The smallest of the former USSR’s republics, Armenia lies landlocked in the Lesser Caucasus Mountains. After 1988, a confrontation with Azerbaijan dominated national life.
Geography: Rugged and mountainous, with expanses of semidesert and a large lake in the east: Sevana Lich.
Climate: Continental climate, with little rainfall in the lowlands. The winters are often bitterly cold.
People and Society: Christianity is the dominant religion, but minority groups are well integrated. War with Azerbaijan over the enclave of Nagorno Karabakh forced 350,000 Armenians living in Azerbaijan to return home, many to live in poverty. There are close and important ties to the seven-million strong Armenian diaspora.
The Economy: Overseas remittances and agriculture each account for a sixth of GDP. Main products are wine, tobacco, potatoes, and fruit. Welldeveloped machine-building and manufacturing – includes textiles and bottling of mineral water.
Insight: In the 4th century, Armenia became the first country to adopt Christianity as its state religion
Official Name: Republic of Armenia
Date of Formation: 1991
Population: 3.08 million
Total Area: 11,506 sq. miles (29,800 sq. km)
Density: 268 people per sq. mile
Languages: Armenian*, Azeri, Russian
Religions: Armenian Apostolic Church (Orthodox) 88%, Armenian Catholic Church 6%, other 6%
Ethnic Mix: Armenian 98%, Yezidi 1%, other 1%
Government: Parliamentary system
Currency: Dram = 100 luma