Country Facts About Armenia for Kids
Armenia is a country located on the continent of Asia. It shares borders with Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Iran. It is a landlocked country. Landlocked means it's completely surrounded by other countries with no direct access to any ocean or sea. Armenia is part of an area called Anatolia or the Anatolian peninsula. This area is also called Asia Minor.
The Republic of Armenia is a Republic. People elect representatives to a parliament. The parliament makes laws. Laws are the rules people have to follow.
Yerevan is the capital city.
Armenia has a population of about 3 million people. The people are called Armenian. Armenian is the official language of the country. Most Armenians are of Armenian ethnic origin.
The people mainly practice a religion called Armenian Apostolic, which is a branch of Christianity. Most of the population is literate, which means they can read and write.
Way of Life
Armenia used to be part of the Soviet Union or USSR. The Soviet Union included several countries. It was a communist country, where the government controlled the economy. When the USSR broke up in 1991, Armenia became an independent country. Armenians have been making a transition away from a government run economy to one with private ownership of land and businesses. About a quarter of the population (1 out of 4 people) lives in poverty.
Food, music and dance are important parts of Armenian culture. People love to cook and make big meals for celebrations. Traditional folk music and dances are popular. Armenians are famous for their friendliness and hospitality.
Many residents of rural areas live with extended families. People who live in cities usually live in apartment buildings. Many of these buildings are rundown. Running water has been a problem is the capital Yerevan. Water is often unavailable for several hours a day.
Armenia has a large diaspora. A diaspora is a group of people that live outside their traditional homeland. About 3 million people live in the Armenia. But about 6 million Armenians live in other countries, such as Russia, the United States and France.
Education is very important in Armenia. Many children start learning languages like English, French and Persian in elementary school. Many children know 3 or 4 languages when they graduate from high school. Children like to play team sports like soccer. Winter sports like skiing are also popular.
Climate and Topography
Armenia has hot summers and cold, snowy winters. Skiing is a popular winter activity. Armenia sometimes experiences spring floods, due to the melting of mountain snow. The country occasionally experiences droughts, which are long periods without rain.
If you look at a map of Armenia, you can’t miss the large lake that takes up about 5 percent of the country’s land area. This is Lake Sevan. It is called a high altitude lake because it's 6500 feet (2000 meters) above sea level. Armenia doesn’t have any access to the sea, so Lake Sevan is a popular vacation spot for residents of Yerevan who want to escape the summer heat.
Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan make up a region called Transcaucasia, named after the Caucasus Mountains. Large areas of Armenia are mountainous. Mount Aragats is the highest mountain. It's an extinct volcano. An extinct volcano is one that won’t erupt again. The Araks is the largest river.
Armenia occasionally experiences powerful earthquakes. In 1988, an earthquake killed 25,000 people. Other natural hazards or dangers are floods and drought.
Deforestation is a problem in Armenia. Only about 8 percent of Armenia is covered by forests, down from 25 percent. Trees are being cut down for firewood and agriculture. Most farmland is located in valleys or on mountainsides.
About half of Armenians work as farmers. Farmers grow wheat, barley, potatoes, vegetables and fruits. Diamond processing or cutting is another important industry.
Armenia exports electricity, iron, metals and diamonds. The country imports oil, natural gas and food.
Armenia’s currency is called the Dram.