Armenia is located in the transcontinental region between eastern Europe and western Asia, also known as Eurasia. It shares borders with Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. This country has an entire area of 11,484 square miles and a population of nearly 3 million. This article takes a look at some of the most populated cities in Armenia.
The most populous city in Armenia is Yerevan, which is also the nation’s capital. Its population size is 1,073,700, just over one-third of the entire population. Given that Yerevan is the administrative, cultural, and industrial capital of Armenia, its population size is not surprising. Today, the majority of the people living here are of Armenian descent. Previously, the population was over 1.2 million with more diverse ethnic demographics, including Russian, Iranian, Kurd, and Azerbaijani minorities.
Yerevan is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities on earth. Records indicate inhabitants as early as the 8th Century BC, during which time the city was called Erebuni and served as a royal and religious capital. Over the centuries, this city and the surrounding country have been under Islamic, Mongol, Russian, and Soviet rule. Today, this city produces 41% of the country’s industrial goods, including rubber, textiles, plastics, alcohol, furniture, dairy products, and jewelry. It is also the home to various international headquarters.
Gyumri is the second most populous city in the country, and also serves as the capital of Armenia's Shirak Province. The population here is 117,700. The last ethnic census was conducted in 1959. At that time, Armenians made up 93.1% of the population and Russians 5.2%. The majority of the people here today belong to the Armenian Apostolic Church while only 16,000 attend the Armenian Catholic Church.
The area surrounding this city has been inhabited for thousands of years, although a city was not located here until around the 8th Century BC. Historically, the city has gone by several names, but has always played an important role as a military post and trading center. It was not named Gyumri until 1992, a few years after the Soviet Union collapse. The population here was once over 200,000 until an earthquake in 1926 destroyed much of the infrastructure, causing thousands of people to flee. Today, its economy is based on construction, manufacturing, tourism, and banking services.
Vanadzor is the third most populous city in the country. In addition, it serves as the capital of the Lori Province. Approximately 82,200 people live here. This city is located about 82 miles from Yerevan. Its ethnic demographics mainly consist of Armenians with Greek, Russian, and Ukrainian minorities.
According to archaeological records, the area around Vanadzor has been inhabited since the Bronze Age. By the 19th Century, the region was under Russian rule and utilized as a military defense. The original city was destroyed in 1826, but rebuilt in 1828. At this time, the population was only around 600. Its growth was spurred by the railroad that opened at the beginning of the 20th Century. Today, the economy is built around various industry and manufacturing of dairy products, chemicals, clothing, and construction materials.
Additional Armenian cities have been detailed in the chart published below.
Future Prospects for the Armenian Population
The population of Armenia is expected to continue to grow to reach over 3 million residents by the year 2020. Although this number represents growth, it is slow growth. Although the birth rate exceeds the death rate, it is decreasing as the life expectancy is growing. This forecast also includes expectations that the unemployment rate will decrease from 16.4 to 15.6, suggesting slight economic growth.