the three Caucasian countries that year, but this did not “stop” the World Bank specialists from writing in their report that Armenia not only continues to surpass the other two countries with this indicator, but also the gap is getting bigger.
It should be noted that according to the same World Bank, in 2020 the economic decline in Armenia was -6.7 percent, and in Azerbaijan -5 percent. Therefore, if we follow the rules of logic, in the event that the population remains almost unchanged, Azerbaijan’s GDP per capita should not only not be lower than Armenia’s, but also surpass it.
This difference is due to the different methodologies of GDP calculation. And this is not the first time when the analyzes and forecasts of the World Bank experts did not come true. For example, the World Bank published a report on transfers between the countries, according to which more than $ 200 million were transferred from Azerbaijan to Armenia in 2018.
As a result, it turned out that the calculation was based on the assumptions of the World Bank experts, while, in reality, there are no money transfers between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Thus, it should be noted that in terms of GDP per capita, Armenia surpassed neighboring countries (or one of them) only in 2020, and following that year, it has continued to be the country with the lowest GDP per capita in the South Caucasus.