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Emigration Emerges as a Concern in Armenia

Over 700,000 people have left Armenia since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The same number might leave over the next five to 10 years, some observers suggest.

Uncertain security conditions and a depressed economy are the major factors pushing Armenians to leave their homeland. Members of Armenia's cultural elite are voicing concerns that the pace and the scope of emigration could have serious consequences on state-building efforts.

Academician Vladimir Khodjabekyan, in a recent article titled "The Country Suffers from Emigration," wrote that unsystematic and uncontrolled emigration is contributing to a demographic crisis, leaving Armenia with a graying population. Emigration could potentially result in a lower birth rate, and create a labor shortage. Khodjabekyan also expressed concern that Armenia would be hard pressed to recover from the ongoing "brain drain." Those departing tend to be enterprising and highly skilled in artistic, professional and scientific spheres.

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Mikhail Diloyan is a journalist based in Armenia. He is the executive director of the Yerevan Press Club.

Emigration Emerges as a Concern in Armenia

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