On January 1, 2019, RA Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated that more people have arrived in Armenia than left the country. In particular, he noted that the difference between arrivals and departures has made up +20,713.
In order to fact-check the claim, our team sent an inquiry to the RA National Security Service (NSS) which controls border crossings. In response to our inquiry, the NSS noted that 1,906,722 people arrived in Armenia, and 1,893,189 people left the country in the period between January 1 and December 31, 2018.
That is, the difference between arrivals and departures made up 15,533 people, i.e. less than the number mentioned by Pashinyan by 5,180 people.
In fact, Pashinyan’s claim that arrivals exceeded departures in Armenia is correct but the number cited by him does not correspond to the information provided by the NSS.
Moreover, the report by the RA Statistical Committee published on February 5 contains significantly different numbers about arrivals and departures in Armenia in 2018. According to the report, there was the following picture of border crossings in the year 2018: arrivals 1,980,727, and departures 1,974,233. It means that according to the RA Statistical Committee, more people arrived in Armenia than departed from the country during last year, but that difference makes up only 6,494.
It should be noted that the inconsistency between the data of different agencies is related to the use of different methodologies.
Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that there were more arrivals than departures in Armenia in the year 2018. And in order to have a clear understanding of what this indicator means, we present below the data from last five years where it can be seen that the ratio between arrivals and departures had always been negative before 2018.