Over 40 percent of Armenia’s population is below poverty line

Over 40 percent of Armenia’s population is below poverty line –

ARKA – Some 42 percent of Armenia’s population is below the poverty line, according to an opinion poll conducted by Sociometer polling center of Aharon Adibekyan in 2013.

Speaking at a news conference Adibekyan said poor citizens are those who live on less than $2 a day, poverty criteria established by the United Nations. 

Accordingly, those who live on less than $1 a day are considered extremely poor,” said Adibekyan, adding that some 10 percent of Armenians are rated as such.

However, only half of those living below the poverty line consider themselves poor. Adibekyan described this as a ‘psychological defense reaction’ of the people. 

“Thirteen percent of Armenia’s population is rich. However, only 2% of them consider themselves rich. Thus, the portion of citizens with modest living standards who can be named as middle class is more than 40%,” said Adibekyan. 

Adibekyan says the main problem of the Armenian society is that mostly it is the so-called middle class chooses to emigrate resulting in extreme polarization of the Armenian society divided now into the rich and the poor.
According to him, the other problem is that the only sources of income of about 17% of Armenian families are money remittances sent by their relatives working abroad.
“The fathers of around 300,000 children in Armenia live and work abroad. This will lead to very negative consequences in the future,” he says.

According to the Central Bank, the amount of individual non-commercial remittances to Armenia via banks in the first eight months of 2014 surged by 1.2 percent from a year earlier to over $1.16 billion.

According to the latest data of the ministry of finance, in 2013 the poverty rate was 32.1%, and that of extreme poverty – 2.7%. 

According to the National Statistical Service, the poverty rate in Armenia in 2012 was 32.4%, an increase of 17.4 percent from  2008 ($ 1 – 409.49 drams).

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