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July 16, 2004

ACNIS Releases Public Opinion Results on Economic Growth

Yerevan—The Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS) issued today the results of a public survey on “The Trends of Economic Growth in Armenia,” which it conducted between June 20 and July 12 in Yerevan and all of Armenia’s regions. The announcement and accompanying analysis were made during a roundtable discussion at ACNIS headquarters which considered the attitude of Armenian citizens toward Armenia’s controversial “economic miracle.”

ACNIS director of administration Karapet Kalenchian greeted the invited guests and public participants with opening remarks. “These deliberations, as well as the survey preceding them, aim to evaluate public perceptions of economic growth in Armenia, to draw a true picture of its impact on the budget of Armenian families, and to determine the factors obstructing and those promoting economic development in the Republic,” Kalenchian said.

ACNIS legal and political affairs analyst Stepan Safarian presented “The Aims, Methodology, and Results of the Survey,” focusing in detail on the findings of the public opinion polls. Accordingly, 55.7% of the surveyed citizens assert that the reported economic growth in Armenia has not had any impact on their family budget, 36.5% say it has had a small positive impact, and only 7.5% are completely satisfied with it.

Yes, a big impact 7.5%

Yes, a small impact 36.5%

No 55.7%

Did not answer 0.3%

It is noteworthy that 33.5% state that their family budget has increased owing to their and their relatives’ employment in Armenia, 16.4% to their employment abroad or money sent by their relatives living abroad, and only 4.2% to improvement of the general economic situation and living standards in Armenia, and 45% assert that their family budget has not increased at all.

Your job in Armenia 18.2%

Your family’s and relatives’ jobs in Armenia 15.3%

Your job abroad 2.1%

Money sent by your relatives living abroad 14.3%

Improvement of the general economic situation and living standards in Armenia 4.2%

The family budget has not increased 44.9%

Other 0.6%
Sale of belongings you possessed
Family budget has gradually reduced

Did not answer 0.4%

In response to a question on whether the Armenian authorities pursue an economic policy supporting the development of enterprise and investments, 22.8% of respondents give positive answers, 48.4% are of the opposite opinion, while 28.6% find it difficult to answer.

Yes 22.8%

No 48.4%

Difficult to answer 28.6%

Did not answer 0.2%

19.5% of citizens point to the clan system as the main obstacle to economic growth in Armenia, 32.9% mark corruption and patronage, 16.5% the moral-psychological atmosphere within society, 6.4% tax and customs bureaucracy, 4.2% the unresolved status of the Karabagh issue, 4.3% Armenia’s closed borders with Azerbaijan and Turkey, and 1.7% interference by external forces.

Clan system 19.5%

Corruption and patronage 32.9%

Moral-psychological atmosphere within the society (loss of hope, uncertainty, injustice, illegality, defenselessness, etc.) 1.5%

Tax and customs bureaucratization 6.4%

Legal field, including taxes and customs 8.1%

Unresolved state of the Karabagh problem 4.2%

Armenia’s close borders with Azerbaijan and Turkey 4.3%

Interference by external forces 1.7%

Other 6.0%
Difficult to answer
Our state of mind, people's apathy
Disunity between people and authorities, inner disruption
Unemployment and poverty
Economic obstacles with neighbor states
Absence of natural resources

Did not answer 0.4%

26.4% think that the prerequisite for surmounting the obstacles to economic growth in Armenia is the formation of a new administration, 12.8% improvement of the atmosphere for investments, 16.5% encouragement and development of small and medium-sized enterprises, 22.6% operation of large industrial enterprises, and 12.3% the ensuring of Armenia’s active participation in regional economic programs.

Formation of a new administration 26.4%

Improvement of atmosphere for investments, including tax and customs legislation 12.8%

Encouragement and development of small and medium enterprises 16.5%

Operation of big industrial enterprises 22.6%

Involvement of foreign investments 2.6%

Surmounting Armenia's isolation and ensuring its active participation in regional economic programs 12.3%

Other 6.2%
Difficult to answer
Surmounting illegality and injustice, building lawful, democratic country
Struggle against clans and corruption
Job creation
Using investments without embezzlement
Healthy society, establishment of love and trust atmosphere in the country, reassessment of national values, and true presentation of culture and history to youth
"Strong hand" and caring leader
Surmounting polarization between rich and poor
Providing unity and unanimity
Restoration of economy and reforms in banking system
Resignation of the present administration
Regulation of Karabagh conflict

Did not answer 0.6%

54% of respondent citizens believe that Russia most promotes the economic development of Armenia, 12% think it is the United States, 2% France, 1.5% Iran, while 13.3% hold that none of them do and 13.8% find it difficult to answer.

Russia 54.0%

USA 12.0%

France 2.0%

Iran 1.5%

Turkey 0.3%

Germany 0.2%

Georgia 0.2%

Great Britain 0%

None 13.3%

Difficult to answer 13.8%


All of them, or all except Turkey
Only Christian countries
Russia and Iran
Europe, or Europe and CIS

Did not answer 0.3%

Most of the respondents, 35.3%, are convinced that Armenia should have the closest economic relations with all countries, 32.6% with CIS member-states, 13.9% with European Union member-states, 7% with the countries of the region (Georgia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Iran), and 2.7% countries of the American continent, particularly the United States and Canada.

European Union member-states 13.9%

CIS member-states 32.6%

Countries of the region, including Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Iran 7.0%

Countries of the American continent, particularly the United States and Canada 2.7%

All of them

Other 8.2%
Difficult to answer
Only Russia, or Russia and the United States
Countries of the region and Russia
Only Iran, or Iran and Georgia
Middle East countries
Countries which will create equal opportunities with us

Did not answer 0.3%

The role of the Diaspora in the economic development of Armenia is highly valued by 25.8% of citizens, 44% view it as important, 23.1% think it plays a small role, and 6.6% find it plays no role at all.

It plays a great role 25.8%

It plays an important role 44.0%

It plays a small role 23.1%

It does not play any role 6.6%

Did not answer 0.5%

According to 20.3% of citizens surveyed, in the event of maintaining the present pace of economic development Armenia will become a prosperous country in the next 10 years, 30% expect this in the next 25 years and 16.5% in the next 100 years, whereas 25.1% assert that Armenia will never become a prosperous country under the circumstances.

In the next 10 years 20.3%

In the next 25 years 29.9%

In the next 100 years 16.5%

Never 25.1%

Other 7.5%
Difficult to answer
In the next 15, 20, 50, 500 years
It is already a prosperous country

Did not answer 0.7%

ACNIS economic and diaspora affairs analyst Hovsep Khurshudian offered a comment on the poll results, referring to their most compelling indices. “We may deduce from many of the answers that the public is not satisfied with the pronouncements of the authorities about unprecedented economic growth in Armenia as, even if true, it does not bear a positive impact on all society,” underlined Khurshudian.

The formal presentations were followed by contributions by Yerevan State University professors Haik Sargsian and Gagik Galstian; Supreme Council Deputy Club chairman Samvel Tonoyan; director Gagik Makarian of the “Haiconsult” firm; editor Haroutiun Khachatrian of Noyan Tapan Highlights; Yulia Kuleshova of “Delovoy Express” weekly; Vaghtang Siradeghian of Transparency International Armenia; Yerevan State Linguistic University professor Hrach Tatevian; Stepan Mantarlian of “Armaveni” consulting company; and several others.

37.9% of all respondents hail from Yerevan, and 62.1% are from outside the capital city. 38.7% of them are male, and 60.8% female; 7.3% are 20 years of age or below, 25.2% 21-30, 20.5% 31-40, 21.5% 41-50, 12.1% 51-60, 8.4% 61-70, and 6.1% 71 or above. 41.8% of the citizens surveyed have received higher education, whereas 9.7% have incomplete higher, 19.1% specialized secondary, 24.9% secondary, and 4.1% incomplete secondary training. 41.3% are actively employed, 10.4% pensioners and welfare recipients, 7.1% students, and 40.6% unemployed. According to their income 62.9% consider themselves middle class, 27.8% poor, and 5.5% extremely poor, 0.6% rich, 2.7% well off. Urban residents constitute 67.5% of the citizens surveyed, while rural residents make up 32.5%.

Age Groups
Did not answer


Did not answer

Incomplete secondary
Specialized secondary
Incomplete higher
Did not answer

Welfare recipient
Did not answer

Status of workplace

To which of the below-mentioned groups do you belong according to your income?
Extremely poor
Did not answer

Founded in 1994 by Armenia’s first Minister of Foreign Affairs Raffi K. Hovannisian, and supported by the Lincy Foundation and a global network of contributors, ACNIS serves as a link between innovative scholarship and the public policy challenges facing Armenia and the Armenian people in the post-Soviet world. It also aspires to be a catalyst for creative, strategic thinking and a wider understanding of the new global environment. In 2004, the Center focuses primarily on public outreach, civic education, and applied research on critical domestic and foreign policy issues for the state and the nation.

For further information on the Center and its activities, call (37410) 52-87-80 or 27-48-18; fax (37410) 52-48-46; e-mail root@acnis.am or info@acnis.am

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The Armenian version of the press release:

Armenian version

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“Public Opinion on Economic Growth in Armenia”
Presentation of Public Survey Results
(PDF-format, 442 KBytes)

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