Armenians have married and divorced in larger numbers this year, according to latest official statistics released on Friday.
The data from the National Statistical Service (NSS) shows that state bodies registered about 9,400 marriages across Armenia in the first half of this year, a 7.2 percent increase from the same period of 2010.
The number of divorces rose at virtually the same rate, reaching just over 1,500. According to Karine Kuyumjian, the head of the NSS’s demography division, Yerevan and the northern Lori province accounted for the bulk of divorces.
Presenting the figures to journalists, Kuyumjian said the number of official marriages fell by over 4 percent to 18,773 last year.
This appears to explain why fewer children were born in the country in January-June 2011. The NSS put their total number at 20,102, a year-on-year decrease of 4.4 percent.
The birth rate increased slightly in 2010. With more couples wedding this year and very few Armenian children still born out of wedlock, it may well grow again in 2012.
In any case, the birth rate will remain well below the late Soviet era. It has fallen considerably since the early 1990s due to socioeconomic hardship and the resulting emigration of hundreds of thousands of Armenians.